Rocket from the crypt

September 9, 2010

Times Higher Education's cover line "Graduate take-off" (2 September) caught my eye, but its appeal to me as a new graduate was negated by the accompanying image. Why present a phallically suggestive image of a woman straddling a rocket, reaching for some kind of orgasmic star? The image is redolent of the hoary idea that the only way women can succeed is on the back of men in a man's world.

While the article itself, "We can work it out", explores the need for transferable workplace skills alongside academic ones, it seems the images have their own agenda: maximum gloss for maximum sell. Amusingly, it comes as little surprise that the article's headline is plastered over an image of male-only graduates.

Julia Horn, a lecturer at the University of Oxford quoted in the article, favours the term "career" over "employability" because the former promotes a "two-way view" between employers and employees - and "that is how it should be". Perhaps if the media extended the same concept of equality to their work rather than propagating gender divisions, things might take off more smoothly.

Sofia Roberts, English literature, University of Sussex 2010, Former editor of The Pulse magazine.

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