Meet the Editors of Double X
What's up with the funny name? Why another women's magazine? Is it like Cosmo? And your other questions answered.
New York, N.Y.: What do you read besides Slate? Also, do you accept submissions by outside contributors?
Emily Bazelon: Yes, we except submissions--send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I read magazines like the New Yorker and the Atlantic. On the web I go to legal blogs a lot, like scotusblog, volokh's conspiracy, ann althouse's blog, balkinization, and glenn greenwald on Salon. I also like talkingpointsmemo and some of the Atlantic blogs—the Daily Dish in particular.
Bowie: Sounds like you're planning to write news that women want to read, in the sense that it will help confirm their own opinions of themselves.
Hanna Rosin: I'm not sure what you mean by "confirm their own opinions of themselves." But my instinct tells me I don't agree. This will not be a place where women come to learn that women are the most empathetic intelligent half of the species and there should be nine of them on the Supreme Court. There is no single "woman" as you know. What we encourage is debates between women. On the site today we have a symposium of writers talking about what the problems for women are today. The answers are completely varied, and contradictory, and ornery. We've already gotten strong objections by outside women to some of the responses, and those will appear tomorrow.
Arlington, Va.: To what do you attribute the success of the XX Factor blog, and how do you plan to carry it over to the new site?
And is the launch of all these Slate Group niche sites—Double X, TheRoot, The Big Money—signal a particular strategy by the co.?
Emily Bazelon: We think that XX Factor works because it's a conversation among a group of women who feel comfortable with each other. We disagree, vehemently sometimes. But we do it with affection. I think that has made the blog a place where writers have both the freedom and security to muse through their reactions to news and events.
In terms of strategy, the idea is to branch out and build Slate's audience among groups that we're already reaching, but would like to woo as loyal readers in greater numbers. The home page of Slate is a limited piece of real estate. So the stand-alone sites offer space to do more of a particular kind of content than we can do on Slate.
Washington, D.C.: What would you describe as the quintessential Double X story? Elizabeth Edwards and Madonna discussing Sarah Palin's skills as a mother?
Hanna Rosin: I think it would be more fun to have Elizabeth Edwards and Sarah Palin discussing Madonna's skills as a mother, don't you? Compulsive overseas adoption adds a great new wrinkle to the mommy wars.
Emily Bazelon: Hey thanks to all of you for your great questions. We look forward to reading you as commenters on Double X. Sign up!
Hanna Rosin: Thank you all for chatting with us. We hope you come visit us at doublex.com today, tomorrow, and every day after that. We welcome your comments and, if they're really good, we'll give them prominent play!
Meghan O'Rourke: Thanks for joining us today.