Utah editor explains her ‘Women of Color’ headline

Utah Valley magazine editor Jeanette Bennett, who took a lot of heat for her “Women of Color” headline on a photo of white colleagues, explains that she chose the hed simply because “the women on my staff dress colorfully and add variety and brightness to the magazine and to our office environment” and says “I’m hoping readers can see that my recent article and photo weren’t intended to demean black women.”

I was fully aware that the phrase “women of color” normally refers to women of ethnic origin. Many have criticized me for being too naive to understand the phrase. Even though I’ve spent most of my life living in Utah and Idaho, I’ve visited 32 states and been around the block enough (via literature, media and education) to know the traditional use of that phrase.

“I’ve heard it was hurtful,” she says of the headline. “I’ve heard it was insensitive. I’ve heard it was wrong. But I didn’t hear why.”

Still, the brouhaha “will brighten and enlighten my thinking for the rest of my career. I’m willing to learn. I am willing to listen. I am willing to move on.”

My Unplanned 15 Minutes of Fame (jeanettegazette.com)

* Editor apologizes to anyone offended by “Women of Color” headline (JimRomenesko.com)
* “Lesson learned,” says Utah Valley magazine editor (Salt Lake Tribune)