Thursday, October 05, 2006

freeSpeech: A Feminist Comment

This post refers to the section on CBS news where people are given some time to state their opinions on various matters. I wrote earlier that the political opinions have been heavily tilted towards conservatives. But what I didn't really analyze was the feminist stuff in itself, and it turns out to be a useful exercize.

First, the last four opinion-utterers are all men: Mitch Albom, Bob Schieffer,
Richie Frohlichstein and Brian Rohrbough. So is the majority of the earlier ones:

freeSpeech: Lori Leibovich Video Watch
Mother Speaks About Pressures To Breastfeed

freeSpeech: Lee Hamilton Video Watch
9/11 Commission Vice-Chair Warns About Political Posturing On National Security

freeSpeech: Bob Schieffer Video Watch
CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Speaks Out About Enlistment And Broken Promises

freeSpeech: Natan Sharansky Video Watch
Former Soviet Dissident Speaks About American Freedom

freeSpeech: Douglas Brinkley Video Watch
New Orleans Historian Reflects On the Opening Of The Superdome

freeSpeech: Nancy Donley Video Watch
Mother Of E. Coli Victim Speaks About Government's Role In Food Safety

freeSpeech: 'Carlos'
Undocumented Young Man Describes Difficulties In Obtaining

freeSpeech: Bob Schieffer Video Watch
CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Compares The War In Iraq And Vietnam War

freeSpeech: Eugene Robinson Video Watch
Washington Post Columnist Speaks About Condoleezza Rice

freeSpeech: Irshad Manji Video Watch
Best-Selling Muslim Author Says Pope Was Calling For A Dialogue With The Muslim World

freeSpeech: Joanne Lessner Video Watch
Mom Proposes Alternative Cell Phone Bans In Schools

freeSpeech: Michael Gerson Video Watch
Former Bush Speechwriter Speaks About Genocide In Darfur

freeSpeech: Bob Schieffer Video Watch
CBS News' Chief Washington Correspondent Speaks Out About National Security

freeSpeech: Ahmed Younis Video Watch
Muslim Public Affairs Council Directors Speaks About Being Muslim In America

freeSpeech: Rudolph Giuliani Video Watch
Former NYC Mayor Reflects On The Sept. 11 Attacks

freeSpeech: Jim Twohie Video Watch
Comedy Writer Asks If We're Becoming A Society Afraid To Relax

freeSpeech: Rush Limbaugh Video Watch
Radio Host On Patriotism And The War On Terror

freeSpeech: Sonia Nazario Video Watch
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter On Immigration & Family Values

freeSpeech: Morgan Spurlock Video Watch
Producer of "Super Size Me" Speaks Out About Freedom Of Speech

Bolds are mine. I count a total of five women in this list, and three of them are included as mothers. Of the fifteen men only one (Brian Rohrbough) was introduced as a father (of one of the victims in the Columbine massacre). So we have a three-to-one ratio of male opinions* to female opinions and the majority of women speak as mothers.

What does this mean, if anything? Assuming that I got all the people who have appeared in the freeSpeech segment it would look like men are more opinionated or are given more access to the program or push harder to get there. But it also looks like women might be given more credence if they speak as mothers. Or perhaps women feel bolder when speaking on behalf of their children. Or perhaps fathers are not listened to? Nah.
*Not quite true, because Bob Schieffer has opined several times. I counted him only once in this post. If each of his opinions are counted separately then the ratio of male to female opinions would be eighteen to five.