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Why diversity matters

I can't remember who said it but I agree: Why should women, especially feminists, give a damn that newspapers & magazines are failing?

Should we mourn Time, the magazine that sounded feminism's death knell too many times for me to recall? Should I subscribe to the NYTimes so I can get the latest opt-out or mommy wars crap story on my front step? Should I strategize how to save the Chicago Tribune who cut a ghettoized but fab Women News section?

Women are underrepresented on the op-ed pages. Our stories are not being told in the paper unless it fits in the Style section. Forget about quality women of color stories unless it's about whatever sweater Michelle Obama is wearing today.

And yet panel after panel on how to save old media is chock full of white dudes.

Now my obligatory 'I love white dudes' statement: I learned so much about politics from Bob Fertik, a white dude. He was the bleeding edge of new media & politics. He brought me into this online politics stuff.

But most white dudes simply cannot or don't want to see why it really makes a difference between having a panel of all white dudes & having 2 people of color &/or women on board.

Most fail to see their own privileges. They fail to see the head start they had by having mom & dad pay for college, give them an allowance after college or even help with landing a job. For too many of us women & people of color we lack those networks to tap into. That is privilege.
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That is why a diverse panel is needed when discussing any issue. For the most part white dudes have a similar story & thus have similar ideas. If we are going to find new & innovative solutions to saving old media we need more of us at the table.

I know it's hard to find new people for panels. Believe me I know. It's hard but I've found the conversations to be better with different voices.

But don't expect us to do all the work either. I'm sure you must know another [fill in the blank].

Bottomline: If you want us to fight we need to be heard as well.

Comments

PunditMom said…
It never ceases to amaze me at this kind of blindspot. It's especially upsetting because when we try to raise it as an issue, we're often accused to being overly sensitive -- hey, you've come a long way, so enjoy it! *sigh*

BTW, I love the new design!
Cinnamon said…
You know I'm one of your biggest fans, right? Well, this post is one of the reasons why. I've been stewing over how to say this and now I don't have to because you said everything I wanted to say, but better and probably in about half as many words. You rock, chica.
Anonymous said…
Excellent post. You are preaching to the choir. I have said all these things too. When will someone listen to us?

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