Monday, May 9, 2011

The Literal and Metaphorical Erasure of Women

Three different people have now drawn my attention to this item, in which Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung has removed Hilary Clinton and another woman from a photo of the Situation Room. Supposedly, this is a tradition for Hasidic newspapers, though I can't say I'd heard of it before.

I have to admit that it doesn't seem very sporting of me as a goy to have at a Jewish newspaper. And, as an atheist, my understanding of religious matters is not particularly nuanced. So I'm going to take a different tack here.

You know what would make this practice of removing women from news photos totally absurd and impractical? If women held more political positions. If half of politicians were women, then there would be a 75% chance that any photo of a pair of them would contain at least one woman. The photoshoppers would certainly have their work cut out for them then.

This photographic exclusion merely reflects the actual exclusion of women from politics. It's easy to single out the problematic practices of a minority religious group, but I think we should be focusing on the hard problem; proportional representation.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I like what you did here. You did not drift in the crass, self-righteousness so common in liberal or "enlightened" spaces. Instead, you used a wee bit of subtlety, a healthy dose of probability, and steered us straight into visionary pragmatism. Love it~