As mentioned in AlterNet, a new report shows that the overwhelming majority of film critics in US newspapers are men, and almost half of papers print absolutely nothing by women on the subject of film. Wait - you mean women are underrepresented in mainstream film? I haven't heard anything like that before.
I don't really argue with the linked article's argument - in fact, it's exactly right. But there's a missing piece to this discussion, and it's that taking stock of newspaper writing, especially newspaper cinema writing, is hardly taking an accurate picture of the present and and future of film criticism. The landscape isn't quite so bleak if you take into account the women writing about film on the web. Let's face it: for good or bad, newspapers are in a steady and probably irreversible decline. The web is where it's at. It's also where writers like Anne Thompson, Karina Longworth, Alison Willmore, and Dana Stevens are. It's also where I happen to be, a woman writing about film. For once, I'm going to put aside the righteous indignation and focus on optimism instead. It's not great that so few women critics are featured in today's newspapers. But it's not the end of the world, either.