(One of the good droppings): Heidi Schlumpf, commenting at National Catholic Reporter on the lack of women's representation in the leadership structures of leading U.S. Catholic publications:
I do, however, strongly agree with the editors [of America] that it’s high time for Catholic publications to realize the importance of editorial representation that more closely matches women’s general representation in the church.
Schlumpf is responding to a recent America editorial in which the current editors of that Jesuit journal acknowledge women have been underrepresented--or even just not there at all--in the governing structures of the journal and as writers of its columns. As the editorial notes, this is a problem not merely for Catholic journals, but throughout the structures of the media in the U.S. in general--a recent Media Matters study shows that women comprise only 38 percent of newsroom staff in the United States, with no growth in that number in the past 14 years.
It’s high time for Catholic publications to realize the importance of editorial representation that more closely matches women’s general representation in the church. Heidi Schlumpf is right in spades. Maybe if more women had a larger role in setting the editorial policies of some of our leading Catholic journals, we'd find that the stultifying clericalism some of these journals exhibit would diminish, or the stultifying fixation on monitoring the boundaries of the conversation of the center so that no new, surprising, and unsettling voices from the margins find their way inside the circles of power . . . .
Though I also have to say that at some of the leading centrist Catholic journals in the U.S., women who exercise editorial leadership right now for those journals are very much a part of the problem and not a part of the solution . . . .