Sexism in Television
I just watched what I think was the first episode of “I am Innocent” (TV1 18/03/15), that I recorded some weeks ago. Interesting that it focused on three female teenagers unfairly convicted and jailed for a sadistic mob attack on another young female teenager. I guess the show’s management team realised that they could only attract public sympathy from the outset by focusing initially on unfair treatment of females even though this is a relatively rare event. The episode also gave some indication of how much more humanely women prisoners are treated than men. For example, the young women although convicted of extremely violent offending were allowed to have their own television sets and to wear their own comfortable night attire.
I also just watched an episode of ‘Fair Go’ from some weeks ago. It involved someone getting a ticket for driving offences based entirely on allegations from a member of the public claiming to see the offending actions. The Fair Go team and some others they interviewed were appalled that police would ticket and prosecute based simply on one person’s accusations in the absence of any other evidence. They must not be aware that for sexual allegations men are routinely prosecuted and that juries are allowed to convict on exactly that basis. For other offences carrying significant penalties, police do not prosecute and depositions hearings do not allow cases to proceed in the absence of good corroborating evidence. Unfortunately for men, sexist stereotyping will have more influence on a jury considering uncorroborated sexual allegations than on the judge who will rule on this man’s uncorroborated ticket.
All the other episodes of “I am Innocent” feature unfair treatment of males by the NZ justice system, and are well worth watching.
Next week (I think) my wife Felicity is interviewed.
For the next couple of weeks you can watch them here:
One story is about a guy who was a member of COSA – Casualties of Sexual Allegations.
This particular episode is only available for another 3 days, so be quick!
Another story features my cousin and his daughter.
The two episodes I watched were very good and both about guys.Last week the guy stitched up for alleged rape and cops said his dna was present when it wasn’t.Have not heard much response to what was a well put together programme.
Thanks for the comments. I was not trying to criticize the show ‘I am Innocent’ and I’m looking forward to having the time to see the other episodes that focus on men’s cases. I’m not even critical particularly of the show’s decision to commence with an episode about girls; this was a sensible choice to build an audience. I simply highlight the sexism that sees the public much more likely to feel caring and compassion towards females than towards males. This is why charities often show sad-looking females to stimulate public sympathy and to raise funds. It’s an interesting phenomenon, quite understandable from an evolutionary or sociobiological point of view, but also one that probably underlies a lot of the problems men face.
If feminists want gender equality then this inequality in caring needs to change and this is as important if not more important than having more women in employment positions of privilege and power.
I agree with MoMA, that leading in with a case involving women was a good marketing choice.
The series is excellent and gives many warnings for people who become enmeshed into the justice machine, or who might get dragged in.
In my opinion, the series seriously calls into question the quality of operation of the justice system?
Although Minister Judith Collins dragged her heals on paying any compensation to David Bain, these issues keep on arising, faster than they can be swept under the carpet. Although the sizes of the compensation claims might seem large, when the emotional turmoil behind these stories is known, then the compensation can be seen to me a small tokan, compared to the suffering directed onto these innocent people.
The moral of the story is – get it right first time.
I don’t believe that this message has yet got through to the Perjury Departments in NZ Police, or to any of the legal workers. These groups suffer very little when their actions are exposed and they seem to gain far more the rest of the time.
In other words, there is precious little incentive for honesty.
Another good programme last night.