Sexism in the FT

// 22 April 2005

It is annoying to find outdated, sexist sentiments, where-ever you find them. But it is even more annoying when you find sexism in the headline of a newspaper article that is purporting to highlight an example of discrimination against women.

So when I saw that William Hall’s Financial Times article about how it is easier for women to get started as entrepreneurs in the south than in the north, I thought: Great. An institution of the business world talking about the very real problem of industry sexism.

But the tag line was: ‘The fragrant world of female entrepreneurs’.

As though we were back in the 19th century, amid bonnets and a conception of women as sensitive things that float through the world. Completely undermining the purported sentiment of the article with retrograde and condescending stereotyping.

Is this a lot to read into one tag line, in one column? Maybe it is, but I’m sure it’s not the kind of thing that would get passed the Guardian’s sub editors, for example.

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