Katrin noticed something interesting about the coverage of the Farmer’s Weekly competition for Britain’s sexist male and female farmer, Pete Mortimore and Anna Simpson.

The coverage focused almost exclusively on Simpson.

She writes:

Of the (so far) 12 newspapers mentioning this, 11 focus solely on Anna Simpson: She’s the only one mentioned in the article’s title, there are huge pictures of her, videos of her and there is NO picture of Pete Mortimore, he is barely mentioned at all, never in the title (in some of the texts there is a half sentence in the middle of the article mentioning him: “Pete Mortimore, 25, has been voted Britain’s sexiest male farmer”, but that’s ALL).

For example, the Telegraph:

More examples of the focus on Simpson include the following headlines:

Blonde is UK’s Sexiest Farmer (the Sun)

Blonde Named Sexiest Female Farmer (UPI)

Welly-Wearing Blonde Named UK’s Hottest Farmer (GardenXL)

The Barnyard Beauty… UK’s Sexiest Farmer (Express)

Katrin continues:

The single exception, which has a tiny picture of him, is his own local newspaper.

Katrin thinks this is a great example of the way that the straight, male gaze shapes news coverage.  The coverage in these newspapers, ostensibly for both male and female, gay and straight readers, nevertheless covered the competition as if all of the readers are primarily, or only, interested in the hot chick.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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