When I started reading the League, it just so happened that Jamelle Blouie was posting regularly. I thought it great that a site with a potentially exclusionary name had a prominent female blogger (it’s the french influence; the -lle suffix would denote female, eg Michel vs. Michelle). Alas, I was wrong; Jamelle is very much a dude.
With that little introduction, and a propos Tod’s recent diversity post, I thought I’d share this piece at Thought Out Loud by Kate Heartfield (an editor at the Ottawa Citizen), Why aren’t more women in punditry? Ms. Heartfield argues that there is a need for more female voices, not for some sort of affirmative action tally, but because “gender is one of the element’s of [a person’s] experience”.
There was a time when I was the only woman on the Ottawa Citizen’s editorial board – though that’s no longer the case. I remember one discussion about the boom in popularity of a certain yoga clothing manufacturer. (It must have been a slow news day.) There had to be some cultural significance to the tightness of the shirts, some of my colleagues thought; they figured the phenomenon was a sign of how much women would pay, or thought they should pay, to indulge their vanity. I listened for a while, trying to come up with a way to explain, in words that wouldn’t make my colleagues too uncomfortable, that if you’re a woman doing exercises in public that require you to be upside down, tight shirts are essential to the preservation of modesty – not to mention, for some of us, the ability to breathe.
The article encourages women to send in op-eds, so naturally, I gave her email address to my wife.