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The New York Times Apologizes for Stupidly Asking ‘How Vital Are Women?’

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Asking how vital women are is like asking how vital oxygen is. It’s not only a redundant question, but it’s really offensive. If you don’t think it’s offensive, well, then, you probably want to stop reading this–and maybe start rethinking how women have shaped the world (and you know, gave birth to you).

The Women’s Marches that took place this past Saturday were, and still are, an obvious indicator that women, like any human breathing air on this planet, are vital to life in general. In Washington D.C. alone, about 485,000 people protested, while another 400,000 in New York City did as well. Women did this to fight for–and defend–their rights. And this left many men at home to fend for themselves and take care of their children. Gasp!

The New York Times sent a reporter (who happens to be a dude) to Montclair, New Jersey to investigate the absolute atrocity and horror that resulted from women leaving their homes for an entire day. To truly show how literally all of the women fled in a mad rush, the magazine mentioned that there weren’t many women in the local Starbucks coffee shop or the yoga studio. In the first few sentences the article set the tone:

“The Starbucks coffee shop on South Park Street was populated in the first hours of daylight on Saturday, but almost exclusively by men. The owner of the JaiPure Yoga Studio on Bloomfield Avenue reported a drop-off in participation of about 25 percent.”

It’s like right out of a zombie apocalypse film, right?

How are the women not drinking their mocha lattes made with soy milk?! Why are no downward dog poses being done?! What has the world come to? As if it’s not bad enough to paint a crazy stereotypical picture illustrating that women are supposed to be the primary caretakers who can’t get enough Starbucks in their veins (and implying that men are virtually useless parents), the article continued in this tortured spirit:

“If this had been a weekday, the absence of women would most visibly have affected the commuter trains, workplaces and schools. On a Saturday, however, there were other matters to navigate: children’s birthday parties, dance performances, swimming lessons, and lacrosse and indoor soccer practices. Growling stomachs required filling on a regular basis.

Usually, these chores and deliveries were shared by both parents, in a thoroughly modern way. On this day, many dads were left to juggle schedules on their own.”

Oh, but it gets worse. What about the poor freaking dad who only wanted to watch his sports game in peace? What about him? Well, the Times reported:

“So even though Rutgers earned its first victory in Big Ten Conference play this season, Mr. Politi, a prolific writer, was not there to describe the win.

“I did have to laugh at the irony of my wife marching for equality in New York while I was missing the game and cleaning out the refrigerator.”

I mean, how is a Women’s March more important than a sports game? Is that really a question here? By the tone of this article, I’m surprised Montclair didn’t burn up in flames “The Burbs” style with a Tom Hanks lookalike. But don’t worry, peace and harmony soon were restored by Sunday, the day after the march:

“By Sunday morning, most of the women were back to their routines in Montclair. The JaiPure Yoga Studio reported full attendance, and many fathers exhaled in relief.”

Phew, the yoga studio is back in business! Nothing to worry about here.

Women reacted so negatively to this piece that the reporter and editor responsible for the story apologized for the story, according to the Huffington Post. The editor, Wendell Jamieson, stated:

“It was a bad idea from the get-go. It was conceived with the best intentions, but it fell flat. And I regret it.”

Best of intentions? What intentions? To prove that women are taking up too much oxygen in the world and show that men are the ones that really have a hard time? Filip Bondy, the freelance reporter who wrote the story, eloquently added, “Sorry, sorry, sorry.”

If only women were actually apologized to on a daily basis for all of the actual injustices going on (like the pay gap, lack of affordable childcare, and access to parental leave, etc), the world would be a much better place.


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