HOW often do we read stories in the regional press that begin “A female [or woman] driver…”?
You would be forgiven for thinking women drivers can barely get behind the wheel of a car without being involved in something newsworthy.
Yet when a woman is involved in an accident, however trivial, it all too frequently makes its way into the intro.
How often do you read a story beginning, “A male [or man!] driver…” in similar circumstances?
We need, of course, to make reference to a driver’s gender at some point (almost always through their name and use of the appropriate pronoun), but the inclusion of it in the intro when it has no relevance is just lazy sexism.
That is not to say a driver’s gender is never relevant. A woman is generally seen as more physically vulnerable than a man, so, for instance, a story in which a lone female driver was threatened with violence by another driver would require attention being drawn to her sex in the intro.