The missing presenter on Stargazing

ChristinaAfter accusations of misogyny at the BBC, there  were some revisions made,  in that Question Time now has two token women, as opposed to one.  Panel Games, Quizzes almost always fronted by the same set of males mostly stand-up, with the token woman thrown in from time to time. More of the same. 

Is it any wonder that people are switching over to watch Nordic programs, which despite the sub titles, give an interesting picture of women in power, yet with family and emotional lives, as in  Borgen. No detective work as in The Killing, but the two main characters get involved in some exciting situations.

On the one hand the BBC deserves great praise for the fantastic Last Tango in Halifax, which not only showed women prominently, but also dealt with the idea that older people, are not necessarily senile, (the ‘crapaccino’ moment) but are still up for romance, even sex.   It was brilliantly acted and the script was excellent, and we had all the British aspects such as rolling Yorkshire moors and pubs to entice the over seas watchers.

The Hour also was good in the first series, but in the second  series it was necessary to bring in Malcolm Tucker to see that the woman producer didn’t get above herself.   Brilliantly topical, although set in the fifties, there is still a worrying undercurrent in that the women wear red lipstick with cinch waists.

Same thing was going on with Mad Men although a riveting program it was a time when blacks knew their place and women were in the kitchen or under the boss.

The writer is also one of the script writers for Scott and Bailey on the other Chanel, which again is strong characters and exciting and realist situations , based on police work.   Bothe series are to be extended.  There is an appetite for good writing and good acting.

Who chose to put out Ripper Street, on the very week that a horrific rape occurred in India which set the country alight.   The camera lovingly lingered on the dead woman’s body and her injuries, which, while a turn-on for some, was a turn off, I imagine, for many women.  Such timing.

It’s wonderful that we have programs looking at the stars, and Brian Cox is surely the pin up boy for physics.    After all we need to encourage more women into science. There is such a dearth or women in Science, Engineering and Technology, that this country is falling behind its competitors.   Professor Jocylyn Bell Burnell said:

There are some horrible statistics surrounding the women who do Science Technology and Engineering, Mathematics degrees in Scotland.  Of those women, 72% leave the field compared to only 48% of men.  At the same time the ICT, Energy and Green industries are all saying, “Look, we’re heading up for an enormous skill shortage in the very near future.”  So the Country can’t afford that wastage; to lose a large chunk of its talent.  Somehow they need to keep those women.

Speaking of sub-Saharan countries;

The Prime Minister said, “where the potential and perspective of women are locked out of the decisions that shape a society, that society remains stunted and underachieving”.

CityA.M. Justine Greening 19th December 2012

Quotas anyone?

The usual argument against having a woman is that there’s not one good enough.  Not in this case.   It would have been so easy to have a woman present along side him.

Apart from the famous Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Professor Maggie Aderin-Pocock is one of the most exciting, inspiring, science communicators we have.  Not only is it her ambitions to retire to Mars, but she assembled the Gemini telescope over 6 months, very nearly singlehandedly in Chile, when the previous 9 project managers had given up.  We’re talking about the Very Large Telescope here.  In fact it has Chilean names, by the prize winner, a girl, from Chilean school children.  Inspirational or what?   Maggie has several programs on YouTube from both the BBC and royal Institution, but for interview excepts see here.

In future articles I plan to focus on the importance of Role Models, Mentors and Inspirational Women, which seems highly suitable since March is International women’s month, and WOW festival will be at the Festival hall again on the Southbank.

Author Bio:


journalist, speaker, writer, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and that’s just B, wordsmith, idea-list, diversity consultant: Specialist in all diversity issues invisible and inspirational women.

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