I've mentioned here before that I'm an enormous fan of rising young editor Ann Friedman, whom I met when she was both an editor here at the Prospect and was involved in WAM! (Women, Action, and Media). Several people told me she was going to change the world, and I have come to believe it. She left the Prospect to become the editor of GOOD magazine, and made making it a must-read location on the interwebs until the owners of that online community changed its direction and fired most of the editorial staff. Since running a magazine wasn't enough to keep her occupied, she also created many smaller online projects that instantly went viral.
If you like knowing about folks on the rise, Sam Meier has an excellent in-depth interview with Friedman over at PolicyMic. An excerpt:
SM: I found something you wrote recently about work/life stories which target women. ...
AF: It’s a self-perpetuating problem. If you say, OK, let’s talk about work/life balance only in terms that are gendered towards women, it’s going to keep being perceived as only women’s responsibility to ensure that children is cared for, and the home is cared for, and all of that traditional stuff.
Look, I have no illusions that just talking about something differently will change it, but I do think that there’s something about it. What if all those articles were like, “Oh my god, working parents can’t find the time to xyz”?
... that Anne Marie Slaughter article did say that. The problem is, she came around to it at the very end, and it was packaged as all about women, because that’s how the Atlantic edits these things. That was what was really annoying me, because what she was finding is that, sure, the blow lands on women for all these reasons, but really men are interested in these things too.
[But in this Steve Jobs piece, for example] it’s not phrased as ‘having it all’; it’s phrased as being super successful versus only moderately successful. Really it’s the same thing for women. The only difference is that most women are socially pressured into choosing moderate success.
And that, friends, makes me think of another article that's worth taking a look at, for those of you interested in how journalism deals with women's lives: "Is The Atlantic Making Us Stupid?", over at the LA Review of Books, takes on our favorite counterintuitive magazine, including an Atlantic-style counterintuitive headline. Enjoy.
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