In the post below about "Sex and the City 2," some of the comments reference frustration with the male-dominated nature of the entertainment industry as well as the hegemony of men among movie critics.
While I tend to agree about the industry (and especially its product), I'm not sure that particular complaint still holds in regard to the endangered species known as critics.
"Any old lame formulaic movie that's aimed at guys scores better on RT [rottentomatoes.com] than a formulaic movie that is aimed at women," one poster commented. "I guess women don't do the movie geek thing, they don't blog and tweet incessantly about movies but they'll pay to see them."
In raw numbers, there are doubtless more male critics than females. But the gap is narrowing, and I would argue that the influence scale -- that is, critics at top outlets -- has shifted dramatically.
While I'm generally not a fan of New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley, because of her platform, Stanley's opinion certainly matters and carries disproportionate weight. Mary McNamara is the lead TV critic for the Los Angeles Times (and, congratulations, just won an internal editorial award at the paper). And while she's not a critic per se, Washington Post columnist Lisa de Moraes is one of the most influential voices in covering television, as is the Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan.
On the movie side, there's the NYTimes' Manohla Dargis and the LATimes' Betsy Sharkey, as well as USA Today's Claudia Puig -- three of the most significant outlets for such coverage.
In short, a simple head count doesn't always tell the story, and even that data is changing as more women have gone into journalism -- a questionable career move in hindsight right now, I know.
Certainly in the blogosphere, things aren't equal. But at major news outlets, it's a far cry from the mid-1980s when I started in this business, and Variety's editorial staff consisted almost entirely of old white guys in white shirts and ties.