The New York Times thinks debating reproduction is white men’s work

7 pundits photos and bios who will debate the question. All are male, except one.

Notice anything strange about this photo? It’s a screenshot taken from this NY Times debate room story about declining birth rates. In case you can’t tell, only one of the seven pundits is a woman. Despite the racial dynamics of the population boom, only of them seems to be a person of color.

Totally, makes sense right? When debating reproduction, especially birth rates, people with a uterus aren’t that important to the story. Not at all.

On a related note, I’m pretty sick of anxiety-provoking stories about birth rates. Either women are threatening the earth by having too many children (these women are usually poor and of color) or they aren’t having enough children to keep the world going (these women are usually wealthy and white). We need a new narrative.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted October 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The New York Times is a newspaper. They can have whoever they want write whatever they want.

    If those were the writers who wanted to cover the issue or the writers that were available at the time the NYT should not be forced to wait and stall just to have some writers you like cover a topic.

  2. Posted October 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    This definitely disturbed me, too. I would like to see more women and people of color with similar technical training (in demography or econ) consider some of these issues – I wonder if we would have a different overall narrative? I hope so. The dominant narrative is not only racially coded, as you indicate, but replete with its ridiculous metaphors of population “explosion” that imply a terrifying or violent overthrow of the apparent status quo.

  3. Posted October 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    That looks like it could be an Onion infographic…though those are actually MORE diverse!

  4. Posted October 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    But are we truly surprised the NYT has this tack? I’m not, though it is lazy curating of experts.

    I agree about changing the discussion….can’t we talk about completely inadequate healthcare for both women, expecting women and children? Or how about the lack of affordable daycare once those tots are born? Or ohh, I know! How about the fact that the C-section rate in this country is rapidly approaching 50%? I could go on…really.

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