More on women opinion writers

March 17, 2005 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

Mike Peterson, educational services director of the Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y., responded to JPROF’s earlier posting concerning the dearth of women opinion writers and why women may be less comfortable than men in slinging their opinions around. He makes several good points worth considering and has a word of criticism about Maureen Dowd’s logic.

This issue has sparked some varied discussion lately. A good roundup of the current debate can be found in Dahlia Lithwick’s article “Girl Fight: The marginalized debate over women opinion writers” on Lithwick, a senior editor at Slate, says most of the comments about this have come from women themselves. Few men are taking part:

And so a clutch of women are left on the pink margins of the page, to wring our hands and, well, discuss among ourselves. The subtext will thus remain that anyone choosing to speak out on this is somehow hysterical or overemotional; that this is not a “serious” problem since serious people (i.e., men) aren’t addressing it. All of which practically guarantees that nothing will be done about defining, measuring, or redressing the issue in the long term. Claims that no man wants to step on the landmine of political correctness, gender stereotyping, and identity politics should not justify bowing out of the conversation. Maureen Dowd, Deborah Tannen, and Anne Applebaum are smart, serious people. They have taken the time to initiate a conversation. They deserve serious responses from men and women alike.

She’s right. Men should join in – as Mike Peterson has done. Here’s Peterson’s entire response.More

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