The United Colour of the Globe and Mail

September 27th, 2006
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As Toronto’s national newspaper, the Globe has tried hard to reflect the metropolitan, multicultural vision that, it keeps reminding us, is so lacking in other regions of the country, western regions that is. But looking at its pages provides little evidence of a staff mix reflecting that rainbow society. In fact, yesterday’s blog protagonista (Jan Wong) discussed below is, along with Ken Wiwa, one of the few visible visible minorities in the paper.

Casual perusal of the Style and Review sections in particular finds an ethnic monotony reminiscent of Elwood Glover’s Luncheon Date, i.e. 1950s or 60s TO. A barely random, totally unscientific survey found the following surnames in the bylines (the number of women indicated in brackets):

May 13th 2006 Style Section – Jackson, DeLap. Von Hahn, Beker, Lindsay, Gotlieb, Eckler, Bendeth, Waverman, Kates, Clark (what kind of first name’s Domini?), (or Beppi) Crosariol (11 of 12)
May 13th 2006 Review Section: Gill, Crosbie, Hampson, Adams, Robbins, Ryan, Ross, Colbourne (5 of 8)
April 1, 2006 Review Section – Everett-Green, Ross, Taylor, Winters, Clements, Crosbie, Hampson, Adams, Brown, Houpt, Kamal Al-Solaylee (5 of 11)

But for the interlopers Crosariol and Al-Solaylee this line up could do testimonials for Wonder Bread (note their website). Now it could be that, like my wife, some of the women are viz mins married to flabby white guys. Recently, a refrigerator repairman (there’s a joke in here somewhere) made a house call and asked my wife “are you a renter”? That was until he saw the three racks of cured meat in the fridge.

Even allowing for minor errors these sections look like a Caucasian Kafeeklatsch. The TV networks seem to have “progressed” much further in this regard. One need only mention such redoubtable names like Hanomansing, Vennavally-Rao and the unforgettable Der Hoi-Yin (where are you when we need you?).

The Globe is clearly doing much better on gender equity issues – as we like to call them in the men’s locker room. In fact the “Style” section might need a little affirmative action for the xy chromosome. That might help fulfill more forthcoming equity requirements as well.

On the other hand, if they wanted to go totally retro, they could change the name from Style to The Women’s (or is that womyn’s?) Section. But more on that later. As a special bonus today… a Belinda-spawned stupidism.

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