Why Do Men Sit On The Left And Women Sit On The Right?

This is no joke. Sorry if you thought I was going to double you up with laughter. No, today I’m talking stereotyping! I thought it a thing of the past, but it seems it’s as evident today as it has always been.

Take, for example, television. Have you ever noticed that during a pub scene on a TV show, the men seem to be always drinking pints or bottles of beer while women are drinking glasses of wine or a gin/vodka tonic?

How often have you seen a man in a pub scene drinking a glass of wine and a woman drinking a beer? Some may say it’s down to taste, but surely not all the men in Coronation Street only drink beer while the women always order a glass of wine?

I’ll give it to Emmerdale (another UK soap-opera), as I have seen at least one female character (the vicar!) drinking a pint of beer. It’s refreshing to see but I’ve yet to see any of the men walk in and ask for a gin and tonic! It’s always “pint please, Chas.”

Let’s turn our attention to the news. I know a lot of people don’t watch the news on TV because it’s always depressing, but take ‘Breakfast’, the BBC early morning news programme.

Why does the man always sit on the left of the screen and his co-presenter, a woman, always sit on the right? Is it some kind of power struggle? Why can’t they occasionally swap positions?

Charlie State and Naga Munchetty
Charlie State and Naga Munchetty, Presenters of BBC’s Breakfast – He always sits on the left while she always sits on the right.

Which leads me on to why does it always have to be a man and a woman when two people read the news on TV? ‘Breakfast’ does occasionally have two women presenting the show, but I’ve never seen them have two men present the show. Why? Is it not acceptable to have two men present the news together?

It’s exactly the same over on ITV. The man sits on the left of the screen while the woman always sits on the right of the screen.

Have you noticed that on many news programmes the male presenter always seems to be a lot older (not you Charlie) than the woman presenter? Very rarely is it the other way around. Is there a reason for that?

Let’s move on to driving. Yesterday, while waiting to cross the road, I counted the number of cars that drove past where there was a man and woman sat in the front of the vehicle. Would you be surprised if I told you that in just about all of the cars, it was the man who was driving?

I’ve seen it when on holiday as well. The majority of the time, it’s the man that drives a hire vehicle while the woman sits in the front passenger seat.

It happens in our family all of the time. We go and collect my sister-in-law and her husband and I can guarantee that my sister-in-law will sit in the back of the car while her husband will sit in the front passenger seat.

Same goes for my niece and her boyfriend. When they come down to visit us, it’s always him that does the driving regardless of whose car they are using.

Take two couples going off on a car journey together. Why do the men always sit together in the front, while the two women sit in the back of the car?

London 2012 Olympic Games
Celebrating at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Sport also suffers from stereotyping. I was delighted to hear, today, that Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow won an Olympic bronze medal in the synchronised 10m platform diving.

On TV, ‘Breakfast’ mentioned it all morning and the interview with Daley and Goodfellow was aired far too many times. They even interviewed a friend of Daley and Goodfellow who talked the audience through the last dive more times than I care to remember.

However, where was Clare Balding and Co when Ed Ling won an Olympic bronze medal in the men’s trap shooting for Great Britain? Was he not worthy of an interview Ms Balding? And why, unlike Daley and Goodfellow, did he only get a few seconds of a mention on ‘Breakfast’? Ed, if you’re reading this then, unlike the BBC, I’d be delighted to interview you and celebrate the fact that you won an Olympic bronze medal.

British Flag - The Union Jack
Credit: en.wikipedia.org

Finally, let’s turn back to drink. How many of you ladies enjoy drinking whisky? Does anybody out there consider whisky is only a man’s drink? Why am I asking these questions? It’s something that recently came up in conversation.

It seems I’m as guilty as most others at stereotyping. Reading through this post, why did I put an exclamation mark after the word vicar? Do vicars not drink alcohol?

Do you have any examples of stereotyping in today’s world? Does it bother you or is it something we just take for granted?


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Forget About The Oscars, Welcome To The Mildreds!

“And now I’m handing you over to Ben D Itinhalf and Hazel Knutt for a quick look at who is arriving at the Brighton Dome Theatre for the first annual Mildred Awards ceremony.”

“Thank you so much, Heidi Hi, and thank you everyone for joining us on this incredible occasion here in the heart of Brighton and Hove, on the South Coast of the UK.  So, while we await the arrival of the guests, Hazel, tell us a little about what these awards are all about.”

“Well, Ben, the organiser of these awards, Mr Hugh Roberts, decided to invent this award so he can present it to the authors of the blogs which have given him support, inspiration, friendship, enjoyment, and laughter, all with a sense of blogging community, over the last twelve months.  He’s announcing this evening that his own blog has now become Award Free and, in doing so, he is going to present the Mildred Awards once a year on the same night as some other less important award ceremony which is also taking place this evening.”

“Are you referring to the Oscars. Hazel?”

“Yes I am, Ben, but who wants to hear about them when we have the real stars of the world right here?  Little do they know it, but all of these bloggers are being presented with a Mildred Award this evening, by Mr Roberts.  Oh, look here comes one of the first cars right now, lets see who gets out of it shall we?”

“This is very exciting, Hazel, and may I say your teeth are looking very white this evening.”

“Why thank you Ben, and that tie you are wearing is very bright, even with the gravy stains on it.  So, here we go, lets see who is about to arrive at the Mildreds.  Oh, look, it’s Alienora from Alien Aura’s Blog and Sherri Matthews from A View From My Summerhouse.  Both are looking gorgeous in their ball gowns and Ali is giving away some signed copies of her books, Come Laughing! and Long-Leggety Beasties to the waiting crowds.”

“And who’s this arriving right behind them, Hazel?”

“Oh, that’s Maria Brinkley, who seems to have brought her own mangoes with her this evening, and Claudette from To Search And To Find, who I know Hugh was particularly impressed with after telling him that she milked a cow on the morning of her wedding.”

“Impressive stuff, Hazel, and I’ve just noticed Eloise De Sousa arriving and she too is handing copies of her book, Deception, out to the crowds and, look, she’s given a little girl at the front of the crowd her very own copy of Scat The Black Cat, oh how that little girl is going to remember this night for a very long time.”

“Yes, and here comes, Amanda Lyle, from Inside The Life Of Moi, Ronovan from Ronovanwrites and Jen from Jen’s Pen Den, some of the stars, along with Ms De Sousa, of the not quite yet finished continuing story saga of ‘The Grammar Black Market’ and ‘When Ronovan Met Miss Maple’.  Do we have any idea when that story is going to be concluded, Hazel?”

“Well, word has it that the final chapter will be published very soon, Ben, but the stars are still in the process of talks with Warner Sisters to turn the story into a blockbuster movie and book.  My word, the crowds are going hysterical for these people arriving and yes, she’s here, look, Vashti Quiroz-Vega has arrived and she too is giving out signed copies of her book, The Basement.  There were rumours that she may not have been able to make it here this evening due to an earlier engagement she had in Los Angeles, but fellow American bloggers Nishi from The Showcase, Elizabeth from Forest Garden, Kat from Dandelion Fuzz, Nate from The Relative Cartographer, and Chris from Twenty First Summer, persuaded her to join them on the private jet of Suzie, from Suzie81 Speaks, who also arranged for Steve from Steve Says to be collected on route from Aberdeen. It’s been confirmed that Suzie flew the plane herself while the passengers watched the inflight entertainment she laid on – photos of her and Steve on the beach in Blackpool – while being served toffee apples with champagne…

“Sorry to interrupt you, Hazel, but I’ve just heard that Colleen Chesbro from Silver Threading is going to be announcing this evening if the rumours, which have made worldwide news, that the BBC have signed her Swamp Fairy stories to be made into 104 episodes of a children’s TV programme are true.  I can just see her arriving now with Paul from Alfreds Almanac and Serins from Serins Sphere.  Serins, of course, now the international best seller of her A-Z Lowdown on Blogging book which WordPress may well use for future online blogging courses.”

“I’ve just seen the car carrying Meredith Haynes, coming towards us, Ben, she was rather anxious she was not going to arrive on time, after stopping off at Buckingham Palace to drop off Nick, her West Highland Terrier, who Her Majesty The Queen kindly volunteered to look after while she came to The Mildreds.  She’s collected Geoff from TanGental and Andrew from Have Bags, Will Travel, Andrew being able to make it to the awards after his wife finally got back from her shopping trip.”

“Well, would you believe it, Hazel, the rest of these very special people are arriving on foot. My word, the crowds are going wild for Mabel Kwong, Juli Townsend, and Kimberly Fause. Look, Not A Punk Rocker is throwing Lego toys into the crowds, while Amanda from Unique Art Chic is autographing some of the beautiful greeting cards she produces.  Jill from Jill’s Scene was going to be arriving in a tuk tuk, but the driver had one too many beers so she decided to come from the hotel on foot with Charlie from Kirby Rides Again, who she mistook for a taxi company.”

“I’ve just noticed Norm taking photos of the crowds who are taking photos of him, Elizabeth from Tea and Paper, and Grace from Grace Notes.  Grace seems to be giving out love hearts to the crowds which I know will go down very well.  I hope she passes some to us, Ben.”

“Yes, and just to the left of them are Dorne, Florence, Walt and Olga, all joining in with the crowd as they perform the dance from the Birdie Song.  I must say that PeggyDavid, Andyand Gerry, who are also joining in, must know this dance off by heart by the way they are performing it.  It’s going to be quite a night here in Brighton and Hove.”

“Back to you in the studio, Heidi.”

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