Sexism on the cover of Books in Canada?

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derrick derrick's picture
Sexism on the cover of Books in Canada?

 

derrick derrick's picture

The January - February 2008 issue of Books in Canada: The Canadian Review of Books features a caricature of Naomi Klein together with the headline 'The Knotted Knickers of Naomi Klein.'

The review inside is by Nicholas Maes, who argues unconvincingly that Naomi is a mere left-wing ideologue [note: he means this as an insult] and that her thesis ignores all contrary evidence. He's especially upset about the criticism of Israel and even asserts that the world would be a much worse place without the benevolent role of U.S. military power. This review, entitled 'Poisonous Pen,' is supplemented by an editorial by Olga Stein (the editor) that also takes her to task for being anti-Israel, anti-U.S., etc...

The content of these articles is not the shocking part, but rather the crude sexist cliche and the offensive way that they use Klein's notoriety to sell some copies.

wordylefty

I subscribe to Books in Canada and I won't be renewing over that front cover illustration. We all, of course, are entitled to our opinions, however when an opinion is proposed in such a derogatory way, one must be held accountable. I replied to the article on my blog: [url=http://www.wordylefty.wordpress.com]www.wordylefty.wordpress.com[/url]

martin dufresne

Good on you.
I also wrote the editor:

olga.stein@rogers.com

"Your sexist anti-Naomi Klein cover sacrificed to political expediency much of Books in Canada's credibility.

Shame.

Martin Dufresne
Montreal

[ 26 March 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

CanadianNurse

I also wrote to object to the cover & wanted to share with you the response I got from Olga Stein, the editor. I was a bit taken aback, to say the least!
First, my letter:

Dear Ms. Stein,
In my opinion, "Books in Canada" has sacrificed a great deal of its serious credibility as the reliable source regarding Canadian Books by the sexist and sensationalist caricature and title that you used on the cover of the February 2008 issue. Nichlas Maes' article was also a surprise, seeming to be completely uninformed about actual historical fact and observable evidence, doing nothing to enhance "Books in Canada's" reputation. However, the cover is the much greater insult, exhibiting very bad taste, extremely poor judgement, as well as flagrant sexism. I will not be continuing to read "Books in Canada", unless a very public apology is given to Ms. Klein and to your readers - perhaps in the form of a cover.

Within 5 mins., I got her reply, with no salutation:
"I'm afraid we'll just have to do without your subscription then. To call the cover sexist is preposterous. It's a caricature. There's a venerable tradition of using caricatures to poke fun at 'public' figures. And after all, Ms. Klein makes it clear she doesn't mind getting 'personal' with her ideological enemies. Ms. Klein is not being sold as a sex symbol on the cover, nor is her intelligence being denigrated in any way—merely her political hysteria.
A reader, by the way, is in no position to demand anything. He/she writes a respectful letter to letter and hopes it is published.
Nough said. I'll gladly ask that you be removed off of our subscription list.

quote:


remind remind's picture

Wow, just wow.

500_Apples

What is a "Knotted Knickers" ? is that an expression from the 1960s? I couldn't find it on urbandictionary.com.

clersal

Clichй: Don't get your knickers in a knot
Explanation: 1. Don't get upset or angry.
Country: Australia

lagatta

Urban dictionary can be woefully (US) American. (so can babble, by the way, especially about the US elections)...

"Don't get your knickers" (panties) in a knot is a very common expresson, originally British, but known in many countries. Guess the best definition is "don't worry about trifles".

I haven't seen the cover, but "panty" stuff about an attractive female has the subtext of not taking what she says very seriously.

clersal

According to Google it originated in
Australia.
But what does Google know.

lagatta

Could be, and I confess I'd rather credit the Aussies than the Brits.

Like "plonk" - that is supposed to be an Aussie expression for cheap vino (especially white), but who knows?

jas

I found this statement very interesting:

quote:

A reader, by the way, is in no position to demand anything. He/she writes a respectful letter to letter and hopes it is published. Nough said. I'll gladly ask that you be removed off of our subscription list.

I guess Books in Canada is independently wealthy and doesn't even need readership! I'll keep that in mind.

[ 07 April 2008: Message edited by: jas ]

Geneva

quote:


Originally posted by derrick_okeefe:
[b]The January - February 2008 issue of Books in Canada: The Canadian Review of Books features a caricature of Naomi Klein together with the headline 'The Knotted Knickers of Naomi Klein.'
.[/b]

is there a link, at least to the cover??
NOT HERE:
[url=http://www.booksincanada.com/]http://www.booksincanada.com/[/url]

because the words used reflect a mildly archaic but colourful English, no more

[ 07 April 2008: Message edited by: Geneva ]

CanadianNurse

Wow! Verrrrrry Innterrestting......! The objectionable cover has disappeared?!? Maybe Olga got more than a few letters objecting. Hope so!

Wonder what Naomi Kelin thought of the caricature of her?

Btw, my mother-in-law is a Brit, born & bred & still living there at 94 y.o. She says "Don't get your knickers in a knot" has been used in England all of her life - so I suspect it's a British phrase. My husband - who grew up there, but has been here for 25 years - still always asks if I want my "knickers" put in the dryer?