Since March is National Women’s History Month and Friday is International Women’s Day, we’ve decided to do a thing. By “we,” I mean #TeamWeekly.

While I’d like to say that our inaugural women’s issue was my brainchild, it was suggested by Weekly contributor Laurie James. Two male advocates — Editor Anthony Mariani and Publisher Lee Newquist — then took up the cause. That’s what marginalized groups need: people who can tip the scales to make the world a little more equitable, one small step at a time.

On a personal note, while the ERA never got passed and civil rights are still being fought for, as a woman in the publishing industry, I feel privileged to say that my voice is heard. On a regular basis, I offer ideas and then see them come to life. Is my experience unique? We’ll see.

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It’s also crucial that everyone’s voice — not just feminine ones — can be heard saying “no.” Most of our writers are freelancers, so they are not beholden to an employer and are never “assigned” projects. If they don’t want to write about something, they simply don’t.

Gone (hopefully) are the days of Gloria Steinem dressing as a Playboy Bunny for an undercover story at her first newspaper job in New York, only to have her co-workers belittle her and make the whole thing into a joke. Our writers, male and female, need not worry that they will be forced to delve into subject matter beyond their comfort level or pick up a story they have no interest in.

Every week, our paper publishes the work of talented storytellers who say, “Yes, I’d like to write about that,” and this week, those stories are about female artists, chefs, musicians, and more.

As for why and why now? Because we can.

To quote Danielle in Ever After, after she saves the prince rather than the other way around, “A girl does what she can, sire.” We currently have so many women in Fort Worth running the show — from the mayor’s office to most cultural institutions — that we felt we needed to do whatever was necessary to make this issue happen.

Read about the women of Sundance Square, who were featured on the cover this week, in Living Local.

And now, welcome to Weekly Women. — Jennifer Bovee, Marketing Director