Patrick Moore should stick to the stars

// 9 May 2007

Why, oh why, is an 84 year old astromer reported as having any notion of contemporary cultural mores? Can anyone tell me? This week it is reported Moore has been caught blaming women for falling standards in British TV. His grips seem to be that

“The trouble is the BBC now is run by women and it shows soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays.”

“I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC – making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching”

“female newsreaders [are] “jokey” ” From BBC website

Moore seems to have ended up calling for separate channels for the two genders. One can only assume that male-TV will be wall-to-wall Jeremy Clarkson willy-waving and destroying the planet (a rare show of male multitasking you’ll note) and perhaps reruns of The Two Ronnies (why is that sounds strangely like the current BBC2 scheduling regime?). Meanwhile all the “girly” stuff would be on the segregated female-TV channel including award winning period dramas, award winning non-period dramas and the like.

Of course way back when Sir Moore was growing up women didn’t have equal voting rights (age of enfranchisement for women was 30 years and for men 21 years). There were 14 women MPs (2.3% of the total) and one woman had held a Ministerial position (well all right she was an under-secretary). (Information from Parliament Website). In terms of legal rights women had just gained access to the Professions (if they remained unmarried anyway), had just got the right to initiate divorce proceedings on the same grounds as men and in 1926 gained the right to own property (Information from here.

Perhaps Sir Moore might like to reflect that like these past-age examples of institutional sexism, his views belong to a past era, not the current one.

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