Wednesday, February 25, 2009


From left, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Mary Wells and Joni Evans, four founders of (Photo by Joe Fornabaio)

Anybody who has known me for more than 10 minutes probably knows I am always impressed by people who do what they do better than anybody else. Since I came of age in the 1970s, many of the humans who have most impressed me are women. Those were the years when the culture was struggling to adapt to a new balance between the sexes. Author Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique dared to suggest women could find fulfillment in ways other than cooking, cleaning and child bearing. The umbrella term “Women’s Liberation” caught on. There were awkward behavioral moments, like mass bra burnings among newly minted feminists. It was quite a moment.

It had to happen so that the best and the brightest among American women could truly stand up. In my lifetime, the parade of fascinating women has been colorful and intriguing. Check out this list: Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Barbara Walters, Lily Tomlin, Toni Morrison, Gloria Steinem, Meryl Streep, Mathilde Krim, Diane Sawyer, Maya Angelou, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jane Fonda, Betty Ford, Katherine Graham, Tina Brown --- and those are just some of the women you have heard of. There are countless others who have mightily influenced us 20th century kids.

But it was the moment that feminism met new technology that enabled to exist. This is a free web site for and about women, operated and written by the likes of Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan, Joni Evans, Mary Wells, Sheila Nevins, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg (left), Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Judith Martin, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, and Marlo Thomas. And get this: just this week the New York Post announced that it will not renew the contract of legendary gossip columnist Liz Smith. Talk about your dumb decisions, right? Guess where Liz is moving her chatty franchise? Whoa. Now that’s news. (I love Liz Smith….you know she’s the one who once said, “Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.")

What I like about is that it is not a place dedicated to convincing you or me how powerful or underrated or influential or trod upon or superior women are to men. That’s so 1975, right? Instead, is just a collection of smart, well-presented contemporary content. Candice Bergen (right) was dispatched to do live blogging from the Oscars. Lesley Stahl dishes on MSNBC commentator Mika Brzezinski’s controversial and “ugly” departure from the network. Brainy New Orleans wordsmith Julia Reed gives readers her take on New York’s fashion week. Wowowow is diverse, compelling and for my money, it seems to truly “get” how to use the web. Interestingly, from a journalistic standpoint, the growing list of web content entrepreneurs seems increasingly populated by women. As I have suggested to my readers before, check out Arianna Huffington’s Huffington Post, and Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast.

Hey, I like it. Go figure. I mean am I the only middle-aged white guy in America who even knows exists? Well, listen, I’m the guy who TIVOs Oprah and The View every single day. I’m some kind of mutant, huh? Just check out You can thank me later.

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