Monday, February 26, 2007

"When women speak more than 30% of the time, men perceive them as dominating the conversation."

That's an old truism from writer Ursula K. Le Guin, and it still holds its water today, irritatingly enough. On the CBC News site, Heather Mallick writes of her frustration with Harper's Magazine, which still seems to be publishing entire issues with nary a byline from a woman in sight. It's infuriating, and it simply is not enough for these male publishers to keep claiming that they are just publishing the "best" writing--irrespective of gender (or race or class). We ought to be holding them to a higher standard, given that we (women) make up MORE THAN 50% of the total US population. By what measure does that make us a minority, a pocket of the population these guys can continue to ignore? The Women's Media Center has been working on this issue for over a year, alongside operations like SheSource and WIMN. It'll be great to finally see them get some traction, but in the meantime I think it is up to us, as individuals, to do what Mallick did and start writing letters demanding we see more women in print (and on air). Like my mother said this weekend: The media belongs to us.

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