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Is the Free Times Mysogynist?

Critic resigns over blood, babes, boobs, and bush.

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The following letter was sent by Free Times art critic Lyz Bly, announcing her resignation from the paper:

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I am writing to let you know that I resigned my freelance post as art critic at the Free Times . . . As a feminist and someone who is very concerned about women's issues and racial equality, my decision to disassociate my work with the Free Times was political. [Managing editor] Pamela Zoslov's departure left an editorial staff that is largely male (and almost entirely white, as she was replaced by another white male). The paper is categorized as an "alternative weekly," yet I see nothing alternative about another of our city's publications being largely run and controlled by white men. Finally, the content of many of the articles and City Chatter pieces have become consistently misogynistic.

This Wednesday's cover story by James Renner -- "Blood, Babes, and a Bankroll" [June 7] -- is unabashedly offensive. While I do not advocate censorship of any kind, I was deeply disturbed by the way in which Renner gleefully glorified the strangulation, drowning, and mutilation of "babes" in films by two area directors.

As I told the editors, there is nothing "alternative" about spouting on about "boobs" and "bush" (two words used in this week's cover story), nor is there anything alternative about violence against women. The latter happens everyday (the latest publicized murder of a woman in our region took place Wednesday in Akron -- the woman/victim's husband stabbed her to death). Renner's topic required intelligent examination; instead, he offered his readers a bacchanalian celebration of violence against women and overt misogyny. (I've never met Renner; however, I did write a letter to him expressing my concerns about his work.)

If you also find some of the Free Times' articles disturbing -- if you would like to see more diversity on the Free Times' staff -- please write a letter to the editor and let him know your thoughts. Unfortunately, things don't change quickly in this city, but they won't change at all unless we speak honestly -- and publicly -- about them.

My best,
Lyz Bly

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