Women’s opinions matter

Here’s a post discussing NY Times’ writer Nicolas Kristof’s suggestion for having more women on the op-ed pages:

New York Times’ Kristof: To get social issues on the agenda, get them on the op-ed pages

Be a man or write like one

The Washington Post printed this op-ed in today’s edition (woo-hoo, here’s our 15% of the op-ed pie!):

The key to literary success? Be a man — or write like one.

This fall, Publishers Weekly named the top 100 books of 2009. How many female writers were in the top 10? Zero. How many on the entire list? Twenty-nine.

In my grad school thesis, written at 23, you’ll find young men coming of age, old men haunted by war, Oedipus complexes galore. If I’d learned nothing else, it was this: If you want to be a great writer, be a man. If you can’t be a man, write like one.

I couldn’t even read the comment section – which I often do – for fear of the scathing comments. I’ll appreciate this for what it is – an honest look at bias in a section often dominated by men (op-eds) in one of the most widely-read papers in the country. Yeah!

On a related note, here’s a few posts about a woman who posed as a male blogger – and earned more money:

Man with pen is actually a woman

If I had been a god and not a goddess

James Chartrand’s constructed masculinity goes far beyond the pen name

“The church can be flexible, except with women.”

Interesting op-ed in the New York Times –

The Nuns’ Story

Nuns were second-class citizens then and — 40 years after feminism utterly changed America — they still are. The matter of women as priests is closed, a forbidden topic.

In 2004, the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners, resisting any adversarial roles with men and cultivating “feminine values” like “listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting.”

The Mismeasure of Woman

Great op-ed in the New York Times in regard to measuring the status of women in light of the recent Shriver Report. Here’s an excerpt on a topic that really riles me up:

The mismeasure of woman

…The Internet gave everyone a soapbox. The louder, the more offensive, the better.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that exactly at this moment, women began losing ground — and not just in measurable ways, like how many women make partner or get jobs as chief executives.

I’m referring to how we are perceived. The conversation online about women, as about so many other topics, degenerated from silly and snarky to just plain ugly — and it seeped into the mainstream.

Recently, before a TV appearance, I did an Internet search on one of the interviewers so I could learn more about her — and got a full page of results about her breasts.

This was hardly an isolated incident. Whether it’s Keith Olbermann of MSNBC calling Michelle Malkin, the conservative blogger, “a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it,” or Glenn Beck of Fox News suggesting that “ugly women” are probably “progressive as well,” women these days are portrayed as either witches or bimbos, with pretty much no alternatives in between.

I’ve been puzzled by these screeds, which are so at odds with the real achievements documented in the Shriver Report and elsewhere. And then it struck me: Part of the reason we’ve lost our way, part of the reason my generation became complacent, is that many of us have been defining progress for women too narrowly. We’ve focused primarily on numbers at the expense of attitudes.

I’ve “boycotted” radio stations for their lewd comments on breasts, been offended by commercials in their stereotypes of women, been outraged by movies for their sexual exploitation, and, more recently, been left incredulous at TV stations’ bashing of women.  It’s perfectly okay to call women hos, whores, skanks, baby mamas, bitches, etc. on TV. Why is this okay?! Moreover, it’s leeked into print media. My local paper recently referred to women as #@%#$#. WTF is up with that? It’s a newspaper, not a forum for female hatred. Attitudes need to change…and we all know how long that takes. So it’s time to get to work – for the sake of future generations if not our own.