Where are the Women?

"Here's one sure thing you can learn from watching TV: Almost all of the people who seem to know anything are men," comments Washington Post writer Paul Farhi. "Men know about Afghanistan. They know about anthrax. They know foreign policy and military strategy. They know about terrorism and counter-terrorism. Judging by what's on TV, men have something wise to say -- or just something to say -- on most of the subjects of concern to Americans these days." Farhi examined the 98 weekend "public affairs" programs whose guest lists were published in his own newspaper in the past month and found that only 12 included a female expert. The Feminist Majority Foundation points out that this pattern ignores the expertise that women's groups have developed as long-time critics of the Taliban's horrific policy of gender apartheid. In a separate column in the Los Angeles Times, writer Barbara Ehrenreich raises another pertinent point: "Liberal and left-wing commentators have done a thorough job of explaining why the fundamentalists hate America," she observes, "but no one has bothered to figure out why they hate women."