LETTER FROM THE EDITORS | spring 2002
This is the first letter we have ever written together, a symbol of the new adventure that begins with this special issue.
We want you to know what led up to today.
Three years ago when women investors bought Ms., making it once again the only national magazine for women that is owned and controlled by women, Ms. was able to decide its own destiny for the first time in a dozen years. Staff and friends could also explore the best path for the future.
Though conventional investors would have maintained Ms. as a for-profit corporation, members of this new board also explored the idea of proceeding as a non-profit. After all, as they said, "The truth is that Ms.'s first goal has always been making women's lives better, not making money. Besides, any future profits should go back into the magazine and the movement."
After looking at potential umbrellas that ranged from women's colleges and university women's centers to national foundations, one group emerged as the right choice: the Feminist Majority Foundation, a major national and international research and action group with many projects; a movement in itself.
Ever since the decision to join together, we've been discovering many reasons why the result will be greater than the sum of its parts. As founders of Ms. magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation, we want you to know that you, as a reader of Ms., will benefit from this synergy.
Ms. has always been unique for its coverage of women around the world. The Feminist Majority Foundation has a Global Feminism Project and was the first U.S. group to launch a campaign against gender apartheid in Afghanistan. (see our Inside Report). Together, we will be able to build better bridges over national boundaries, bring you more information, and offer new ways that you can support -- and learn from--women in other countries.
Ms. health exposes have created awareness, inspired activism, and helped save readers' health and lives. The Feminist Majority Foundation has led many activist campaigns; for example, helping ordinary citizens to protect clinics from anti-abortion demonstrators, and bringing Mifepristone (RU-486) into the United States as an alternative to surgical abortion, as well as a possible treatment for life-threatening diseases that primarily afflict women.
Together, we can share research and resources, expand investigative journalism, and also bring you the personal experience that has always been the source of the women's health movement.
Ms. is read in a wide range of classrooms, from women's studies to communications and political science. The Feminist Majority Foundation has affiliates at more than 100 colleges and universities, plus activities on 700 campuses. Together, we can empower and inform students, both inside and outside the classroom.
We will keep our individual web sites, but together, we will have our own server, update daily, and invite many more conversations--which also will inform the pages of Ms.
Ms. will retain its editorial independence, with a separate staff and board of advisors. The Feminist Majority Foundation will retain its own identity, agenda, and power. By sharing the resources and the bicoastal offices of the Feminist Majority Foundation in California and Washington, D.C., Ms. will help create a community and center of resources that will be an energy cell in itself.
We are especially grateful to Suzanne Braun Levine, Ms.'s first and most longstanding editor, who has created this special transitional issue. As guest editor, she brings all her years of experience back to us.
For the rest of this year Ms. will be published quarterly. We promise that Ms. will continue naming new issues and providing the investigative journalism and humor, creativity and community that you expect. All we can say is: If the fun we are having working together is any measure of what's in store for you, we can promise you a very good time!
|Eleanor Smeal, president, Feminist Majority Foundation
||Gloria Steinem, consulting editor, Ms. magazine
Gloria Steinem and Ellie Smeal