Read This Even If You're A Man

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

But the internal culture of "for and about Women" made me feel uncomfortable. Women were treated exclusively as shoppers, party-goers, cooks hostesses, and mothers, and men were ignored. We began thinking of a section that would deal with how men and women live­d—together and apart—what they liked and what they were like, what they did when they were not at the office. We wanted profiles, but "new journalism" profiles that went way beyond the bare bones of biography. We wanted to look at the culture of America as it was changing in front of our eyes.

What we have here, folks, is a quote from a book published 1996. The passage is about a decision made in the late 1960's. It is from Ben Bradlee's book A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures. The passage is about how the Style section came to be at the Washington Post. Over 40 years ago.

It also kind of describes what does, except Slate is a little wonkier. Slate, not incidentally, is owned by the Washington Post company.

I mention all of this, because after DoubleX folded into Slate, they started adding little pink X's next to the stories that used to be on a separate, segregated site for women, and now are just labeled as women's stories.

That's right. Over 40 years after the Washington Post's "For and About Women" section became "Style," Slate launched what seems to amount to a "For and About Women" section. Argh.

Why is an article about Virginia Thomas, Clarence Thomas' wife, and her Tea Party ties an article specifically for women? I mean, I know what Virginia Thomas is a woman, and I know that shoppers, party-goers, cooks hostesses, and mothers." Siiigh.

I really like Slate. I really wanted to like DoubleX. I just wish I could have liked it without my feminism kicking into high gear.

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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