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In our Spring '10 edition, On The Issues Magazine contributors look at ways to enhance and augment our understanding of feminist and progressive values.

Two Years of Hits: The Top Ten
by the Editors

Spring 2010 marks the second year anniversary of the online publication of On The Issues Magazine. The magazine, which was in print from 1983-1999, reopened on the web in 2008 with new articles, art, essays, poetry, reviews and full access to our array of award-winning feminist and progressive archival material.

In its online format, On The Issues Magazine has addressed provocative, cutting-edge topics in progressive and feminist thought today: HIV, AIDS and Misogyny; Feminists, Sex Work and Prostitution; What is Terror for Women; Revolutions We Need; Lines in the Sand; Our Genders, Our Rights; Race, Feminism, Our Future; Passion, Freedom & Women; and now, The Feminist Mind.

We have published 208 articles and essays, with works by 140 writers, 28 poets and 44 artists (even before this edition). The list of contributors includes leaders in philosophy, policy, health, law, arts and literature, including Charlotte Bunch, Susan Jacoby, Janet Benshoof, Loretta Ross, Shere Hite, Rhonda Copelon, Rinku Sen, Edna Adan Ismail, Susan Faludi, the late Mahin Hassibi, Judith Arcana, Faith Ringgold, Eleanor Bader, Jan Goodwin, Kate Millett, Gloria Feldt, Angela Bonavoglia, Michael angel Johnson, Marge Piercy, Alexis Greene, Cassandra Medley, Kate Bornstein, Martha Rosler, Grace Paley, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Clare Coss, our art editor Linda Stein and many others, including daring essays by publisher Merle Hoffman.

To recognize our second anniversary as an online publication, we decided to track The Top Ten stories, based on number of online page views. Page views over time are only one snapshot of reader attention, especially since older stories, which can be accessed on an ongoing basis, have more opportunity to attract viewers; nonetheless, it’s an interesting picture. Here is what we found:

The Top 10 Articles (Plus One):

shere hite
Shere Hite

1) ”Female Orgasm Today: The Hite Report's Research Then and Now” by Shere Hite. Shere Hite's 1976 report on female sexuality pushed a hot button - perhaps because it helped women find their's. Her update in On the Issues Magazine online in July 2008 did the same thing, drawing the most attention of any article in the two years of online publication, indicating - along with other articles on our "top 10" list - that women's sexual pleasure is still of robust interest.

2) ”How A Feminist Found Her Sexism” by Helen Boyd. Boyd grabbed our readers with her straight-talking exposure in Summer 2009 of her own gender expectations and the secret prejudices that emerged and surprised even her when her husband transitioned to living as a female.

3) ”On the Frontline of Sex Wars” by Carol Leigh. Leigh described in Summer 2008 her first-person experience as an advocate for sex workers' rights who seeks decriminalization of prostitution, along with her disagreements with feminists who are pursuing abolition.

4) ”Equal Rights Amendment Still Brings Out Ranters” by Jennifer S. Macleod. Macleod's Spring 2009 article proved that the ERA still raises passions, drawing readers with her picture of women's cultural subjugation over the years and her understanding of why mentioning the ERA still raises the hackles of dinosaurs.

5) "Of Victims And Vixens--The Feminist Clash Over Prostitution" by Angela Bonavoglia In a Summer 2008 article, Bonavoglia dug into the question of prostitution that has roiled the feminist movement for years, presenting opposing views, as well as the concerns that advocates on all sides share for the women involved.

6) "Intimate Lines: Know thy Clitoris" by Rebecca Chalker. Chalker's Spring 2009 article was another hit for OnTheIssuesMagazine.com, bringing the news about how a scientific understanding of a woman's body goes hand in hand with sexual -- and sensual -- fulfillment.

7) ”Sarah Palin and the Apocalypse” by Merle Hoffman Readers were drawn to publisher Hoffman's discussion in Fall 2008 of how Sarah Palin's smile has everything to do with the right-wing, religion-inspired vision for the future, and how it connects to the ongoing attacks on abortion today.

8) ”On the Murder and Continuing Inspiration of Dr. George Tiller” by Merle Hoffman. A few days after the brutal assassination of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31, 2009, Hoffman penned moving lines about what he had meant to her and how his example strengthens the commitment to reproductive freedom.

9) ”Revolution Lite” by Merle Hoffman. In the Winter 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine focusing on “New Revolutions Women Need,” publisher Hoffman discussed how "feminist utopias" need to go beyond "personal spaces," to imagining the world that "should be" and even aiming for "the impossible."

10) ”The ‘New’ Population Control Craze: Retro, Racist, Wrong Way to Go” by Betsy Hartmann. In Fall 2009, Betsy Hartman challenged new forms of population control, concluding that individual carbon footprints can't compare with the "heavy carbon bootprints of the fossil-fuel industry and the military-industrial complex." Her article also inspired a counterpoint commentary on a differing approach to population concerns by Laurie Mazur.

11) "End Torture, End Domestic Violence” by Rhonda Copelon. In a close-finisher to the Top 10, top legal analyst Copelon wrote in the Winter 2009 edition about the continuing epidemic of gender violence and raised a challenging proposition: what if the law treated domestic violence as torture?

On The Issues Magazine -
©Linda Stein
All proceeds from the sale of the copelon portrait will go directly to the Copelon Fund for Gender Justice, under the auspices of the Center for Constitutional Rights. To purchase a portrait, go to haveartwilltravel.org and scroll down to the Copelon portrait.

Rhonda Copelon and her Global Family of Friends
by Linda Stein

On May 6, 2010, pioneering human rights attorney, Rhonda Copelon, CUNY School of Law professor and Vice-President of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) died at age 65, after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Copelon was noted for her key role in the landmark human rights case, Filartiga v. Pena-Irala, establishing that victims of gross human rights abuses committed abroad had recourse to U.S. courts. She was a champion of women’s reproductive health and argued to the U.S. Supreme Court, Harris v. McRae, for the overturning of the Hyde Amendment that denied women Medicaid reimbursement for abortion, a position rejected by a narrow margin.

She helped open U.S. courts to victims of international abuses, especially cases involving violence against women, and argued forcefully and creatively for women's reproductive rights.

In the weeks before her death, Copelon announced the establishment of the Copelon Fund for Gender Justice at CCR for which she has provided the seed funding. A contributor to On the Issues Magazine, Copelon, was beloved by her students and clients, helping them personally as well as professionally. Her friends reached across many continents and, in the end, gave back to Copelon the extraordinary love, caring and support she so generously bestowed on others.

Rhonda Copelon was a role model of integrity, strength, intelligence and perseverance.


Linda Stein is art editor of On The Issues Magazine.

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