Today in Things Shaking my Faith in the World: The New York Times Knows What Ladies are Like

Sunday, February 7, 2010 | |

My relationship with cable news—and being up on the state of things generally— began with the presidential election of 2000. During the time leading up to the 2008 election, I grew to loathe most of these channels. Rachel Maddow (can we say awesome?) became MSNBC's only redeeming factor, I couldn't even muster up a laugh in response to Fox News. Even CNN, the closest one to neutral—I know, outrageous word to use when discussing this—became ridiculous, ceasing with the whole journalism thing in order to jump on the Twitter/Facebook bandwagon. I mean really, I don't so much care about what @WhoGivesaFuck tweeted about Obama as much as I care about being INFORMED.

SO. In the interest of keeping my blood pressure at its exceptionally low level, I followed the progress defining my generation and turned to the Interwebs. Online, problems like every female news anchor conforming to an apparent standard of blonde and surgically enhanced would not be relevant, nor would I be prompted to question whether the ranting of ideologues was sincere or just some elaborate performance art. I even thought the storied liberal leanings of the New York Times would not be too offensive. And of course I certainly share those leanings, but come on, no one wants to feel like they're drinking the Kool-Aid.

While this supposed bias of "The Gray Lady" has not jarred me, other aspects have. When Sarah Palin released her memoir in winter 2009, of course I expected coverage. I did not expect a rerun of a slideshow featuring the politician's wardrobe (and the controversy it caused) to be front and center on the New York Times' digital front page. Was this the most important information? Even the most interesting or entertaining? Of course not. Standards are even lower for the Styles section, but I'd rather not be prompted to exclaim "Homeboy, PUH-leasssee" when reading it. This was my experience Sunday when I came across an article about the experience of women attending colleges where they outnumber men significantly.

A valid concern? Certainly. The composition of undergrads at my college is 62% female and 38% male. I get it. But the author of this article, one Alex Williams, doesn't even consider anything apart from the heterosexual angle or acknowledge the fact that he is limiting his scope with this. Perhaps this failure to define the issue hints at the second problem (of many) that I have with the article, and comes as a general warning to the reader about the narrow and outmoded perspectives they will be getting. In this spirit, I will reproduce one quotation here that really says it all:

"Thanks to simple laws of supply and demand, it is often the women who must assert themselves romantically or be left alone on Valentine's Day, staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty pizza box."

Reprehensible. Gross. Insulting.
There are many things I could say to give my take as one of the young women apparently characterized in this gem of a sentence. I think for now, as I inevitably react in my hysterical unreasonable girlish way, I'll let Foster Kramer at Gawker articulate some of my thoughts (do I have those?):

"*Throws hands up, tosses laptop on floor*

Right, well. We're done here. New York Times, please go fuck anybody but us, today. Particularly, yourself."



Anonymous said...

I just read that article and threw up in my mouth a bit.

Way for NYT to take a sad truth and make it even more depressing, misogynistic, and worst of all - "newsworthy" FML