op ed

Stephen Colbert writes an op ed for Glamour about gender equality.
Via Glamour
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Stephen Colbert took a break from making random cable access shows in Michigan with Eminem to write an opinion about gender equality in Glamour magazine.

Ever since he left The Colbert Report to take over for David Letterman's The Late Show, which begins September 9, Colbert has been staying in the headlines through both hilarious stunts like the one above and drawing attention to his personal causes.

His editorial in Glamour combines his irreverent, often silly, humor with real questions about the state of gender equality:

And mine is not the only field that lacks enough women. Where are all the lady blacksmiths? What about the bait-and-tackle shopkeepers, pool maintenance professionals, building superintendents, or CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? Why are all those minions shaped like tiny phalluses? Why did Mad Max get top billing in Fury Road when he was essentially just a grunting tripod for Charlize Theron's rifle? Of course, historically, our thriving U.S. president industry definitely skews male—but that could change in 2016. Carly Fiorina, all eyes are on you.

Even when women do succeed, their stories often aren't told. Did you know that the first computer, ENIAC, was programmed by six female mathematicians? If it weren't for those pioneering women, we might not have computers at all. And then how would people read empowering listicles like "20 Hot Actresses Without Makeup! (#5 Will Make You Question God!)"?



And through out it all, despite falling into some strange tangents, he presents a promise for how The Late Show will function under his hosting.



Point is, I'm here for you, and that means I'm going to do my best to create a Late Show that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices. These days TV would have you believe that being a woman means sensually eating yogurt, looking for ways to feel confident on heavy days, and hunting for houses. But I'm going to make a show that truly respects women, because I know that there's more than one way to be one. Maybe you're a woman who likes women. Maybe you like women and men. Maybe you're a woman who's recently transitioned. Maybe you're a guy who's reading this magazine because your girlfriend bought a copy and it looked interesting.



It's just another example of how proactive Colbert is about his influence and how he chooses to use his promotional time.

Ellen Pao writes an op ed for The Washington Post about how The Trolls are Winning.
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Six days after former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao stepped down from her position she took to the pages of The Washington Post to deliver a scathing op ed on the present state of the Internet.

In the long opinion, she openly states that the freedom espoused by the exchange of ideas inherent in the Internet has led to a takeover by those seeking to spread negativity and harassment.

The Internet started as a bastion for free expression. It encouraged broad engagement and a diversity of ideas. Over time, however, that openness has enabled the harassment of people for their views, experiences, appearances or demographic backgrounds. Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet. But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.

The foundations of the Internet were laid on free expression, but the founders just did not understand how effective their creation would be for the coordination and amplification of harassing behavior. Or that the users who were the biggest bullies would be rewarded with attention for their behavior. Or that young people would come to see this bullying as the norm — as something to emulate in an effort to one-up each other.



It's been a rough couple of weeks for the self-proclaimed 'Front Page of the Internet'. Reddit's grumbling began earlier in the year as some provocative subreddits were banned based off of newly established harassment policies.



Pao said the reaction to those decisions brought her face to face with the harassment the policy was meant to combat.

Reddit is the Internet, and it exhibits all the good, the bad and the ugly of the Internet. It has been fighting this harassment in the trenches. In February, we committed to removing revenge pr0n from our site, and others followed our lead. In May, the company banned harassment of individuals from the site. Last month, we took down sections of the site that drew repeat harassers. Then, after making these policy changes to prevent and ban harassment, I, along with several colleagues, was targeted with harassing messages, attempts to post my private information online and death threats. These were attempts to demean, shame and scare us into silence.



Perhaps disappointingly, she didn't go into the politics around her resignation and did not touch on the swirl of recent theories that Pao was merely something of a patsy in the slew of recent changes.

However, she did end on a positive note.

In the battle for the Internet, the power of humanity to overcome hate gives me hope. I'm rooting for the humans over the trolls. I know we can win.



What do you make of all this?