Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell and the Arms Control Association’s Kelsey Davenport wrote an op-ed in Poynter explaining why it matters that men are quoted more than women in nuclear policy and national security news articles — and why it needs to stop.
The marticle is cousin to the manel, or the all-male panel. Manels are a regular feature of the nuclear policy world, but are subject to more focus and criticism. Many men in the non-governmental nuclear policy community (we’ll just call them male NGO experts from now on) say that they will not join panels without women or ones where the only woman is the moderator.
Still, two recent nuclear policy-focused conferences in D.C., the National Defense University’s conference on the Nuclear Posture Review and the Exchange Monitor’s Nuclear Deterrence Summit, had about 15 percent female participation, so much work remains.
Of course, the broader American public is not likely to show up at nuclear policy conferences in D.C., but they do read major news outlets. Additionally, while a panel composed of four (almost inevitably white) men is visually obvious, the lack of women experts in a 900-word article is less so. That is why the marticle is far more pernicious than the manel: It has a much larger reach and gender bias is less visible. Read more