And women are accused of talking too much?
Last year at a University of Windsor conference marking the coming 20th anniversary of Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, social justice activist Judy Rebick and I got to talking about why so few women stand up and speak their minds publicly.
Maybe we just want to be liked? Maybe we just want to avoid conflict? Maybe we think we have nothing to say anybody wants to hear? Maybe we've been told to shut up and look pretty too often? Maybe we know ''our place?''
Now obviously, not all women are like this. Otherwise, we wouldn't have prominent opinionators such as The Star's Rosie DiManno, Chantal Hebert and Carol Goar and The Globe and Mail's Christie Blatchford and Margaret Wente, CBC's Heather Mallick and a gaggle of great broads in the U.S. including my heroine, the late Molly Ivins. Plus there are outspoken women politicians -- but percentage-wise, not as many as there are men -- and other activists, such as Maude Barlow. That's without going into so many of the bloggers I link to on the left.
But clearly these are the exceptions. Otherwise, the world would not be run by men.
Today I stumbled on this story, on Salon's Broadsheet.
Lindsay Campbell, the host of a daily Web show called Moblogic, makes her living by conducting man-on-the-street interviews, and she recently had something to get off her chest: Women just aren't talking to her. Her show, which bills itself as a "running conversation about the news," consists mostly of interviews about current events, and, according to her, female interviewees just aren't stepping up to the plate.
Campbell made a video about it, showing all the women who won't speak, or let their men speak for them. Check it out -- and no, sorry, I can't do anything about the very brief car ad.
So, I wonder. Did all those women say no because they were having bad hair days? Did they have no thoughts? Were they just too busy? Were they afraid of being punked? Or as Salon asks, were they just too smart, knowing how video can be used and abused?
Maybe some of everything.
But I know one thing. If we don't speak up, nobody will ever hear us scream.