Voices Carry

Thu, March 22, 2007


With apologies to Aimee Mann and ‘Til Tuesday, that’s the thought that crossed my mind when I read a piece in the New York Times last week on a class geared specifically toward training women to write op-ed pieces that can get published.

MojoMom beat me to the punch on raising it as a topic (check out her great posts!).

Op-eds are a passion of mine, and I had a gig for almost a year writing them at a local newspaper. As a result, I started really noticing what a dearth of thoughtful female voices there are, liberal or conservative, on the op-ed pages.

No doubt there are plenty of amazing writers who are men, and I can identify with a lot of their arguments on positions, but without having women’s positions and voices regularly heard in that forum, our ideas are getting lost and we’re missing a golden opportunity to reach out to the power brokers and decision makers with ideas that should be percolating in their heads.

Some might argue that, with decreasing circulation numbers of newspapers, that op-eds are becoming less relevant to making voices and opinions heard in a way that can effect real change.

That could be the case a couple of decades down the road, but I think it’s time for us to consider putting our ideas about the issues we feel most passionately about into those pages.

Given the number of amazing writers with the range of thoughts and opinions out here in the blogosphere, there shouldn’t be a shortage of opinion pieces being submitted and published in papers across the country.

If we “mommybloggers” have time to pen a post of a few hundred words a couple of days a week, I’m willing to bet that we can significantly up the numbers of our positions being expressed in the newspapers read by the policymakers.

Ready ladies? On your marks, get set …..
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14 Responses to “Voices Carry”

  1. karrie Says:

    On a sort of related note, have you heard about the One Million Blogs for Peace project?


  2. Lawyer Mama Says:

    PM – You’re right! Frankly, it had never even ocurred to me to *try* to get something into my local paper. Or any paper for that matter.

    I started to write more of a comment & realized I was hijacking your post, so I’ll do a post on this too. You’ve inspired me to try it out.

    I’ve got that darn song in my head now…

  3. Paige Says:

    You are absolutely right about all of this my friend. We need to start storming the op-ed pages now.

  4. jen Says:

    thank you. and sister, i am in. what we need is a coordinated effort – what issues we want to tackle, and coordinate our strengths in doing so.

    i write LTEs to our local papers, and it does matter.

    it’s so possible.

  5. Mamma Says:

    I actually have begun to think of blogs as ongoing op-ed pieces. When I want to see how people are reacting to an issue I usually go to the blog world first. I’m grateful for the diversity of the blog world. And I’m glad I don’t have to wait for the paper to be published.

  6. Mom101 Says:

    I am inspired…
    thank you.

  7. Jamila Akil Says:

    I would love to write op-ed pieces. Writing them is one of my goals as a writer and I’ve figured that I can use my blog as starting gate to get to professional freelancer status.

    There must be other mommybloggers out there and women writers that feel the same way I do but just haven’t had the chance to explore the opportunity yet.

  8. JudesMommy Says:

    What a great article. I love how it brings up the theme regarding women always needing an altruistic motive behind anything they may do that would gain them notoriety. It’s just so not true. And it’s very interesting that she points out that she never hears this coming from men.

    It’s so obvious and yet something many of us find ourselves participating in unwittingly.

  9. nutmeg Says:

    Uggh! I wrote an op-ed once for my local paper, they accepted it and then edited it to make me sound like an idiot! I’m still leary but you’ve really got me thinking…

  10. Momish Says:

    You always bring up such challenging and inspiring topics! If I had your talent, I would be all over it. I can’t wait to see the wonderful and passionate voices that come out of this!

  11. Anali Says:

    I’m not a mommyblogger (no kids), but I’ll put in my two cents anyway. I hope that’s okay! I think you’re talking about all women’s voices, not just moms.

    I read that Times article too. I wrote an opinion piece in one of my local papers, which I enjoyed, but I wasn’t paid for it and it took a while to get published. Also, I didn’t get any feedback, which I really wanted.

    I’ve looked at blogging as an alternative to the papers. If they aren’t going to pay me, I might as well do it myself. I can be published immediately, get a lot of feedback and give my opinion about whatever I want. It would be nice to have a bigger audience though, but I feel like my blog is a constant op/ed piece.

  12. Pecos Blue Says:

    Here here!

  13. Jac Says:

    Quite inspiring !!

    Drifted in, plain curiosity !!

  14. Jenny Says:

    Fabulous idea!

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