Target: Martin Baron, editor of The Washington Post
Goal: Demand that the news journal retract two hateful, sexist columns and issue a public apology
The Washington Post is one of the most respected and influential news journals, which makes its decision to publish damaging, sexist articles all the more egregious. What’s more The Washington Post recently published two such articles less than forty-eight hours apart.
The first, written by George Will and titled “Colleges become the victims of progressivism,” claims that feminists and activists against sexual assault have made being a survivor of rape a coveted position, implying that women are willing to lie about being sexually assaulted in order to obtain this status. He repeatedly puts the words “sexual assault” in quotes meant to denote skepticism, and outright ignores the overwhelming evidence that rape is actually underreported. There is no privilege in having to overcome a physical and emotional trauma, especially when there are public media figures all too happy to mock and deride those with the courage to speak out.
The second article, originally titled “One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married,” viciously slut-shamed survivors of violence against women while outright ignoring the issue of domestic violence. The Post later changed the headline, but the fact remains: editors thought it was appropriate for the column’s writers, W. Bradford Willcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson, to put the blame for violence against women squarely on the victims themselves, perpetuating the very beliefs that contribute to this violence being so widespread.
Demand that the editing staff of The Washington Post retract these hateful articles, fire George Will, publish an apology and partner with women’s groups to better understand just why content like this is so dangerous and ill-advised.
Dear Mr. Baron,
Twice within a forty-eight hour period The Washington Post has published insulting and misogynistic articles. The first was “Colleges become the victims of progressivism,” a deeply misguided column by George Will about a topic he clearly knows little about. It was soon followed by “One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married,” a hateful rant by W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson.
These articles are inexcusable in their hatred towards women, and their dismissal of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. The Post made a terrible miscalculation in providing a platform for the misinformed to spew sexist and inaccurate opinions on such volatile subjects.
I demand that you retract these articles, fire George Will, publish a public apology and begin work with women’s groups to help you better understand why publishing content like this is so harmful.
Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neill via Wikimedia Commons