This was a clumsily worded post. But I’ll leave it here because I think one has to live with one’s mistakes not hide them. If you have thoughts on which male celebrity speakers could make way for female celebrities in the main events, and if you’d like to suggest who those female celebrities might be, then answer a few short questions (takes 4 minutes on average) by clicking here.
Bird Fair needs to do better on gender (and racial, but I’ll stick to gender here) balance – but there certainly is progress in the right direction. But it would be good to see more progress.
Having said that, I can’t quite see the progress being that rapid. Where exactly are all these brilliant crowd-pulling women hiding? Or to put it even more provocatively, which three of Chris Packham, Mark Carwardine, Nick Baker, David Lindo, Iolo Williams and Simon King would you like to see less of to make way for … for whom exactly?
The Bird Fair is in a bit of a trap – most of its celebrity speakers have been grown by the BBC over the years and although there are more women on the way up there are only a few high-profile female presenters currently available. I’d be very happy to see Michaela Strachan and Kate Humble at the Bird Fair, and I think they each have interesting things to say to a Bird Fair audience, but I have no idea whether they’d be interested in attending or whether they have indeed been asked.
And while paddling in the pool of political incorrectness, I ought to point out that there are more and more women attending the Bird Fair (or so it seems to me) and they (some at least) seem very keen, sometimes almost indecently eager, to rush to hear, or maybe just look at, their favourite male eye-candy on stage. Has anyone asked the Bird Fair audience who they would like to see on stage?
It was good that there was the first all-women panel for a Bird Fair discussion (why a male chair – that would have been the easiest thing in the world to fix?) and let’s see more in future, but the change will be gradual simply because it will take a while for a bunch of famous and popular blokes to grow old and die and be replaced by younger and popular women. But I’m looking forward to that day. This doesn’t look very good in this regard, does it – not in comparison with this?
I’ll be contacting a few female speakers from the Bird Fair and asking them whether they might write guest blogs on this subject.
So let’s find out who you’d like to see on stage in the main events at Bird Fair: here’s a short questionnaire… (NB I may well not publish the answers to Q6 to spare the feelings of whoever comes at the bottom of the list, but I will pass the answers on to the Bird Fair organisers).