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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WSJ Journo Remembers Sexism in 70s SF Newsrooms, Blames Women for Today's Problems

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Joann S. Lublin has an interesting piece up at the Wall Street Journal about being a female reporter at the SF bureau of the Journal in the 70s and the misogyny she suffered at the hands of co-workers and even our own Press Club:

Like the National Press Club, many private business clubs still refused to accept female members. But some now let women journalists sit beside men during news events as long as we entered the club through a specially marked "women's entrance." The door usually was near the kitchen.

The San Francisco Press Club was no different. That created a sticky professional dilemma. The club invited me to a dinner after one of my Journal front-page features won honorable mention in its annual contest.

Colleagues suggested I protest the club's exclusion of women by boycotting the awards ceremony. I disagreed. I believed my presence might help male members see the error of their ways.

Unfortunately, you have to wade through some bullshit to get to the good stuff.

Writes Lublin:

Women earned median weekly wages of 80.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2007, down from 81 cents in 2005, government figures show. Women's share of senior executive jobs is dropping, according to Catalyst, a New York research firm.

I don't blame such setbacks on misogynist men. I blame complacent women. Too many women take for granted that they will enjoy equal status and opportunity on the job. They are too young to remember the barriers that their mothers and other older women battled years ago.

You hear that young ladies? You are to blame for all your workplace woes. You’re just so complacent! Misogynistic dudes are not to blame. Nope, we cured sexism about five episodes into the Murphy Brown show or whatever.

Or maybe we all have college loans and rent to pay and just like Lublin we make hard choices and compromises. Some people might say she’s a sellout for smiling and taking her award from the Press Club instead of staying home in protest. But I wouldn’t, because that’s just one example of the difficult decisions women have to make every day that directly conflict with their ambitions and their beliefs.

Maybe you could cut us some slack, Lublin?

-Andy Wright

Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal

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Andy Wright


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