Forbes censors article on women and the media as being “too controversial”

Tom Watson left Forbes because they decided to pull this story about WAM! (Women, Action & the Media). What a hero – to stick up for your morals and beliefs and give them more priority than a paycheck. We need more journalists like this.

<script async src=””></script><a class=”m-story” data-collapsed=”true” href=”″>Sexism And The Media: As Election Heats Up, Are We Nearer To Tipping Point For Equality?</a>

Note: I have resigned as a contributor to Forbes.

Yesterday, I posted this interview with Jamia Wilson of Women, Action & the Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “building a robust, effective, inclusive movement for gender justice in media.” I consider her work, and that of feminist organizers everywhere, to be vitally important to the field of social entrepreneurship and to public life.

The editors found it inappropriate for the section of Forbes I have contributed my Social Ventures column to for the last three years — and they removed it this morning. I strongly disagree with their decision and we have parted ways.

Women News Network

Check it out! 

“Women News Network is dedicated to bringing you in-depth international women’s news not found in our current public media stream. Starting from a writing assignment to cover global women’s news for the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2006, director Lys Anzia saw the vital need to report the many times hard and suffering stories of women. WNN news stories have appeared on UN affiliate and agency publications through WUNRN – Women’s UN Report Network and UN-INSTRAW, the United Nations Institute of Training and Research for the Advancement of Women.”

From:  Women News Network

Believe Women

In the Believe Women department, we have this excellent post by Elizabeth Black on the Ms. Blog:

Abused women in Maryland aren’t lying

It’s well-written and backed up by evidence both in her post and in her comment section.

If you need another reminder as to why we should believe women, see this news article on domestic violence. The father slashes his daughter’s neck and kills her 3-month-old child. She tried for 19 months to leave her father. The state attorney’s office dropped charges on one occassion, she was denied a restraining order on another, and the father ended up slashing her on the day after another restraining order ended. She did the right things, but the system set up to protect her, failed her.

Here’s the link to the article: Alleged Lehigh killer denied bond


This wasn’t the first time Rosales allegedly attacked his daughter.

Deputies arrived at another Lehigh home where the family lived in October 2008 to find Rosales Salazar’s face swollen and beaten. They placed Rosales in handcuffs and charged him with battery, although the state attorney’s office would later drop the charge. It could not be determined Friday why the charge was dismissed.


Once, in 2009, Rosales Salazar tried to move away from her father, but he followed her to her new home and choked her, according to court records. Her request for a protective order against him at that time was denied.


Here’s another article. It’s about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS; Parental Alienation; or, Parental Disorder – because they can’t get ANY of them accepted by the scientific community). PAS is based on the misogynist principle that women lie about child sexual abuse…

The term was coined in 1985 by New York psychiatrist Richard Gardner. He described it as a disorder that causes a child to vilify a parent without reason. It often arises, he said, in bitter custody cases in which one parent brainwashes a child against the other parent by making false accusations of sexual abuse. 

The article discusses Rachel’s House, a center that receives FEDERAL FUNDS to reunite children with parents they fear or harbor negative feelings towards:

The couple say that 93 percent of the kids they have dealt with show an improved relationship with a previously reviled parent. But some children who have gone through the program say they were threatened and cut off from the parent they loved.

“You can’t just open a facility with no accreditation, no oversight and say, ‘This is what we do,’ especially when you’re dealing with vulnerable children,” Silberg says.

Hero to fathers

The controversy over Rachel House and parental alienation syndrome is fanned by what many consider the outrageous ideas of the man who inspired both.

A onetime Columbia University professor, Richard Gardner thought society is too harsh on adults who have sex with kids.

What I am against is the excessively moralistic and punitive reaction that many members of our society have toward pedophiles . . . far beyond what I consider the gravity of the crime,” he wrote in 1991.

Though he called pedophilia “a bad thing,” Gardner argued that it’s common in many cultures and that children might be less harmed by sex abuse than by the “trauma” of the legal process.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Gardner was widely quoted in counterpoint to what some felt were sensationalized allegations of sex abuse in day care centers. He was also a well-paid witness in custody cases, almost always appearing on behalf of the father.

Gardner contended that sex abuse allegations arising from divorce are usually false, made by a vindictive mother trying to cut off a child from the father. His typical advice: Kids should be forced to see the estranged parent, and judges should punish the “alienating” parent.

Those views made Gardner a hero to the fathers’ rights movement and an anathema to child advocacy groups.



Religion and women

Here’s Nicholas Kristof again writing about religion and women in the New York Times (with a quote below from Jimmy Carter) –

Religion and women

“Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths, creating an environment in which violations against women are justified,” former President Jimmy Carter noted in a speech last month to the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Australia.

“The belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God,” Mr. Carter continued, “gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo.”

And, hey, the Dalai Lama is a feminist!!!



Three billion dollars. That’s how much money the government spent in about two months on the Cash-for-Clunkers program: US Cash-for-Clunkers Roars to Finish Line


Three hundred billion dollars. That’s how much is spent on prisons in a 5-year time span: High Cost of Prisons Not Paying Off, Report Finds.


One and a half to 3 million women and girls. That’s how many women and girls are estimated to be killed by violence from an intimate partner or family member in the world in one year:  Women and Gendercide


At least 3 women. That’s how many women are killed by domestic violence in the United States in one day, every day:  Prevalence of Domestic Violence


Three million children. That’s how many children are exposed to domestic violence each day, resulting in depression, anxiety, behavioral and physical problems: Behind Closed Doors


Three billion dollars. That’s how much money the government spends in 5 years on the Violence Against Women Act: Office on Violence Against Women


The US government spent $3 billion dollars on the Cash-for-Clunkers program in two months, $300 billion on prison systems in 5 years and $3 billion on VAWA in 5 years.

I’d say the government thinks more of prisoners and clunkers than it does of women.

Saving the world’s women

When I started reading this piece in the New York Times Magazine, I wanted to scream, “They get it! They finally get it!” Well, they’re close enough anyway and I’ll take this as a very positive step forward.

Saving the world’s women is a 7-page article written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Traditionally, the status of women was seen as a “soft” issue — worthy but marginal. We initially reflected that view ourselves in our work as journalists. We preferred to focus instead on the “serious” international issues, like trade disputes or arms proliferation. Our awakening came in China.

After we married in 1988, we moved to Beijing to be correspondents for The New York Times. Seven months later we found ourselves standing on the edge of Tiananmen Square watching troops fire their automatic weapons at prodemocracy protesters. The massacre claimed between 400 and 800 lives and transfixed the world; wrenching images of the killings appeared constantly on the front page and on television screens.

Yet the following year we came across an obscure but meticulous demographic study that outlined a human rights violation that had claimed tens of thousands more lives. This study found that 39,000 baby girls died annually in China because parents didn’t give them the same medical care and attention that boys received — and that was just in the first year of life. A result is that as many infant girls died unnecessarily every week in China as protesters died at Tiananmen Square. Those Chinese girls never received a column inch of news coverage, and we began to wonder if our journalistic priorities were skewed.

A similar pattern emerged in other countries. In India, a “bride burning” takes place approximately once every two hours, to punish a woman for an inadequate dowry or to eliminate her so a man can remarry — but these rarely constitute news. When a prominent dissident was arrested in China, we would write a front-page article; when 100,000 girls were kidnapped and trafficked into brothels, we didn’t even consider it news.

Finally, an awakening!!!

The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls and women are now missing from the planet, precisely because they are female, than men were killed on the battlefield in all the wars of the 20th century. The number of victims of this routine “gendercide” far exceeds the number of people who were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century.

I’ve also read that 1.5 to 3 million women and girls are killed each year (the source was the Economist). That’s a Holocaust every 3 years….It’s about time the media started to pay attention.

For those women who live, mistreatment is sometimes shockingly brutal. If you’re reading this article, the phrase “gender discrimination” might conjure thoughts of unequal pay, underfinanced sports teams or unwanted touching from a boss. In the developing world, meanwhile, millions of women and girls are actually enslaved.

Well, sadly the authors are not as up to date about the conditions of women in the USA – sexual assaults on campus, rape in our communities, low prosecution rates of rape and high rates of not reporting, misogyny in music and media, gender-based violence as a form of entertainment, dating violence, domestic violence, becoming homeless due to violence, losing custody of children to a batterer, the use of pseudo-science in family court, low credibility of women and children, homicide of pregnant women, homicide of prostitutes, mutilation of bodies, porn culture, facial abuse, stalking, etc. etc. etc.

We may have it better than women elsewhere, but we still don’t have equality in the USA. We face many problems related to poverty and violence. And, on fact, I believe our country ranks #27 on the Gender Equality Index scales. We have a long way to go, baby.

If poor families spent only as much on educating their children as they do on beer and prostitutes, there would be a breakthrough in the prospects of poor countries.

We could do the same in America and we can call this program, “Porn to Poverty.” Come on, fellas, will you give up your prostitutes and porn to help alleve poverty?

I have to say I believe  a man had to be one of these writers, because when women say things like this, while it can be the truth, we are labeled man-haters. (Strange how those working on child abuse are not adult-haters and those working with the poor are not rich-bashers).

It has long been known that a risk factor for turbulence and violence is the share of a country’s population made up of young people. Now it is emerging that male domination of society is also a risk factor; the reasons aren’t fully understood, but it may be that when women are marginalized the nation takes on the testosterone-laden culture of a military camp or a high-school boys’ locker room.

Is that why I feel like I’m living in the O.K. Corral here in the US – with all our guns rights folks, violence on TV and in movies, and violence in our communities? And why we have to have highly sexualized women in the media but not men? It sure does feel like a boys locker room.

The article ends by giving recommendations on how to incorporate women into aid programs. 

Over at Shakesville, Melissa McEwan wrote a great blog on this NY Times article. I wholeheartedly agree with her that the writers never say “who” the oppressors are, but that’s common. Many of us are still not able to boldly state that men have committed violence towards women. No way, then they’ll brand us as man-haters. The media, ever so careful and ever so male-dominated, have always used this passive construct as well. If you think about it, writers are taught to use the active voice not the passive one – yet, writers continue to write about violence towards women in the passive voice.  

Here’s Melissa’s blog:   

Here’s your big chance to ask: What about the men?