Push the envelope, please

Media honored for frank talk about reproductive rights and women's health.

Published April 25, 2007 7:11PM (EDT)

Forbes, I'm guessing, was not up this year for a "Maggie" -- Planned Parenthood's annual awards (that's "Maggie" as in Margaret Sanger) recognizing "exceptional achievement by the media and arts and entertainment industries in support of reproductive rights and health care issues, including contraception, sexuality education, teen pregnancy, abortion, and international family planning." Past recipients have ranged from PBS's "Frontline" for "The Last Abortion Clinic" to Seventeen magazine for (shocking, shocking!) "Vagina 101: What's Normal, What's Not."

And this year's winners, to be formally announced today, include a KTVK-TV (Phoenix) report called "Sex Education Varies in Arizona's Schools," along with a Cosmopolitan article called "Your Gyno Exam: What to Know Before You Go" and a Glamour report called "New Lies About Women's Health."

The Glamour piece, as I said when I raved about it before, is basically one-stop reading about the myriad ways in which our government and its pet radical conservative activists, following their own "moral agenda," have put women's health at grave risk. It and the Cosmo (Cosmo!) piece (along with Seventeen's) -- and their recognition by Planned Parenthood -- are yet another reminder to folks who make assumptions about women's magazines based mainly on a) their admittedly exclamation-pointy covers or b) information from 1962. Yes, you could interpret some of their messages, taken as a whole, as "mixed"; but I think women are smart enough to tell the difference between entertainment and news, even when they're separated only by an ad for pads. You do not have to read women's magazines, or "get your news" from them, if you don't like them. But how many other mass-market publications are making sure women get that kind of personally/politically useful info in the first place? I mean, besides "What Every Girl Should Know."

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

MORE FROM Lynn Harris

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex