SHE SAID IT
"Nothing does change, unless its form, its structure, its language also changes. To work magic, we begin by making new metaphors. Without negating the light, we reclaim the dark: the fertile earth where the hidden seed lies unfolding." - Starhawk

September 1999
Vol. 1 - #7


Said It: Feminist News, Culture & Politics  

in this issue:

WTO: Confronting a Menace of a Millennium

We All Belong, Stop Harassment!

A Subtle Erasure

The Dailies: WTO Play by Play


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Letters

Overdue Slamming

Right On! Oh Yeah you definitely hit the nail on the head with the Stranger slamming article. Something has always seemed amiss when I'd open up that rag, and now I have got the words. Also something to watch with them is artists and films they review--who and then what they say about them and who they don't cover at all.

Thanks for saying what has been bothering me for a few years now.

S.W.


Strange and Ridiculous

Dear Adriene,

I think your article about sexism at the Stranger is one of the most ridiculous pieces of writing I've ever had the displeasure of reading. I'm having a hard time figuring out how you came to the conclusion that the Stranger (which is staffed by about half women) is run by some sort of male puppet master. You claim to be in favor of women advancing in the working world, yet your argument is based on an assumption that women are weak and can't think for themselves. Do you really think our publisher, Tim Keck, would purposefully hire women of "mediocre" talent just so he could work for 24 hours a day manipulating us and repairing our bad decisions? You obviously don't know and don't care to know anything about the women at the Stranger--we are a highly talented crew. As for our coverage, you drew your conclusions based on selective readings of our paper (you apparently missed the positive coverage we've given Heidi Wills, for example, and the critical coverage we've given male candidates like Charlie Chong). Obviously there are workplaces were sexism is alive and well, but the Stranger isn't one of them. I hope you'll expend your energy more wisely in the future.

Best,

Jennifer Vogel
Editor, The Stranger

Dear Jennifer,

I'm flattered that my article struck a nerve, but your letter is so evasive and mostly irrelevant to what I wrote, it's difficult to know how to respond. Nevertheless, I will do my best.

You say you have a hard time believing that a publisher, the boss, would run his publication as he saw fit, appointing as editor-in-chief someone who will more or less do his bidding. This is far-fetched? Hardly. It's called employer-employee relations. He doesn't need a puppet. Those he appoints are not mindless, or incompetent. They simply make a choice to put their own "getting ahead" over ethical journalism.

As for the gender ratio of the staff, almost all positions of higher editorial authority are held by men and, fittingly, all of the "stars" of the paper are men. But regardless of the gender ratio, all female staff and contributors must work within the Stranger's hip and misogynist parameters. For instance, a woman reporter can write an article in defense of a "persecuted" porn shop, but she cannot write an article critical of the pornography industry.

That doesn't mean that the women who work for the Stranger don't have talent. Some of the female contributors are quite talented. I believe their talents are used to legitimize the paper--to hide the Stranger's underlying reactionary treatment of women, and to help protect the paper from accusations of sexism.

Your assertion that I drew my conclusions based on "selective" reading of the Stranger is strange indeed. How is one suppose to write an analytical article without selecting anything to analyze? Unfortunately, I did not have to search far and wide for my "selection." Most of the examples of sexism that I presented were drawn from only two recent issues. That in itself is alarming.

But by accusing me of being "selective," you seem to be admitting that you think "some" sexism in the paper is okay--so long as not everything is sexist. Sounds like we agree that sexism in the paper exists side by side with the presentation of gender equality. As I wrote in my article, that's part of what allows the Stranger to get away with its misogyny. How about a new policy of "no sexism," Jennifer?

(Readers who missed the critique of the Stranger can find it online at http://www.saidit.org/AGSTRANG.htm)


Dawn for City Council

I am responding to your assessment of Dawn Mason in the August 1999 issue of Said It.

Dawn is a candidate for Position #9, Seattle City Council. Given the field, Dawn is the only viable candidate in the race. She is the only candidate with public sector experience having been elected twice to the Washington State House of Representatives.

Dawn is a people person and in touch with the pulse of the citizenry. Dawn listens and gets results for her constituency. She has been rated as "Outstanding Legislator of the Year" by the Washington Student Lobby in 1997. Dawn has also been acknowledged as a Woman of Achievement by the Women's funding Alliance in 1992.

Dawn is the only candidate addressing the issues that affect women from an economic development strategy as women's issues are broad based. She has lead the way for positive change for women of all ages. Dawn's past record from the Legislature is a forecast of the success we voters can expect to see from her in the City Council Dawn 'brings the bacon home' to the citizenry.

Dawn Mason would be an excellent addition to the Seattle City Council.

Nina Harding



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