Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2004
Pre Feminism 001
I came home at 5 tonight, after telling Boss I'm not doing maintenance until tomorrow. I think he sensed if he pushed me this afternoon he'd be without a newscast in the morning. (Among other things.) I heard him tonight at 5. He couldn't get through the newscast. He commented cheerfully something to the effect of, "Well, it's been a long time since you (the listening audience) heard me tripping all over a newscast, but here I am again!" (MUCH paraphrased to make it PG.)
It was actually an interesting afternoon. Interesting and disheartening, tinged with a pale wash of hope. I attended a presentation at the local college, a documentary film and a question-and-answer session about women in journalism in the past fifty years, at least insofar as Arizona is concerned. It ended up being a snapshot of what women went through to be accepted - in any capacity - in what still remains predominantly a man's world.
It was a sad commentary that women in my business today STILL make less than men in comparable jobs. The median journalism salary for men is almost $10,000 more than that of women. And women make up only 5% of the upper administration in this business. I think in ownership it's still about 1.5% female owners.
Something else came up in the course of questions and answers, too. Journalists today make comparatively less now, across the board. One of the speakers said the reason that we see so many more women broadcasters now on television is that women work for less money. Ironically, in attempting to break into this business and in doing what we could to be accepted, women have undercut ourselves financially. Proportionately, women have made no income strides compared to men since at least 1993.
The advice of the day was to work free-lance as much as possible, because there the pay is a flat rate. It's one of the few scenarios gender and age truly are irrelevant.
I did discover that in terms of time demands, the ludicrous hours are pretty common for so-called "hard" news.
One positive thing - I got a connection to check into joining the Arizona Press Women's organization, if I choose to do so. It might not get me more pay, but might at least give me a network of moral support and connections to open new doors.
Well, guess I'd better get to work and write my story tonight and record it. Not sure yet how I'll get it to work, since my hosting server is on the fritz, but guess if all else fails, there's Hotmail...
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )