This is the first issue of GNI I’ve had the honor to edit. Reading a paper is not the same as editing it. Though I serve as Girl Museum’s Editor-in-Chief, the editorial decisions I make on a daily basis often revolve more around copy-editing and proofreading. As I look through this edition’s articles, sorting them into their respective categories, I face choices I don’t make as often: What do I feature? Do I delete anything? Do I place an article on female genital mutilation in the Health section, or the Politics section? Does an article on a ballerina’s mental health go in Health, Sports, or Art & Culture? Though the ultimate decisions may sometimes seem arbitrary, the health of girls and women is so often political—if nothing else, the last 46 years of Roe v. Wade tells us that women’s bodies can be political fodder. One difficult article this month takes us on a trip through the American South, showing what life is like if you want to seek an abortion in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mississippi. As the article highlights, “…where pregnancy is concerned, [women] are actually just a ‘host.'”
Thankfully, there are positives as well. The horrible practice of “upskirting” has been made a crime in England and Wales. An amazing 11-year-old whose mother was furloughed during the US government shutdown started her own business to help support her family. Migratory Birds is a new refugee newspaper started by Afghan girls. And, close to my heart, the newest superhero to come out of DC Comics is a brown girl from my home state of Oregon.
There is hope. I don’t know if the positives always outweigh—or even balance—the negatives, but there are always positive stories. We just need to look for them.
Girl News International