Women, War and Peace issue of On The Issue Magazine
As the U.S. approaches a decade of war, what are feminist writers and artists thinking? On The Issues Magazine Summer 2011 probes peace activism and war reality.

Top Ten: Three Years of Stories That Grabbed Readers
by Gabrielle Korn


On The Issues Magazine has addressed controversial, highly charged topics in its online format since 2009. On the third year anniversary, we took a look at what we’ve published -- 267 stories from 207 authors, along with 74 artists, and 40 poets. Continuing the tradition of the print publication (1983-1999), the online magazine seeks out the award-winning words and images of daring feminists. This year, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Merle Hoffman was awarded the prestigious 2010 Front Page Award for political commentary from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.

The themes of the online editions in the past year have addressed thought-provoking and multi-dimensional topics: The Feminist Mind; Equality: How Much Further Away?; The Conning of the Feminists and The Ecology of Women. They add to our earlier themes from 2009 and 2010: 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; and Passion, Freedom & Women.

The following is a list of the Top 10 Articles over the past three years, in celebration of our third year of online publishing. These are the articles that most frequently attracted viewers to the site, painting a fascinating picture of what has been most important to readers since the publication launched on the Internet.

Top Stories:

On The Issues Magazine - Deborah Van Auten, White Light, 2009 oil on linen
© Deborah Van Auten from "The Rise of Enlightened Sexism"

1) The Rise of Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas
Douglas brilliantly describes the contemporary push-pull forces on women that allow them to enter spaces traditionally reserved for men - sports, education, high-powered jobs - as long as they conform to confining ideals of femininity. This new culture of “enlightened sexism" appears to celebrate the accomplishments of women while actually repudiating feminist values and keeping women in their place, she writes.

2) Reality TV (Re)Rewrites Gender Roles by Jennifer L. Pozner
Women on reality TV are subservient, needy, and in desperate search of Mr. Right - is it a reflection of the times, or an attempt to turn back time? In a Winter 2011 article, Pozner points out the pop cultural backlash against feminism that manifests within reality TV shows.

3) Equal Rights Amendment Still Brings Out Ranters by Jennifer S. Macleod
Macleod's Spring 2009 article proves 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 continues to raise the hackles of dinosaurs.

4) “Little Marie": The Daily Toll of Sexist Language by Marie Shear
Marie Shear illuminates the layers of sexism in words mistaken for friendly informalities: contempt for and fury at women hides behind politeness in first-namery, surnames, endearments, elderspeak, exclusion, salutations, honorifics, pronouns and references to appearance.

5) Good Girls, Bad Girls: The Kinkiness of Slut-Shaming by Elizabeth Black
Elizabeth Black uses her own experience of being slut-shamed to explore the consequences of being a sexually active, single, straight female within a world of double-standards and sex-negativity.

On The Issues Magazine -
Shere Hite, author of The Hite Report

6) On the Frontline of Sex Wars by Carol Leigh
Leigh describes in the Summer 2008 edition her personal involvement as an advocate for sex workers' rights, seeking the decriminalization of prostitution, along with her disagreements with feminists who are pursuing abolition.

7) Regina Frank Is Present
This mini-retrospective of Regina Frank’s work in The Art Perspective, a regular feature of On The Issues Magazine, shows how her art incorporates textiles, computers, the Internet, solar and LED technology to investigate fields of tension, such as those between the rich and poor, virtual and real, analog and digital, masculine and feminine.

8) 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 theirs. Her update in On the Issues Magazine in July 2008 did the same thing, drawing strong reader attention and indicating that women's sexual pleasure is still of robust interest.

9) Girls – and Women -- Are Slamming the Poetry Scene by Lauren Zuniga
Spoken word poet Lauren Zuniga wrote a Cafe piece about what it’s like to be a woman in the slam poetry scene, and how well-meaning yet condescending advice from an older man led her to write the poem “Girl: Exploded."

10) Icons, Superheroes and Fantasies a Feminist Can Love? by Linda Stein
Superwoman, Lisbeth Salander, Lady Gaga, Storm -- in this Winter 2011 piece, On The Issues Magazine’s Art Editor, Linda Stein, discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the female characters who make up our limited cast of feminist pop culture icons, superheroes and fantasies.

Read about the Top Ten Stories in the first two years of the online publication of On The Issues Magazine.

Gabrielle Korn is the Editorial Assistant at On The Issues Magazine. She is an activist, writer, and artist.

Read the Cafe for new and updated stories.

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