I kid, I kid. Kristof’s idea of a compelling argument is displaying the ravaged body of a women of color from the Global South for the edification of white liberals. He wouldn’t know a compelling argument if she stood up and slapped him in the face.
However Kristof may want to apply his own annoying “It just makes business sense" arguments about Twitter’s all-male board of directors to himself:
Twitter is on schedule to go public as a company next month, a sparkling symbol of innovation, technology — and stale, old thinking reflected in a board of seven white men.
Twitter users are reportedly more likely to be female, so it’s bizarre to have no women on the board. But the main reason to add women — not just on Twitter’s board, but in politics, business and the news media — isn’t just equity. This shouldn’t be seen as a favor to women but as a step that would be good for all of us.
You know another influential body that reflects a lot of “stale, old thinking?”
That would be the current slate of the Grey Lady’s opinion makers, that dull dozen who have regular columns and tell all the rest of us what to think. It’s a collection of voices that is far from representing New York City or the United States, or the Times’ readership. 50% of the Times’ 29 million unique monthly visitors and 48% of its 4.8 million paper subscribers are women. So what gives, O Paper of Record?
Seriously, this group could use some shaking up. Thomas Friedman basically exists to be the punchline of taxi driver jokes. David Brooks is a racist who’s losing his touch when it comes to hiding that sorry fact. Joe Nocera spends half his time defending BP from the people whose lives it ruined. Maureen Dowd has been phoning it in for a decade (I mean do we really need more Washington DC fanfic, MoDo?) And Ross Douthat, the only one of the bunch under the age of 40, espouses opinions about women that might as well belong to an 80 year-old.
Of course, as with corporate boards, there is only so much space at the top of the Op-Ed pages. And one of the hardest things for the white men who love to talk self-effacingly about the value of diversity is realizing that talking ain’t doing and talking while white and male is drowning out women and people of color who might be talking too. (Indeed, a woman reporter at the Times wrote a better, more interesting post on the subject weeks before Kristof got to it.)
Therefore, I announce the First Annual Fuck You, Grey Lady Challenge: I challenge you, Nick Kristof to put forward one subject that you write about in your column that couldn’t be better addressed by a woman of color. When you come up empty (and you will) I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and resign. Pass that giant megaphone to a young woman of color. We can take care of saving ourselves.