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    Columbia Journalism ReviewAnne Helen Petersen20 min
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    Columbia Journalism Review
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    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScout
      1 year ago

      I'm not sure what I want to say about this one, if anything. I guess I'll just start typing.

      For starters: Anne Helen Petersen is a thoughtful and thought-provoking writer, and I recognize the value of reading (meaning: listening to) her for a solid ~20 minutes. No doubt about that.

      Misogyny and patriarchy are massive, global problems that date back to... forever ago. Journalism can be a dangerous career for anybody (man, woman, gay, straight, white, black) - especially if you're doing good/hard work where it's needed most. This seems to sum it all up quite well:

      It’s exhausting to try to experience the reporting world from the same place of safety as a straight white man, but female reporters, especially minorities and those who identify as queer, often forget how many things are making us tired—and making our jobs so much harder.

      Overall, I agree with Anne. ("Tired" hits the nail on the head. For me, being gay can be downright exhausting, in ways I can't control and at times that are extremely inconvenient.) However, I wonder whether it might also be true to say that many women and minorities can't forget about these injustices, day in and day out, to the point where the injustices become all-consuming, even in situations where it might be better to just pretend like we're all on equal footing. Regardless, it's absurd for me to tell a person with a thorn in their side how to respond to the thorn. Especially when, to an extent, I own some of the responsibility for putting it there. We all do. It's a bind.

      I think my only gripe with this is that Anne didn't point her criticism more specifically at Twitter, which incentivizes arguments, trolling, threats, violence, and hatred. As a society, we need to gravitate away from technology that amplifies the problems that already exist. Along those lines, I can't shake the feeling that the best thing that we can all do for women journalists is (1) stop using Twitter altogether and (2) actually read women writers, deeply, with an open mind and open heart. For the first time in a long time, I'm going to start breaking rule #1. To counterbalance, I'll try to double down on #2.