Are women less willing to speak their minds?

A video montage features women shying away from the camera while men actively engage.

By Thomas Rogers

Published April 11, 2008 5:00PM (EDT)

Walking around Manhattan, especially in the summer, there are several things you grow to expect (and avoid). These include, among others, dog turds on sidewalks, slow-moving tourists and, most unpredictably, camera crews looking for man-on-the-street commentary. Usually the latter will be standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk right when you're in a rush to go somewhere or, in my case, when I've lost my Metrocard.

Lindsay Campbell, the host of a daily Web show called Moblogic, makes her living by conducting man-on-the-street interviews, and she recently had something to get off her chest: Women just aren't talking to her. Her show, which bills itself as a "running conversation about the news," consists mostly of interviews about current events, and, according to her, female interviewees just aren't stepping up to the plate. Check out her video below:

In the clip, Campbell shows footage of various women saying "no thank you" to her questions, or running from the camera. She seems baffled that they don't seem to want to be on the Web -- suggesting that they're apathetic or neurotically shy -- while male interviewees twaddle on about Darth Vader and George W. Bush. If there's any truth to what Campbell is claiming -- that women really are less willing to speak their mind on her show -- it may also have to do with a number of other factors.

Like the fact that Campbell is a stunningly beautiful woman -- which probably doesn't hurt her ability to attract male subjects -- or that her questions are as subtle as: "Is Hillary Clinton a monster?" Or maybe, growing up watching American television and advertising, women are just more conscious of the way their image can be exploited: concerns that are pretty well proven by the video itself. Despite these women's obvious desire not to be on camera, footage of them was cut together to make a point about their alleged inferiority. It's exactly the kind of thing that makes you want to run away from camera crews.

Thomas Rogers

Thomas Rogers is Salon's former Arts Editor. He has written for the Globe & Mail, the Village Voice and other publications. He can be reached at @thomasmaxrogers.

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