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You Go Girls: “The View” as Distaff “Crossfire”

Feminists have long lamented the lack of women writers in newspaper opinion pages and on magazine staffs of influential magazines like The New Yorker and New Republic.

And women are certainly outnumbered as guests and panelists on the Sunday issue shows, where the likes of Robert Novak, Patrick Buchanan and other Lord Vader types duke it out.

But wait a minute: according to a recent L.A. Times article, the political discussions that now take place on “The View” – ever since Rosie O’Donnell came on board – have won the show some 500,000 new viewers, an incredible 17 percent spike.

And it’s not just Rosie who is throwing punches; fellow “View” hostesses are joining in the fray, including Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a conservative. Could it be possible that women enjoy watching political debate as much as men? Or that they prefer women’s voices in political discussions?

Whatever the case, if women are being shut out of high-profile political commentary in newspapers and “Crossfire”-type shows, perhaps “The View” is serving as an alternative showcase for female-led debate that would not have found an audience otherwise.

PopMatters