Where Are the Women?

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There’s a fierce debate among media people over women writing columns in American newspapers, and specifically, why there aren’t more of them.

It all began when the columnist Susan Estrich took L.A. Times opinion page editor Michael Kinsley to task — but it’s clearly not just that newspaper. Look at the Op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine or Newsweek — each has only one woman columnist among a line-up of male writers.

Feminists who have been tracking this say the number of women holding these public posts hasn’t much changed since the 1970s. Journalism today has many women writers and leaders so why aren’t they holding court on the opinion page. Some suggest that the confrontational style of the columnist is a role designed by and for men. We’ll listen for the missing voices.


Susan Estrich, columnist and law professor at the University of Southern California

Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of “The Argument Culture”

Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation magazine

Renee Loth, Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe;