Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect and The Daily Beast, is a Spencer Fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Her work on politics, women’s issues, and education has appeared in BusinessWeek, Slate, The New Republic, and The Nation.

Recent Articles

The Mommy Mantra

In preparation for her all-but-announced 2008 White House run, Hillary Clinton has re-released It Takes a Village , her 1996 tome on child-friendly public policies. The new cover depicts the senator from New York dressed in hot pink, bathed in sunlight, and surrounded by six smiling, multiracial children. Talking about the book last month on the gabfest "The View," Clinton responded to a question on whether a woman would be better suited to the presidency than a man with the affirmative, "Well, we've never had a mother who ever ran for or held that position." It was a new articulation of the mommy mantra -- the idea that what qualifies women for politics isn't their intelligence, their experience, their policy proposals, or even their character, but rather their inherent identities as feminine caretakers. "The View's" mid-morning studio audience and female hosts lapped up Hillary's mommy shtick, including her memories of Christmas crafting sessions and Chelsea's childhood handprint...

LOOK OUTWARD.

LOOK OUTWARD. I�ve admired Katha Pollitt �s work for years and was thrilled to see she took the time to respond to my essay on the lack of women opinion columnists. Pollitt makes some excellent points; indeed, Gail Collins was hardly the sole decision maker when it came to hiring and promoting New York Times columnists. That�s why I wanted to take the focus off Collins and ask some larger questions about the significance of the debate on women in journalism. I believe it�s important to expand the parameters of this discussion: If we�re going to obsess over the number of women with magazine bylines and on newspaper op-ed pages, we shouldn�t disconnect those discussions from concerns about the lack of women congressional representatives, governors, mayors, and state legislators. This doesn�t mean, as Pollitt writes, that I issue �an invitation to editorial complacency.� In fact, I argue explicitly in my piece for byline gender quotas, as put forth by Ann Friedman , to force editors to...

It's the Politics, Stupid

Gail Collins stepped down earlier this month as editor of the New York Times opinion pages. If you're concerned about the lack of women in American political discourse, this seems like bad news: Women are losing their representative in what is, arguably, the most powerful post in opinion journalism. What's more, Collins' successor is the consummate male insider, current deputy editor Andrew Rosenthal, son of late Times executive editor A.M. Rosenthal. The generally sorry state of women in the realm of elite opining is evidenced by the fact that when Collins returns to her old columnist's post after a six-month book leave, it will be the first time since her 2001 promotion that the nation's pre-eminent op-ed page will have more than one regular female contributor. Across the board, women continue to account for only one-quarter of syndicated columnists. Editors say up to 80 percent of submissions to newspaper op-ed pages are penned by men, and the gender disparity worsens when the...

Huff's Fluff

Anybody could have written On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life . That's really a shame, because the book's author, Arianna Huffington, is most definitely a somebody: a woman with the guts to switch political allegiances, take aim at the hyped-up masculinity of both Arnold Schwarzenegger and SUVs, and buck the skeptics to build the new media powerhouse Huffington Post . With all these accomplishments behind her (and bucket loads of cash in the bank) it's a mystery why Huffington has put her name on this piece of pop-psychologizing, self-help “feminism.” On Becoming Fearless aims to teach women how to overcome anxiety “in love, work, and life.” But like much self-help literature, it has a way of convincing readers that they suffer from the very problems it purports to help them solve. By cataloging a vast array of stereotypically feminine fears -- fear of being deserted by men, fear of fat, fear of wrinkles, fear of speaking publicly, fear of taking on leadership positions (the...

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