Deadspin, mocked for all-male staff, says it’s trying

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Deadspin. (screenshot via deadspin.com)
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Jeremy Barr

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Recently, "100 Percent Men," a Tumblr that highlights all-male organizations ("corners of the world where women have yet to tread") set its sights on Deadspin, the Gawker Media sports blog that currently has no full-time female staffers.

Its lone female writer is contributor Jolie Kerr, who writes a column about cleaning.

"Yeah, it's bad," Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs said in an email to Capital this week. "We deserve to catch shit for it ..."

Craggs pointed out that the site has employed women in high-ranking editorial positions in the past. Emma Carmichael served as managing editor of the site before leaving to take the reins at The Hairpin, a site geared toward women, in May 2013.

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"The only thing that annoys me about the criticism in general is the underlying assumption that we're either unaware of the issue or bro-ishly complacent about it," Craggs said.

Washington Post economics blogger Lydia DePillis, who runs the "100 Percent Men" Tumblr, told The Wire last year that her goal is to get all-male organizations to "think about why that is and think about what they can do."

Deadspin's gender disparity is not for lack of trying, Craggs said. In recent months, Deadspin has approached several female writers about signing on.

"So far, for various different reasons, we haven't had any success," he said.

Carmichael said that she loved working for Deadspin, but that it was a difficult place to be a woman.

"I think it's hard to find someone who will not only fit, but is up for that environment," she told Capital. "It kind of has to be a perfect fit."

The site has become something of a "men's magazine" under Craggs, Carmichael said, and there isn't much room for female voices.

She also dealt with vicious commenters who called her names, especially when she wrote about female journalists.

"I'm glad I suffered through it," she said.

Carmichael praised Craggs, and said that he is committed to hiring women and minorities.

"It's not a news flash that he should hire a woman, and I think he's been trying," she said.