Thursday, July 16, 2009

Responding to Bitch Magazine

Ms. Magazine's new cover has certainly sparked controversy with Bitch Magazine's blog. The new cover (left) is a remake of Ms. Magazine's first cover (right), which was originally printed in 1972. While yes, this image does parallel to the many Hindu Goddesses with numerous arms (Kali, Durga, Parvati), Ms. is NOT trying to poke fun at religion.

In fact, the cover reads "Mom 2.0: She Blogs, She Tweets, She Rises up!" There is no indication of religion, but instead Ms. is trying to point out the many responsibilities that the modern woman (or mother) has, between balancing a typical "mom" with a career. As for the stressed look on her face, of course, who isn't stressed out? With so many responsibilities, she cannot help but look that way.

I am not writing this blog to snap back at the writers of Bitch, but rather to share some of the commentary that followed this blog. Anonymous writes (and I'm really hoping this isn't a FMF intern):

"As a feminist myself, I find it really sad that fellow members of the movement feel the need to bring down allies and other feminists. By spending time hating and demeaning each other, it takes away from the bigger fight of the feminist movement - equality for women and all people. Why do some feel compelled to make this fight harder? Maybe instead of breaking each other down, we should support one another's efforts and recognize the good in each other's work. It's that what feminism and being feminist is all about?"

The point of this blog post is to point out that feminist organizations need to work together to achieve common goals. As feminists, we all have a hard enough time trying to get the respect that we deserve, and writing demeaning commentary about one another is not the best way to handle our differences. I think that both Bitch and Ms. have the public following that they do because of the quality of their work, as well as the public's interest in the subject matter. There shouldn't be a need to fight over who gets the spotlight in blogs or magazine covers when bigger issues are at hand (wage gap, domestic violence, health care inequalities...the list goes on).

Photos Complements of Ms. Magazine


little miss gnomide said...

Good point. Less fighting, more comradrie!

Feminist Review said...

Unfortunately, you may have missed the follow up to this comment entitled "Let's privilege MY concerns for the good of the 'movement'", which said "feminists are not, nor should they be, a monolithic group. Some feminists have a history of overlooking particular oppressions (race, culture, sexuality, class, geographic location--to name a few) because they have the luxury of not being effected by them. Then they don't understand when [people of color, lesbians, working class women, etc] say 'feminism doesn't represent me.' Feminists are not, not should they be, immune from criticism; the shit feminists pull is just as bad as the shit anyone else is doing."