Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Didn't writers for the New York Times ever see "Diner"?

Didn't writers for the New York Times ever see "Diner"?

Shrevie: See? You don't ask me things like that, do you? No! You never ask me what's on the flip side.

Beth: No! Because I don't give a (bleep). Shrevie, who cares about what's on the flip side about the record?

Shrevie: I do! Every one of my records means something! The label, the producer, the year it was made. Who was copying whose style... who's expanding on that, don't you understand? When I listen to my records they take me back to certain points in my life, OK? Just don't touch my records, ever! You! The first time I met you? Modell's sister's high school graduation party, right? 1955. And Ain't That A Shame was playing when I walked into the door!

-- "Diner," 1982

The New York Times has a long and ultimately frustrating article that fails to give the obvious answer for why so few women post articles on Wikipedia, Here's a sample:

With so many subjects represented — most everything has an article on Wikipedia — the gender disparity often shows up in terms of emphasis. A topic generally restricted to teenage girls, like friendship bracelets, can seem short at four paragraphs when compared with lengthy articles on something boys might favor, like, toy soldiers or baseball cards, whose voluminous entry includes a detailed chronological history of the subject.

Even the most famous fashion designers — Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo — get but a handful of paragraphs. And consider the disparity between two popular series on HBO: The entry on “Sex and the City” includes only a brief summary of every episode, sometimes two or three sentences; the one on “The Sopranos” includes lengthy, detailed articles on each episode.

Is a category with five Mexican feminist writers impressive, or embarrassing when compared with the 45 articles on characters in “The Simpsons”?

Interesting -- but then the article prattles on without giving the obvious answer, which is women DON'T GIVE A (BLEEP) about voluminous histories of baseball cards...or flip sides. It is only men, myself included, who are obsessed with trivia, also known as useless information. It's the same reason that when contestants were selected through a gender-blind automated process, way too many of the players on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" were men. It's because we care so much about useless (bleep). Does that make men better? No -- arguably it makes us worse. It it supposed to be a big victory in the "gender wars" that man have authored 45 entries for "The Simpsons"? So maybe women should consider it a badge of honor that they only write 13 percent of the articles on Wikipedia. no?

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