Disco pants and lipgloss? Not in my newsroom

02:49, Jun 25 2013
Jenna Lynch
Jenna Lynch has a few questions for Deborah Hill Cone about female reporters.

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About a month ago, some dinosaur from Australia made claims that "talentless, pert-breasted reporters don't know the world, let alone journalism."

An uproar from the talented female journalists of the world ensued and the girls came out on top, proving that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive.

I thought this may have been the end of the archaic theory that anyone that looks nice must be inherently stupid, especially if they have the misfortune of being young and female.

But alas, I thought too soon. The surprising part is this time the slurs on young female reporters have come from a woman.

Deborah Hill Cone got a bit of a pounding in the twitterverse last night after penning  this piece  on, well, I'm not entirely sure what.


But after reading it, what I now know about myself and every other young female journalist is we are nothing but a bunch of flirty, disco pant wearing "It girls" who con greasy old men into giving us the scoop by wearing a low cut top and bubblegum lipgloss.

Hill Cone drums up expertise on what is expected of young female reporters, noting that multiple- personality disorder and daddy issues are the must-have accessory of the year.

"You have to be good at putting on the different personas that are expected of you, whether that be vampish, coquettish or as "enchantingly nasty" as Rita Skeeter," she so eloquently generalised.

I just have a couple of questions for her.

Is it just young female reporters that are required to shamelessly flirt with tweed suits to get scoops?  Do stories leap from said tweed suits as soon as eyelashes are batted and skirts are shortened?  Do older women not respond to flirting young men? Is my degree void as it did not include a class on fading into the background and overcoming daddy issues?

I understand her piece is a late entry trying to attack Andrea Vance, yet again, for getting the scoop on Dunne that no one else did, but in the trail of her beat-up lies the self esteem and credibility of the young women out there getting the news.  

It all seems like a case of schoolyard tall-poppy syndrome to me.

It's hard enough for young females to prove intelligence and integrity without Hill Cone throwing out accusations that we thrust boobs in faces to get stories.  

If Madeleine Albright was correct when she said "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women", Hill Cone has a lot of dealings with the devil in store.

E: jenna.lynch@fairfaxmedia.co.nz | T: @_JennaMarie_