The broads of Salon

This week, Salon.com made a "bold" move and launched a feminist, women's-issue-oriented blog called the Broadsheet. Born out of email flurries between the feminists in the Salon offices, they decided it was time to document those flurries on the site.

The obvious critiques have arisen all week: some complaining that it's too fluffy, others complaining that it's too serious, tossed in with some pretty vitriol-infused comments being left on the blog itself. Echidne, however, raises a larger issue in a recent post: does having a feminist blog on a site with larger context marginalize women's issues, or justifiably shed some much-needed light on them?


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 mainstream 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.

Jessica over at Feministing supports the idea of a separate blog; in her opinion it highlights the issues rather than marginalize them. In a later post, Ann of Feministing also voices her support.

The first thing I noticed about the blog when I saw it was that it was in the "Life" section of Salon, versus "News and Politics" (where the War Room is) or no section at all (like the Daou Report). As a subsequent commenter on Feministing pointed out, "Life" sections of magazines -- no matter how lefty the bent is -- are often code words for "Things Girls Will Read, That Men Can Read Without Feeling Like Their Hard News Is Being Interrupted." Add in the fact that it's pink (don't get me wrong, I adore pink... but my news doesn't often come flavored this way), and has a cutesy, chick-lit style graphic to it... well, I just don't know.

Perhaps Micah Sifry should have the last word with his post on Personal Democracy Forum this week:
Ezra, Matthew, Sam, Mark and Garance. Jonah, John, Larry, Jonathan, Cliff, Iain, Tim, Roger, Warren, Andrew, Mark, Ramesh, Rich, Byron, and Kathryn. Daniel (all by his lonesome). Kevin (another lonely boy). David, John, Peter, Marc and Katrina.

Respectively, those are the names you'll find on the blogs of The American Prospect, The National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Monthly, and The Nation.

Now the New Republic joins the fraternity with its blog, The Plank. Written by Michael, Franklin and Jason.

Thirty writers. Three of them are women.

It's 2005, right?

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