Censor This!

Okay, this blog entry may sound a bit like sour grapes, but I got a rejection today. Nothing new there, of course. But it was the form of the rejection. As a writer, I’ve learned there are different kinds of rejections. There are “good rejections,” where the editor sends a note of encouragement along with the rejection. There are “not-as-good form-letter rejections,” and the dreaded “no-response-at-all rejection.” But up until today, I’ve never received a “bad rejection.”

I submitted an opinion essay to a magazine that supposedly provides an open source for essays related to the well-being of mothers—and provides a forum in support of social change. The publication has an opinion section. The primary point of my piece was to challenge mothers of today to take a stand, and stop allowing the male bashing that is currently going on in our society. I pointed to the media, sports arena, and even clothing slogans to back up my point.

The editor of the rejecting publication, instead of giving me the ever-popular “no-response-at-all rejection,” or even the “not-as-good form-letter rejection,” took it upon herself to provide me with her own negative opinion essay of my opinion essay. Gee, thanks. She didn’t agree with my opinion, so therefore, she “regrettably” wasn’t going to publish it.

The editor focused on only one of my given examples, then proceeded to explain to me why she was right and I was wrong. Thanks for sharing.

It’s one thing to reject my work because it doesn’t align with the magazine’s requirements; but it’s another thing entirely to not publish work because you personally don’t happen to agree with the writer’s views. Did I mention we were dealing with the opinion section? I guess the editor of that publication is only going to publish opinion pieces that match his or her own opinion.

Fortunately for me, the editor of the Detroit Free Press’ opinion section, whether in agreement or not, did publish my essay, and you can view it online at: Detroit Free Press.

It’s encouraging to note, that since its publication, I’ve received one negative response, and over 50 positive e-mail responses from people all over the country, and even one person as far away as Australia.

Obviously there are some people out there who agreed with my point of view. And I’m thankful I was provided a forum for expressing it. (Thanks Detroit Free Press!)

As for the rejecting publication, hmmm… can you say “censorship”?

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