Sisterhood Blog

On Broadsheet's Demise

By Elissa Strauss

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Last week Salon announced that Broadsheet, a trailblazer for feminist blogs like this one, and breeding ground for great feminist writers like Rebecca Traister, and Tracy Clark-Flory, was being shut down.

Salon’s executive editor Kerry Lauerman explained:

No feature in Salon’s history kicked up the amount of righteous dust and ad hominem rage as Broadsheet, which debuted in 2005 and filed its last regular post on Dec. 21. We’re immensely proud of the role it’s played raising intensely important questions about women’s issues in politics, pop culture and way beyond. For much of the last year, Broadsheet has been a one-woman show performed by Tracy Clark-Flory. She’s done a terrific job, but it’s time for her to move on to focus her attention on stories that she’s most interested in — analyses and reporting on sex, love and relationships — and stop running Broadsheet.

We fully intend to integrate Broadsheet’s best, shrewdest writers and commentary in the other sections in Salon, and to a large extent have already started to do that. We’ve featured pop culture coverage from Broadsheet stars Lynn Harris and Amy Benfer in our arts section; Kate Harding appeared in the War Room blog. You can continue to follow Tracy’s great work (Twitter.) And we expect to aggressively follow many of the issues Broadsheet championed — and urge those interested to follow their topic pages. Feminism, sure, but also Sex, Gender, and the ever-raging Body Wars. If you feel we’re not covering an issue you feel passionate about, let us know. We’re bidding adieu to Broadsheet, but we’re determined to keep its legacy alive in all of our coverage moving forward.

You can read the rest here.

Feminist bloggers around the web mourned the end of what was, without a doubt, a superb site. While I fully sympathize with their sadness — I will miss it too, and not only because I have written for it — I also wonder if this isn’t something to celebrate. Isn’t the reason we need these feminist sites because women’s issues and news are still marginalized, while things pertaining to men are still classified as general interest? (Sometimes it seems like the Forward is one of the only places that puts women’s issues front-and-center of its news section, while also maintaining this vibrant women’s issues blog.) Because big, important things like, say, making and raising human beings, are still considered something only ladies read about? Along with not insignificant matters like gender equity, body image and, often, sex? We don’t get the space to report on and discuss these things in traditional, mainstream sections so we rely on women-only sections to get the job done.

Well it seems like that after six years of running Broadsheet, the editors are ready to take these issues out of a feminist context and present them as, gasp, news. If the editors stick by their word, Salon’s great arsenal of writers will bring their feminist point-of-view to the publication’s arts, culture and news coverage; at Salon, feminism won’t be a niche perspective or a specialization, it will be the ubiquitous standard. While it is to soon to know if that will be the case, it is ultimately what I think we should all be shooting for.


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