Abuse of women op-ed writers

This is a piece I found linked on Comment is Free’s “Best of the Web” section: all about the hate mail directed at women who write op-ed columns, particularly those of a liberal tendency; most of it seems to come from men, and takes the misogynistic line you’d expect:

Maureen Dowd of The New York Times discussed reactions to female opinion in her column last year. “While a man writing a column taking on the powerful may be seen as authoritative, a woman doing the same thing may be seen as castrating.” She went on to say she called Alan Dundes, a renowned folklorist, to ask about it. “Women are supposed to take it, not dish it out,” Dundes told her.

Rekha Basu is the civil liberties voice at the Des Moines Register in Iowa, and she is a woman, liberal and Indian. She’s been called a Hindu-worshipping slut, an Arab terrorist, a whore, a lesbian, a c%%t, a skanky Muslim. Most insults are via e-mail and on Web sites, where attackers can remain relatively anonymous.

She’s been stalked and followed on the highway and told readers can’t wait to read her obituary in the newspaper. But nothing hurt like the time a reader said they hoped her husband, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, would hurry up and die so she would leave the country.

Female Pundits Could Use Help With Hate Mail (more here)

Also, anyone who saw United 93 and bought the line about how a German tried to stop the heroic Americans from storming the cockpit … read this. Or read this digested version:

That bit of the story didn’t happen.

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