Readers write: The suffrage issue

Letters to the editor for the Sept. 21, 2020 weekly magazine. Readers discuss the Monitor's special suffrage issue.


The suffrage issue

I am a regular and longtime reader of The Christian Science Monitor and I have been particularly grateful in recent months for the diverse and balanced coverage of so many of the world issues needing prayerful attention. 

When I received the Aug. 3 issue covering a century of women’s suffrage, I just knew I had to read every word. And now I am so grateful that I did. This issue is a real testament to the way the Monitor tells the news – from what did happen to what is happening to what may happen in the future, all with genuine honesty and empathy. Each article stood on its own but added immeasurably to the whole. I will keep this issue as a permanent part of my library.

Nancy Root
Farmington, Connecticut

Six-week ‘brawl’

Regarding the cover story “The six-week ‘brawl’ that changed the world” in the Aug. 3 Monitor Weekly: I am deeply involved in advocacy for gender equity, diversity, and inclusion in Canada’s screen industry. This article and the focus on women around the world making a difference is truly brilliant. I’m sharing it far and wide!

Jan Miller
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Wilma Mankiller

I always enjoy and learn from the Monitor Weekly. The Aug. 3 special suffrage issue is one of my favorites. I learned a lot and found women whom I want to know better, including history professor Martha S. Jones and composer Clarice Assad. Remarkable!

My only suggestion would have been to add Wilma Mankiller, who in the mid-1980s became the first and so far only female principal chief of the Western Cherokee Nation, of which I am a member. In my opinion, she is also the greatest Cherokee chief. I also know that it must have been very difficult to make the choices of the women who were included.

Mike Horn
Fullerton, California

Photo essay

When I receive my Monitor, I first look at the photos that appear in the back and front of the magazine. The photo essay titled “Portraits of extraordinary women” by Melanie Stetson Freeman is a testament to her skill and compassion. I started with the photos on pages 40 and 41; then I turned to the first photo, of Jeannette Nyirabaganwa, and was shocked to learn that she was killed for testifying against perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Ms. Stetson Freeman has been a wonderful asset to the Monitor.

Nick Royal
Santa Cruz, California

No need for a prince

Regarding the Aug. 3 Home Forum essay, “A princess in no need of a prince”: This article brought back so many memories and thoughts about my journey through life as a female baby boomer who lived mostly in a male world. 

My mother blamed my college reading assignment of Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” for my independent attitudes toward career, marriage, and life. However, I think I should also give full credit to my mother, who was denied her first nursing diploma because she got married, returned to college in her late 40s to get another nursing diploma (along with a master’s in nursing), and worked until she was almost in her late 70s.

I am so grateful for the example she set for me and my sister – to go after what we wanted and excel at it. Thanks for the reminder of what a fabulous woman my mother was!

Chini Lee Streitwieser

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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