MaryJanesFarms Magazine – Too White For Me

May 21, 2010

I was reading through the latest issue of MaryJanesFarms magazine.  It was a short article by a woman whose parents had been sharecroppers in Georgia.  There was no picture with the article and I fleetingly wondered about the author’s race.  Race? I wonder… Surely there are pictures of other than white women in this magazine.  Yes, on page 32, in a one paragraph piece about how MaryJanesFarm raised “nearly $900 for earthquake relief in Haiti by donating a percentage of website sales and magazine subscriptions” (seems kind of puny to me) there is a small picture of a Haitian woman.  I checked the other issue I had kicking around still.  Not a single picture of a woman of color.

It seems to me that women of color have a lot to contribute to a magazine about strong women/farm girls (that farm girls thing still grates me).  And perhaps these women are contributing, but the photographs and illustrations certainly suggest that this is a magazine for and about white women.

I am simultaneously flabbergasted and disgusted.  But, I will give them a chance to explain.  I’ve e-mailed the magazine pointing out my observation and asking

Could you tell me a bit about the way photographs are chosen for the magazine as I decide whether MaryJanesFarm’s underlying values are ones I can support?

I’ll wait a day or two and see what they have to say.

tick tick tick tick

OK – I sent my e-mail on Monday it is now Friday and not a word.  And so my recommendation is do not buy MaryJanesFarm’s magazine.  There are some aspects of the magazine that I admire – the recycled paper for one – but this total disregard for a significant percentage of the US population (there isn’t much, besides the aforementioned “support” to Haiti that suggests awareness of a world beyond the US) is … so many adjectives come to mind… objectionable (too weak), offensive (not broad enough), stupid (true), contemptible (not quite right), unsupportable (definitely), misguided (too polite), wrong-headed (certainly), an attempt to spread a whites-only message without saying it out loud while hiding behind a fake message of sustainability, fake because real sustainability includes social, economic, and environmental sustainability and a whites-only ideology is anything but socially sustainable (whoops, a bit longer than an adjective).

Yes, there are occasional cute and interesting tidbits in the magazine – but nothing cuter or more interesting than you can find on the web for free.  Spend your time and money elsewhere.


One comment

  1. Wow, so you never heard anything?! I don’t think I’ll be getting that magazine,either. I had the same issue with that picture frame company, Exposures. I used to get their catalog and noticed the blond blue-eyed kids on every page. I wrote to them, too. Just curious, I went to their website tonight to check and nothing has changed!! Get a clue, people!

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