The New York Times has done it again. They’ve taken a story about women in tech and relegated it to the Fashion and Style section. In “Blogging’s Glass Ceiling,” a story about last week’s BlogHer conference, Kara Jesella wrote, “There is a measure of parity on the Web. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, among Internet users, 14 percent of men and 11 percent of women blog….Yet, when Techcult, a technology Web site, recently listed its top 100 Web celebrities, only 11 of them were women. Last year, Forbes.com ran a similar list, naming 3 women on its list of 25.”
Well, hello! Yes, there’s a glass ceiling. And instead of addressing the question, the New York Times editors are part of the problem. A story about men who blog, especially if they had built the kind of powerhouse network the BlogHer folks have, would have run in the business or technology section of the newspaper. But women’s accomplishments in the blogosphere are celebrated in Fashion and Style.
(Hat tip to Amber Naslund for pointing out the Times story and the disparity.)
A few months ago, in my post Five White Men Talk About Social Media, I pointed to another New York Times article that diminished the accomplishments of women by its placement in the Fashion and Style section. “Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain,” by Stephanie Rosenbloom, details the gender gap in tech among teenagers. “Research shows that among the youngest Internet users, the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, Web sites) are not misfits resembling the Lone Gunmen of ‘The X Files.’ On the contrary,” Rosenbloom wrote, “the cyberpioneers of the moment are digitally effusive teenage girls.”
These women cyberpioneers, young and old, will have a better chance at smashing through blogging’s glass ceiling when editors quit assuming that all stories about women belong in the Fashion section.
UPDATE: Â Tricia Romano at Pop + Politics asked the New York Times, Do you need a suit and a penis to be in the business section? She published Style section editor Trip Gabriel’s response. Short answer: the journalist only pitched the story to Fashion & Style, not the technology or business sections. For the online edition, the story has now been cross-posted under Technology.