"I saw some of the best writers of my generation destroyed by celebrity profiling."
WHEN I HEAR ABOUT ANOTHER ROUND OF LAYOFFS
Last week’s #realtalk column is sadly relevant again this week.
Her approach opened the door for other women to move into the anchor’s seat. In 2006, when Katie Couric became the first woman to anchor CBS News without a male co-host, the Washington Post warned that “men are disappearing from TV newsrooms” and the gender shift had led to a shift in the subject matter deemed worthy of national news broadcasts.“By the late 1990s,” the Post reported, “subjects that had all but been ignored years earlier — abortion, child care, sexual discrimination in the workplace — were part of the serious news agenda.” These days, Diane Sawyer is the only woman hosting a nightly news broadcast, but network news has also faded in prominence as more viewers get their news from the morning news shows and online — venues where the topics formerly derided as “women’s issues” get far more airtime and discussion.
Nowhere is this sensibility more evident than on Walters’s brainchild, The View, a panel-style show in which women of different political backgrounds discuss everything from war to plastic surgery. Sure, it may produce some stupid clips of the women fawning over attractive male actors, but they also ask serious questions of legit politicians. And the conversational format feels more at home in the digital age — a time when everything is up for debate online — than two anchors staring straight ahead and delivering scripted news and commentary."
"As a woman, people are going to ask you to write the kind of insipid shit they would never in a million fucking years ask a man to write. They’re going to tell you to make it lovable, to take harsh opinions out of your heroine’s head, to cut your pissy first-person essay off at the kneecaps. They’re going to run out and publish a million and one disconnected, crappy Deep Thoughts by some self-proclaimed boy wonder, but they’re going to read your perfectly delightful work and tell you that it’ll be just great, as long as you only include the stuff on the trials and tribulations of being a mom (Argh! Teehee!) or being a girl (Oh noes! Teehee!) or being a woman (Growl! Just kidding! Teehee!). They’re going to ask you to write about your recent weight gain, or your recent divorce, or your recent (insert humiliating story here), and what lessons you’ve learned from it. They’re going to want you to come up with a fucking moral to your story. Because you’re a lady, you don’t have the option of stomping around in a funk. Because you are a woman, and you feel feelings, you must draw some giant, oversimplified conclusion. You must have blandly down-to-earth protagonists, you must have lovable mommies hugging lost kittens, you must have rainbows and sunbeams spewing out of your ass. They’re going to coach you into writing something you’re not entirely sure about, something you would never in a million fucking years read yourself (if you had free will, which it sometimes seems like you don’t), and they’re going to tell you it’s pure genius. And even though you still might see your piece or essay or snippet of prose as “literary,” they’re going to stick an incendiary headline on it (“Help! I Ate My Own Vagina!”) and it’s going to be an internet sensation, and you’re going to feel Bad with a capital B about it."
Preach, Heather Havrilesky. This is bleak but #letsbereal, several of these things have happened to me already in my admittedly short career as a freelance writer.
center of my personal venn diagram.
"It’s only worth being the first woman anything if at the point you stop being executive editor there are other women, hopefully lots of them, who are plausible candidates to be the second."
The Zombies - “Gotta Get A Hold Of Myself”“
Live from the Hippodrome during the summer of 1966. The only color footage of the band known to exist from this era.
WHEN A JOURNALIST COMPLAINS THAT THE GOOD DAYS OF MEDIA ARE OVER
Gettin’ my creative-destructive-productive optimism on.
Gloria = Anzaldúa, right? Right.
"In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete."
R. Buckminster Fuller (via unequal-design)
CRUCIAL journalism advice in 2k13.