Are you an average mainstream media article? You’re sexist and stupid

average-620x349Today, The Age promoted on Twitter a post about a new release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which disclosed that the average Australian, uncovered via the 2011 census, is female and aged 37.

In the definitive article about the (statistically) average Australian, which you might think would end up somewhere in national news (the online version of EGN) but no.

The results are in: using data from the 2011 national census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has attempted to paint a picture of the “average Australian”.

“The Census shows that if there was an average Australian, they would be a married woman, living with her husband and two children in a three-bedroom house in a suburb of one of Australia’s capital cities,” said Jane Griffin-Warwicke, director of Social and Progress Reporting at the ABS. More on the Essential Baby website, if you can stomach it.

The Age is rational and logical – traditional ‘masculine’ traits – so it filed the story in ‘Essential Baby’. That’s because the story is not about ‘the average Australian’; it’s about ‘female Australians who have babies’.

I am thinking that it doesn’t really matter what women do – whether we’re outliers or average, even if we represent the national average of an entire country, we’re still mothers of babies first and national news second.


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