As a writer who prides herself on speaking truth to the powerful and uncovering inconvenient truths kicked to the curb by the patriarchal status quo, I wonder if other writers have also noticed the integrity lacking in the columns of so many colleagues? Is cowardly reporting a pet peeve of yours too? Do you share my disdain for shallow and unbalanced reporting? Like me, do you appreciate writers who really stick their neck out and get their hands dirty rather than playing it safe? Seriously, don’t we have enough sheeple?
For instance, when we have sports figures involved in domestic violence as they so often are or women being raped by their male counterparts in the military or we find out men who have killed women left behind writings showing their hatred of females, all too often writers will ask the question in their column, "What's wrong with our culture?" Interestingly, they don't ask the more obvious question - "What's wrong with some men in our culture?" Often it might even be the victim who is assaulted again in the media as writers avoid naming the real bully - so when did the press stop naming the real bully? Does the female writer not point to the obvious because she's afraid she'll be labeled an angry feminist in our patriarchal world and might get fewer jobs ? Is the male writer who ignores male domination and oppression in our society simply unaware of male privilege or is he being disingenuous? Is it okay to be a self-interested reporter or a columnist who skirts the actual underlying problems? Or should a writer's commitment be to delving deep and getting to the real issues, not just what's comfortable to speak out about? Should a writer challenge his audience and try to inspire her readers by sharing insights or facts, even if they might upset the proverbial apple cart?
Likewise in politics. I'm so tired of reading Democrats and Republicans are all alike. Surely that is a false equivalency. When it comes to social issues, it's not Demorats voting against the Consumer Protection Bureau, equal pay for women, extending unemployment insurance benefits, fixing broken bridges, or spending tax dollars to create jobs. It's not Democrats who are forcing women to be subjected to vaginal probes if they want an abortion or closing abortion clinics across Red States. It's not Democrats engaging in voter suppression or not signing legislation to help prevent domestic violence. It's not the liberals on the Supreme Court voting that corporations are people to allow rich Americans and corporations unlimited campaign contributions, effectively buying our country, or as recently as last week, giving corporations religious rights over employees. It's not at the Democratic National Convention where one sees only see white Christian faces peering back. It's not Democrats trying their best to do away with Unions that helped build the Middle Class, nor is it Democrats who are against raising the minimum wage. It's not Democrats who deny science, practice homophobia and always put corporations before people. I could go on and on but maybe you get the point. It's pretty obvious Democrats and Republicans are NOT the same, so why continue to perpetuate that false idea? We read this "false equivalency" description all the time. Are columnists not doing their homework to know better? Are they trying to be politically correct? Have they gotten lazy? Are they really partisan and pushing the propaganda of one party over another under the guise of being fair and unbiased? Even my beloved Jon Stewart played this game once, presumably in an attempt to help dispel polarization among people, but isn’t it a disservice to low information voters who might not know all the aforementioned points and turn to him for their news?
Authors are sometimes guilty of this kind of writing too. I can think of one in particular who writes about a particular woman of the Bible. She elevates the biblical woman and gives us new insight as she uncovers this biblical woman's story but she never has the courage to tell us who's responsible for disappearing this woman's story from history. Of course it might mean getting some Christians angry to learn the truth. So is this error of omission about self-interest? Does she want it both ways? She wants to tell about this biblical woman, but stops short of telling the whole story lest she ruffle some feathers and sell fewer books for speaking truth to power.
Unless we are writing fiction, what's the point of writing about important issues of the day or claiming to uncover secrets of the past unless you're going to tell the whole truth? What kind of writer do you want to be? One who makes a difference or one who plays it safe. If you're the latter, maybe you should stick to writing about celebrities, cooking and fashion. If you can’t name the real bullies on the playground, then go write children’s books. And if you’re being paid to promote a certain agenda, whether it be political, patriarchal, etc., then full disclosure should be shared or your omission compromises your integrity. At least that way you inform your readers you’re coming from a biased viewpoint. At least that way you won't perpetuate misinformation or waste valuable column space that might have been used by someone who could use their bully pulpit to educate, raise awareness and inspire some worthwhile conversation.
Know thyself and if you're a Goddess Advocate, find your sacred roar!