A Broadsheet reader sent us a link to Alessandra Stanley's piece in the New York Times today, about the boys club of election coverage. The article explains away the "necktie and cuff links" monopoly like so: "It could be that men still dominate on election night because politics is like the N.F.L.: it's always two guys in the booth doing the play by play, while women cover the sidelines." Indeed, we actually noticed some play-by-play action last night, when -- sportscaster style -- incomprehensible circles, lines and arrows were hastily drawn on the screen in an attempt to signal... something significant, we're sure. But then Stanley's amusing hypothesis goes awry: "Maybe it's the women who avoid signing on to a lifetime of covering politics: the campaign trail is fattening, and requires far too much math."
Sure, this was likely meant derisively. But it still leaves us with a nasty aftertaste: It seems more an attempt at making nice with the boys club than critiquing it. Humor? Sarcasm? Cynicism? All great stuff. But why do reasonable and smart arguments about gender disparity have to be undercut by self-parody?