THE WASHINGTON POST has done something inadvertently hilarious. The irony is thick, deep and wide for people like me, because I’ve been writing about this subject for years. They’ve featured a story in their Lifestyle section titled “Women aren’t principal news sources on women’s issues, 4th Estate analysis finds.” Guess who wrote the article. A man.
This is a subject I highlight in my book and which I’ve written about as long as I can remember. Who can forget “If It’s Sunday It’s Misogyny,” Tim Russert’s Sunday family values, religion and abortion rights conversations, none of which ever included a female. In fact, “Meet the Press” in past studies has the worst record of any Sunday show on inviting women on, especially progressives, and rarely included females in discussions on matters directly related to them, especially faith, or abortion.
The Hillary Effect has changed this reality, but it took a lot to get it done.
Yet women are still not the leading voices in our own stories.
The Post article begins:
Men have long been the predominant sources for the news media on issues such as the economy, politics and the military. And a new analysis of campaign coverage found that women aren’t even the principal news source on a topic they would presumably know best: women’s issues.
Major news outlets, print and TV, turn mainly to male sources for their take on abortion, birth control and Planned Parenthood, according to a study by 4th Estate, a research group that monitors campaign coverage.
When women do get a chance to be represented in media, the age of women being spotlighted is usually younger, leaving a large segment of the voting populace out of the cable picture. So, next time you’re watching cable take a look at the women. How many are under 50? How many female hosts over 50 do you see?
Sexism is one aspect, but ageism adds a double whammy for women.