Wanted: opinionated women. I think I know some.
This column discusses why it is that about 75 per cent of opinion columnists in Canada are men.
On the one hand, I have a bit of a hard time understanding why women wouldn’t want to express opinions. That’s always been my goal, and I’d love to have a little sketch of my noggin beside a permanent column in a paper somewhere.
On the other hand, I can see why women would stay away. In writing I can be opinionated, controversial. But in debates and on radio, I default to compassion mode. Consensus-building mode. I become easily concerned that perhaps I am too hard-nosed, didn’t see both sides, spoke to quickly–hurt someone’s feelings. Oh dear. Feelings are always hurt in the opinion business. You need a tough shell.
Now you’ll see in this post how I’ve seen both sides–made sure I was fair to opinionated women and those who aren’t. Very fair. Very middle of the road. Yaaaaawn. (Boring is not the hallmark of a great opinion writer.)
If I wanted to really have an opinion, I’d come right out and say this: there are fewer female opinion writers because women have fewer strong opinions that they want to express publicly and hold to, as a point of debate. Perhaps because we don’t have tough shells. Perhaps because women are less… egotistical. You have to have quite an ego in this business. (Witness the raging success of Rush Limbaugh for an extreme example. Whether you like him or not, he is successful at expressing his opinions.)
Just my opinion, anyway. And when you write to disagree, I will feel very bad and try and see things your way.