Where are the women? 2012 election coverage edition

In case the latest moderately hopeful stats from the Op-Ed Project had you optimistic about the gender gap in media, here’s a maddening infographic to ruin your Friday. The 4th Estate, a project that’s tracking media coverage of the 2012 election, has broken down the gender gap when it comes to who’s been quoted in major media outlets over the last six months.

Across the board–even on issues specifically concerning women–men are doing the talking. I mean, it’s hard to think of a topic that (cis) men are less qualified to talk about than abortion. And yet! They had 81 percent of the quotes in articles about it, compared to just 12 percent by women. When it comes to “women’s rights,” we managed to snag 31 percent (versus mens’ 52 percent).

Fourth Estate infographic

The 4th Estate notes, in what I’d call a bit of an understatement, “This gender gap undermines the media’s credibility.” No shit. Click here for a larger version.

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Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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