Friday, January 9th, 2009 · 94 Comments »

Just: rage.

Ms. was the first magazine I ever bought a subscription to.

Again, just: rage.

(HT The Confluence)

Filed under: Various and Sundry · Tags:

94 Responses to “Rage”

  1. sister of ye says:

    You’ve gotta be f*cking kidding me.

    No, I really believe you, I do. It’s just…

    Rage. Yeah. Exactly.

    At least when the revolution comes, we know who the collaborators are.

  2. Ali says:

    This is sooooooo funny! Makes me feel like dancing in the snow with my socks off!

    And sooo funny that early on the Obamabots were concerned that men would vote for Palin because they were sexually attracted to her. Come on! It’s the inverse. The 18 x 24 inch poster? Makes me feel like a teenager again;)

  3. Heidi Li says:

    Hello friends:
    The post at The Confluence is cross-posted from a fuller and now updated version here http://tdg.typepad.com/heidi_lis_potpourri/2009/01/this-is-just-incredible.html

    We hope to raise money to run ads objecting to this cover.

  4. RKMK says:

    This is a joke, right? This has to be a fucking joke.

  5. AM says:

    I suspect their reasoning is along the lines of well, see, you don’t have to be a woman, or white, to be a feminist. They are controlling the word feminist and keeping it empty.

  6. donna darko says:

    Commenter Davidson at Corrente:

    This past year was revolting in its open, violent bigotry towards women and girls and you couldn’t help but ask, “Why were the bigots so goddamn comfortable with Obama? Why did they flock to him?” Because he incited it and exploited it, that’s why. They knew they were welcomed by him. If Ms. (in addition to feministing, feministe, and Pandagon) can’t see it, then they’ve rendered themselves no longer credible.

  7. soopermouse says:

    why is it that nobody of the koolaid brgade can tell me “What the fuck did Obama do to deserve to be called a femiist?”

  8. octogalore says:

    Wow. Wish I could say I was in shock.

  9. Lisa says:

    So f#*%ing ridiculous. It is difficult to even stay mad any more. Just gets depressing after awhile.

    I find it hard to fight the urge to bombard all the “feminist” Obots on my husband’s side of the family with this stuff.

    I love Heidi’s Museum of Misogyny idea. We need a virtual one of those.

    On Amazon a while back I found an old book for sale: The Boyhood Tales of the Presidents. I wish I had bought it, but it is gone now. I am going to find another copy and buy it, so I can get it signed by the first woman president.

  10. anne says:

    Follow the money: Ms Magazine is owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation. George Soros, through his Open Society foundation, donated $770,000 to the FMF between 1997 and 2004. I don’t have figures on how much he has donated since then.


    He has donated huge sums of money to all sorts of progressive organisations (e.g. NARAL, MoveOn) all of whom came out in support of Obama. This is about who George Soros supports and who he can pay to agree with him.

  11. Astraea says:

    You have got to be fucking kidding me. AM is right, the word is empty when they use it this way.

    And what the fucking fuck is with the Superman pose? I guess all we really need is a heroic man to help us ladies out.

  12. yttik says:

    It’s so offensive. What a slam on actual feminists who have spent decades fighting for equality. Now we come to find out all that’s required to be a feminist is an empty suit and some big ears.

  13. Valhalla says:

    Funny, I cut myself off from Planned Parenthood about a month ago when they start in with emailers with a “This is what a pro-choice president looks like.” (PP was the last remotely old-school feminist org I was still associating with).

    Is this the new bullsh*t theme, This is what a fill-in-the-blank looks like? Who are they talking to, anyway? It sounds like they are trying to convince themselves, or their audience. Esp. given the timing — after inviting the misogynistic, homophobic, pro-war, creationist Warren to a place of honor at the inaugeration, appointing the anti-choice, anti-marriage-equality, anti-stem cell research Republican Lite Tim Kaine to head the DNC, keeping on Torturer-in-Chief Gates, appointing pro-torturer Brennan to a post as deputy national security advisor — and this is just all the recent stuff, no campaign misogyny mentioned.

    In any case, I’ve been vomiting on and off since first seeing that picture yesterday.

  14. emma says:

    What’s wrong with feminism when Ms. decides to lie to women? Never have I felt more hopeless about women’s equality. Never.

  15. Gayle says:

    Has anyone read the accompanying article? I’d love to know what Obama has done to earn the Feminist title.

    My local paper just sent me a flyer offering to sell me a framed print of their election day cover. Seems everyone’s trying to cash in on this inauguration, especially those in the financially distressed print media.

    Or it could be that Ms. is trying to appeal to the Feministing/Pandagon demographic. Perhaps a bit of both?

  16. Tabby Lavalamp says:

    So apparently a feminist man is one who thinks it’s appropriate to accompany his wife on a job interview to check out her potential new employer.
    Or have they forgotten that story?

  17. Foxx says:

    This is heartbreaking. They have made themselves a joke.

    Since Gloria and Robin got slammed for their pieces against the woman-hating of the campaign they have capitulated. Those were the last sane words from anyone in their world. It’s all about peer pressure (and who you decide is your peer).

  18. Greenconsciousness says:

    We got to know each other over the turd that Ms has become when Elinor Smeal and her girlfriend bought it.
    Do you remember you emailed me when I first met your blog over a rant I did about the decayed Ms not supporting efforts to help women in Iraq and Afghan — the problem was I was saying MS not Ms and not distinguishing by block quoting. My rage was that I too had loved them – had their first issue and now was just so disgusted that they had been taken over by the women who RUINED NOW.

    Well here we are again and this is what I posted today on my blog:
    Ms. disgusting as usual
    See what is done by the pseudo feminist Ms.
    BO appointed Hillary to Sec of State to get her out of the Senate so Caroline Kennedy could take the seat. It is looking like that might not happen or at least that she cannot keep it when elections come. So moving forward with his real plans, BO sends Biden on diplomatic missions to the middle east while Hillary twiddles her thumbs. And now he is announcing BO will appoint SPECIAL ambassadors to Iraq, Afghanistan and other middle east countries of his own choosing.

  19. Greenconsciousness says:

    I did not post and advise you to remove the picture of the cover.

  20. Greenconsciousness says:

    And now he is announcing BO will appoint SPECIAL ambassadors to Iraq, Afghanistan and other middle east countries of his own choosing. MEN to represent the US to Patriarchal misogynist countries instead of what Condi Rice did in organizing those women. and Ms puts him on the cover.

  21. Anna Belle says:

    Hey folks. Thanks for the post, Violet. I’ve written it up at my place, with lots of linky evidence. That’s Really Super, Supergirl.

    Gotta run; the grocery store awaits.

  22. wethepeople says:

    Gee, Robin & Gloria, NOW, NARAL et al, aren’t you proud of your capitulation now???

  23. myiq2xu says:

    Breaking news:


  24. AM says:

    Maybe they should change the name to Mr. Magazine.

  25. myiq2xu says:


    Ms-ogyny magazine

  26. Greenconsciousness says:


    Ms-ogyny mag — from now on –that is what I call it

  27. chezmadame says:

    Nominate the issue for NOW’s Media Hall of Shame.


  28. Cyn says:

    Ms. Placed My Brain magazine. What were they thinking? This makes me sick. I had a subscription to Ms in the old days, too.

    What does this say to young women? Let a man degrade you and then make a Hero out of him.

  29. Little Isis says:

    I am not angry. I have moved past anger. I now have acceptance. And a knowledge that it MUST change.
    Violet, dry your tears. Don’t cry.
    I am yet young. I am healthy and my flesh is rosy. Because of people like you, I know that Feminism needs to really become feminism. Real Feminism.
    I understand now why women have made so little progress. I understand that it is because our Feminism wasn’t feminism. It was a joke. Our “feminist leaders” have failed us. Discard them. Pay attention to them no more.
    I will not give up hope. I never will.
    Because I know that we have a chance, that I have a chance. I swear, that before I die, that before I draw my last breathe, by every Goddess ever known to womankind, that I will live to see this change. I will live to see the Patriarchy fall, and I will live to see a woman become the leader of the Free World.
    Don’t forget it, Dr Socks. I promised you. I’ll keep it.

  30. orlando says:

    I think it is telling that they had to photoshop the cover. No chance of using a real photo here.

  31. Foxx says:

    What we need are dayglo stickers “This is what c**ksucking looks like” that we can all paste on the Ms Magazines in the stores.

  32. Shane says:

    I find this belief in Obama as a closet Superman to be sad more than anything. Its also offensive, its also patriarchal, but at heart it represents a yearning for something better after the Dubya Years. They can’t find real evidence of Obama doing all these things so they just delude themselves into believing it, because clearly to have said or done anything actually progressive or challenging would have destroyed Obama’s career by making him an ‘angry black man’. Its also the culmination of the religious (pseudo religious doesn’t go far enough) imagery of Obama’s campaign. Elect me and ye shall be saved was its message. So now that he’s elected, the dominant theme of coverage is that America has been saved again and that everybody can embrace our new leader, our new NotBush (just like he was NotClinton, or NotPalin etc:). This is of course before he’s actually done anything or even been sworn into office, but those little things don’t matter much to the narrative.

    And these ‘feminists’ don’t want to feel left out of all the celebrations, they want to feel like they’ve been saved too. That this is without Obama having done anything actively feminist is fitting, seeing a lot of people would rather just say ‘its all better now’ rather than realise its going to take a lot of work to make things better. The idea that Obama might ignore women or even be harmful is foreign to these people because of the way he’s been spun as someone who can do everything, and has feminism literally projected onto him. I just wonder how long it will take for people to realise they may have made a mistake, or if they will remain true believers in SuperObama. But then as usual its all wrapped up in the coverage. With stories like that and those that flooded publications like The Nation, is it any wonder that feminism gets distorted and good people get deceived?

  33. Lisa says:

    Cyn, Ms Placed My Brain! HA!

  34. donna darko says:

    LOL. Funny comment by bostonboomer:

    We now know that the Ms. owners and editors are not feminists either. Maybe they should rename the magazine Mr.

  35. djmm says:

    I have stopped all giving to Planned Parenthood, MS, NOW and NARAL, based on their previous, recent actions. This cover just cements that decision in stone. Of course there are men who are feminists, but Mr. Obama is not one of them.

    It would be insulting if it did not reveal so much about how vacuous Ms. Magazine has become.


  36. AM says:

    The women of Ms. Magazine need to take a serious look at the extent to which their political calculations have made the goal of championing women of little importance to them. As adjuncts to the Democratic Party, which has an ‘o them’ attitude towards women, they carry on like an unusually lavish company newsletter.

    They dare not rock the boat. Keep championing Hillary and you will be accused and scorned as a taboo breaker, a racist. That is taboo.

    Robin Morgan was magnificent in her “goodbye to all that #2″ piece last year. Gloria Steinem’s statement about sexism, which predated it, was solid, very polite, and had a ‘this is just a quiet word to the wise’ atmosphere about it. Okay.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one whose jaw dropped when they executed their volte-face. And when Ms. Magazine paid scant attention to Hillary’s candidacy, and the avalanche of misogyny launched at her. The shock was deep. I don’t know if they realize how deep that shock was for so very many of us. Major rupture.

    They had bankrupted the word feminism: We were seeing the bankruptancy of accommodation. Ms. Magazine was always polite but it was better than nothing, although at this point maybe nothing would have been better, because it wouldn’t have stayed nothing for long. but Ms Steinem and Ms. magazine were not appointed keepers of the feminism flame by women in general and the grassroots. Astute members of the male aristocracy made it happen, recognizing that she would never really do anything to rock the boat. And she hasn’t. And if ever there was a boat that needed rocking, it’s the patriarchal one. Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was a boat rocker. What will it take to make misogyny taboo.

    The women of Ms. Magazine need to take a serious look at why they were afraid to champion Hillary. I’ve just about concluded it started as fear, and then glided into adulation. Kind of a variation on the Stockholm syndrome maybe.

  37. AM says:

    O, and by the way, thank you, Violet, for the one word headline ‘Rage’.

  38. Greenconsciousness says:

    Well I guess one of my comments got lost in the filters but for an outline of how our feminist groups are co-opted, come over to my blog and read it on Ms.-ogyny here. It is in orange and green at the bottom of the post.


  39. Gayle says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t recall Obama ever calling himself a feminist.

    So. . .

    He’s never done anything particularly feminist and he doesn’t identify himself as a feminist.

    Great call, Ms!

  40. odysseus says:

    to be clear and compelling and to have power that transcends one’s own house feminism must define itself better–until that happens others will define it

  41. emma says:

    Ms. Magazine is doing what everybody who wants to be a political player does: get in good with the new administration. And what everybody who wants to make money does: get in good with the younger generation.

    I’m not happy about this cover, I sent Ms. Magazine my letter of protest naming the misogynists and homophobes Obama has associated himself with, including Donnie McClurkin, Douglas Kmiec, Jon Favreau, Timothy Geithner (google his attacks on Sheila Bair), Rick Warren, and Larry Summers, to name some of them.

    But having said that: how many people here subscribe to Ms. Magazine? Of course Ms. is going to go where the power and the money is. Especially in a recession when print media is losing googobs of money.

    I’m 43, and this is one thing I think I’ve learned over 25+ years of being a feminist: women and feminists do not support our institutions, we allow them to become embattled and broke, and then we bitch like holy hell the minute they become “compromised” and use that to further justify our non-support of them.

    What do I think feminists should do? Buy a subscription to Ms. Magazine. Give money to Planned Parenthood or NARAL or whatever you think does the most good/least bullshit. Join NOW. And with each subscription, each donation, send them a letter, an email, a voicemail, telling them that you expect better of them. That women deserve better of them. And that if they don’t do better, nobody will. And tell them what you think better is.

    Because believe me, feministe, feministing, and all those online, semi-professional feminists looking to make a dime off of their “feminism” sure won’t ever do better. And as much as I like feminist blogs like this one, let’s be real about the influence they can generate. The influence they can generate is to influence YOU so that you influence others through variouos means including by giving money with expectations, not withholding it in a fit of pique — when, in fact, lots of you probably weren’t giving it anyway.

    Juet my thoughts.

  42. yttik says:

    Don’t miss Deadender’s photoshop of the cover:


  43. anna says:

    Off Topic: If I logon to AOL and save a bunch of websites under Favorites, and then I log out, and later log on from a different computer, will I still have the same websites saved under favorites on the second computer as I did on the first?


  44. Lisa says:

    anna, no you won’t. (about the aol). What I do if I want to access a website on another computer and don’t want to try to remember it, is I send it in an email to myself and then save it in aol saved mail. You can access your saved mail from any computer.

  45. NMSC says:

    Wow, this is so crazy. I thought Steinem, the matriarch of Ms., wasn’t crazy about Obama and was just supporting him with her nose held? Or is this just more pandering to the “third wave” a.k.a non-feminists who now dominate feminist publishing?

  46. Ali says:

    Very interesting, Emma.

    No, I haven’t had a subscription to Ms. in about 6 years and I’ve never been a member of NOW. I have donated money to Planned Parenthood – just a bit – once.

    Yes, feminist organizations (have to) on some level go where the money is.

    I’m not sure what the solution is – join NOW or give all my money to the competition of sorts – New Agenda. But I think you are right. We feminists need to start walking the talk with our pocketbooks.

  47. Gayle says:

    Great comment, Emma.

  48. 4OurDaughters says:

    Not only does Ms. Magazine have such a cover, they are also PROMOTING AND SELLING A POSTER OF THE COVER . . . http://www.msmagazine.com/


    1. TELL MS. MAGAZINE TO PULL THE COVER AND THE POSTER. Let them know what you think.

    a) Write a Letter to the Editor: letterstotheeditor@msmagazine.com

    b) Email their editors:
    • Senior Editor, Michele Kort: mkort@msmagazine.com
    • Associate Editor Jessica Stites: jstites@msmagazine.com
    • Web Editor Alysse Bortolotto: abortolotto@feminist.org
    • Online News Editor Beth Soderberg: bsoderberg@feminist.org

    c) Suggest content (e.g., an editorial on how inappropriate their cover is, what the real facts are, etc): contentsuggestions@msmagazine.com

    2. Call Ms. Magazine and let them know what you think. Toll Free: 1-800-787-1414 or 1-310-556-2515.

    3. Contact their publisher: The publisher of Ms. Magazine is Liberty Media for Women, LLC which is owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation. There is also a form for comments here: http://www.feminist.org/forms/comments.html

    The Feminist Majority has East and West Coast Offices:
    1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 801
    Arlington, VA 22209
    703-522-2219 (fax)

    433 S. Beverly Drive
    Beverly Hills, CA 90212
    310-556-2509 (fax)

    3. Nominate the Ms. Magazine issue for NOW’s Media Hall of Shame.

    4. Boycott Ms. Magazine and any products they advertise. Let the advertisers know you will be boycotting their products.

    5. Perhaps most importantly, can all of the like-minded women’s organizations get together, write a press release, and sign a letter from all? This would send a powerful message if a number of women’s organizations and groups were involved and spoke together in one voice.

    Together we are strong!

  49. Sandra S. says:

    Emma, thank you. That was a very bracing reality check for me, and I do appreciate it. I halted my giving to the Nation (and told them why), but I haven’t redirected that money to a feminist cause yet. Anyone have an opinion on the least odious of the pro-choice orgs?

  50. JeanLouise says:

    I believe the Obama has claimed to be a feminist but Michelle very clearly refused to identify herself as a feminist or even a Democrat in the infamous interview during which she refused to commit to supporting Hillary if she were the nominee.

    Even then, the news coverage was all about Hillary. No one even seemed to question that the spouse of a Democratic presidential candidate did not identify as a Democrat.

  51. foxx says:

    Emma, I must completely disagree. It is destructive to give money to those with whom we disagree. Why on earth would I want to do that.

    I do not want feminists to be “political players.” I want feminists to MOVE political players in our direction. As Hillary described MLK doing.

    If they get our money while doing what they are now doing, why would they ever change?

  52. Sonic Ninja Kitty says:

    I thought hopey-changey was just a temporary state of stupid. This makes me ill.

    Thanks to all for helpful links and action tips. I’m doing all of them.

  53. Alwaysthinking says:

    Each generation of women, at some point along the journey of life, seems to fight the outrage of feminine subjugation — but then the movements are destroyed.

    It is especially discouraging now because we fought so hard the last time around and we thought we were winning — only to find that Obama and his echo chambers are trying to devastate our lives once again.

    Perhaps the theory that Obama uses hypnotism really is true — or people such as the Ms editors are simply hypnotizing themselves. In reality, however, I think it’s all about money and that our major media are being bought out by the misogynists of the world.

    Slavery is just flat wrong, however, whether it is done to males or females. Not that Obama cares about that.

    I think Heidi Li has the right approach for now. Besides protesting — or in order to protest effectively — we have to put the money together to fight back.

  54. Ali says:

    I don’t think I’m going to suscribe to Ms. Magazine just yet. But my take-away from what Emma wrote is that women need to support women’s organizations with $$$ if we want to be represented. Nonprofits have a tough time of it. I have worked for them myself and never quite understood why the organizations that I worked for received such accolades from the community yet never enough donations. We worked like dogs and it was often very stressful.

    And now I see the hypocrisy in myself. I have barely spent a penny on behalf of the causes of women. I’m not a wealthy women but it’s time for me to practice what I preach and give.

  55. samanthasmom says:

    What I took away from Emma’s comment was that we might have more clout if we push from the inside instead of from the outside. However, I would like to see some evidence that Ms.Magazine, NOW, NARAL, etc. have ever reacted to a course change request from their subscribers or members before I give them my time or money again. It’s kind of like paying union dues to an organization that uses your name and your money to do things you don’t want them to do, but not having them around makes you totally invisible. That’s how I felt being a member of the NEA.

  56. AM says:

    The Feminist Law Professors site has a link to a letter Ms. Magazine has put out, explaining their reasons for having Obama on their cover. It amounts to ‘he’s the man’ and they say, using the line famous for being used by those who wish to cover up misdeeds, “Now is the time to move forward”.

    Don’t they wish.

    They want us to contribute our ideas for moving forward, so in the email form they provide for our input I gave them my suggestion:

    In my vision, transformational change would begin with the entire editorial board of Ms. Magazine resigning, to be replaced with actual, real feminists.

  57. Emma says:

    Anyone have an opinion on the least odious of the pro-choice orgs?

    Planned Parenthood, IMO.

    It is destructive to give money to those with whom we disagree. Why on earth would I want to do that.

    Ms. Magazine has had groundbreaking coverage of many, many issues affecting women, children, and men of all races, ethnicities, cultures, and countries that the mainstream media won’t touch. Mass rapes in Bosnia? Ms. Magazine was there first. Mass rapes in Darfur? Ms. Magazine was there first. Bush using FDA regulations to restrict choice? Ms. Magazine was there first. Feminist movements in Latin America, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Europe, and on and on and on? Ms. was there first. Sexual harassment in the workplace? Ms. Magazine was there first. Domestic violence? Ms. Magazine was there first. The Taliban’s war against women? Ms. Magazine was there first. In many cases, Ms. Magazine was not just there first, it was the only one there. There are many, many issues on which Ms. Magazine provides the only substantive reporting and media coverage. Do you disagree with that? Do you not want to support that?

    I disagree strongly with what Ms. Magazine did with this cover. But Ms. Magazine is the ONLY print or online media that does what it does. Nobody else does it. And if you haven’t supported that in the past, your after-the-fact justification of non-support using the Obama cover is, IMO, very suspect. As are calls to boycott or otherwise financially punish Ms. Magazine.

    If they get our money while doing what they are now doing, why would they ever change?

    First tell me if Ms. Magazine has ever gotten any of your money. Then let’s talk about using your money for change and what that looks like and what it means.

    Secod, if Ms. Magazine goes under, nothing will ever change. Because there is nobody else who does anything like what they do. Bad decision re: Obama, yes. I agree. But if Ms. Magazine has to sell itself by selling Obama whose fault is that, really? Maybe everybody who never wrote Ms. Magazine a check while they covered the women of Gaza and Israel and Brazil and Chile and Indonesia and Afghanistan and every other place on earth.

    But my take-away from what Emma wrote is that women need to support women’s organizations with $$$ if we want to be represented.

    Yes. That.

    However, I would like to see some evidence that Ms.Magazine, NOW, NARAL, etc. have ever reacted to a course change request from their subscribers or members before I give them my time or money again.

    Do you subscribe to Ms. Magazine? If not, how would you know anything about course changes in response to subscribers/readers? IMO, yes, Ms. Magazine has made numerous course changes over the decades it has been in existence. Of course, if you don’t subscribe, you’ll never know any of that. Or, you’ll just have to take my word for it and send them a check — with a letter that says “I know you can do better than this. Use my money to do it.”

    In my vision, transformational change would begin with the entire editorial board of Ms. Magazine resigning, to be replaced with actual, real feminists.

    This is gratuitously insulting bullshit. Without looking it up, do you know the name of any woman on the editorial board of Ms. Magazine? How about the editors emeritii? How about the advisory board or the committee of scholars? If anybody needs to check their “real feminist” credentials, it’s the person who wrote that.

  58. Ali says:

    Does anyone know…. was it Planned Parenthood who mass emailed all those lies about Sarah Palin? Or was that another women’s organization? Whoever did that is an organization that I will not stand behind.

    In regard to Ms. Magazine, you make a good case, Emma. I’m going to give this some real thought. Honestly, I DO feel like an a$$ for being a complainer who hasn’t shelled out the dough. And honestly, it’s not like it’s THAT much! Ms. Magazine has certainly done a lot for women. And perhaps you are correct. As a subscriber, perhaps one can have more influence?

  59. samanthasmom says:

    I canceled my MS. subscription last spring so I ask you when has Ms. magazine ever changed its stance on something based on a protest letter writing campaign from its subscribers? Have they ever said, “Ooops, our readership disagrees with us so we’re changing our minds?” I agree that they have written about many important issues, but they’ve jumped the shark, and until they wake up, I’m not paying for the water skis anymore. Selling posters of Obama to promote their feminist magazine is like funding a campaign against smoking by selling posters of the Marlborough Man. I used to think that some of the greatest feminist minds worked at Ms., but maybe they, too, have been corrupted by a chance to be closer to the throne. I stopped sending money to Hillary Clinton, too, after hearing her stump for Obama in NH -just for the record.

  60. Gayle says:

    “how would you know anything about course changes in response to subscribers/readers? IMO, yes, Ms. Magazine has made numerous course changes over the decades it has been in existence.”

    I’ll second that.

    I used to get the magazine regularly, back when you could still find it on the shelf. Not only was it responsive, sometimes it was too responsive (IMO) in that they made more than their share of sacrifices to satisfy reader complaints, sacrifices that hurt the magazine’s profitability and circulation.

    They cut make up ads because some customers complained about them. They cut cigarette ads for the same reason. Then they rejected alcohol ads. Soon they cut all ads and I couldn’t find the magazine on the shelf anymore.

    They were always responsive to critiques on how women’s bodies were portrayed in the magazine. They responded when some Australian company bought it and tried to make it more popular/ mainstream.

    So yeah, I would say Ms. Magazine has a history of being very responsive to its readership.

  61. Emma says:

    I agree that they have written about many important issues, but they’ve jumped the shark

    Well, when you find any media that does what Ms. does, much less does it as well as Ms. does, then we can talk about “jumping the shark”. This isn’t some retread sitcom we’re talking about and the hyperbole is ridiculous.

    And, you know what? I love Hillary Clinton. But not everything is about her. Really. But, hey, when you find anybody, man, woman, child, magazine, that meets your standards, you let me know.

  62. odysseus says:

    War has not been declared against feminism. Well heeled feminists gave up fighting some time ago. You stopped making a committment to this cause for the bargain of a better material lifestyle. And, as an aside,why have all these notions of which generation/wave a woman comes from or represents proliferated so quickly.

    A woman is a woman. A woman is not a man. If nothing else, this should be enough to bind women to each other in a world that allows men to control destiny, institutions, families, even dreams.

    Perhaps the battle over Ms. represents the end of a once powerful notion: equality. It probably is evidence, with record sales for this issue on the way, that new media like blogs matter most now. Magazines are like newspapers, a quaint notion of media that could only exist in a nation that has too much money, too much education, too much excess, and not enough sense to see what women in poorer nations live everyday: a society that demands near total self-abrogation for the good of the greater community. Women-you have given up power for a house with better appliances, heavy student loans, and the right to be fired. Instead of real power to improve the lives of each other, you focus on being able to be a unit of labor for corporate profit and your own greed. That benefits no one, especially children or yourselves. You have given up too easily in the sphere you should most easily influence: at the home. Politics is at root about the corporate body.

    The comic Aristophanes gave you a plan worth following in the Lysistrata. Women: stop having sex with men until you get equal rights, equal institutional power, equal ability to own and live your own dreams.

    Or continue being screwed over when it really matters.

  63. polly styrene says:

    This is what vomit looks like.

  64. polly styrene says:

    Over here the woman who founded ‘spare rib’ – the equivalent of Ms – now writes articles about how women are biologically destined to stay at home and have babies BTW.

    So it’s not just the US of A.

  65. samanthasmom says:

    If they take this issue off the racks and burn it, I’ll renew my subscription and send them a check.

  66. Cyn says:

    I am tired of cutting slack.

    If Ms. magazine doesn’t get it, who does?

  67. Violet says:

    Does anyone know…. was it Planned Parenthood who mass emailed all those lies about Sarah Palin?

    Yes, it was Planned Parenthood.

  68. Keri says:

    Polly styrene, I can add more to that list, Naomi Wolf- author of the great “beauty myth” after she had a baby (boy) turned into a male apologist, and this election cycle fawned over Obama during the primary and wrote that rabidly paranoid screed against Sarah Palin during the run up to general election (Palin is a rabid right winger, McCain will die and Palin will use the military to enforce a theocratic society…) Barbara Ehrenriech, and Germaine Greer

    They are sellouts to patriarchal domination. Let’s search for the feminists who didn’t and haven’t sold out, besides ourselves, and let them know they aren’t alone either.

  69. myiq2xu says:

    If Obama’s a feminist then David Duke is a civil rights leader.

  70. simply wondered says:



    and this is what it looks like when a feminist pats you on the bum…

  71. purplefinn says:

    I’m with Emma on the need to support the activist woman’s group of our choice with money, time, and/or energy. I will be including a note in my NOW membership renewal. I will be watching carefully. They only have one year to “vet” Obama.

    If Obama is a feminist, he’s a closet feminist. Will the real Barack Obama please stand – for something!

  72. Lisa says:

    I agree we need to support women’s groups, but I want to put money towards women who are redefining “feminist” and bringing some real change. For example: The New Agenda, Heidi Li’s projects, Violet, PUMA, to name a few.

    I confess I have never had a subscription to MS magazine, but I can’t stand magazines. They come in the mail and I don’t read them- I just look at them lying around and feel guilty for not reading them. And I certainly wouldn’t use this debacle as a reason to start a subscription to MS!

  73. yttik says:

    I’m usually in a state of rage over one thing or another. But in the back of my mind I am aware of how we must be careful not to over judge other women and feminist organizations. Because of the culture most of us hold women and their groups to a higher standard. Often an unreasonable standard. We judge them harshly and attack the moment they let us down. And we lose our power every time, because it’s separate, divide, and control. When we are focused on hating other women, we are not investing our energy in creating equality.

    I have a profound sense of betrayal over the MS cover. It hurts when groups you expect better of fail to rise to the occasion. If MS doesn’t get, we are truly alone.

    But I also know that the outrage being directed towards MS is out of proportion for the crime they have committed when put in context with the likes of Olberman, O’Reilly, Matthews, MSNBC, CNN. Or all those dozens of magazines running stories about how to please your man or how to get rid of cellulite. Or the NY Times. Or the Blogger boyz and their misogyny.

    MS has temporarily fallen into a vat of koolaid. They will regret it, suffer for it, and wonder WTH were we thinking. So I have fired off numerous letters pointing out the error of their ways, I have nominated them for the NOW Hall of Shame, and I shall now work on forgiving them, just as you would try to forgive a battered woman for returning home. She will suffer way more than
    me and my feelings of disappointment.

  74. Sis says:

    yttik, why do you think the MS stance is disproportionate: it’s a part of a whole. The media eating itself from the ass up. They are reporting on the media Obama. They did a scan around of what other media were saying, and did one better.

    The media as shaped by (owned by) men. MS, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, same entree different sauce (Ron Sullivan tm).

  75. JeanLouise says:

    My money will go to the groups and publications that support women. The Ms. cover is no more than pornography.

    I have had a subscription to Ms. in the past. I’ve been a member of NOW and a contributor to Planned Parenthood and NARAL. None represented my interests in the recent past and they can all KMA when it comes to my bucks.

    Emma, although it wasn’t my exact quote, I too suggested that Ms.’s editorial board resign en masse. I find your response to that poster offensive. I don’t know about her but I live my feminism every day. I do it in the real world where men are in power and punish me professionallly when I stand up for myself. I still stand up for myself and for other women. I couldn’t give a flying f*** if Ms.’s circulation goes down for a month or two because they put something other than an homage to a sexist on the cover.

  76. Cyn says:

    yttik, I respectfully disagree with your post at no. 72. If we continue to go along with the best of a bad world, we’ll never get anywhere. I am ashamed at how little progress we have made. I feel I’ve let my daughters down and now, my granddaughters. If we continue to support the best of what we have because they are better than nothing, we’ll never get anywhere.

    I’m sorry to say this, but I’m at the point where you are with me or against me. And, I won’t support a fence sitter.

    Please note that this is not directed at you or any other poster personally. It’s how I feel about feminism and equality in general.

  77. CoolAunt says:

    I haven’t been online in a while and should catch up before commenting…except to say that the Ms. cover is sickening.

  78. emma says:

    I find your response to that poster offensive.

    Sucks for you, then.

  79. JeanLouise says:

    emma, you’re acting as an apologist for Ms. which is your right. While doing that, you question the femininst bona fides of posters who are expressing their opinions of the work of women who have participated in The Big Lie that Obama is a feminist and who did it in a downright embarrassing display of fan-dumb.

    I’m wondering if you’re one of the editors who embarrassed women with this piece of soft porn.

  80. Sis says:

    If this is the Emma I’ve read on several rad fem blogs, I say don’t doubt her feminist creds. But I do question the point of wishing MS anything but imminent bankruptcy.

  81. Sis says:

    By the way, there are several feminist magazines, *publications*, that deserve your financial support. Buy a subscription to this blog, financially support Women’s Space/The Margins or the Global Sisterhood Network. Feminist blogs are far superior in their reporting than mainstream feminist publications, have a far more diverse and larger readership, I’d say, and we don’t have to suffer sexist advertising while we read. If those three blogs aren’t your exact cup of tea, read through their blog rolls. You’re sure to find some feminist perspective you like and can support. I don’t know about you, but I’m finished with being the ladies auxiliary to the malestream media.

  82. emma says:

    While doing that, you question the femininst bona fides of posters who are expressing their opinions of the work of women who have participated in The Big Lie that Obama is a feminist and who did it in a downright embarrassing display of fan-dumb.

    No, I’m addressing the feminist credentials of people who would rather turn this into more feminist infighting and how “horrible” Ms. Magazine is than talk about the worthy issues. Like, how Obama isn’t a feminist.

    I’m tired of the backstabbing, the putdowns, the infighting, and the complete and total disrespect given to feminists by other feminists.

    I think Ms. Magazine has done a lot of good work. I think it can do more good work. I think nobody else has done, is doing, or can do the work that Ms. Magazine has done, is doing, or can do. If you’re willing to throw that away because you disagree with ONE cover it did — then F yeah, I’m going to call your feminist credentials into question.

    And if that “offends” you – well, it sucks to be you because I couldn’t care less what offends somebody who advocates a death blow to a feminist institution that’s done the work Ms. Magazine has done. I’m not about to be suckered by the “that offends me!” line that gets thrown around so much. I don’t care if it offends you. I care how feminism moves forward. And if feminism’s only mainstream media publication is destroyed by vengeful “feminists” who can’t see the forest because Obama is filling their vision, then feminism can’t move forward.

    I don’t like the cover. I don’t like it for all the reasons feminists have said. Having said that, I don’t think it negates all the work Ms. Magazine has done or can do for women and feminism.

    YMMV. But I’m not going to bow down to your “offense” or to any nasty, vitriolic, venomous, and short-sighted attempts to destroy Ms. Magazine through nasty catfight tactics.

  83. anne says:

    Ms Magazine is hardly likely to be destroyed because a few people made some angry remarks on an internet blog thread about an anti-feminist mis-step they’ve made.

    It’s as if Mother Jones put George Bush on their front cover wearing a t-shirt saying “This is what a progressive looks like”. There’d probably be outrage about that too, but I’m pretty sure that the people getting angry about it wouldn’t be accused of destroying Mother Jones.

    Reducing serious disgreements amongst feminists to “catfight tactics” is sexist. Everybody is allowed to disagree, even disagree very strongly indeed, including women, including feminists.

  84. CoolAunt says:

    Thanks, Anne. The only words I could think of were, “pot, kettle, black.” You said it much better than I could have.

    The only thing I might add is that if Mother Jones put GWB on the cover with the “progressive” caption, it might mean that MJ has lost its relevance or even that it’s become more harmful than helpful. History shows us that this does happen. There was a time when the ACLU was really about protecting civil rights of ordinary citizens (meaning black citizens, women, etc.) as opposed to protecting the rights of NAMBLA and sex offenders as it does today. And let’s not forget that it was a Republican president that freed the black slaves in America but civil rights of black citizens has certainly not been a priority of the Republican party in the last 50 or 100 years since.

    To quote Ms Janet Jackson, it may be time to ask Ms. and NOW, “What have you done for me lately?”

  85. Emma says:

    There are a number of people in this very thread that have encouraged boycotting Ms. Magazine and otherwise withdrawing financial support from Ms. Those ARE calls to destroy the magazine. Pooh-pooh them to make your rhetorical point if you want, but that’s what they are and that’s how I’ve described them.

    And, frankly, the vitriol that has been directed at Ms. Magazine’s editors goes far beyond “serious disagreement” and well into bitch catfight bullshit. I’m not the one being sexist by insisting that Ms. and its editors be held to standards that aren’t imposed on any other mainstream media outlet.

  86. anne says:

    In a democracy people are allowed to express their displeasure at an action by withdrawing financial support from organizations. It’s a legitimate form of political expression. Feminists aren’t some kind of a special group who have to support people who are not supporting us. You could equally argue that Ms was “destroying” feminism by endorsing Obama as a feminist, but that would also be hyperbolic and unhelpful.

    The worst language I’ve seen on this thread is “bitch catfight bullshit”. It hasn’t come from those who are angry at Ms Magazine though has it?

    If you’ve been following the election over the past year, you’ll be aware that many Hillary supporters have boycotted MSNBC because of the sexism of its coverage and biased support of Obama, so it is incorrect to say that Ms Magazine are being held to a different standard. Also no other magazine has been *stupid* enough to claim that Obama is a feminist, so it’s hardly surprising that feminists have a unique reaction to that.

  87. anne says:

    You know Ms Magazine could have put Obama on their cover with some sort of a headline asking what his historic election will mean to women. Then they could have had commentary from all sorts of feminists – for, against and agnostic. I don’t think any feminist, whatever she believed, would have disagreed with that. So they could have had their Obama cover without alienating a good portion of feminists.

    Instead they threw their journalistic and feminist integrity out of the window and proclaimed the misogynistic Obama a feminist. They are the ones creating rifts within feminism with this action.

  88. julia says:

    BOYCOTT MS!! Donate to Off Our Backs instead, they’re feminist and need the money.

  89. Sis says:

    How many other mainstream media outlets were built on our, that is FEMINIST, support. Emma?

    I had the first issue. Still have the Wonder Woman t-shirt, bought with a single parent’s women’s wages. Bought subscriptions. Gave them as gifts. I know women who wrote for them, talented professional writers who earned top dollar in the day, who wrote for them for peanuts. It was ours. Fuck. I’m not even American.

    What they and Planned Parenthood, NOW and some individual feminists have done is unforgivable. It is not their to sell out.

    Don’t scold me about this until you’ve been working at building this movement for over 40 years, as I have, only to see feminism sold out for greed and base self-interest.

    Yes, support Rain and Thunder, Off Our Backs, and the many other small feminist press publications which are virtually non-profit, struggling, and publishing the highest quality feminist journalism.

  90. emma says:

    When I read crap like “Ms. hasn’t been a feminist magazine for a long time” you’re damn right I’m going to get incensed. I’ve worked as hard as anybody at feminism. I’ve chosen a career based on my feminism. I’ve supported Ms. for a damn long time. And off our backs, and many other local feminist efforts.

    When I disagree with something they’ve said or done, I don’t run around slagging them on the internet as unfeminist or worthy of being destroyed. You can do that all you want. But I’m not going to be quiet about what I think, either.

    Isn’t my dissent from your dissent part of the dissent we’re supposed to encourage? Or am I supposeed to sit by and let you shit on other feminists?

  91. AM says:

    I don’t want to see Ms. Magazine go under. I want to see it revitalized. That’s why the current editorial board should go. And I don’t know what Ms.’s Advisory Board and Committee of Scholars do, or who is supposed to react favorably to them (or not) except for other academics and professionals. Such things kind of activate the status-class chip on my shoulder. In the bookstore I worked in we had a little newspaper and in our masthead we had an advisory board, consisting of such women as Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Joan of Arc, and more whose names escape me right now. Maybe they should talk to Alison Bechdel. Get some grassroots energy in there. Have blogs.

  92. Sis says:

    #86 and #87: Well reasoned points Anne.

  93. Sis says:

    You’re the only one here doing what you’re calling out Emma.

    I don’t see any justification for this vitriolic and foul-mouthed attack. Your responses, talking about “shitting on” “sucks to be you” are uncalled for.

    I’ve had my say about the MS cover, and I have nothing more to add here but to restate my suggestion to financially support feminist blogs. I do. Out of a senior’s pension, a woman’s pension, I do.

  94. emma says:

    You know Ms Magazine could have put Obama on their cover with some sort of a headline asking what his historic election will mean to women. Then they could have had commentary from all sorts of feminists – for, against and agnostic. I don’t think any feminist, whatever she believed, would have disagreed with that. So they could have had their Obama cover without alienating a good portion of feminists.

    The inside article is like that, with five and a bit pages of women saying what Obama should do, including prosecute war criminals, police the traffickes, broaden health care, count maternal death as violence, and many others. With the voices of Alice Walker (who I personally could do without but what if I went around saying “she’s not a feminist!” as has been said here about other feminists?), bell hooks, Cecile Richards, Shelby Knox, Wendy Brown, Lorraine Cole, Kavita Ramdas, and newmoongirls.

    Let’s see what else is in this issue of Ms.:

    “Equal Pay and Beyond”, Congress should not only fix the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter mistake, but take further steps to erase wage discrimination;

    “Mandalas,” A remembrance of the unending wars the author has watched and lived through;

    “Rescue Remedy,” Don’t forget women during the ecnomic recovery;

    “Lives on the Line,” Facing a resurgent Taliban, Afghan women have had to cover up and take cover. Yet many still press bravely forward for their rights.

    and, to MY horror:

    “Ode to Joy,” President Obama = a new mold for leadership and a strong voice for women, by none other than Donna Brazile.

    Now, I happen to think Brazile is a lying Obama hack. And I wish she wasn’t in Ms. But there’s nothing in this magazine that makes me think, as has been accused here, that we need to boycott Ms., need to replace the entire editorial board, that Ms. Magazine is no longer feminist or hasn’t been feminist for a long time. I happen to think that dissenting voices are good. As I said repeatedly: I don’t like the cover. I sent my letter to Ms. Magazine. Dissent away. And there are lots of analyses out there about this cover that I agree with.

    Just don’t put Ms. Magazine in your sights as something unworthy of feminist support or needing to be destroyed. That’s a lie. And it’s a self-defeating lie. And it’s exactly the type of infighting that ensures feminist voices won’t be heard by the incoming administration.

    So, no, I’m not “the only one here doing what I’m calling out”. Calling for the destruction of Ms. is what I’m calling out, it IS the infighting, catfighting, bullshit that I’m calling out. Because you are doing it, you want to define it as something else. And that’s unworthy of you and of feminism.