January 15, 2009 by The New Agenda
Thank you, Amy, for speaking up us.
You were FABULOUS!!!!!!!! I cannot say enough praise and thanks to you! I loved how you turned the words around: question vs statement and what a powerfully different message that would have sent.
Only you know all of what you said during the half hour taping. But, I thought the clips that CNN used were right on!!! I hope you pleased with what they chose to edit and use.
AND, I thought you got way more air time than the Ms. Mag rep, and if that true (I didn’t time it, just my sense), that’s great, too!
And, I love how the segment ended with the commentators pointing out that sales of the magazine are up, due in part, perhaps (it was ambiguous) to this cover. In my mind, that simply showed how this is about the almighty dollar and not values.
Congratulations and thank you.
You were so poised, so professional, and you looked so confident and radiant as you spoke.
Truly, Amy, I can’t say enough positive things about it!!!!!!!!!!
Meanwhile, if Ms. claims they’ve received primarily positive comments, then I say, let’s keep slamming them with negative ones!!!!! Keep our own little presses running everyone!!!!!!!!
Thank you Amy for sticking with us through thick and thin!
We need to always be alert.
Instead of Superman they should have considered Obama as a
FOX, that would have been more suitable.
Ms Magazine has left the path for women. They have lost my trust, and taught me an important lesson. Free at last.
LETTER TO MS. MAG: ROUND 2
To the Editor:
I recently saw CNN’s coverage of your upcoming Ms. Magazine cover. I found your defense of the cover pitifully weak, though how it could be otherwise?
Ms. Magazine is a rare magazine purportedly devoted to a feminist agenda. Curiously, you decided to place Barack Obama as Superman on your cover. You have done this in 2009, when women remain sorely underrepresented at the highest levels of government, with only 16% of women governors and 17% of women in Congress. You have done this in a year of unprecedented sexist treatment of two major political leaders (Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin), not to mention having two women vying for the two top offices in the country. And you have done this despite a series of missed opportunities and misguided choices by Barack Obama regarding women’s rights (his silence on the matter of Jon Favreau and his selection of Rick Warren to give the Invocation on Inauguration Day are two examples that come to mind).
I can only wonder if the drive for the almighty dollar has trumped any shred of commitment you had remaining to your actual mission.
You have sadly lost your way.
Letter to the Editor
Michele Kort, Senior Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Stites, Associate Editor email@example.com
Alysse Bortolotto, Web Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Soderberg, Online News Ed email@example.com
Additional Comments form
800) 787-1414 or (310) 556-2515
Liberty Media for Women*, LLC, Publisher of Ms. Magazine
*owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation.
The Feminist Majority
East coast office:
1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 801
Arlington, VA 22209
Ellie Smeal, President
West coast office:
433 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Kathy Spillar, Executive Vice President
That was excellent! You rock, Amy! Having you to go out and speak on our behalf makes me feel like I am starting to be represented.
As far as the Ms. Magazine response – they didn’t look so good. “A couple” people contacted them criticizing the cover…. Really? Just two? And making the silly argument that we are just upset that a man was on the cover… so easily debunked.
It’s been a good day. Thank you!
Sorry, last post on this thread, but gotta’ say how amazing it is that just a few days ago there was a piece titled “Yes, we are aware of the Ms. Magazine cover….” and just a few days later Amy’s on CNN representing true feminists all across America!
Yes, Ali, as you say: “a good day”. Lots of work to be done, but nice to have a moment to enjoy feeling like a sane voice was out there telling it like it is!
Great interview Amy! Your point of view came across so well. Thank you for being such an excellent spokesperson for us all. With acknowledgement of CNN’s bias I am wondering what nuggets they omitted to show from the 30 minutes you shared with them!
And how can that Ms magazine representative possibly say that they received only a ‘couple’ of negative comments when we know so many people sent emails. I would guess more like a couple of thousand…It was a major focus of activity for several groups that post on the web apart from TNA.
Anna, fantastic followup letter to Ms Magazine!
Let’s ensure that the Executive Editor knows that more than just a couple of people disagree with the magazine’s choice of cover, even if she is unlikely to share that information with the American people. Include other media outlets and news organizations.
Is there a place at CNN or elsewhere in Big Media where we can post our comments in a PUBLIC comment string for all to see?
If so, pls let me know and I’ll put a link at PumaResponders.blogspot.com
- what barf, his record already shows he is anything but pro-feminist and the sexism/mysogyny he tacitly endorsed and allowed to happen portends what I already have called high tech witch burning – much more to come I’m afraid. What would give anyone pause to think otherwise? Ms. can shove it, what a bunch of market hookers,anything to boost sales, eh ?
Great interview. first I thought CNN cut you off, but then you were back with your full message. you mentioned if Ms would have put the sentence on the t-shirt as question instead of a statement “Is a Obama a feminist?” what different message that would have been.
I am wondering what will happen to the term feminist, since Obama has not renounced it. will being a feminist now become a positive term? filled with no or very unclear meaning?
fsteele – Great idea. I’m running out but when I get back will start to look into that.
Amy – you were fantastic! Thanks for always being there when all the other women’s organizations aren’t. You set an excellent example of what these “women’s rights organizations” should be doing (instead of sucking-up to the patriarchy).
Great job Amy.
CNN is doing their usual routine; marginalizing “our” concerns.
I saw the clip of that Ugh…………”feminist” Naomi Wolf. She got “5″ mins. to your broken-up less than “1″ min.
I’m telling them you deserve a “rematch”.
“fsteele” thanks for all the links; I’ll “cc” your & Amy what I send.
The video is on CNN’s home page and all over the blogosphere. We’re getting additional press from it.
That Wolf woman is irrelevant. Not worth a word on this page.
fsteele – I couldn’t find anything on CNN. As you can imagine, this is a particularly intense news cycle, with the upcoming change in administration, etc. They do have a piece on Clinton’s farewell speech to the Senate and a blog that accompanies it. But, I’m afraid it’s likely that the Ms. Mag issue is chump change right now. Of course, there may well be something somewhere on the CNN site and I just couldn’t find it. I’m not super computer savy nor patient!
Thanks. CNN is usually not good for comment strings. If they have one at all, they close comments very soon.
Thank you, Amy….I spent a good deal of this evening arguing with a dear friend of mine who is an obot.
I read a poem about this ms. mag cover last night, tho, and several people came up and thanked me.
It’s sad that so much of the informing and educating rests on our shoulders!!!!
Wonderful interview Amy! Well done. Thank you.
I don’t believe for a minute that Ms. only received two complaints about the cover . . .
In searching the Internet, I found some interesting material. Here is a copy of an email Ms. Magazine sent touting their cover and soliciting subscriptions to the magazine and offering the poster if people subscribe: http://lyris.spc.int/read/messages?id=62096
Suggested Action Plan:
1. Keep up the pressure on Ms. Magazine. Email, fax, mail the Ms. Magazine contacts listed earlier in this thread.
2. The Ms. representative on CNN was Katherine Spillar. Here is her contact information:
Executive Vice President
Feminist Majority Foundation
Executive Editor, Ms. magazine
433 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90212
310 556 2500 phone
310 556 2509 fax
2. Consider SENDING A COPY OF YOUR CORRESPONDENCE with Ms Magazine TO CNN CONTACTS. The CNN reporter was: Jason Carroll. CNN will see that there is a large outcry against the Ms. cover, not just 2 people.
Here is a great list of CNN contacts:
3. Additional CNN contact information:
One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Email forms for all CNN news programs
Together we are strong!
I wrote to Lou Dobbs @ CNN & “cc’d” it to MS & other media outlets.
I called & left a message on:
#310-556-2515 left by “Anna” earlier.
Thanks, when I called they gave a “Media # of a SUZIE”.
It’s really late now & would be rude to call; but here’s the # “if” antone wants for tomorrow.
Thanks again Amy
Great job Amy! Can’t wait for the magazine to come out so the New Agenda can rebuttal all the points made as to why Obama is a “feminist”.
Let’s make some images that show REAL male feminists. Like Bill Clinton, and who else?
Amy did good. But how could Naomi still refere to herself as a feminist and appear on the same show. Of course, Naomi doesn’t answer WHAT qualifies Barry as a Feminist. Was it his sexist and demeaning words and phrases when referring to Hillary…or Senator “Cutie” Boxer….or the “sweetie” reporter, or the fact that he has the least amount of women in his cabinet or that he paid women the least amount of salary in comparison to males in the same jobs in his Senate office….and most notablly. 20 cents on every dollar less than John McCain.
And obviiously Kira doesn’t have a clue. Just make any claim, even if not true. She buys that. lol
And, while Naomi also reveals a bit more about herself than she probably wanted, when talking about Bush and feminism, she sighted ( how embarrassing) their campaigns as a shallow effort to allign themselves with women.
Sure, sure Naomi, lets not talk about all the women he had in his adminstration. We wouldn’t want to embarrass Barry Soetoro Obama too much to show he has the LEAST AMOUNT of women. And that’s from how many previous presidents?
Kira, next time, EDUCATE YOURSELF BEFORE SPEAKIG AND GUSHING as embarrassingly as you did.
I have a great idea! Let’s collect a group of images of what a feminist REALLY looks like.
I created a photo album on The New Agenda Facebook Page called:
“This is what a feminist looks like”
Please go to the page and upload your photo. You have to become a fan first, if you aren’t already. Then upload your photo. I put one up of my daughters as well. They are dressed up as Laura and Carrie Ingalls who are also feminists!
Let’s see how many real feminist images we can collect!
Naomi questioned The New Agenda’s web site as to who is funding it because it is so “anti Obama” – therefore it must be funded by a right wing group. Amy – it sounds like you need to do another interview because CNN has just discredited this web blog by not countering that interview with any real facts.
Bill Clinton is a sexual predator. That’s not feminist.
Did CNN cut the clip of you? I noticed that the Ms. editor and Niomi Wolf got much more air time that you did. I like the fact that you are turning to radio as a means of getting the massage out is a good idea.
I wouldn’t describe Bill Clinton as a sexual preditor. He does cheat on his wife, but I refuse to blame her for what her husband does. Women who do that are not feminists!!!
How, by naming Bill Clinton a sexual predator, am I blaming Hillary for what Bill does?
Let’s keep the blame for his actions where it belongs; with Bill.
I guess I’m not very bright, but I can’t find the album you posted above? I posted to the wall but the album eludes me.
I wish vicious accusations against individuals, and posts referring to them, would be deleted.
In the meantime I will say that an accusation against Bill is also an accusation against Hillary for staying with him.
Bill Clinton is a wonderful feminist and President. His administration hired many women and he has been very supportive of Hillary’s candidacy and that of other women. Gore was good on this also; I don’t off-hand know of anyone else of such high position who rates as well on feminist issues.
I’d like to see other male feminists recognized, perhaps in graphics as reaction to the Ms cover.
I agree fsteels. Let’s start with your Caroline Kennedy posts.
Perhaps we could concentrate on WOMEN nominees for future MS Magazine covers.
Dr. Diane Harper, who stood up to Merck to tell the truth about Gardasil.
Chelsea Clinton–the future of feminism.
Greta Susteren–no bimbo journalism zone
Online radical feminist bloggers–where the movement has gone.
You suggest more. I’m not too knowledgeable about who’s who in American feminism, once we remove the Quislings, but, as a mother of a young woman, I sure has hell know who isn’t. Not a man who is a serial groper and phianderer.
Hillary, Palin, and Bill Clinton are all great feminists.
Obama is the opposite of a feminist.
I guess these things can be viewed from any number of perspectives:
He is the son of a woman who was used by a Kenyan man to make his life in the U.S. more comfortable, to smooth his ability to stay there, and possibly aid his student/scholar loan status; and who abandoned her and Obama as soon as it was expedient to do so.
He is the son of a mother who had ovarian cancer, but he somehow didn’t manage to get to see her before she died of the disease. (It’s quick, but not that quick).
He is the grandson of a woman whom he saw only when it was good public relations for his presidential run.
And now to Sarah Palin, from the perspective of one who lives in a similar area, and had about the same amount of money for her education. That’d be me::
Sarah Palin may have had problems similar to those this young woman and her family have to overcome in her quest for an education. She may also have been like many women, who get their education in the school of hard knocks. Surely, running a state in your country must take some skill and intelligence (Ilinois notwithstanding).
Michelle Obama is lovely, must be intelligent enough to get a degree (and have had the money for it) and her children are attractive. That’s all we really know. But Michelle is brilliant?. Courageous? Her children are spirited? All subjective and unsubstantiated.
Palin, like many of us, was busy being successful in life, so taking college courses was something she had to fit in between life tasks such as starting and running her own business and having babies.
Of course Hillary has more accomplishments than Palin so far., because Hillary is older. However for her age, Palin has great accomplishments, and all in her own name, after winning office in spite of her own party. They are both splendid feminists.
Palin’s demeanor is natural in her small town background; she would have to pay attention to appearance in order to change those mannerisms.
Obama is the opposite of a feminist; he tears down women.
Lots of people throw the word “feminist” around, but I wonder if we all share the same definition. Likely not. For some, perhaps a person earns the term, honor, of being a feminist based on their values, for others perhaps their actions, etc. So, as they do in science, maybe good to “operationalize” the key terms so we even know if we’re talking about the same thing. Just my ever-shrinking in value 2 cents….
The smear comment from the anti-Palin troll has been removed.
We made it a rule last fall that we wouldn’t publish any false information from trolls; there was a rash of them last year swarming the tubes, posting smears everywhere. “Susan” is the first anti-Palin troll I’ve seen in quite awhile, though the material is the same, right down to the rape kit lie.
You missed Nancy Byrne then.
Back to thread topic, here is a comment I like from Heidi Li.
“…If the intention was to say that men can be feminists, they should have put Bill Clinton, who put his career on hold to assist his wife achieve greatness in hers, on the cover. Or they could have put Terry McAuliffe on the cover, for his unwavering devotion to a candidate who happened to be female but who also had a record of standing by the once-core Democratic Party principles that have, in the past, made many of us proud to be Democrats.”
Good idea; back to the thread topic.
I don’t think that was the intention Heidi. No the intention was to say Obama was a feminist. It’s not ‘look, men can be feminist’s too’, or “who’s your pick for a male cover boy?: The article inside makes it clear. (Obama) is a feminist. We are saying, no, he’s not a feminist. He’s a misogynist and it’s a travesty this feminist magazine doesn’t appear to recognize his women-hating comments, acts, and appointments.
Read the rest of Heidi’s post.
If Obama is a feminist, I am a racist. Spillar has just proven how completely out of touch she is with what might have once been her core audience. According to the CNN story, however, subscriptions are up, so make hay, MS. Capitalize on the Obama-mania and ride that wave while you can. The fawning media love fest continues!
I was personally insulted by Ms. Siskind’s piece on CNN. Is this what “feminism” has become? Are we supposed to be given jobs just because? Are you ladies serious?
Faced with the current economic conditions, the first thing on most women’s minds is keeping their jobs, paying their mortgage, and feeding themselves and their families. Therefore, the fact we’re discussing having at least 52% or 56% or 60% of cabinet positions is pretty ridiculous in the grand scheme of things. In fact, short of President, the best job is that of Secretary of State and that is a check in our column. Being VP would not have afforded Mrs. Clinton the kind of visibility she will get as Secretary of State. Yes, she would have made history, but the VP role would have been a true waste of her incredible resume.
President Obama will not be able to meet the demands of these various segments who feel they should be better represented. Women feel they are being slighted, Hispanics feel they are being slighted and African Americans feel they are being slighted. How can you please all these groups? The fact is–you CANNOT.
As a woman, what I want is the MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB. If that qualified person is female, male, black, white, Hispanic etc. etc. then so be it. The attitude of, we should have because we’re female, because we’re Hispanic does this country no good.
Let me also add, I am not a fan of President O’bama. As a matter of fact, I supported Mrs. Clinton and eventually supported Sen. McCain , but that does not mean I do not want him to succeed. I recognize his success means this country wins, and that, at the end of the day is what is most important.
Sometimes the most qualified person IS a woman — who needs a little extra help to get the job.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
HTML tags are not allowed.
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail
The New Agenda is a 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls by bringing about systemic change in the media, at the workplace, at school and at home. More...