MaryJanesFarms Magazine – Too White For MeMay 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.