We Heart: The Newsweek Three

Three young women editors at NewsweekJessica Bennett, Jesse Ellison and Sarah Ball–have written a brave and candid piece calling out sexism at the magazine and in the publishing industry as a whole. They ask how much has changed since 1970, when a pioneering group of women Newsweek editors filed a landmark gender-discrimination suit for, among other things, being routinely called “dollies” by their male bosses.

In countless small ways, each of us has felt frustrated over the years, as if something was amiss. But as products of a system in which we learned that the fight for equality had been won, we didn’t identify those feelings as gender-related. It seemed like a cop-out, a weakness, to suggest that the problem was anybody’s fault but our own. It sounds naive—we know—especially since our own boss Ann McDaniel climbed the ranks to become NEWSWEEK’s managing director, overseeing all aspects of the company. Compared with the NEWSWEEK dollies, what did we have to complain about? “If we judge by what we see in the media, it looks like women have it made,” says author Susan Douglas. “And if women have it made, why would you be so ungrateful to point to something and call it sexism?”

Yet the more we talked to our friends and colleagues, the more we heard the same stories of disillusionment, regardless of profession. No one would dare say today that “women don’t write here,” as the NEWSWEEK women were told 40 years ago. But men wrote all but six of NEWSWEEK’s 49 cover stories last year—and two of those used the headline “The Thinking Man.” In 1970, 25 percent of NEWSWEEK’s editorial masthead was female; today that number is 39 percent. Better? Yes. But it’s hardly equality. (Overall, 49 percent of the entire company, the business and editorial sides, is female.) “Contemporary young women enter the workplace full of enthusiasm, only to see their hopes dashed,” says historian Barbara J. Berg. “Because for the first time they’re slammed up against gender bias.”

Read the rest on Newsweek.com. To the magazine’s credit, this will run in the March 29 print edition.

UPDATE: The three have started a blog called Equality Myth on young women, sexism and the workforce.

ABOVE: November cover of Newsweek; one of two 2009 Newsweek covers to use the line “The Thinking Man.”

Trackbacks

  1. [...] from here. An interesting piece by several women who work at Newsweek discusses the progress of women at the [...]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by wubcclove: RT @msmagazine: 3 Women Editors at Newsweek Call The Magazine Out for Sexism. http://sn.im/v04rw

  3. [...] we have an organization that was sued for gender discrimination, recently accused of sexist (mis)representations of ‘news’, and also a card-carrying [...]

  4. [...] think that feminists around the blogosphere would have rallied to the cause of the Newsweek 3. After all, advocacy requires courage, and courage requires social [...]

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tanya, Jessica Bennett, Fem2pt0, TollyM, Ms. Magazine and others. Ms. Magazine said: 3 Women Editors at Newsweek Call The Magazine Out for Sexism. http://sn.im/v04rw [...]

  6. barbara berg says:

    [...] insight into how to put this powerful tool to work. ( PRWeb Mar 21, 2010) Read the full story at …We Love: The Newsweek 3 : Ms Magazine BlogContemporary young women enter the workplace full of enthusiasm, only to see their hopes dashed, [...]

  7. [...] we have an organization that was sued for gender discrimination, recently accused of sexist (mis)representations of ‘news’, and characterized as a [...]

  8. [...] think that feminists around the blogosphere would have rallied to the cause of the Newsweek 3. After all, advocacy requires courage, and courage requires social [...]

Speak Your Mind

*