There's been a lot of talk recently over at English Dave's, on the SP e-bulletin and on Robin's blog (ok, I started that one) about the issue of gender and whether the UK is living up to its transatlantic cousin's standards in terms of churning out quality television drama.
Whilst whether the UK is as "good" as the US has to be a question of interpretation one could argue CSI vs. Silent Witness, ER vs. Casualty et al until the cows come home, drawing not only on opinions on writing and directing etc but also philosophical notions of media impreialism - the question of gender, though perhaps more loaded, probably presents far more ammo for conversation.
I've always been of the view that women are from Venus and men from the depths of Hades since I've never met one who replaces the loo roll when it runs out, ever (love you really fellas), but I've been forced of late to consider my stance on media stuff. Whilst there's no question that I'm a "Sisters Doin' It For Themselves" type of gal in real life and I'd sooner stick pins in my eyes than become one of those simpering wives out of Stereotype World who bake bread and darn whilst discussing the wonders of kittens, I have begun to wonder if I am male or female in terms of how I consume my media products. Let's consider the evidence.
Movies. Whilst all movies can be watched by all people, I think it's pretty fair to say that genres are favoured by one gender over another: rom-com is not also known as the "chick flick" for no reason and I've noticed, queuing at the Odeon to watch my beloved horrors and action movies there are usually not many other single females on their own (I am often on my own - not because I'm sad and have no friends, honest - but because I'm going for the EXPERIENCE, not a social call: if I wanted to be sociable, I'd meet friends in a cafe, not a cinema). In this same way after quizzing some of my male friends they too admit they go to the cinema on their own or even watch DVDs alone first before watching them with friends since "this way they don't miss anything". VERDICT: MALE.
TV. My TV watching is extremely varied. I watch all the soaps, some reality TV (stuff like Hell's Kitchen as opposed to Big Brother though) and a hell of a lot of kids' TV, though I only watch one game show: Deal or No Deal. I tend to watch TV only after 6 o'clock however, since I listen to the radio throughout the day. Though I watch "female" UK drama and more traditionally "male" US drama, I watch probably 60/40 in British shows' favour, though since we got digital and I discovered 5 US, I've added numerous American crime shows to my list and added approximately one hour to my viewing schedule. Crucially, though it may appear on the surface that I am a telly addict, I'm usually multi-tasking of an evening. This may include making the next day's dinner, writing notes for script reports and/or helping my son with his homework. VERDICT: FEMALE.
MUSIC. Whilst it's no secret that I wouldn't know what to do with an iPod if someone hit me round the head with it and I don't really see what the point of a podcast is, even if you can download them to your PC (I'm just. not. interested), no one can accuse my music collection of being female. With names like Type O Negative, Korn Tool, Nine Inch Nails etc in there you can imagine what I am: a goth type. I've even managed to get semi-technical and store it on my computer as well. Wooooh. VERDICT: MALE.
RADIO. I like Radio 2 a lot: they play a lot of eighties, my fave decade and I enjoy the current affairs show in the morning. I've developed a liking for digital radio of late since I realised you can get it through the TV (duh) and I've developed a liking for radio drama since preparing for The Royal Tapes and also for Silver Street on BBC's Asian Network. I've also discovered the listen again facility, how joyous is that? In addition, I like the Kerrang Channel, since it plays all my faves like Rammstein et al. Though I started listening to the radio for work (getting a feel for radio drama in particular), I can now honestly say I like this medium a lot, especially since it allows for my multi-tasking at the same time. VERDICT: FEMALE.
INTERNET. I use the blogs every day, obviously and most days create a post, sometimes two though rarely three. I read the news and I read a lot of research stuff about...stuff. Just recently I've developed an obsession with anacondas for example, though a few weeks ago it was Co2 ommissions. I also like to look at old black and white stills Google Images and read the accounts of survivors of WW2, a particular interest of mine. I never read about Big Brother, I never read Gossip Columns though I do take many online tests a day, ranging from between IS YOUR FENG SHUI MAKING YOU DEPRESSED? right through to HOW ADDICTED TO SMOKING ARE YOU? (Which incidentally my score was "not very", unsurprisingly, considering I don't smoke!). VERDICT: Not sure...BOTH?
So... What am I? Not entirely sure. But that's hardly surprising, considering this is an entirely unscientific testing process. But shows we're not as boxed-in as we might think, anyway. Interesting.
What are you?