I saw this cartoon today and it really hit home.
Unfortunately, I think it speaks volumes to women writers — many editors, especially men, still believe that if they have the voice of one (or maybe two) women in their newspapers, no others need apply — they’ve got their woman quota covered, thanks.
Funny how they don’t seem to think the same rule applies to the men.
Do editors really believe that one woman’s point of view can represent all of us? And, if so, why doesn’t that hold true for the men writers of the world? And why aren’t we complaining more about it? Or doing something about it?
For example, there seems to be plenty of room over at the Washington Post for E.J. Dionne, Richard Cohen, Eugene Robinson, and a whole stable of very talented men op-ed writers. Don’t get me wrong. They’re all great and a pleasure to read.
But when it comes to women, they’ve got Ruth Marcus. Anne Applebaum just left, though she may post occasionally. That was pretty much it for the “stable” of women op-ed contributors to the print edition.
How do we fix that problem? Well, I guess we could all write more op-eds. But as guest contributors, that’s a tough nut to crack. The New York Times gets hundreds of unsolicited opinion pieces each week for just a handful of slots.
A study done a couple of years ago showed that at the Post, only a little more than 10 percent of opinion pieces were authored by women. At the Times, the number was about 17 percent. Are the editors not paying attention to women writers? Or are we just not writing that much for the op-ed pages? Or, are we too hesitant to express our opinions in that op-ed form?
I guess it’s a combination, but maybe it’s time we all start writing more of our opinions for what has been dubbed the MSM and not keep them contained to the blogosphere. Having surfed so many great blogs in the last few months, there are plenty of us out there with more opinions than any male editor can shake a stick at.