Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ms. Magazine Turns 35

I have a love/hate relationship with anniversary issues, particularly when they are celebrated in quarterly ones like Ms. Magazine. The issue quickly diverts from present day feminist politics to a historic trajectory of where we’ve come and where the heck we’re going. A who’s who list is cultivated to show the breadth of feminist leaders—which inevitably falls short.

But, I dutifully read through my Fall 2007 issue of Ms., feeling a twinge of guilt when I remember how I literally squealed when the last issue of Bitch hit my door, because surely I have much to learn from women who raised female wages, exposed the ad industry, deconstructed the definition of marriage, put more women in politics, title IX—the list is endless. (My favorite fun fact from the issue compares Pat Summitt’s salary in 1974, which was $8,900, to 2004, when she became the first collegiate women’s coach to be paid over $1 million).

One group of thankful voices in the issue comes from the Girls Editorial Board, editors ages 8-14 of New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams. My faith in feminism is further restored. New Moon is an ad free publication, where 80% of the content is written by girl readers. Now, I know Fringe readers are more likely to pick up a copy of The New Yorker rather than New Moon but how inspiring it is to see our youngest cohorts have a place where one is “Free to Be…You and Me.” I’m still a proud reader of New Moon even though I’m much older than 14 and not because I’m nostalgic for my youth (trust me, those weren’t my best years). I continue to read feminist publications because I want you and me to be free.

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