Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I was puzzled and very disappointed to find news of the pro-choice march on Washington relegated, the day after the event, to a single column on p16 of the Guardian. Over 1 million people marched in support of women’s right to control their bodies, and yet this isn’t deemed newsworthy. Every other broadsheet reported the march in the same way (if they reported it at all - the Times chose not to): in a single column, with reports of numbers ranging from ‘hundreds of thousands’ (the Guardian) to ‘500,000’ (the Telegraph). Today the Guardian published a photo of the Mall in Washington and an op-ed admitted that ‘up to, and maybe more than, a million…’ marched. This is a bigger turn out than the Million Man March in 1995, which didn’t quite reach the titular number. When 1m people march against war in Iraq, it is news. When 1m people march against curtailing the right to control if, when and how you choose to have children, it isn’t.

All the papers, however, saw fit to devote at least twice as many column inches to the death of Estee Lauder, a woman who made her fortune from other women’s insecurities.

Some great reports on the march can be found at the comprehensive site Feminist.com, and on the Ms. website.

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