RSPB promises to review ‘sexist’ posters showing female birds smaller than males
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has promised to review current posters that show female birds in smaller images compared to their male counterparts.
It comes after bird watcher Dr Mya-Rose Craig, 19, wondered why female birds were in smaller insets next to larger images of male birds and if this was the result. sexism.
Dr Craig, from Compton Martin in Somerset, tweeted a photo of the poster used to help birders identify different species and said: ‘If you’re not in the wild you won’t know when you go into birding skins, there are often posters to help you with bird identification.
“But why should female birds always be presented as a smaller picture inset?” Sexism in bird watching? We need a revolution. “
Her tweet caught the attention of fellow birders and birders, many of whom agreed that female birds should be given as much space as males in these illustrations.
“This is a very good point to raise,” said a naturalist. “Especially since the differences in plumage are often more subtle and so difficult to distinguish – larger images would really, really help identification!”
When I posted this it was to highlight the #Sexism in #preservation using humor. I should have expected the large number of responses from #sexistbirders, so now I see it as an important issue at the heart of #birding this needs to be changed – so please RT everywhere https://t.co/D6FaqR1led
– Dr Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig (@BirdgirlUK) May 15, 2021
Another said: “Also, can we get rid of the habit of describing (for example) a male blackbird as ‘a blackbird’ when the female is still ‘a female’? As the male is by default while the female is some kind of variation ?? No thanks.”
Some have pointed out that male birds tend to have more colorful plumage and therefore are easier to distinguish from female birds, which often appear simpler. But others said larger images of female birds would make it easier for birders to spot and identify them.
Dr Craig said in a subsequent tweet: “When I posted this it was to highlight the sexism rooted in conservation using humor. I should have expected the large number of responses from sexist bird watchers, so now I see it as a significant problem at the heart of birding that needs to be changed.
The RSPB responded to his tweet: “Hi Mya, thank you for bringing this to our attention. This is a very fair point and we need to improve, and we will review it with the relevant team. “
He said in another statement seen by The independent: “It’s a good point and we have to do better. Please Rose has brought this to our attention and will review these posters with our in-house team. “