ver the subjects or issues women discussed?"
Forum 80 Reply: "He was working but
we've told him about it. By the way, he is
silver-haired, elegant and...shamefaced."
Fran Hosken, publisher and editor of
Win News (Women's International Network News) wrote: The Forum 80 newspaper amazingly turned out to be edited
by two men. The astonishing fact emerged
that at a women's conference where more
than 1,000 women reporters as well as
large numbers of editors and publishers
were accredited, the representative of the
NGOs who sponsored the Forum 80 newspaper gave two men the responsibility of
the publication of this newspaper, and at
least half the articles were written by men.
Rosalynn Harris, the NGO representative, told WIN NEWS that "no experienced women editors, publishers, reporters
Feminist publications from around the
world thought otherwise. Several of them
voiced their sentiments in a letter to Forum 80 (July 28): "We, the undersigned,
from the following feminist publications,
would like to register our protest to the
organizers of the NGO Forum about the
way that feminist groups and publications
have been dealt with.
1) It is a matter of great concern to us
that many of the major feminist magazines
and papers were not even informed about
the conference. They were not even sent
a handout to publicize that such a conference was taking place. We feel strongly
that all these publications should have
been officially invited to attend and cover the conference.
2) This attitude of bypassing is reflected throughout the conference. A good
example: It seems that the NGO Forum
found it necessary to invite a distinguished
male journalist to be the editor of the NGO
newspaper when it would have been a
unique opportunity to bring together
many of the women here involved in
writing on women's issues. We feel that
this task of covering a women's conference
should legitimately have been the responsibility of feminist journalists."
Noidonne — Italy
Courage - Federal Republic of Germany
Voice of Women — Sri Lanka
Second Class Working Class — U. S. A.
Fern — Mexico
ISIS - Geneva
ISIS - Italy
Sparerib — England
Manushi — India
Des Femmes en Mouvement — France
A Woman's Place - England
Boston Women's Health Book Collective
- U. S. A.
A reading of several issues of
Forum 80 confirmed that the publication
was indeed guilty as charged. The cartoons and photographs were particularly
offensive, and the stories tended to patronize. Landau reports that women were
not asked to edit the newspaper to avoid
"controversy over First World/U.S. domination." It is ironic then that the male
editor was British, and the bulk of the
stories and cartoons carried such First-
World bylines as John Rowley, Tony Hall
and David Willson.
mentality reminds one of the 1976 presidential debates, the culmination of
months of organizing by the League of
Women Voters. After all the hard work
was done, the starring role of moderator
was awarded to Howard K. Smith.
(Thanks to Donna Allen, Media
Report to Women, Washington DC for
the material on Fran Hosken and the feminist publications letter to Forum 80.)
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Illustrations from FORUM 80, published daily during the Copenhagen Women's Conference.