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The Boston Globe



Advice to women writers on the fifth ‘F’

A study released last week by a group called the Op-Ed Project has some disconcerting news for “legacy media.” Turns out that not only are newspapers losing influence, they also favor publishing men’s ideas. Maybe the two are related, but over a 12-week period late last year, only 20 percent of op-eds were written by women. The number itself is disturbing enough, but the study also showed that women were much more likely to get published if they wrote on “pink” topics, dubbed the four “Fs” — food, family, furniture (home), and fashion.

The study’s focus on “pink” suggests that these issues are not serious enough. But there should be no silencing of the pink. Women’s voices on these matters, which include reproductive rights, are essential. The real problem is why so few women are writing on global affairs and national security. For every 100 opinion columns published about security issues, only 15 were written by women.

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