A reply to the writer of crap

So, eventually, after stewing gently on high heat for a whole 4 days, best friend and I decided to express our displeasure at how we’d been portrayed in the aforementioned rag mag. So we each wrote an email. In the interests of being taken seriously and not being published as a ranting lunatic in next week’s issue, I decided to keep it clean, so here’s what I sent:


I would just like to let you know that Best Friend is not the only one who is unhappy with how she was portrayed in the magazine name article.

 I mentioned a number of reasons why I didn’t want children and yes, I did realize that the article was going to concentrate on ‘lifestyle’ as my primary factor for not having them but I did not realize this was going to be to the exclusion of everything else. The result was a piece that painted me as a vapid pleasure seeker intent on spending as much money as I could on consumer products and holidays. This was compounded by the photograph that was chosen out of all the ones I sent, of me posing with a glass of wine and looking drunk. Yes, I did send the photograph and it was unwise but had I known how I was going to be portrayed I would only have sent the pictures of me walking, taking photographs and on holiday. It was a piece designed specifically to discredit me and my decision, as was Best Friend’s.

 I realize that magazine name is not Private Eye and that their target demographic is mainly middle aged/ late middle aged women with children but what I did not realize is that they were going to pander to their audience by portraying women who choose not to have children as unstable or lacking in some way. Even N’s piece, which was not as bad as Best Friend’s or mine, stated that we child-free women who encounter judgemental mothers refer to these women as ‘breeders’, which automatically discredited us all as unreasonable and unwilling to engage in intelligent discussion of our rationale, preferring to just call people names. It’s also not true, I have never referred to anyone as a ‘breeder’. The piece was not a neutral, rational portrayal of three intelligent women from a similar social demographic as magazine name’s readership who have chosen to take a different path, it was a biased hatchet job designed to justify the beliefs of tradionalist women that there is something lacking in a female who chooses not to exercise her ability to have children. Had I been offered a copy of the article to proof read before it went to press I would have withdrawn from it, because I signed up to offer my reasons for remaining child-free to a group of women who feel differently to me in the hope that some understanding could be fostered. I did not sign up to be painted as a cut price Paris Hilton compensating for  the enormous child-shaped hole in my life with conspicuous overspending and alcohol.

 In short, I am very disappointed that this opportunity to share views and promote understanding and acceptance of differences between women who have taken different life paths was thrown away in favour of a sop to tradional values. It was not only insulting to myself and the other two women involved, it was a waste.



I await her reply…..


12 Responses

  1. Admirable restraint there, Vicola. That must have been very difficult. Very…

    • Cheers Snowy! I’ve been sent a copy of a newsletter that Best Friend got sent by them, touting for the sort of story they want. i’ll be hopefully blogging it this weekend because I kid you not, the idea that there are people out there employed full time to tout for the tales of human misery that they outlined so that they can write them up for the amusement of others appalled me. And I’m not easily appalled. Irritated yes, appalled no.

  2. Nice restrained response. I can just picture your gritted teeth though …

    Look forward to seeing what the evil caaah comes back with. Actually, you should copy to her editor and demand the right of a rebuttal – maybe by publishing your email as is?

  3. [This is good] I wonder if she’ll reply…

  4. I’d be tempted to complain to the Press Complaints Commission just to wind them up a bit. 😀

  5. Very succinctly put. Well done.

  6. Gagging for the names!

  7. You did a terrific job. It is awful when someone is edited and portrayed entirely different than they really are, so that the editor can use them to bolster what must be her point of view. I have friends without children and I do not judge them and I do not think that they judge me, at leas not for having children. I am so sorry you had this experience but your email is well worded and I hope that they publish it. They really should give you a chance to tell the side you were trying to share in the beginning!

  8. A superb and measured response Vicola. In my book it’s called class and dignity. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Well put. Too bad it’ll probably go over her head.

  10. A great, well thought out response Vicola. I hope they publish it.

  11. Well, of course you had to write a letter. Good on you for writing a “nice” one. Can’t have the hatchettwat vindicated. Totally nauseating that she did that to you. She had an agenda and she carried it out, clearly. Sorry you got played! Grrr. I wonder if they’ll publish it.

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