I was watching The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 this morning as I was getting ready for work, and what they were discussing confused me a little. It wasn’t so much what they were discussing, but how they didn’t understand how equality works.
They were discussing how the new Top Gear presenters had a lack of women, and out of seven presenters, only one was female. They questioned whether the BBC were “putting two fingers up to women” and said they should have more female presenters, and how they thought “it’s good to see they’ve got a black man.”
I was shocked to see how they hadn’t considered whether no other women were fit for the job. As a woman, if I were to apply for a job vacancy, I would expect to get it if I were they best person for the job. I wouldn’t want to be given the job just because I’m a woman, especially if there was someone else who is better than me, because that’s not how it’s supposed to work!
The fact that they were sitting there, saying it’s bad how only one woman is on the panel, just goes to show that even people whose opinions are broadcast to every person’s home in the UK, don’t understand how to deal with people and their genders or race.
I wouldn’t want to take a dream job away from somebody and be employed by someone, just because they felt that if they didn’t give me the job, they’d be accused of being sexist. I’m sure many people of a different race would feel that way too.
They also said there were no ‘Muslim’ presenters either, and wondered whether the Stig was a Muslim.
Does it matter? And how can they tell whether someone is of the Muslim faith by looking at them anyway? How do they know whether someone is a Christian, Muslim, Sikh or athiest? They can’t. Because it’s not a race.
I wondered whether they felt as though a gay, lesbian or trans person should be a presenter, too – if they feel that the BBC should employ different kinds of people – just to make a point of trying to be diverse?
And, what was confusing, is that none of the people on the show pointed this out.
I was, however, impressed with how they handled a phone call from a member of the public, who said that women should stay on shows such as ‘The British Bake Off’. Host, Matthew Wright, challenged the man on the phone, saying: “So, you think we should stick with gender stereotypes, and think women should stay in the kitchen?”
When the man on the phone, in a roundabout way, said yes, Mr Wright said: “Okay, that’s enough from you, let’s move on. Bye bye!”
I laughed, and so did everybody else on the show.
But, the point is, to make a point of employing different kinds of people to show the world that you’re being diverse, you’ve missed the whole point of equality. By employing a woman over a man because you feel you should, you’re then turning it the other way, and instead of treating everyone equally, you’re giving women a higher status than men.
All everybody wants is to be equal. To have the same opportunities as everyone else, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever your gender.