My post yesterday on the whiteness and maleness of media criticism has been making the rounds (expectedly so, since the metaness of media criticism of media criticism is irresistible to the Internet), and we’ve gotten a number of thoughtful comments. A few people have addendums to my theory. Writes commenter Donna (emphasis added by me):
Women and people of color are more than capable and willing to critique. They are not called upon for numerous reasons. a) The arts industry is dominated by males in regards to production/direction and writing and as artistic and liberal as they claim to be, they do not value the criticism of women or people of color because they do not consider them to be their peers. b) Real writers, critiques or otherwise, know going in they will irritate people with their writing and most don’t mind. Most of us didn’t get asked to our prom and I can’t speak for other writers but I consider that a badge of honor and am perfectly okay with not being popular. c) More importantly. Media Management is as archaic, as the Ad Agencies they are beholden to. Older people support the majority of the arts with their patronage. Unfortunately, they tend not to be very opened minded about reading the opinions of women and people of color. And they have a lot of pull at the publications because d) They also tend to sit on the boards of the media and have companies that also do business with the Ad Agencies, and why we can’t break the cycle of cronyism.
I think this is on point, too. I don’t mean to imply that all women and people of color in the newsroom are shrinking violets. (I’m certainly not.) For every one who doesn’t feel comfortable making a critique, there’s likely another who has plenty to say, but isn’t being heard. (Or, their ideas get appropriated by dudes.)
Photo by Carol Browne via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License