Letters to the editor: fast, easy and noticed

Don’t have time to craft a thoughtful, carefully argued 700-word op ed in response to a current issue or spleen-inspiring coverage in your newspaper of choice? Try penning a one or two paragraph letter to the editor instead. It won’t have the same profile or prestige as an op ed would, but it’s more likely to get published, and the letters section is surprisingly well read.

In response to an infuriatingly retrograde photo feature published in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, I invested 10 minutes in writing and emailing a slightly longer version of the following rant to the paper, which published my comments in today’s Globe.

Doubly insensitive

I get that artsy photographers like to arrest attention with provocative images, but really, placing a woman on her back at the bottom of a concrete staircase with a pained (or is that orgasmic?) look on her face (Pretty In Parkas – Style, Dec. 11). It’s not art, it’s not fashion, it’s not even original. The implied violence wasn’t any sexier when Versace did it a decade ago, and it would have been unfortunate at any time, but appearing in your pages the same week readers were encouraged to reflect on violence against women in the context of the Montreal massacre, it was doubly insensitive.

The Globe would have been unlikely to make space on its op ed pages for a lengthier piece on this issue (although I could have easily produced one!), but getting the letter published within 48 hours was very satisfying.

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Founder and Catalyst of Informed Opinions, and an award-winning author, educator and women’s advocate with more than 20 years of experience on both sides of the microphone. Since 2010, Shari has helped amplify the voices of thousands of women across Canada, supporting them in sharing their insights and analysis with a broader public. Her most recent book, OMG! What if I AM the right person? advances those goals.

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