First off, check out our essays about our own experiences with feminism—Jesse’s is about her parents failed attempt at gender neutrality; mine is about discovering why I actually needed feminism. As you’ll notice, the photo at the top of the page links to our gallery of Newsweek covers portraying women over the years, as well as to the larger package we wrote this week, “Are We There Yet?” about sexism at Newsweek.
(Photo: Elizabeth Weinberg for Newsweek)
Now there’s quite the controversy over at Jezebel about the fact that there are only white women in this photo. So let’s set the record straight. First off, this is a photo that illustrates our entire package, which is the story of two generations of Newsweek women. These two generations—the three writers, and the three original organizers of the lawsuit—are pictured. We are all white.
Here’s what we told Jezebel:
“All of the women in this photo work or used to work at Newsweek. And yes, all of them are white, but you should really read the piece for some context. The photo isn’t meant to illustrate the face of feminism, it’s actually just a link to the package … True, there probably aren’t enough people of color working here—or in the media in general—just as there aren’t enough women. And for the record, the few women of color who worked at Newsweek during the 1970 suit declined to sign the complaint against the company.”
What bothers us most about their post, though, is that it’s important for feminists to stick together—especially when there’s not much discussion of the F word in the mainstream media at all. Tearing each other down for writing about feminism in a way that could attract young women—black, white, whatever—seems counterproductive. Especially in a personal essay written by, yes, a white woman, about her own, yes, personal experience.
At least the commenters seem to get it:
“i am always disappointed when a good-faith article on feminism (newsweek surely could have written articles about other stuff, like how devastating erectile dysfunction is to the self esteem of poor, disaffected senior newsweek male editors, instead) is dragged down by complaints of what isn’t in the picture, or what isn’t in the article”—JulieSunday
“Shit I get it now. If you click on that photo, the reason why they included those ladies was to make a statement about how Newsweek staff have come far but still had a long way to go.” —Lilspitfire
Phew. Just our two cents. What’s yours?