Last week sophomore columnist Alexandra Schwartz wrote a truly insightful editorial for the Yale Daily News titled "Dearth of woman columnists is puzzling."
In the editorial Schwartz addresses the gender disparity found in the YDN's editorial page by considering what sorts of campus activities women tend to gravitate towards, in order to understand why so few women seem to be interested in opining in the Yale Daily News. Schwartz suggests that women often overload themselves with campus involvements and also are more likely to go abroad, both of which are valid points but it is slightly unclear whether Schwartz sees these facts as causal or simply corrollary to the problem she is getting at. I, of course, would have loved to have seen her title the article "Dearth of woman columnists is abhorrent" and criticize the YDN for not working their asses off to fix the problem, but hey, thats my opinion, not hers. She does sum things up very well in her last paragraph when she writes:
I don't wish that there were more female columnists to give the page some kind of vague "feminine perspective" that it lacks. Rather, I wish more Yale women felt compelled to write regular columns, if only to prove that girls can be just as outgoing and aggressive as boys in publicizing what they have to say and in standing by it. This page would benefit enormously if more women felt compelled to pursue a column of their own.
That said, its imperative that we take into consideration the greater social and structural problems that cause women not to write for the YDN, and not put all the onus on them.
Broad Recognition and the women involved (Maggie, Basha and I) obviously agree with Schwartz in that it is important for women to voice their opinions in a public way. Our hope is to enable women to do so by creating this blog and inviting guest bloggers. We would also like to develop an editorial relationship with the YDN--something Schwartz' editorial has now given us greater impetus to make a move on.
Finally, I just want to point out that the YDN isn't the only campus publication suffering from a lack of women editorializers. Yale's progressive publication, The Hippolytic, could only find one woman (me) to write for their blog (its great, you should all check it out). Fortunately, when I brought it to the attention of those running the blog (Noam Rudnick and Jared Malsin) they were both very responsive, and concerned about this dearth of women (to quote Schwartz) and we are now in the process of looking for more women to write (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, please!).