Thursday, August 12, 2004

Girl talk

During my brief stint as editor of the Chicago Maroon's "Viewpoints" section, I was one of two female columnists. The other one wrote a dating column. This meant that my column, which was, like this blog, only sometimes about politics, was the closest thing to a political column written by a woman. Reading submissions, it often seemed as if every last male student had written a polemic on the war in Iraq that he wished to share with the rest of the University. Female students I knew who had strong political opinions just didn't seem to have that same drive to make those opinions known.

The front page of the New Republic online currently has 5 articles and the week's movie picks. Only one is written by a woman (unless my google research indicating "Chris Strohm" is male was incorrect). That article is a careful, nuanced analysis of...Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton.

I do not think that women should be forced to write on political subjects (nor do I think that men should be forced to write on, say, Ashton Kutcher). I'm not really advocating anything here, nor am I prepared to provide any sort of scientific analysis of this. I just wonder why politically-minded women seem less inclined to share their views than do politically-minded men.


Dylan said...

I think there is nothing safe for me to say, so I'll follow the road less travelled by, and say nothing at all.

Dylan said...

P.S.: Why was your stint brief?

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

It wasn't THAT brief--maybe 2 months as associate editor and 3 as editor.

Maureen said...

Wait, didn't Emily Alpert have a column on progressive politics last year?

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

That she did. This was after I edited the section, though. See my more recent post on this subject--I explain everything!

tiredlight said...

Mary Daly points out that women defer to men when they are in the same classroom. Women 'stay out of the way' when men are in the mix socially. Men raise their hands, women are reluctant to challenge men.

This led Daly (a brilliant militant feminist and professor) to disallow men in her classrom. This led to a lawsuit. I would have suggested that she teach seperate segregated classes.

Ever notice how men exclude women from conversations if the circle is mixed? I am a man whom considers himself fairly enlightened and I catch myself doing it too. Ingrained cultural roles are rough.

Our culture teaches women to be subserviant. It may take many many generations for this kind of crap to fade.

Anonymous said...

oh, my. harpsichord variations on the "why are there so few high-listed women-bloggers in the politics/law sphere?" conundrum. tsk, tsk.

not to say that there's no "deference" or cultural intimidation or what-not involved, but seriously. isn't it just so much more fun to watch *other people* froth at the mouth? isn't it so much more effective to whisper a few well-chosen words here and there and *nudge* an opinion your way rather than to bellow someone into your camp-- or, worse, just to bellow for the sake of bellowing?

there's all types, i suppose; but my hunch is that the ladies prefer face-to-face discussions about things they're really into than the gentlemen. just to, like, make sure people are listening. gloss this how you will.