THERE are only two pro-independence newspapers in Scotland: The National and the Sunday Herald. The other 37 – let that number sink in – are Unionist.

Apparently, men writing letters to The National outnumber women by about three to one and the letters editor has asked why.

First up: I don’t know why this is. I came to The National fairly recently, once it became clear that The Herald was going down the same road as English-based Unionist newspapers like the Telegraph, the Mail and the Express – with headlines every day that became more and more anti-Scottish – and rejecting letters from people like me.

It has taken me a while to settle in as a National reader. I like the Gaelic page and the Scots page. I like the columns by people like the Wee Ginger Dug and Mhairi Black. I would like more articles by big thinkers. But what about letters?

My big complaint about the Herald letters page was always that almost all of the contributors were men. The same wee group of men. Nit-picking men. Good on political theory but not so hot on the everyday issues affecting the future of our country.

I have to be honest and say that while The National has more letters pages than The Herald, my issues are much the same.

And this really worries me because it looks to me as if we’re not offering a suitable opposition to the Unionists, who are already organised for indyref2: the trolls are out in force (one followed me to a Welsh friend’s Facebook page to harangue me about the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing of alcohol, much to my Welsh friend’s confusion); the Unionist press are already in action, telling idiotic lies about what’s happening in Scotland’s education system, the police and NHS, as are the BBC and STV, which confuse what’s happening down south with the situation in Scotland; and the Unionists are building up a war chest that those of us who are pro-independence could never hope to have.

But do women write letters to newspapers that are more personal, and do they write less because they take criticism personally? That’s one suggestion by The National. I write two blogs. One is about health issues (mine) and the other is about whatever gets up my humph day-to-day. The first is obviously personal. Posts on the second tend to start with a personal angle but then I try to widen the scope – otherwise folk wouldn’t bother to read it.

When I wrote to The National about poor service at RBS, I started as usual by describing a personal experience but then – at least I thought I had – I widened it out to include pretty general statements. I was surprised that readers of The National online thought I was annoyed that I couldn’t withdraw a fiver from the RBS cashline and then I realised that’s what the online headline-writer had suggested and some people hadn’t actually read what I’d written – just the headline. The same thing happened when a reader replied to my RBS letter in the newspaper. He suggested what I wanted was a bank branch dedicated to me personally where I could draw out a fiver. In fact, I had complained about poor service by RBS right across our communities – and I’m pleased to see Ian Blackford has now taken up the fight and is on his way to winning the argument.

None of this is as bad as people telling you off for being old or not being good-looking – and both of these have happened to me on Facebook, believe me. I’m not sure how we encourage people – not just women – to get involved in the independence discussion, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t consist of telling us off when we do try to get involved.

I’d also love to know how many young people – say, under-35s – write to The National. That’s the other missing generation we have to reach.

Jean Nisbet