"The op-ed pages of our nation’s newspapers are overwhelmingly dominated—80% or more—by men. Because the op-ed pages feed all other media, the under-representation of women here perpetuates and exaggerates the under-representation of women in larger ways. For example, men are:
• 84% of guests on influential Sunday morning political talk shows on TVIn short, public debate all but excludes half the population."
• 85% of Hollywood producers
• 85% of nonfiction books on The New York Times best-selling
• 85-90% of radio producers
• 83% of congress
Interesting stats, no? Says quite a lot about how far we still have to go in the push for equal representation--on oh-so-many fronts.
One of the (other) interesting things Katie said during her presentation that really stuck with me, and that I think is applicable to blogging and many other things as well, is that she learned a hard lesson after one particular piece she wrote about Sex and the City. She realized, after the onslaught of letters and emails she received (from unhappy readers) in response to the piece, that she had quite possibly alienated four out of five of her readers. And that's when it struck her that perhaps it was more important to be effective rather than right.
True in so many areas of life - from blogging to receiving feedback on one's writing, to dealing with friends and partners, to communicating with children and teens... One of the things I try to keep in mind when I'm in the heat of the moment - when I'm angry and passionate about something (whether it's with my spouse, kids, friends, on the blog, whatever) or when my buttons have been pushed and it's hard to see beyond my own indignation - is that my goal is not to vent, it is to be effective. To grow, to push for change, create awareness and help build some sort of connection.
Thanks, Katie, for reminding me of the difference, and for spotlighting an important area more women can become active - an area that can help shape the world around us to reflect the sets of values and priorities of an entire population, not just a select few.