Write Those Op-Eds!

Catherine Orenstein, an author, activist and occasional op-ed page contributor herself, has been training women at universities, foundations and corporations to write essays and get them published…

“Women tend to back away from ‘what we know and why we know it,’ she said. Next she asked the participants why they thought it important to write op-ed articles. Women shouted: ‘Change the world,’ ‘shape public debate,’ ‘offer a new perspective,’ ‘influence public policy.’

“‘You are all such do-gooders,’ Ms. Orenstein said laughing, ‘I love this.’ She then proceeded to create another kind of list that included fame, money, offers of books, television series and jobs….

‘What I want to suggest to you,’ she continued, is that the personal and the public interests are not at odds, and ‘the belief that they are mutually exclusive has kept women out of power.’ Don’t you want money, credibility, access to aid in your cause? she asked… .”

From “Stop the Presses, Boys! Women Claim Space On Op-Ed Pages” by Patricia Cohen, NY Times, March 15, 2007