Ruth Farnan, a leaving cert student and a supporter of the Irish Feminist Network has written an open letter to the Irish Independent.
Over their use of ‘Woman’ as a newspaper category
Before you make up your mind read the open letter.
While using your website for my daily news update a sub-heading on the menu took my attention.
Clicking on it, it brought me to a page titled ‘independentwoman.ie’.
As a 19-year-old Irish female I feel the need to question this website and its placement on the Independent website.
The website includes celebrity news, fashion, beauty, diet and ‘Love&Sex’. I am sure there are many women who would love these topics but they are not for me. In relation to women I’m interested in women’s rights, women in business and in sport. None of this is featured on the website in front of me. If I had wanted to read the topics provided I would have clicked on Lifestyle.
I decided to investigate further and went to the Irish Times website. They have no such ‘Woman’ sub-heading . Any topics similar to what are on the Independent’s Woman website are placed under ‘Lifestyle’ – where I expected to find them.
I do not intend to completely write this website off as a sexist creation with no place in our society. I am merely questioning its place on the website and its intentions. I do like some elements of the website such as the articles written on relationships and feminism in celebrity culture but it is missing a more open view on women.
Are women not interested in business and sport? If a man wishes to read about fashion, beauty, diet or even sex he must go on to ‘Women’s’ website or surf through the badly laid out ‘Lifestyle’ section. Where is the ‘Man’ website with all the masculine things men are only meant to read about like cars and sports?
I hope this letter makes you think of how the website is laid out or you even begin to rethink about how women are portrayed in your newspaper. We are not all hooked on Fashion and Celebs. Women are more complex than the sub-topics on your website.
Leaving Cert Student.