Leslie Bennetts: 'Times' Lady Coverage Is 'Wretched'

What do Motoko Rich, Janet Maslin and Michiko Kakutani have in common? They're all part of a sinister conspiracy against women in general and woman author Leslie Bennetts in particular. In a letter on the HuffPo, the ten-year vet of the Times takes issue with yesterday's Times article suggesting that maybe women don't want to read books about the whole working mother dilemma. She notes that her own book, The Feminine Mistake, has already moved more copies than several other titles to which it is compared and then likens herself to critically-injured New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. But wait, there's more!

All of this might not be so offensive if The Times had already given THE FEMININE MISTAKE a substantive assessment. But somehow The Times — unlike most other major publications — hasn't yet managed to review this much-debated book in either the daily paper or the Sunday Book Review.

Meanwhile THE FEMININE MISTAKE has earned stellar reviews from The Washington Post (which gave it the front cover of the book section, calling it an "important" book that offered "a ferocious analysis of the economic realities that mothers face"); The Philadelphia Inquirer ("an important new book...as wise an argument as has been proffered in some time"); The Miami Herald ("fresh and smart,"); and USA Today ("a well-crafted cautionary tale for women of all ages...passionate and unflagging...packed with pragmatic, well-researched advice"), among many other newspapers. Then there was the four-star critic's choice rave review in People and high praise from numerous other magazines, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly that lauded its "impressive research."

If the newspaper of record is lagging behind all these monthly and weekly publications as well as its fellow daily newspapers, what's wrong with this picture?

Oh My God. We were skeptical before, but it's all clear to us now: The Times is not reviewing Leslie Bennetts' book because Leslie Bennetts speaks for all women, and if they can drown out her voice the powerful men's club that runs the paper can continue its reign of chauvinism and ass-grabbing. Not convinced?
The marginalization of women and women's issues in the pages of the newspaper of record has become so egregious that it doesn't take a paranoid conspiracy theorist to wonder what its editors are thinking.

Mere incompetence can't begin to explain the extent of this bias.

It's true! Listen up, sisters of America: Unless the Times reviews Leslie Bennetts' book, you are being discriminated against. Not just Leslie Bennetts, you. That means you, Jill Abramson! I'm talking to you, Trish Hall! Janet Robinson, can you hear me? Leslie Bennetts speaks for you. Her voice must be heard. —balk

Demeaning Women in the Newspaper of Record: A Letter to Bill Keller [ETP]