Opinion

OPINION: What a female reporter faces every day

It started out like a regular phone call. 

I had been a journalist for a couple of years, we were in the midst of an election campaign.

It wasn't the first I had covered.  I am not sure it was even the second.

But the call, that was a first.

Caller: I asked to be put through to the political reporter not their secretary.

Me: I am the political reporter.  How can I help?

Caller: pause. Oh, pause, well... Can I speak to the editor?  I have a story for him.

Me: She is on the phone right now.  Can I take a message?

Caller: pause.  Oh.  pause.  What about your deputy editor?  That's a man isn't it?

I transferred the call, gaping a little at the phone.  Did that just happen?

Vaguely I was aware of my deputy editor speaking in the background.

Deputy editor: If you want to talk about the election campaign, you will have to speak to Lea.  She is the one covering it.  I can put you back through to her?

He hung up.

The call sticks out in my memory because it was a first.

The first time I was outright told that I was not fit to do my job merely because of the type of genitals I had been graced with at birth.

There was no discussion of my credentials, no previous contact, not even sighting my photograph.

This man had judged my ability to work merely from a female voice coming through the end of a telephone.

The call was the first time I was told being female meant I could not do the job but unfortunately it was not the first time I had been forced to endure blatantly sexist behaviour.

There was the time I was told I had "embarrassed" a male work contact after I told him to remove his hand from my buttocks while at a social gathering. 

The daily instances of being called luv, darling or sweetie. 

The numerous times of being told to lighten up or smile or a remark about your looks when trying to question someone on a serious matter they want to avoid.

The daily war stories.

Every female journalist has them.  The litany of tales about men behaving inappropriately while the journalist tries to work.

The last week has thrown a light on those stories as women come forward in support of Mel McLaughlin after cricketer Chris Gayle decided an interview broadcast to thousands was the perfect time to hit on her.

There are the contacts you slyly warn female colleagues about.

Watch for such and such's grabby hands.  He likes to stare down your top.  Try not to be in a room alone with that guy.

At times the barrage is never ending.

It has long been something female journos have just put up with as 'just part of the job'.

But it should not be.

No person should go to work expecting to be harassed.

Topics:  gender opinion sexism



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Eight things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend

THIS WEEKEND: Hervey Bay library Rattle & Rhyme morning for mums and children under two. Hannah Udovisi and 5 month old Maya learn about reading books.

Things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend.

10 jobs up for grabs on the Fraser Coast right now

Need a job? Check out this list of employment opportunities.

Chamber supports wi-fi plan regardless of election result

Kingston Hervey Bay was named the winner of the Hervey Bay and Maryborough Chambers of Commerce \"Light Up The Fraser Coast\" competition. Kingston Hervey Bay donated the prizemoney to We Care 2.From left: Pastor Robert Geluk (We Care 2), Sandra Holebrook (Hervey Bay Chamber), Tracey Messer (Kingston Hervey Bay) and Jan Carlson (We Care 2).

Ms Holebrook: this plan is more than an election promise.

Local Partners

McConnell Lookout closed for road works

North Burnett Regional Council closes McConnell Lookout for two weeks to improve safety, and replacing timber handrails and wood fire barbecues.


Musical to come to life at Brolga Theatre

The wardrobe team surrounded by fabrics and accessories in the costume room at the Brolga Theatre.

Ken is no stranger to the Maryborough music scene

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!