The Great Debate UK
- Glenda Stone is an Australian businesswomen in the UK, CEO of Aurora and a commentator on economic gender issues. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.–.-
In Australia there is a common expression of social phenomenon called the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. It is a pejorative term that describes human behaviour of attacking, despising or attempting to cut down or criticise people of genuine merit because their achievements or talent distinguish them above their peers. Targets are often accomplished people with a public profile: business leaders, politicians, academics – and at times even celebrities and sporting personalities.
The media can be especially vicious in strategising, fuelling and orchestrating smear campaigns with the sole intention of defaming and questioning the character and ability of high-profile leaders.
So three questions arise: Do different countries differ in their appetite and media tolerance for Tall Poppy Syndrome? Has inaccurate, sensationalist, instant reporting in the media become a globally accepted normative standard? And are women even greater targets for negative media attention because of unfair, deeply ingrained societal gender bias?
- Professor Sharon Mavin is Associate Dean (Research) at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.--
International Women’s Day remains an important reminder of disadvantaged women globally, as well as a marker of women’s progress in society. IWD is an opportunity to reflect on changes still to come and the need for continued activism in representing the interests of women around the world.