Friday, September 26, 2008

Ravary campaign to abolish Quebec status of women council prompts boycott call

There's quite a storm over at Châtelaine magazine where readers are threatening boycotts and subscription cancellations because editor-in-chief Lise Ravary is campaigning for the abolition of the Quebec Status of Women Council (QSW).

Her proposal, published in the September issue, said that the current council is unrepresentative and holds back today's modern Quebec women. In its place, the magazine's position is that a new council, with equal numbers of men and women, should be created.

The strength of feeling about her proposal can be sampled from comments, both positive and negative, on Ravary's own editor's blog (in French) and at a feminist blog called Bread and Roses; it suggests that Ravary was particularly annoyed because of a paper published by the QSW that criticized stereotyping and the growing sexualization of females in the media, including magazines like Châtelaine.

It's also suggested that the controversial statement was designed to create a buzz and bring attention to the magazine's redesign.

The directors of Université du Quebec à Montréal's Institut de recherches et d'études féministes has issued a call for a boycott of the magazine and for current readers to cancel their subscriptions:
Les membres de la direction de l’IREF tiennent à protester contre le billet de la rédactrice en chef de la revue Châtelaine, Lise Ravary, en raison de la nature et du ton de son propos intitulé « Minute ! » dans la livraison de septembre du magazine. Le billet fait référence à l’Avis du Conseil du statut de la femme, Le sexe dans les médias : obstacle aux rapports égalitaires. Nous vous invitons donc à boycotter l’achat de la revue et pour celles qui y sont abonnées, à annuler votre abonnement.


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