The Daily Express has launched a feminist blog, under the auspices of journalist Lauren Thompson.
Yes, it was a surprise to me too. Of all the unlikely folks to enter the universe of feminist blogging, the Daily Express, best known for its right-wing agenda, is surely the most improbable. This is, after all, the newspaper that brought us famously inflammatory and racist headlines such as ‘Bombers are all spongeing asylum seekers’. And it’s not best known for sympathetic coverage of gender or gay rights issues either.
However, Thompson is off to an encouraging start:
As a journalist, I see how women’s issues are often ignored in the media, or reported on in a misleading or offensive way.
Most newspapers are still run largely by men – and this often means that women’s issues simply aren’t on the agenda.
You are still more likely to find a half-naked woman on page three of a newspaper than you are to read a story about serious women’s issues.
Unequal pay, low rape conviction rates, forced marriages, pornography in schools, lads mags, size zero models, domestic violence… the list of things that adversely affect women and girls in Britain today goes on.
The aim of this blog is to hopefully draw more attention to these injustices and – most importantly – to generate some much needed discussion.
I am really encouraged that they’ve given her room to blog. Especially when she’s bringing up issues such as the failure of the mainstream media to cover women’s rights issues, which her newspaper has also been guilty of.
Thompson has even blogged about issues like discrimination against working mums:
Pregnant women and mothers still face deeply entrenched prejudices and many obstacles if they want to continue working.
Meanwhile, their male counterparts who wish to start a family can continue to enjoy their careers without the fear of being sacked or demoted.
We all know why this is – because of employers’ narrow-minded assumptions that women will be the primary child carers, which means they will have less time and energy to devote to their job. . . which means they’re ‘not worth’ employing.
Let’s hope this signals a change in direction for the Express.