Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Is it all Womens' Fault?

Famous astronomer Sir Patrick Moore who holds the Guinness Book of Records title for the longest-serving TV presenter, having appeared on his show about astronomy since 1957, has claimed that British TV standards are deteriorating because the BBC is "run by women". He has called for separate channels to cater for the needs of the different sexes. He went on "I would like to see two independent wavelengths - one controlled by women, and one for us, controlled by men." Claiming "The trouble is the BBC now is run by women and it shows soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. You wouldn't have had that in the golden days."

I am not sure that you can blame women for his claim about 'banal' television; he could have claimed that the medical profession is suffering under the reign of female Patricia Hewitt - but I can assure him not all women would do such a thing!


Anonymous said...

he is a brave man to make such a claim!!! Sarah

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Proof, once again, that we should never have heroes, because our heroes will always wind up letting us down eventually.

Ah well, I guess I'll try to carry on respecting him for his contribution to public knowledge of astronomy and try not to think about his rather silly comments about men's and women's TV.

Incidentally Dr Tempest, since you're a psychiatrist, I'd like to invite you to come and join the discussions over at the Mental Nurse group blog. We have some lively debates between RMNs and service users over there, so it would be interesting to have a medic's perspective as well. Care to drop by?

James Higham said...

In answer to the question posed in your post header:

"No, not entirely."

This must go into the Doctorfocus this evening.

Anonymous said...

A further thought occurred to me while browsing through my TV channels. Why doesn't Patrick Moore just buy a Freeview box? Then, rather than demanding channels for men and women he could avail himself of the selection of news channels for people who like to watch the news, history channels for people who like history, BBC4 for people who like the arts, CBeebies for pot-smokers...That sounds like a much more constructive way to divide programming content than attempting to impose a false genderisation upon it.

Anonymous said...

What kind of relationship do you think he had with his mother, Dr Tempest?

David Anthony said...

Is it all womens' fault?"

Haven't you ever read the bible Michelle? ;)

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Women TV - excellent idea.

Liz Hinds said...

Now what I would I show if I were in charge of a channel?

Dr Who (although the last two episodes were dreadful)
New Tricks
Have I got News for you?
re-runs of my favourite old sitcoms because 'they knew how to be funny in those days'!

Ian Lidster said...

I love women much too much to enter into this.


Liam Murray said...

My favourite quote?

"I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC - making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching."

He had/has no issues with intergalactic space travel, dozens of different species of aliens, teleportation or time-travelling police boxes. The notion of 'female commanders' strains his credulity to breaking point though...?!

One almost wishes there was a commissioning editor at the BBC with a particularly sadist streak who would call Moore in to break the news that they're replacing him on 'Sky at Night' with, say, Fearne Cotton...

Anonymous said...

Too much chick crap on TV? I agree.

Miss Tempest, do you consider former Harvard man Mr Summers comments regarding womens' math ability as correct.

Given that half the physician in training population is female these days, does this indicate that an ineptitude in math is not stopping anyone becoming a doctor?

Is there some endemic sexism in the teaching of math and physics that makes women look dumb when they are, in fact, superior?

Anonymous said...

golly !!!

Anonymous said...

According to recent research just as a result of surge of testosterone at two points in early life; first one at 8th week of gestation (the foetus’ life span from the point of conception) and the other immediately after birth, male brain shows significant differentiation (rather deterioration) from the female brain. Female brain, is described as the main template, meaning if you do not have this surge of malignant male hormone, every brain evolves into being a female one. Testosterone creates instability and unpredictability and as a result there are more males at both end of extremes; idiocy and genius. There are more normal females, in other words they are less likely to become a genius but also less likely to be idiots. So males’ sheer numbers in extremes makes it more likely for them to end up either sitting in leather chairs in some fancy university or in their own vomit and excrement, and some switching between these states fairly rapidly, thanks to evolution! I suspect this instability has a fractal quality and repeats itself within the individuals; i.e. a man can have very developed skills in certain fields but at the same time can be so inept in his social understanding. Therefore we should take Sir Patrick Moore’s comments within this context and that he is severely affected by the poison (testosterone)…

Anonymous said...

Re-read what he actually said, then apply brain and think for a moment what his message actually is.

I find it interesting to note that you as a psychologist are happy to engage in the old trick of ridiculing someone you disagree with instead of engaging them on their topic ;)

By all means rip into the old mysogynist (tho I doubt he is one!) but do it with style. Take his arguments by the throat, demolish them with facts, figures and vigour. But ignoring what he said and belitteling him and writing a shallow, catty moodpost you unfortunately prove his point somewhat.

Btw, I'm female and I think he is partially wrong but also somewhat right. He is a smart guy who has been around the block many times, and he should know a bit about the BBC culture, having been a director there.

Julia Huntsman said...

Whether in the UK or the U.S., there was a just a perceived "Golden Age" of television. Over here, while one public official over 40 years ago complained about TV being a "vaste wasteland", at the same time, we also had an excellent science series presented by a UCLA professor, I think it was Dr. Frank Baxter. We also have "NOVA", a science series on since the 1970's. But I'm sorry he doesn't like cooking shows, though. Seriously, would he like "Animal Planet"?

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