Many know me as a writer. However, most of my work is voluntary or academic. As such, I seek to broaden my professionalism through email newsletters, who often alert me of calls to pitch, contests, fellowships, or grants.
One of my subscriptions is to Freedom with Writing. I enjoy this letter and have gotten a lot of inspiration and use of it. However, there was a very troubling curation in a recent blog post, seen here: https://www.freedomwithwriting.com/freedom/uncategorized/30-calls-for-pitches-directly-from-editors-4/
My problem lies deep into the post, in this entry:
CafeMom is a website for mothers and mothers-to-be. Their managing editor has tweeted, “Look for a writer who is pro-vaccine in general, but is hesitant or flat-out not getting their kid the Covid shot, to do an essay for CafeMom. It is small, 500 words-ish or under, $75 op-ed essay.” If interested, email email@example.com. Read their managing editor’s Tweet here and contact them here.
Yes, this editor *wants* to read stories about parents who refuse to vaccinate their own children. Granted, there may be very slim occasions where children truly cannot be vaccinated, but those are incredibly rare. While I’m not a parent, my stand is still valid. Children are a part of my society and they do not exist in a vacuum. Additionally, I’m an older sister, former tutor and former contact tracer. Thus, I’m still very concerned for the health of people who are still in their formative years.
I’m disappointed in Freedom with Writing in that they would enable writers who espouse such ridiculous views to share and disseminate misleading narratives like the one Ms. Gordon proposes. I do thank Freedom with Writing, however, for sharing CafeMom’s contact page, to which I made an editorial complaint:
I am very perturbed that one of your editors is soliciting essays which enable parents to make poor decisions for their children. I’m referring to Lauren Gordon, who tweeted this: https://twitter.com/laurengordon88/status/1458091714212777996. Children are people, not possessions. I believe in the protection of people. While there may be very slim cases where a child cannot get the Covid vaccination, multiple trials have seen that the vaccination is safe for the vast majority. Please stop stoking unneeded fear into parents’ hearts. As a former contact tracer, I’ve seen too many situations where a child’s infection creates more infection, not to mention poverty, confusion, and hunger. The virus has mutated and pediatric infections are no longer vastly mild. Additionally, many underlying conditions are at its most severe in the pediatric stages, such as asthma and diabetes, and their interference makes vaccinations even more important. If you are faithful as I am, please see this to know the equivalency of what’s at stake: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/persuading-anti-vaxxers I sincerely persuade you to reevaluate Ms. Gordon’s role at CafeMom and Wild Sky Media, and consider what factors led such a ridiculous prompt to be greenlit by her superiors.
To my fellow freelance writers, please never forgo your morals to get published.