Misha Ketchell, Crikey editor, writes:


It
was a throwaway line written with under a pressing deadline, when in
yesterday’s email I speculated on whether the 80% of Crikey readers who
are male are snags (who’d like stories about face cream) or lads (who
might like an email equivalent of a page three girl). But it’s sparked
such a flurry of emails it seemed a good idea to publish some of your
responses.

Diana Gribble, Crikey co-owner, writes:
As
a member of the “Crikey Team” I am outraged that we think the real
question arising from early results of the Morgan Poll is a flip crack
about face cream and girlie pics. The real question is what can we do
to make Crikey more relevant to women who, after all, hold up half the
sky. Jokey references to “lads” (which in my opinion is a Pommy
expression and not fit for robust Australian consumption) just
reinforce the message that Crikey is blokeland. A notable exception is
Crikey woman Kate Jackson — see her piece run last November that got a
big response from readers of both sexes — Where are the home grown power women?
The meat of Crikey is just as important to female citizens as it is to
male ones. But perhaps we need to start poking fun at its male culture.
The tiny number of women who are reading this might like to start
sending me their observations of dumb blokey behaviour in workplace,
social settings and home. If you don’t feel like communicating with [email protected] (who after all is bound to be a you-know-what), send them to me at [email protected].

Kerry Goldsworthy writes:

Face
cream ads for men? Page three girls? Here’s a third possibility: you
could ask the remaining 20% of us why we think it is that, on the
whole, women tend not to subscribe. The aggressive, swaggering, blokey
tone and values the site has traditionally demonstrated (and seems to
be maintaining to some extent, though it’s early day; witness the
untrammelled admiration of that true-blue man’s man, uber-lad David
Penberthy) might have a bit to do with it.

A subscriber writes:
What
an interesting question – I would hope a good mix with both types
looking for high quality journalism plus some low brow scoops. I’d
personally find items on face creams demeaning and page three girls
even more so. I reckon you might have better luck with page three boys,
though. I think it would be seriously bad marketing (not to mention a
bad look on other grounds) to ask, but I reckon you might have a higher
proportion of gay readers than the standard publication. There are
plenty of gay advisers, senior public servants and business types keen
for that frisson of serious news and shameless gossip. I could be wrong
but doubt it. Feel free to enquire of your readers if you dare and I
don’t mind if you use some of this email but please do not mention my
name or email – I wouldn’t want readers to think I’m trying to out them
nor start a tacky who’s gay story.

Jeff Guy writes:
Can’t I just be a cranky old fart? Yes to the page three girl. No to the face cream ads.

John Poppins writes:
“Should
we be doing items about face-cream for men, or seriously considering
the internet equivalent of a page three girl for Crikey?” Don’t bother
with either. They are a major reason for seeking alternative, less
compromised news sources. I subscribe to Crikey in hopes of substance
not fluff and advertorial.


Splinta writes:

Crikey definitely strikes me as a Lads space, and in keeping with
this I’d support the page three girl – with caveats of course. The
caveat being that, as Crikey readers are clearly an intelligent lot,
the girls so honoured should be the “thinking lads” page three girls.
As a first suggestion how about Sandra Sully as an opener?

Ginny Lowndes writes:
Television
from Thursday to Monday night is What Us Blokes Did On The Weekend,
captured and reported on from every angle by Us Blokes and What We’re
Gunna Do Next Weekend, captured and reported from every angle by Us
Blokes. Ditto the newspapers. Tuesday to Thursday is What Us Blokes Are
Thinking About Doing On The Weekend, captured and reported from every
angle by Us Blokes. Ditto the newspapers – so please spare us p3 girls
and face creams. Surely 80% of your readers have other ways of
entertaining themselves. Can’t you run a competition to find out what
(no, penis puppetry and sheds don’t count).




Michael Cowley writes:

I’m ignoring the stupid question about snags or lads – and
charitably assuming that you were completely joking – but I am
interested in the gender bias amongst your readership. Do you have
enough information to judge whether this reflects a gender bias in the
occupations that make up the bulk of your readership, or are males more
than females interested in Crikey?

An anonymous correspondent writes:

It’s past 1
April but you’ve gotta be joking about putting a page three body in
Crikey! What the hell for? Crikey was born to inform, not entertain.
Haven’t you got enough to do? Or is that the problem – Crikey readers
too busy for real relationships? Pathetic. Wouldn’t mind seeing the new
crew, though, if they don’t mind showing us their IQ.

Sue McKenna writes:
How about a page three flower for the snags?

Donald Alexander writes:
I thought 1 April had passed! Non-gender specific language and approach is what is needed, we are all equal. Ciao.

Bob March writes:
I’m
enjoying the new format. It’s not as rushed and nervous as before. But
it’s very blokey as well. Let’s hear what girls have to say about what
they would like to read more about. The feminine side of me wants
humanistic evaluations of interesting female people in the news,
written by well-bred, well educated women. No newspaper columnists,
thank you.

Cameron Poustie from Western Australia writes:
I’m sure you were taking the piss, but just for the record, if I want the modern equivalent of page three then I just pick up The Worst
– they have a fashion editor but no regular environment reporter, for
goodness sake. I’m not in the face cream market either – just keep your
current format and content coming!

Cathy Frost writes:
As one of the 20% of females that subscribe I beg you, please, no page three girls. The reasons should be obvious.

CRIKEY: It was a flippant suggestion, so please consider it retracted.