Dear Margaret Wente,
Thanks for reminding me that my vagina keeps control of my need to have, and express opinions. Clearly, I had forgotten.
But it seems that you’ve also forgotten something very important: you write an opinion column and you’re a woman.
What am I missing here?
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here and suppose that maybe you were too busy for any of that pesky “journalism” stuff like research, but women blog. Women blog a lot.
I don’t have any numbers, but I do have some experience. I have been blogging for years. I know lots of women who blog. There are entire conventions for women who blog, books about women who blog, listing sites, and of course, the blogs.
Salon has an section of paid women bloggers, where brilliantly smart women like Kate Harding, Tracy Clark-Flory and Mary Elizabeth Williams write about their opinions daily.
I would like to avoid using “women” as a category because it cannot express the differences of the 3 billion women on earth, and declaring their sameness by virtue of their reproductive organs isn’t very useful (it’s a little like telling me that women, by nature, don’t like sports, action movies, the colour blue…and on and on and on). But without getting into the details of why women blog, it’s safe to say that there is a wide variety of female opinion on the internet.
You don’t have to like their blogs or agree with their opinions, but suggesting that they don’t exist is just stupid.
So I have to wonder if there is something else that you don’t like about the idea of women bloggers. Is it that you look down on blogging in general? (Is this like the time Gwyneth Paltrow referred to Jennifer Aniston as “that TV girl”) Or just that you don’t like women to express opinions outside of the confines of a major newspaper? Maybe you don’t want to believe that women need a space to share, bond, rant, express, or pontificate. Is that it?
You said this in your piece:
“Do you ever wonder why, long after the rest of journalism has become pretty much gender neutral, the talk shows and opinion pages are still dominated by male voices?”
The answer is “sort of.” Actually, what I wonder is how is it possible to think we’ve come so far, and yet women are still underrepresented in many professions? I’d be more inclined to think it might have something to do with women getting invited to the metaphorical party less often. Maybe because people (ahem, like you) think that women just aren’t interested/capable/smart enough to give opinions, they aren’t offered the jobs at the same rate as men. Just a thought.
Or maybe not. But one thing is true: Just like you say in your article, “Margaret Wente is an idiot.”
*note to reader: I know being a jackass is kind of Margaret Wente’s thing, but sometimes I just can’t bite my tongue. Sigh. I wish I could be a better woman.