Aug 24, 2009

“Hi, I don’t usually reply, but …” Women weigh in to Crikey

Last week we asked, why don't women read Crikey? We've had a truckload of responses, and at the heart of this is a discussion about, well, the nature of discussion.

Sophie Black

Crikey editor

Last Thursday Crikey asked: why don’t more women read Crikey ?

We’re still sifting through all the responses in our boss inbox. There’s also a very engaging, and rather civilised, conversation humming along on the website about the issue.

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24 thoughts on ““Hi, I don’t usually reply, but …” Women weigh in to Crikey

  1. jules

    Excellent! I look forward to it. Already blog on The Punch but do and have read Crikey for some time now. I have to admit to being a little intimidated by the more intellectual comments as I did not go to university but at 57 years have “self-taught” myself by reading and of course using the Internet and talking to people I worked alongside when I was in the Public Service. A much more relaxed and less authoritarian form of education I reckon! (smile).

  2. Greg Angelo

    I find this whole process quite patronising as I do not differentiate between women and men in terms or news or current affairs information. I don’t care whether a good article (or bad) is written by a man or woman, and I think a women only blog is a slightly patronising, unless you have a men’s blog as well which I would find quite retrograde and equally patronising.

    I smell a promotional ‘”rat” here. Is Crikey pursuing the issuing of sexism as a promotional exercise in the expectation of increasing its readership by women? I would have thought that the average Crikey reader was well beyond sexist discrimination.

  3. Mark Duffett

    A female Guy Rundle (Dr Sally Young, above)? Marieke Hardy would fit the bill very nicely. I despise her politics (very similar to Guy’s, from what I can tell), but by golly she can write. Her byline has only occasionally appeared in Crikey before; I’d like to see her become a regular.

  4. Jenny Morris

    Like Greg (above), I don’t distinguish between male and female writers. I subscribe to crikey because I want an alternative source of news and views on politics and related matters. I enjoy the digressions into sociology, law, even sport sometimes. I’m less interested in the straight business news, but recognise I can’t expect to read/enjoy everything in a publication.

    I am not interested in a Crikey women’s blog. I fear it could turn into the same sort of thing The Age is now serving up on Sundays in its smaller coloured mag. I no longer read it so haven’t even bothered remembering the name. The Age has made “women’s” a synonym for lightweight, frothy, self-indulgent, navel-gazing, simplistic and shallow. If I want to know how other women are coping with a) childbirth b) child-rearing c) relationships d) work-life balance etc etc, I talk to friends, read the “women’s magazines” or go to other sources. I don’t want to read about it in Crikey – that’s not why I subscribe (see above).

    If Crikey is going to put together a women’s blog, may I suggest it also puts together a men’s blog. Which begs the question what’s going to be different. If nothing, why bother?

    Oh, and I’m not intimidated about commenting. The only reason I don’t comment more often is a) I’m too busy at work; b) I don’t have anything to contribute on a particular issue; or c) my computer is blocking the comment function. I’m surprised some women feel they can’t comment, and apparently are asking for a safe harbour in which to do so. At first glance, I’m unlikely to visit, but never say never, eh?

  5. Nadia David

    Screw a chick’s blog, I want more articles by chicks! I know it might sound completely contradictory, but I’m not the slightest bit interested in reading what a bunch of women have to say about a topic (I get quite enough of that at work!). I want professional female journos writing actual articles.

    Seems to me a blog is a bit of a piss-take and a cop out, Crikey. Sorry, but if you’re serious about wanting more women involved then include women in the main game, not just the side show.

    And Jenny Morris, I completely echo your thoughts about commenting. I can’t imagine why women would feel too intimidated to comment other than being flamed, which is all part of the fun really. 🙂

  6. Mary Kozlovski

    The idea of there being a ‘woman blog’ makes me cringe. It just reeks of tokenism.

    This debate seems to have moved from ‘why doesn’t Crikey have as many female subscribers’ into ‘Crikey doesn’t publish enough female writers’. Whether the two are correlated I can’t say, but if you’re concerned that you aren’t publishing enough material written by women on parliamentary politics or business or whatever, then commission more female writers and journalists to write for you. Although, I’m a subscriber and I personally never noticed until you brought it up.

    I think your time would be better spent making the quality in Crikey the best it can be, rather than wasting time creating a ‘woman’ blog and a ‘man’ blog. If I stop subscribing to Crikey, it’ll be because the quality of the writing drops.

  7. Jenny McFarland

    I am a woman and a Crikey subscriber – and occasional writer. I also comment on Crikey articles when I know I have something pertinent to say. Nadia, being “flamed” may be OK for women who are sure of themselves and their ideas, but many women put up with entrenched disrespect for their ideas and opinions in their home and work lives, and may not have the ego resilience to want to contribute to a “robust” debate. Some things are more enjoyable to watch than join in. That said, the last robust exchange of comments I participated in on Crikey afforded me great amusement – proably for all the wrong reasons.

  8. Sophie Black

    Just need to clear on a few things: launching a blog written by women would not mean we wouldn’t be endeavouring to publish more stuff by women in the email and across the website.

    And to reiterate Mary Kozlovski’s point, the consideration first and foremost is the quality and relevance of the writing, not the sex of the author. Same goes for the readers — the blog wouldn’t be written exclusively for women, it would be written in such a way that it could (and should) interest everyone.

    This blog would be launched in the name of adding yet another layer to our coverage, one that doesn’t already exist. And it’s not to say that female bloggers would all be herded into one play pen, either. Women who write about climate change for example, stay on our environment blog Rooted, etc… We’re not rounding up all the contributors who happen to have ovaries into one space to talk about… the fact that they have ovaries.

    This blog would be about covering the stuff that currently falls through the cracks here, for various reasons… We couldn’t say for sure what that is yet, it all depends on who jumps on board.

    Personally, I’ve always cringed at the idea of a ‘women’s blog.’ But the more I’ve read the feedback from our innocent little tweeted question last week, the more I’m convinced that Crikey could do with a space for this stuff. I also know that running the initial question has prompted some of the most engaging correspondence we’ve read in ages.

    And there are blogs that do this kind of thing well — The XX Factor on Slate,, The Dawn Chorus,, Jezebel,, Wonkette (which is just great writing on politics with an ette on the end)….just for starters.

    What the blog won’t be is a token nod to stereotypical light, lady fluff.

    OK enough accidental euphemisms. As you were.

  9. Linda Manning

    Linda Manning
    I don’t think the majority of readers are seriously interested in what women think, feel or do. It is still a man’s world. Women, if they are visible and their voices are being heard, are still only on the periphery.

    I read Crikey and love it. I seriously miss Stephen Mayne’s comments on business and economics.

    The reason why there are fewer female subscribers could be that women rarely spend money on themselves. A man, or a husband, would think nothing of spending hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on subscriptions and hobbies, but a woman and especially a wife would think twice.

    Look at the difference in size and expense of their cameras, their TV’s, cars, hobbies etc..
    A women has to spend on decorating the house, clothing the kids and giving them a holiday, and on herself and probably in that order.

    The actual subscribers may be skewed in favour of men, but a lot of those subscriptions would be read by the women in the household. In my case, I am the subscriber and my husband does not read Crikey, however I cut and paste interesting articles for him to read.

  10. Elisabeth Kinnear

    Yes, more social comment please. I would like articles such as those found in the ‘Big Issue”

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