What Passes for News These Days?


Her essay is worth reading in its entirety, but here's a peek:
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller announced last week at the National Press Club that news from Egypt was crowding from his paper's front page anything that didn't have an urgent claim on readers' attention. So what made the cut that day, in addition to the dispatches from Cairo and Jerusalem? An article on gender imbalance among Wikipedia contributors. Barely 13 percent of the anonymous, volunteer contributors to the free online encyclopedia are female, according to a study by the Wikimedia Foundation.
The gender imbalance among Wikipedia contributors is not even news. The Wikimedia study came out in August 2009 and was covered by the Wall Street Journal at that time. In the 17 months (which the Times rounds down to "about a year") that this report has been searing the Times' consciousness, the paper has come up with exactly zero new facts to explain the contributor imbalance. Instead, the paper recycles Women's Studies bromides about a female-hostile society, providing a striking display of contemporary feminism's intellectual decadence.
I find both the original story and Heather's observations fascinating.  Her logic and insight are keen, and her reasoning is sound.  I do find fault in this observation, though: 
Furthermore, how would a Wikipedia misogynist even know that he was dealing with a female, since most contributors are anonymous? Or are misogynists so clever that they can spot female prose without identification? (The lurking-misogynists hypothesis might at least explain why Wikipedia's Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo entries are, as the Times notes, so skimpy: Misogynists must be homing in on likely female-generated text and swatting it down.)
It seems to me that the a misogynist need not know he (assuming it's a man...I've met a few female misogynists in my travels) is dealing with a woman in order to behave or speak misogynistically.  

One not need to know on gives offense in order to be deemed offensive.  One need only offend.  If a tree falls in a forest, etc.

As I said, though, her essay is excellent.