Summer is ending in a whirl here at On the Issues Magazine. While women broke records on playing fields at the London Olympics, we ran daily coverage of the Games while our ‘Level the Playing Field’ issue continued to gain plaudits and spark lively dialogue. And as the 2012 election approaches, we don’t expect things to slow down soon
History Being Made, from London to Lecture Rooms
Whether or not you’re a sports fan, you’re likely aware that this year’s summer Olympics in London were historic for women. (At left: British weighlifter Zoe Smith, one of the competitors.) How historic?As journalist Meg Heery wrote at our Sports Cafe:
“To answer the question of whether the 2012 Olympics marked a breakthrough for women in sport, all you have to do is look at the stats. For the first time, every sport had a women’s competition. As of Saturday afternoon, women had won 56 of the U.S.’s 100 medals. Of those, 29 are gold. The youngest U.S. team member, a female swimmer named Katie Ledecky, won gold and broke an American record. And that’s just the Americans. Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, at last, permitted women athletes on their teams. . . .Women were responsible for 15 of 31 world records broken. I could go on.”
Heery did, in daily reporting at the Cafe that looked at the Olympics through a feminist lens. While women racked up medals, she exulted “This is What Winning Looks Like,” with special mention of Ireland’s “Katie Taylor, The Best Amateur Boxer in the World.” Heery also took in other milestones, including those competitors from the Arab world (“Pioneers? Yes. Is it Enough? No.”) and even what happens sometimes when women compete as fiercely as men: Women’s Soccer: “You cheated!” Really?
We are changing the conversation.
Perhaps it was the Olympics buzz that drew the attention of the smart blog POPSSPOT (Power and Oppression in Sport) to our Spring issue, Level the Playing Field. “This tremendous collection stands out for its combination of quality, quantity, accessibility (its online), and readability,” the editors write. “It notably bridges common gaps between academia and new media that prevent great work from being read by a mass audience.”
You could even call that last sentence an On the Issues Magazine mission statement of sorts. And that bridge is strong: Items lately popular on social media have included Susan Bandy’s “Curious Tension: Feminism and the Sporting Woman,” Veronica Arreola’s “Beyond Olympics: Why I Pledge to Attend Women’s Sports” in the Cafe, and Merle Hoffman’s “The Anti-Abortion ‘Wailing Wall’ Gets it Wrong, Very Wrong” on Hot Topics.
Speaking of hot topics, there’s one more event left in Merle Hoffman’s summer Intimate Wars book tour. In Southhampton on Sunday, August 19, Hoffman will be appearing at a fundraiser for the Feminist Press (tickets $50), along with other Feminist Press authors Blanche Wiesen Cook, Isabel Sepulveda and Florence Howe.
And if you didn’t catch our publisher last month at the Mid-Manhattan Library, you can catch it via C-SPAN’s Book TV; Stream it at the link or set your TiVo for its last air date, 4 a.m. on August 20.
We’re also hard at work on our Fall issue, The Day After the Election: Standing Our Ground. Launching September 10 will be new writing from Jennifer Pozner, Juhu Makral, Susan Yanow and many others; art curated by Linda Stein, with an Art Perspective featuring the iconic Kate Millett (right), and poetry curated by Sarah Browning of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival. This diverse set of voices should spark conversations long after Election Day and perhaps generate new activism to address the challenges before us. Thanks for already being part of it.