Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Broadsheet

Salon has a new women's blog, called the Broadsheet. Reader reactions to it have not been uniformly positive. Some argue that there is no need for a separate blog on women's issues, others argue that having the separate blog ghettoizes these issues and therefore makes them even less noticed.

This is an old problem for feminists: how to insert women into an ongoing public debate or a lesson plan or whatever when many don't see the absence of women as an absence at all, but just the way things are. The solutions to the problem have varied over time, with varying rates of success, but whatever the solution one suggests there will always be the critical voice pointing out how that solution is deficient: If women's issues are dealt with separately then not only will it look like ghettoizing but it will also look like women are given something more than men are given, something extra. To point out that the mainstread dialogue is often closer to malestream dialogue doesn't silence this criticism. And if this separate-but-equal solution is rejected in favor of just adding women's voices to the general dialogue we often don't see it happen.

This might be one of those cases where we shouldn't let the best be the enemy of the good-enough. Read the Broadsheet if you can (you can sit through an ad if you are not a paying customer) and decide for yourself it it says useful things.
Thanks to JV for the e-mail on this blog.