Job well-done

The Chronicle has debuted front page covers about LGBT bullying and LSD-use at local parties, but I have yet to see a cover generate as much discussion as today’s–Juliana Discher‘s feature on the “Meninist” Twitter account.

The account, supposedly a joke, uses thin humor to attack women and complain about what it deems to be men’s problems. Juliana included two perspectives in her story: the “meninist” supporter and the less-than-pleased feminist.

And it started this:

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And this is just a teaser.

Our Tweet to the Editor question–“Meninist” or Feminist? Share your perspective–elicited a similar response. The Chronicle is a misogynistic, know-nothing institution that is best placed in a trashcan.

Fine.

I insist–no arguments here. Our editors have already explained how a newspaper works: our opinions are only reflected in the staff editorial and within individual columns. We are not allowed to write a transition without attributing the information in it to a source. Juliana’s story is a feature, so it has to continue on page 19, in the feature section, as the order of our paper is news, opinion, feature, sports.

And this may not be known to much of the student body. It does not change the fact, however, that I disagree with everything the “Meninist” supporter said. He attributes not wanting a woman to have a man open the door for her as “radical feminism,” as if a woman’s choice to open the door for herself would hurt anyone in the slightest.

Evidently he lacks understanding of the reasoning for feminism and the actual problems, much more serious than door-opening, from which women are fighting to protect themselves. I don’t sympathize with some students’ portrayal of him as a tragic hero for having such an unpopular opinion, though I do applaud his bravery in voicing it.

None of this is in the paper.

It can’t be. The paper can only reflect what matters to the students. MHS has both “meninists” and feminists, so we printed it. We opened a forum for students to share opinions, which even our critics admit.

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Hello, Ira. Real person here. I don’t mind the opinion. There is something to be said for voicing feminist issues that need addressing–rape culture, unequal pay, no maternity leave–though few of the tweets I’ve seen have touched on concrete issues, but rather antagonized anyone with a pulse.

 

Still not angry: I won’t report anyone to the district. I feel that as a paper, our job is done. It’s the New York Times 164th birthday today; do you think any of its writers are sitting behind a desk thinking, ‘Gee, hope I don’t offend anyone today’? Journalism doesn’t work like that: the nature of the news is that it is controversial. (It’s my second year as a student journalist, and I’ve already been told that if I’m looking for praise to find another job. I’m not.)

Students are talking; there is debate. Instead of sliding by the paper in first bell and forgetting to pick up an extra in second, students have responded to the twitter maelstrom by reading. Because this is an issue about which everyone cares, in some way or another, and Juliana, or the Disch, has handled it with poise. As a newspaper, this is more than we could hope for.

So congratulations, editors on a stellar issue to start the year. If I had one wish, it would be not that the paper took less heat, but that the response allowed feminists a platform to be heard, rather than just dismissed, once more, as just angry. But in that regard, “I’m not surprised, just disappointed.”

 

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