In addition to trying to cut back on my consumer consumption in general, I’ve tried to cut back on the number of magazines I subscribe to, but it feels like every other day there’s another magazine stuffed into my mailbox. Either a grandchild is selling subscriptions as a fund raiser or my sister sends me her “gift” subscription and before you know it, the issues are piling up. Sometimes I feel guilty because I feel like there’s never enough time to read them all and they end up getting neglected.
Last Wednesday afternoon found me sitting in my favorite reading spot taking some time out of my day and spending it with one of my many magazines. And that magazine was the November issue of National Geographic, WOMEN, A Century of Change. All contributing writers, photographers and artists are female. The issue is chockful of photographs and interviews women from all walks of life and highlights the female voice throughout history.
In reading the issue, I was particularly taken by a quote from Christine Amapour, chief international correspondent for CNN:
The most important challenge is still being considered second-class citizens, and the most important thing for us is to get men on our side, period. This has to be something that men help us with, it’s not a question of just swapping who’s dominant. We’re not looking for female dominance, we’re looking for equality and to level the playing field – and we can’t do that without men’s buy-in as well.
Women have always made important contributions to our society, they just haven’t always been given the credit. Hedy Lamarr, Ada Lovelace, and Rosalind Franklin are just a few of the women who made brilliant discoveries only to have them stolen by greedy men who took all the credit, published them in journals, won prizes for them and earned millions of dollars from them! I’m hoping that my grandchildren growing up today with women visible as scientists, lawyers, doctors, Supreme Court justices, athletes and in every other walk of life, will have no doubt in their minds that men and women are equals and celebrate the accomplishments of ALL people.
National Geographic was started in 1888 by 33 men of science and letters who gathered in a wood-paneled club in Washington DC and voted it into existence. There was not a single woman in the room. Since its inception the magazine has had ten editors. The current editor is Susan Goldberg. Ms. Goldberg is the first woman editor and in her November Letter from the Editor promised to “…aim to bring more women’s lives into the light – and more women’s voices into the conversation…”
I’m hoping you get an afternoon to spend some time with this amazing issue. And I’m hoping Ms. Goldberg keeps her promise.
C’est la vie.