How Not To Write Like a Jerk

frustration

Here are some humble suggestions for all you manly men in journalism, to help you not write like oppressive, sexist, transphobic jerks.

1) Check your male privilege: During Monday meetings with your sports blogger bros, you could all reflect on questions such as; what does it mean to be a man who works for media platforms? Am I going to ridicule others whom I don’t think are equal to me? Am I going to dehumanize others whom I might feel slightly superior to? If the answer is YES. Go do a workshop! I suggest awareness activities to help you see that as a cis-male subject, you have a position of advantage with respect to women and LGBTQ groups. Once this is clear, have fun reporting!

2) (Not that you ever did, but just in case…) Don’t call yourself a feminist Man: Hugo Schwyzer did, at the expense of women of color. Just, don’t do it. And don’t just assume that women with different opinions and arguments are “angry.” Instead, ask women or LGBTQ people to help you reflect on your sexist practices and how these hinder gender equality.

3) Petition that your Sports Blog hire more women and LGBTQ Editors: This would have saved your reputation, and who knows? maybe a life. They will look at your piece and call you out on your transphobia, homophobia, sexism, etc. etc. They will also  suggest you don’t focus on the gender identity of your subject when the story is about SCIENCE, not the SCIENTIST.

4) Reflect on how your hegemonic masculinity harms your own relationship to interview subjects: You, manly journalist, could acknowledge that by focusing on someone’s gender identity as a fake, mysterious one, you are dehumanizing them. This “awkward” relationship to your interview subject, which sent “chills down your spine” is asymmetrical because you take away the subject’s right to a narrative identity and replace it with your own transphobic, biased view.

If you have succesfully understood, acknowledged, and maybe even agreed with these four points, you manly journalist might be able to go out into the world as someone whom LGBTQ groups and women won’t think of as a dick.

I write and do journalist stuff for other feminist blogs, but got really sad reading news today and came here to complain. I tweet here but only for allies: https://twitter.com/CarolinaADrake

 

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