Letters To The Editor | September 6-12, 2018: A letter to readers from NOW Editor/Publisher Alice Klein

Plus, promoting an overtly feminist film with more of the same old toxic garbage

A letter to readers from NOW Editor/Publisher Alice Klein

NOW will always be sex positive and shameless in our support for sexual choice and the rights of sex workers. But this week marks a major change for how we do that in our print publication. 

NOW will no longer be carrying sex ads in the back of the paper. 

For decades, the back pages of our weekly publication have been of interest to some and challenging for many others. As the co-founder and editor/publisher of NOW, I understand both points of view. 

NOW had to grapple with creating an advertising policy that was sex positive, non-judgmental and helpful in creating safer working conditions for marginalized women and men. That’s why denying sex workers their right to advertise when few publications would allow it was not an option for us. 

But the digital world now offers a robust marketplace for sex workers.

We thank our clients and look forward to helping with this transition. And as always, we thank you, NOW readers, for your continued support. 

A renewed focus on renovictions needed

I want to thank Samantha Edwards for writing about the growing problem of renovictions in Toronto (NOW, August 30-September 5) and telling the stories of those who are fighting back. This is an important issue that has not received much attention from the media.

Bahar Shadpour, Communications Coordinator, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario 

Shout out to Antifa

Many people are critical of the anti-fascist activists who protest white nationalist rallies like the one at Nathan Phillips Square on August 11 (NOW, August 30-September 5). But they are taking risks that the rest of us will not in protecting so-called “minorities” (and anyone who happens to like democracy) from very violent people. 

The anti-fascists mask up because white nationalists photograph and film them so they can identify them and attack them online and otherwise. Many anti-fascist protestors are young people with a lot to lose, including their jobs, their housing, their health, their future. We need to stop labelling these front-line activists since surely all of us are against white supremacy. 

Cynthia Levine-Rasky, Department of Sociology, Queen’s University, Kingston

New Order’s ode to ex-frontman Ian Curtis

As Cam Lindsay’s article rightly says, Joy Division front man Ian Curtis committed suicide one week before the band was to give a concert in Toronto (NOW, August 30-September 5). No doubt entirely apocryphal, a myth has built up that subsequent band New Order’s synth-pop hit Blue Monday replays Curtis ominously deliberating on his imminent suicide. Curtis killed himself on Sunday, May 18, 1980, so Blue Monday, according to the myth, is the band’s one-day-later despondent re-enactment of Curtis’s final moments.

Ian Scott, Toronto

Premier’s daughter teaches sex-ed lesson

Premier Doug Ford believes that parents should be the primary sources of sex education for their children (NOW, August 30-September 5) and that Ontario schools should return to the old sex education curriculum. 

Krista Ford, the premier’s daughter, was presumably educated under the old sex-ed curriculum. In 2012, after hearing of a police warning of a sexual predator in some Toronto neighbourhoods she tweeted, “Stay alert, walk tall, carry mace, take self-defense classes & don’t dress like a whore,” adding hashtags “#DontBeAVictim” and “#StreetSmart.” 

Consent is a fundamental, if not the most basic, component of a proper sex education curriculum. Is it really fair, Premier Ford, to ask parents to take on the sole responsibility for their children’s sex education?

Moses Shuldiner, Toronto

The NFL playbook on U.S. anthem

Re Star-Spangled Lies by Gary Freeman (NOW, August 30-September 5). 

There are some important points to add to this article.

The NFL didn’t order players to be on the field during the playing of the  U.S. national anthem until 2009.

In 2016, the NFL made it clear that players were not required to stand for the anthem. 

In the NFL’s 2017 official rules, there are no specific directives for what players should do during the national anthem.

For 2018, the NFL has said that players can stay in the locker room but that they are required to stand during the anthem if they are on the field.

Ted Turner, Toronto

Feminist film receives harmful treatment

I am on the cover of NOW’s TIFF pullout section (NOW, August 30-September 5). I was so proud and excited about our first interview promoting our film Mouthpiece.

To achieve bare shoulders for the cover shot Norah Sadava and I took our shirts off and pulled our bras down. “But we won’t be shown like this right?” “No, don’t worry, we’ll crop it,” we were told.

I feel exhausted, angry, guilty and rotten that NOW, a progressive magazine, decided to go ahead and use a full body shot of my bare stomach inside the pullout anyway without my consent to sell a magazine, to sell a movie, to throw me and every teenage girl in Toronto under the bus. 

The hypocrisy of promoting an overtly feminist film with more of the same old toxic garbage is staggering.

Amy Nostbakken, Toronto

Editor’s Note: NOW apologizes to Amy Nostbakken, Norah Sadava and director Patricia Rozema. We share their concerns about issues of consent raised by the use of the photo. The photo was included in the print edition due to an oversight in our production process and NOW’s editorial, creative and management teams will be implementing measures in our editorial process to guard against similar issues in future.

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