Is Journalism A Gentleman’s Club?April 4, 2012 1 Comment
Female writers may exist, but their work is not being recognized nor rewarded.
If you beg to differ, I give you Exhibit A: “Women have been entirely shut out of the big-league categories of the National Magazine Awards.” Although they’re nominated for fiction awards, there’s a complete absence of women in the major categories of reporting, feature writing, profile writing, essays, criticism and columns, and commentary.
As Liz Lemon would say, “What the what?”
I think women could accept that they just didn’t win, but it’s a whole other level of disappointment when women are not even represented in a broad range of categories, especially because they can write and do write.
But wait. Where is the evidence that women are actually putting pen to paper and contributing to “serious” journalism? Well, Alexander Nazaryan of the NY Daily News can spew out three pieces right off the top. Ruth Franklin, Jennifer Gonnerman and Kate Bolick are just a few names among a host of female writers worthy of a nod of recognition from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). It’s clear that finding investigative female journalists is far from an archeological dig (which we can presume often turns up nothing but twigs that look like dinosaur bones).
Is it just that female journalists are flying so far under the radar that the ASME can’t pinpoint them? Maybe it’s hard to attract attention when you have men writing juicy articles in The New Yorker like “Getting bin Laden.” Or, maybe it’s just that ASME is stuck in the past like James Cameron and his Titanic-sized obsession. Despite women’s great strides in the journalistic field, there seems to be an overarching perception that men still dominate the scene.
At least we can all agree it’s bogus. Exhibit B: A list of “American women journalists.” Now, just because they exist (yes, we’ve established that) doesn’t mean that their work merits a dust-collecting statue or anything, but a complete shut-out is extreme when we’ve seen evidence that women have something to say, and also have unique perspectives compared to their male counterparts.
It’s time women were recognized for their valuable contributions in the industry, even if the praise is coming from an un-serious female writer at Morning Quickie.
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