Students packed into the Bowdoin Women’s Resource Center recently to hear a talk from Susan Faludi on one of her areas of expertise: women in the media. Faludi is the College’s Tallman Scholar for the 2013-2014 year, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and one of today’s most prominent feminist voices.
Faludi’s presentation centered on female op-ed writers and why there are so few opinion pieces written by women. She cited startling facts about women’s underrepresentation in mainstream journalism: only 20% of New York Times op-ed pieces (a record high for the heavyweight paper), and only 13% of Wall Street Journal op-ed articles were written by women this year. Articles by women of color are particularly scarce, comprising only 2% of all New York Times opinion pieces.
Why are op-eds by women so hard to come by? Faludi believes the issue is multifaceted. Perhaps most critically, “women recoil from op-eds because they fear being attacked,” she said. While men are more likely to be criticized for the content of their arguments, women are much more likely to be attacked on “deeply invasive, personal and sexualized grounds,” she said. Read the full story by Erica Hummel ’16.