University Challenge to introduce ‘gender neutral’ questions following complaints from viewers

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in August 2018:

Our thanks to Mike P for this. The start of the piece:

University Challenge is to introduce “gender neutral” questions following complaints from viewers, it has emerged.

The quiz show’s executive producer has said that ideally, questions should be framed in such a way that it is not possible to tell whether they were written by a man or a woman.

Peter Gwyn said he hope this will encourage more female contestants to take part in the show, which has come under fire for its gender imbalance.

“Perhaps ‘gender-neutrality’ is what we aim for,” Mr Gwyn said. “We try to ensure that when hearing a question, we don’t have any sense of whether it was written by a man or a woman, just as questions should never sound as if they are directed more at men than women.

“We believe very strongly that the more representative, inclusive and diverse we can make the programme, the better and more interesting it will be.” [J4MB: You can but hope something in Peter Gwyth died when he said this.]

Mr Gwyn told how the move came after a viewer wrote in to complain about how few questions were about women. “We agreed and decided to rectify it,” he told Radio Times.

“And we will always do everything we can to encourage more women to take part as contestants.” [J4MB: Why do women have to be encouraged all the time? What’s wrong with them?] He said that gender parity is one of many balances that question writers aim to achieve when writing questions, along side ensuring the right mixture of arts and sciences or contemporary and historical themes.

Earlier this year, Thomas Benson, the quiz show’s questions editor, said that there has been an effort to equalise the gender imbalance in the quiz.

University Challenge has been broadcast since 1962 – 56 years ago. And all it took was one (alleged) viewer writing in to complain about “how few questions were about women”. That’s the power of female whining for you, as exemplified by women such as Laura Bates (Special Snowflake) and Caroline Criado Perez. The BBC – universally challenged.

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