Women with Words

The first question that was brought up by Professor Everbach was something that shocked me by how little I was shocked. Apparently in the early news days for Katie Sherrod and Carloyn Barta were spent working in the "women's section" of the newspaper. Which specifically excluded politics and hard topics.  When women tried to get involved they were often shut down. They were told that their looks would pose a distraction. These women fought so actively to work in the political fields that they desired. They were able to be so successful by standing their ground and not taking no for an answer.

Leona Allen talks next on how she worked in the city of Akron and noticed the extreme racial segregations that were still in tact. She recalls on how the "white people lived on one side and the black people on the other." She talks of the importance of race and its role in the media. She recalls on the time her white partner locked the car door after seeing a young african american male. Leona says that she felt comfortable enough with her to have conversations. She emphasizes the importance of of having these kinds of conversations. Especially since there may be bias in the hands of the reporter.  I also agree that these conversations need to be had. Even at my job as a substitute teacher, I see so many racial tensions. Other teachers will sometimes speak freely of their own biases.  Which in my opinion can be dangerous when trying to maintain a neutral learning space.

While Journalism is mainly made up of women, there are not as many women on the newsroom floor. The panelists were asked how they believe these issues have come into play and how they affect women today. Women don't usually make as much but it is also true that women do not ask for raises nearly as much. Leona emphasizes on the importance of having a voice. She has written an article on the importance of having a voice and what that can do for your job. She found that a lot of women were amazed and came to her for further questions. She says that sometimes "you just have to ask." She also discusses that women of color tend to leave the newsroom because they are not being heard. But Leona again talks about the importance of getting women interested and more involved.

Carolyn talks about how there was no such thing as maternity leave. There was an unwritten rule that you could work until you were 6 months pregnant and then you had to quit. She begged her editor, Bob Millar to extend her working regardless of the pregnancy. He was a feminist for this time and offered to let her stay until he noticed that she was pregnant. She had to leave the day she was noticed at 7 months pregnant.
This really astounded me. It shocked me that a man would be so offended by a pregnant woman that he would demand her to leave. She was terminated in the time that she was gone and lost a lot of seniority. Luckily she was able to gain it back years later. She also emphasizes the importance of women speaking up for the things they want.
These women all had such unique perspectives and stories from their careers. They had such great advice for all journalists not just women. The importance of our words is something that needs to be understood in order to get the things in life we try for.

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