MONTREAL — In response to a Jewish newspaper in Israel publishing a photo of world leaders marching side-by-side at a march after the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks with the women leaders edited out, a satirical Irish news site has turned the image on its head.
Waterford Whispers News published an image with the male politicians edited out, accompanied by a caption reading: “Feminist newspaper Photoshop’s male world leaders out of Paris march.”
“I found The Announcers’ medieval decision to Photoshop the female leaders out of the picture infuriating,” Colm Williamson, the editor and creator of Waterford Whispers News told Global News via email Wednesday.
“They would have known it would have caused outrage.”
“I am familiar on their stance with women in power, but to blatantly remove them from the image was to me a calculated decision. If they were that concerned for their readers, why publish the picture in the first place?”
His role as editor has Williamson trawling four or five newspapers a day to find content for his site, considered one of Ireland’s “number one satire news source.” Last year, one of the site’s stories fooled millions around the world, when it claimed North Korea had landed the first ever man on the sun.
“It was imperative I came up with a good comeback,” he said.
“I figured, what better way to throw it back in their face than to Photoshop the exact opposite of what they have done, also shining a light on the male-dominated world of politics.”
As pundits have noted, it was an editing job that didn’t take very much time.
Once he had the idea, Williamson said it took about ten minutes to produce the image.
“Like the Photoshop file I created for it, the image has many layers.”
The fact that there were only three women remaining: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, and Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, exposed the stark truth of the lack of women in politics.
In 2014, the UN and the Inter-Parliamentary Union published a report that revealed only one in five parliamentarians around the world were women, and just 5.9 per cent of heads of state (that’s nine out of 125).
Since the photo has been published, it’s garnered international attention.
“The reaction has been huge.”
“The majority of the newspapers in Ireland and the UK have posted the picture,” Williamson said.