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



Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

THE last season of GoT finally uttered the words we’ve been waiting six seasons to hear and now that the weather has cooled down in Brisbane, “winter is here.”

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Fraser Coast leads the women's revolution

ONE STEP CLOSER: AFL Wide Bay hopes to start a women's competition in 2018.

Three Fraser Coast teams could feature in the first women's comp.

Woman treated for burns to hands after cooking fire

Queensland Fire and Rescue. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Crews were called to the fire just before noon on Monday.

'Mower man' Claude returns to Hervey Bay

Claude Harvey - "The Mower Man" - will be in Hervey Bay tomorrow.

The iconic Bravehearts and child safety activist will be in the Bay.

Local Partners

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

The fact is Stefanovic is paid extremely well by a television network that lives and dies by ratings.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

LONG WALK HOME: Many festival goers opted to take a dangerous walk home due to transport difficulty following the Big Pineapple Festival in Woombye on Saturday.

Big Pineapple festival-goers have braved dangerous walks home

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!