"No mother should have to ride the subways or set up house in an elevator shaft or an empty barn in lieu of putting her children to sleep in a warm bed at night." - Theresa Funiciello

May 1999
Vol. 1 - #3

Said It: Feminist News, Culture & Politics  

An End to Poverty

Resisting The Machinery of Violence

The Weekly's Viagra Dependency

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Media Glance

Seattle Weekly's Viagra

The Seattle Weekly is attempting stiffer and stiffer doses of Viagra. Its battle against impotence is not simply an annoyance. The major problem is that the Weekly's version of Viagra is the verbal and pictorial screwing of the women of Seattle.

Constantly measuring itself against the younger Stranger (which doesn't bother with Viagra because its artificial hormones were built in from inception), the Weekly is now displaying naked or otherwise mocked women across its covers, while male editors and writers take up almost all the space inside.

Editor in chief, managing editor, news editor, senior editors, all men, all six of them, men. Of the staff writers, seven out of nine are men. And the few women allowed on staff by this editorial fraternity are not likely to be other women's allies.

Shouldn't the gender ratio alone raise some questions? After all, this isn't the '50s when women were institutionally prevented from pursuing college and careers in journalism. This is the end of the '90s, a time when women receive more than 50 percent of all bachelor's degrees, and it is widely acknowledged that language tends to be women's forte. So where are the women at the Seattle Weekly?

We're on the front cover—naked, anonymous, crotch displayed before a man who stares inches away, the man wearing the expression of a hunter who just shot a caged animal and realizes he gets to shoot again.

Not coincidentally, just underneath this April 8th cover photo, the Weekly printed a slew of men's hate letters against women. The hate letters had been written in response to a rare article by a regular male columnist that objected to murders of women. In his article, the columnist pointed out that Washington men have been killing their wives and girlfriends a lot lately, and that men as a group should be concerned about this.

The objecting letters published by the Weekly were filled with statements and threats intended to make any woman reading them go silent with fear. Take, for example, letter writer Zakhary Alper's pledge: "I will gloat when I hear of a woman getting raped." The male columnist, who regularly sends off fiery responses to letter writers who challenge his politics, barely eeked out a few words of disagreement in response to these fellas.

But hate letters against women are a steady stream at the Weekly. Or rather, the Seattle Weekly keeps printing them, without a word or editorial move to dispute them. In the April 22 issue, they printed a letter that cheered on a serial killer of prostitutes, advocating more killing. The letter writer, Bill Wald, calculated that the more prostitutes a serial killer murders, the more money the state saves, since pimps and johns can get AIDS from the prostitutes they fuck. "Kill a hooker, save a buck," the Weekly titled the letter. This is their idea of humor. What's even funnier is that the killing is actually being done.

The misogyny that appears in the Seattle Weekly is not limited to the sentiments of the audience that the publication now caters to. Every issue of the Weekly offers the same hate—with a wink and in the guise of "journalism." Following the intentions of Stern Publishing, and under the editorial direction of Knute Berger, the Weekly promises the excitement of porn and sexual subjugation in some form every week—women offered to men on a dish.

The media's pimping of women is an almost universal trend. The Seattle Weekly is a nasty part of this trend. The Seattle Weekly is also an integral part of our city. The Seattle Weekly appears everywhere—grocery stores, libraries, every cafe, every street corner. Its exploitation of women amounts to a particularly blatant offense, one that neither you, nor anyone else, not even the children of this city, can tune out.

The Seattle Weekly's publisher and editors, like the hate-filled letter writers, like the media pimps behind exploitative radio and TV, are counting on women's traditional habit of averting our eyes and smiling nicely as these men carry out their lucrative business. The distant publisher, along with the Weekly's arrogant home boys, are counting on our peaceful response to their exclusion of women from positions of authority as they promulgate humiliating images, and subliminal and explicit threats of violence against us. They are depending on our patience with their fun and games.

It hasn't occurred to any of these men that there might be negative consequences to their sadistic play at women's expense. They don't even expect to be made uncomfortable. They don't even expect an annoying phone call. Like the rest of the media pimps, the Weekly's publisher, the male editors, the male writing staff, the male letter writers, feel totally rewarded.

The Weekly Screws Seattle Women | Patriarchal Parrot


Copyright © 1999 Said It.
All work contained in Said It is owned by the respective contributing authors or artists,
including all copyrights contained therein, and may not be copied, reprinted, or otherwise used
in any form without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

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