Monday, March 14, 2005

Opinionated Women

NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd laments the lack of women on newspaper op-ed pages . From my experience (and it is very limited), women are, in fact, sorely missing in the opinion sections of newspapers. The Diamondback, for example, has only 3 female columnists out of 16 total this semester. A couple of reasons why women are underrepresented:

1) Women care about different things than men do. Yes, women enjoy politics, but it's cutthroat environment turns many women off. Political opinion, however, is what most newspapers are looking for in columnists. They're never going to find the number of women interested in writing about politics as they are men. Women would, I believe, want focus more on children and family issues and most editors simply aren't interested in that.
2) Women simply have too much other stuff to do than write columns. It is very hard work and leaves one open to great scrutiny. Dowd herself is single and not a mother, which might be the reason why she has time to write columns twice a week.

As for Dowd herself, I expect she gets lots of angry responses (as she says she does in the column) because she is an angry person. She is an amazingly talented writer, but she hardly ever offers productive solutions to problems and her columns always have an air of bitterness and arrogance about them - and that has nothing to do with her being a woman, that's simply her style and one which turns many people off.