The world’s highest paid TV actors: take a wild guess about gender balance

Big Bang Theory cast. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Big Bang Theory cast.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

There’s a list out today of the world’s 15 highest paid tv actors.

Big Bang Theory actors are the world’s highest paid television stars in 2015

Before you take a look at the list, take a really wild, out there guess about the gender balance in that list. 50:50 male female?

Knowing what you do already about pay equity and gender pay gaps, perhaps you’ll go for something a little more skewed in favour of men. 75:25 male female? Maybe even 80:20?

Well, thank you for playing.  Those of you who guessed 100:0 are right.

1. Jim Parsons – $US29 million – male

2. Johnny Galecki – $US27 million – male

3. Mark Harmon – $US20 million – male

4. Simon Helberg – $US20 million – male

5. Kunal Nayyar – $US20 million – male

6. Ashton Kutcher – $US20 million – male

7. Jon Cryer – $US15 million – male

8. Ray Romano – $US15 million – male

9. Patrick Dempsey – $US12 million – male

10. Simon Baker – $US12 million – male

11. Ty Burrell – $US11.5 million – male

12. Jesse Tyler Ferguson – $US11 million – male

13. Ed O’Neill – $US10.5 million – male

14. Eric Stonestreet – $US10.5 million – male

15. Kevin Spacey – $US9.5 million – male

All four main male characters from Big Bang Theory are on the list, but not Kaley Cuoco.

I’m guessing that may be a problem with the way the list was constructed, because reports have said that Ms Cuoco is paid over $1million an episode, like her male co-stars.

But that’s the other problem with the list. If it’s inaccurate, then it’s helping to reinforce the idea that women are worth less than men.

Grump grump grump.

Taking a Stand against rape and rape culture: newspaper opinion piece

I wrote an article about rape and rape culture, and what we can do about it, for my local paper. It’s not on-line, but I’ve made a PDF of it. It’s oriented towards an audience that may not have read much about rape culture before.

Stopping rape culture – pdf – 406kb

And I spoke at the rally against rape culture in my town on Saturday. You can read about the demonstration here, and incidentally, get a nice view of the back of my head.

Square protest against rape culture

The demonstration in Palmerston North was organised by a young man, Mark Byford. Mark spoke very effectively at the rally, and he did a great job organising it. Thank you, Mark!


I’ve been on the radio a couple of times this week.

The first was my regular discussion with Bryan Crump, on Radio NZ Nights. This time we talked about abortion law reform in New Zealand. You can find the discussion here: Abortion law reform in NZ – discussion with Bryan Crump on RNZ Nights 16’45”.

It was as ever, an interesting discussion, and a challenging one.

The second radio appearance was challenging too, in quite a different way. I was on NewstalkNB’s breakfast show, talking to Mike Hosking about this awful “Roast Busters” group in Auckland. I was a bit flummoxed by his opening question: he asked me about the girls, when I had expected to be asked about the boys who were deliberately pursuing girls and getting them drunk with the explicit aim of raping them. However, I recovered, and then had quite a good opportunity, I thought, to focus the discussion on rape and rape culture.

You can find the audio of my discussion here: Roast Busters and Rape – discussion with Mike Hosking on NewstalkZB – about 3 minutes.

Many thanks to whoever suggested that NewstalkZB should contact me. I have my suspicions as to who it was…

Today in rape culture

There was a horrific rape in Hamilton. The two men have been sentenced to 16 and 15 years in jail. They seem to be completely unremorseful. They tried to claim that it was consensual sex, but given that they first abducted the girl that they assaulted, it seems a completely unrealistic claim. Fortunately, the jury wasn’t convinced at all.

The details of the crime are horrid – all reported in the paper.

And courtesy of Stuff, there’s a massive serving of victim blaming at the end of the article.


Travel in pairs

Make sure people know where you are, and when they are next likely to hear from you

Be aware of your environment

Do not travel with strangers

Here’s a screen grab of the helpful hints.

And here’s a link to the article, for the record. Don’t don’t don’t read the article – it’s full of details about the crime. Rapist pair show no remorse

I find this astounding, that at the end of an article describing the brutal treatment of a young woman, a news site could include these “safety” tips, implying that somehow, it was the young woman’s fault that she was raped. This is rape culture in action – blaming the victim, and making it very clear that if only she had done something different, none of this would have happened.

I don’t have access to a physical copy of the Waikato Times, where the story was originally published. To the credit of the Waikato Times, the helpful hints don’t appear on their website. They’re only on the aggregated Stuff website.

There’s someone for everyone

NZ Truth is due to publish its first edition under its new editor, Cameron Slater, tomorrow. (For my friends and readers in NZ, “Truth” is exactly the kind of newspaper you would expect with a name like that.) Being a social media type, Slater has set up a Facebook page for Truth.

And Truth NZ has a friend!

Truth’s Facebook page, with one friend. Screen capture taken at 9pm on Wednesday 7 November.

This friend.

DPF on Truth. “1 Friend likes Truth”

And really, all this shows is that just one of my friends likes Truth….

By way of disclosure, DPF is indeed my friend, on-line and in real life, and has been ever since we were students at the University of Otago together. I always enjoy seeing him, even if our political views are, well, somewhat opposed.

Look who’s talking

Cross posted

Via Blue Milk, the astonishing statistic that even on issues relating to women, such as abortion, and contraception, men are quoted around five times more than women.

Among 35 major national print publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, men had 81 percent of the quotes in stories about abortion, the research group said Thursday, while women had 12 percent, and organizations had 7 percent.

In stories about birth control, men scored 75 percent of the quotes, with women getting 19 percent and organizations getting 6 percent. Stories about Planned Parenthood had a similar ratio, with men getting 67 percent, women getting 26 percent, and organizations getting 7 percent.

Women fared a bit better in stories about women’s rights, getting 31 percent of the quotes compared with 52 percent for men and 17 percent for organizations.

I’ve been thinking about issues of representation, and voice, and presence, and diversity, of late, mostly in a recent op-ed I wrote for the Dom Post, but also in just an idling sort of way, thinking about who gets to write columns for our major newspapers. I tend to read The Dominion Post and the New Zealand Herald. In the Dom Post, I can think of two women who have regular opinion columns there: Tracey Watkins and Rosemary McLeod. Watkins is a political reporter, and Rosemary McLeod is a feminist writer in the same sense that Chris Trotter is a left wing writer (see The Dim-Post for an explication of this). The New Zealand Herald lists four women among its eleven opinion writers: Dita di Boni (parenting, politics of parenting, parenting while female), Audrey Young (politics), Fran O’Sullivan (business and politics), Kerre Woodham (life, parenting, stuff). Plus there’s Claire Trevett (politics), and Shelley Bridgeman (if you can think of a category for her let me know), though their Sunday line-up is fairly XY oriented, especially with the recent replacement of Deborah Coddington by Rodney Hide. Even so, overall, there are noticeably more men than women, especially so in the Dom Post.

Way way back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I first became aware of feminism, and first started seeking out feminist voices, I would never have dreamed that we would still be fighting to get an equal share of the national discourse.

Welcome to readers from Women’s Web

Hello to readers from Women’s Web. I was honoured to be asked to write about my blogging and feminism for Women’s Web. I think it’s a fantastic project, and I check in and read articles there every couple of weeks.

For my friends and readers in New Zealand and Australia and elsewhere, Women’s Web is a webzine written by women in India. It was set up by a collective of women, including Apu, of Apu’s World. I have read Apu’s blog for a few years now, and when she shifted her focus to Women’s Web, I kept on reading her material there. Women’s Web is running a series on women writing about women’s rights, and they asked me to participate in it. My interview is here: Women on Women’s Rights: With Deborah Russell.

Thank you so much for the invitation, Women’s Web.

If you are interested, here’s a selection of posts from my blog and its predecessor.

Why I am a feminist

10 feminist motherhood questions from Blue Milk

Where did I learn my racism

Getting an education

Everyday feminism and knitting

Shirley – a feminist text?

And what is my favourite post ever, for reasons: