Words From The Editor: We’ve Got Mail!

Contact me with your thoughts and ideas at editor@wncwoman.com

Contact me with your thoughts and ideas at editor@wncwoman.com

Usually I write an introduction to each issue to let you Dear Readers know what to expect… and to whet your appetite. This month I received two Letters that led to a conversation between one of the writers and me; and both letters can lead to dialogues that I hope you will want to participate in after you read them.

But briefly, I will mention that this month’s issue, our annual one on the Power of Relationships, should be even more inspiring and thought provoking than usual.

Be sure to read the articles on Big Sisters and the one on OpenDoors to see what several women are doing to mentor kids who would otherwise have fewer opportunities.

As the cover states, this issue is about our relationships to Self, to those we love and those we consider enemies; to our health, our sexuality and even death. And do, please, read the following Letters from readers and comment either to Editors@archives.wncwoman.com or on our WNC Woman Facebook page.

In response to your Words from the Editor [Jan 2013], I would like to respond.

Newtown and mass killings most likely have a direct link to the shooters having taken anti-depressant drugs for a mental condition. This was found in Columbine but never made public. Drug Companies are being protected – even by our Congress by taking money – for votes.

The other major factor is the shooter’s hatred and blame of others for his own problems. If the Love of God and the laws of God, the Ten Commandments (Thou shall not kill, etc.) were in one’s heart, he would have this Love and would not imagine in his heart to go out and kill. This is the problem, not “guns”.

The only answer is for this Nation to get back to God the Creator of this Universe. The government, our schools, some churches and some parents are at fault for allowing atheists and those who do not believe in God to remove prayer, the Bible, the Ten Commandments and basic Christian teaching from our schools and communities. You cannot have real love, except through God, for He is Love. This is the problem, not “guns”.

In John 15, Jesus said if you remain in Me and keep my Commandments you will remain in My Love. If a child is taught this he will not grow up with hatred in his heart and go out and shoot innocent victims even if he is mentally ill.


Dear Sandi,

I just wanted to let you know how sickened I am by the sexist comment made by one of your writers, Jeanne Charters, in this month’s WNCWoman. I am working on my own two publishing deadlines and do not have time to write a full letter to you/the editor about this, but as a long time reader and as a native to this area and as a scholar and teacher of Women’s Studies in the university for 30 years, I was appalled and very disappointed.

I don’t turn away from naming racism, sexism, or other forms of prejudice and discrimination. I just did not expect it in a magazine that is supposedly pro-female.

Although it saddens me that she [Jeanne Charters] chose to personify “Cancer” as female, that is her literary choice. But her statement: “I choose to call it a her because I don’t think men are capable of such sneakiness….” (p8) i.e. women are sneaky, men aren’t, etc. That is called sexism, not “funny” not cute, not witty as a literary devise. Change it to a nationality, a race, culture, etc and perhaps you would have seen it more clearly and edited such a statement.

I’m disgusted.

I hope others write you as well. As the editor I think you should have caught this. And, I hope you will own the mistake.

Wish I had more time, but I don’t. I have my own writing to do and edit.

Kim Duckett, Ph.D.

Editors’s Response:

Dear Kim,
I know a lot of readers think I should not allow writers to make these kinds of comments (she once said Republicans were stupid; that got a strong response!) but what happens, and what I value, is that it gets discussion going and there’s just not enough give and take in the mag for my taste. If I censored her we would not have had the opportunity to get and print your letter!!!

Thanks again,

Dear Sandi,
I have a feeling that if she or another writer under your care were to have made a remark such as: “we all know black people are lazier than white people,” or “Jewish people are stingy,” etc. that you would not have printed it. I certainly hope not. Hopefully you would stand up for what is right and not participate in such ugliness. That is not censorship, that is doing the right thing as an editor and not perpetuating bigotry.

I believe now that what is OK with you are sexist remarks about women. Which to me, are just as horrible as a racist or anti-semantic comment published in a local paper.

I personally am 0% tolerance for racism, classim, sexism, and other bigoted stances. They are dangerous. They cost people their lives.

I don’t want to be a part of a way of “generating discussion” in your newspaper. It feels manipulative.

So, I will do what I have always had the right to do and often have done, i.e. I will not be reading WNC Woman any longer, nor shopping with your advertisers, and I will be sharing this situation with every one on my e-lists, which are considerable.

I’m sad about this. Very sad.

WNCWoman has been a source of pride for me at times, though it is definitely not my cup of tea when it comes to real women’s issues, etc. But I have been glad that it is there rather than just Verve or Curve or whatever else those other so called “women’s” monthlies’ names are.

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be ugly to you personally, not at all. I’m just shocked and I don’t have the energy or desire any more to put up with harmful isms. I just won’t participate.

Kim Duckett

Editor’s Note: I hope readers will respond to me or on our Facebook page to keep this discussion going. About language, “isms,” gun control, etc.

Also, what is the role of the Editor of a publication vis a vis the writers; how much freedom do I allow them?

Where DO we draw the line? My personal opinion is that if a remark is not blatant racism, sexism, etc. that allowing the writer to express it offers an opportunity for discussion, just as this conversation is taking place because Jeanne expressed her feelings about her cancer in a way that at least one reader saw as stereotyping women as sneaky. If, in the editing process I had “swept it under the rug” would that have been better or worse. What do you think?

Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker