The New York Times has an article series called Table for Three, in which a reporter and two people sit down for a meal and a conversation, and the transcript of the discussion that unfolds is typed up for all to read and enjoy.
I just discovered this section less than an hour ago, and was amazed by how introspective and knowledgable and interesting these conversations were. Then, I realized how disappointing it was that I was impressed, because the women involved in these articles are incredible and I really shouldn’t be surprised when their conversations are profound. I expected the conversations to be about their clothes or their daily routines or what’s in their handbags – something mundane and irrelevant – like the usual articles that Viola Davis and Christy Turlington-Burns, among others, are regularly featured in. I shouldn’t be shocked that they’re being featured for their genuinely important thoughts and actions and activism, yet I am because that is the culture in which the media promotes women.
These profound conversations – including one between Justice Ginsberg and Gloria Steinem on gender relations, one between Karlie Kloss and Christy Turlington on activism and education versus careers, and one between Viola Davis and Edie Falco on their careers and lives previously – are stuffed into a hidden area of the Style section. These are not style pieces, not should they be hidden in the background of the New York Times’ wide spread of pieces that come out every day. While they aren’t groundbreaking, they also aren’t fluff pieces to be pushed aside with that fluff stereotype so commonly associated with the Style section.
These women deserve more. They deserve more intellectual attention rather than stereotypical media attention, and some already receive that more than others. [See: Steinem and RBG versus Kloss and Turlington-Burns.] Their conversations made me think more about myself and my actions and choices, in an introspective way that the pieces in the “Styles” section rarely invoke. These articles deserve to be categorized with the thoughtful, interesting writing of the “Opinions” and “Editorials” sections.