Tumblr blog shaming 'manels' goes viral

Signal of change / Tumblr blog shaming 'manels' goes viral

By Anna Simpson / 27 May 2015

A Tumblr blog called Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel is publishing photos of all-male panels, or 'manels', decrying failures to represent any of the diverse views of half the global population.  

As Olivia Crellin reports on the BBC, the blog started in February 2015 and featured 200 photos, submitted from people from about 10 countries.

Crellin writes, "The simple but now viral idea is the project of the Finnish feminist researcher and artist Saara Sarma, who specialises in internet parody images and memes. Whether it's a Global Summit of Women with only men on the panel or back-to-back male panels in conferences, the images on the site bring home the message that gender equality among rostrums of leaders or experts is in short supply."

Image caption: Representing limits to representation

Image credit: UOttawaAlumni / Flickr

So what?

Paucity of representation leads to paucity of ideas and perspectives. It reduces our collective ability to think out of the box, spot new opportunities, and recognise problem on our doorstep. It limits the reach of any discusssion, and also its potential to engage a wide audience. 

All-male panels, boards and management teams highlight persistent inequality in leadership positions, but also point to a disinterest in perspectives beyond those in leadership positions - whether that's due to age, race or religion, disability or social stigma.

Such discrimination will inhibit innovation, and can exacerbate socio-political divides.

Sources

BBC (2015, 27 May) Tumblr blog shames those who arrange 'manels' 

Tumblr (ongoing). Congrats, you have an all male panel!

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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