Where are the women?

Just last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked “Where are the women?” when calling out the Government Oversight and Reform Committee for a hearing on birth control that didn’t allow any women to testify. This week the online magazine VIDA released it’s report on male and female bylines in major news publications and we are forced to ask this question again.

The publications surveyed included 14 thought leader publications that shape public conversations around literature and politics. For many publications the outlook is bleak, for example, at The Atlantic the ratio is three to one, men to women, The New Republic four to one and Harper’s, five to one. But not all publications are on the wrong side of the numbers–the progressive publication Mother Jones had a 50/50 split of male to female by-lines and former Feministing editor Ann reported that GOOD has a 50/50 split in a survey of their past three issues.

Despite these exceptions, the message could not be more clear:  we need more women writing at some of these “thought leadership” publications. Gender disparities in influential media publications matter, they drive public debates and shape how issues are discussed. The lack of women is wholly unacceptable.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/nick/ Nick

    Love the graphs, love the article, but it begs the question… where are the male editors of Feministing?

    • http://feministing.com/members/mjameson/ Matthew T. Jameson

      As a dude, I can’t help but facepalm at this comment. Would it be nice for there to be a male editor at Feministing? Sure, fine, whatever. It means something completely different, though, for a website dedicated to Feminism to have a staff that is all women than a magazine called “The Nation” or “The New Yorker” to be overwhelmingly staffed by men. I think we can live with Feministing being predominantly a space where women’s voices are front and center, don’t you think?

      • http://feministing.com/members/nick/ Nick

        “It means something completely different, though, for a website dedicated to Feminism to have a staff that is all women”.

        So feminism is just for women? Not one male voice should be a part of the Feministing crew? (Gay, straight or trans) I believe your response to that was “Sure, fine, whatever”

        • http://feministing.com/members/mjameson/ Matthew T. Jameson

          Did I say feminism is just for women? Nope. Actually I think male voices are very important to feminism. This particular website, though, happens to be staffed entirely by women. It might be nice if there were a male voice contributing. Perhaps you should volunteer, since it sounds like you are awfully passionate about making sure male voices get heard.

          I’m a lot more appalled that “The Nation” seems to be represented by about 75% men, however, when women constitute 51% of that nation, than I am about a feminist website that is staffed by a group that is all women.