Men are smarter than women.
Don’t worry, you’re reading the right blog. According to a recent story on Alternet about gendered perceptions of intelligence, men really are more intelligent than women – or so they think. According to the story, women tend to think their IQ is five points lower than it actually is. Men are guilty of the opposite. The study was undertaken under the generally accepted (but sometimes debated) theory that men and women are of equal intelligence.
Media is certainly partly to blame for a female underestimation of intelligence. If women see themselves as mere victims, bimbos and homemakers in the media, it’s not surprising they feel less intelligent than they actually are. It’s hard not to buy into what TV, newspapers, commercials and magazines tell you. If a woman is looking to hold a high-power position in the media industry, the same scenario plays out when she sees the majority of those positions are held by white men. If a woman was smart enough, she’d already have the position, right?
No. That’s not right.
According to a 2001 study from the International Federation of Journalists, 28 per cent of newspaper journalists and 37 per cent of TV journalists in Canada are women. In 2002, the Canadian Newspaper Association said only eight per cent of the country’s editor-in-chiefs were female.
While they wait for the world to catch on to their abilities, women need to consider how their impressions of themselves are formed. One of their biggest barriers could be that they don’t think they’re smart enough. And if women looking to get into the media industry don’t think they’re smart enough, they have no chance of creating media that reflects women as they are, and not how a male dominated industry thinks they should be.