The BBC’s Woman’s Hour programme has hidden the fact that a poll it conducted revealed that women are less supportive of female leaders.
The survey conducted by TNS for Woman’s Hour asked men and women:
- How well do you think Theresa May would perform as leader of Conservative Party?
- How well do you think Yvette Cooper would perform as leader of the Labour Party?
- Which of the following female leaders to you think best understands your family?
What the poll revealed was that:
- Men were more likely than women to say Theresa May would perform very well as leader
- Men were more likely than women to say Yvette Cooper would perform very well as leader
- Men were more likely to say that Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP understands what life is like for their family
- Men were more likely to say that Natalie Bennett (Green Party) understands what life is like for their family
- Men were equally likely to say that Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) understands what life is like for their family
Yet the fact that men appear to be more supportive of female leaders than women was not reported by the tax-payer funded Woman’s Hour team on their website. They instead chose to only highlight the fact that:
- More men think Theresa May would perform badly as leader compared to women (33% vs. 20%)
- More men than women think Yvette Cooper would perform badly as leader (26% vs. 19%)
Positive facts about men ignored
The fact that men outnumbered women in both the “perform well” and “perform badly” category is down to a common statistical anomaly in political polls—namely that women tend to be more likely to express no opinion. Put another way, men are more opinionated or decisive and women are more discerning or indecisive.
So 36% of women had no opinion of Theresa May’s ability as a leader (compared to 23% of men) and 44% of women didn’t express a view about Yvette Cooper’s leadership potential (compared with 35% of men).
It is notable, however, that the BBC’s Woman’s Hour chose only to highlight the one statistic in the report that seemed to put men in a bad light (in relation to their attitudes about female politicians) and ignored the fact that more men in the survey, were more supportive of female leaders.
Jane Garvey, the programme’s presenter, went a step further and tried to give the false impression that female leaders are less popular with men, by putting the the following question to Michelle Harrison, who is the CEO of TNS, the company behind the survey. Garvey confidently stated:
“Theresa May …was more popular amongst women than men, right?
Harrison dodged the opportunity to put Garvey straight saying:
“Well she was actually surprisingly popular….two-fifths of all adults we polled though Theresa May would perform well as the leader of the Conservative Party. But what actually did come through was that more men think that she would perform badly as leader compared to women.”
This has nothing to do with men judging female leaders more harshly and everything to do with men being more likely to express an opinion—either way—no matter what gender the politician is.
You would think that a programme like Woman’s Hour would be celebrating the fact that men are more likely to be supportive of female, political leaders. But no, this doesn’t fit with the programme’s narrative of constantly claiming that when it comes to gender, women HAVE problems an men ARE the problem.
Article by Glen Poole author of the book Equality For Men
Also on insideMAN:
- Election 2015: which political parties are men and women supporting?
- Election 2015: the political issues that concern men and women
- Shock as new Woman’s Hour poll finds women are brilliant and men are crap
- Are men more right wing and women more left wing?
- Eight reasons British women are more left wing than men
- Should we allow gender politics to be taught in UK schools?