Sorry for a slightly navel gazing post.
Recently, a number of people I have spoken to have told me in no uncertain terms that while they enjoy The Third Estate, they find it somewhat problematic (or worse) that we have no female bloggers. The result, I am told, is an obvious lack of female perspectives. I should stress that the demographics of our blog do not reflect any deliberate decision, that the writers were brought together partly through social contact, and that we would certainly not be averse to broader representation. Yet my typical response to such criticisms has been:
1: The Third Estate is a blog, not a newspaper or public service. As such we do not aim or expect to cover the breadth of social experience.
2: Personal experience is by no means the only basis of knowledge and understanding. In this regard, I know many men who I feel have a better and more sophisticated understanding of what it means to be a woman in 21st century Britain than many women I know.
Yet many people whose opinions I respect respond by telling me that a greater gender balance would nonetheless add a great deal. So I thought I would open the discussion here. We look forward to your responses.