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Don't do that to women! 

Maureen Dowd calls for more women on the Op-Ed pages, and argues that when people criticize her for being mean, it has more to do with perceived gender roles than what she's actually said. Interesting point, but I'm baffled that she left it there.

Newspaper op-ed pages have become nearly as dull as the political coverage they are supposed to enliven. Some columnists shriek predictably, while others equivocate numbingly. Nearly all seem to be in constant communication with their favorite political flacks, such that you read them not for insight but the spin-on-the-spin.

Maybe it's time not to reinvent women as tiresome op-ed columnists, but to reinvent op-ed columnists. Let's get some storytelling on the op-ed page, some essays from the less politically connected, some perspective from journalists who have actually reported from somewhere other than a D.C. cocktail party.

Granted, I'm a bit biased here. I publish such essays with Writers on the Range (where my editor is a woman). But as newspapers continually lose readership to alternative outlets, you'd think that rather than hiring Bill O'Reilly to do a lame impersonation of himself in print, they could seek to maximize their own strengths by hiring writers to write.

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