As I mentioned at the end of last week, there weren’t that many women on the op-ed pages last week. But I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what the few women who were published chose to write about.
First up, we had Rivka Carmi, President of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University, published in The LA Times. Carmi was writing in response to an op-ed, published last week, by a BGU professor by the name of Neve Gordon, in which Gordon advocated a global boycott of Israel.
Carmi, in a bold move, described Gordon as having “used his pulpit as a university faculty member to advocate a personal opinion, which is really demagoguery cloaked in academic theory.” It was an impressive and unequivocal stance to take, though of course, she was also trying to explain why she has chosen not to boycot Gordon by firing him (it’s illegal, that’s why).
Next, also in the LAT, there was a column by Korean-American Laura Ling and Euna Lee, in which they expressed regret at their entrance into North Korea and gratitude for their rescues. More important than both of those, they insist, is the story they went to the border to cover: human trafficking of North Korean migrants who work, in secret, in China. It’s gripping stuff.
Finally, Jean Edward Smith, writing in The New York Times, discussed FDR’s leadership and economic policy, and what we (and our current President) can learn from them.
So, we have a woman writing about Middle East policy, two more writing on human rights and another writing about fiscal policy and economic leadership. Those are hardly traditionally “feminine” issues, are they? This week, again, we’ll be watching closely to see not just how many women are writing, but what they’re writing about. While the number of women on the op-ed pages is important, it’s also crucial that women don’t get marginalized by topic, so that they’re only acknowledged as experts on certain issues – women’s issues. Carmi, Ling, Lee and Smith have demonstrated that women can be credible experts on a range of issues. Here’s hoping that this week gives us more proof of that.