The New York Times has created a new position called Gender Editor, a person responsible for driving “coverage of how gender shapes the lives of people across the globe,” according to a press release. The position was announced more than a year ago, and today the Times has officially revealed who they’ve hired for the role: Jessica Bennett.
Bennett’s journalistic background makes her extremely qualified for the position: she wrote a 2012 Times profile of Monica Lewinsky, an op-ed on Wonder Woman, and a column on Resting Bitch Face, among other pieces. Bennett is the author of the illustrated guide to fighting sexism at work, Feminist Fight Club, and also wrote a piece for Newsweek about women who’d sued the publication based on discrimination. She also served as Executive Editor at Tumblr.
“To me, what gender issues means is not simply coverage of feminism or issues related to women’s rights. Though of course that is important, and we’re committed to approaching those issues from an instersectional lens. But I think for a place like the Times, this type of content needs to exist throughout every section of the paper,” Bennett told Teen Vogue. “So whether that means stories about gender identity, or sexuality, or masculinity, or race and class and how that plays into gender identity, or simply the subjects that the Times already covers – politics, international affairs, science, health. But approaching these subjects through a lens of gender.”
Bennett won’t be heading up a new “Gender Section” of the Times – rather, she’ll be working at strengthening related content throughout the publication.
“We’re in a moment right now where women’s rights are a subject of intense discussion and scrutiny. To that extent it feels very of the moment and in your face,” she continued. “The reality is that institutions, and old-school media institutions, were primarily created by and for white men. But that has changed.”