What do we believe?


Inthefray.com is an online magazine devoted to understanding, reporting on, and acting upon issues of identity and community. Inthefray is about individuality--who we are, how we differ, what we have in common. It is about relationship--bridging those identities through education and personal connection. It is about action--uniting people of diverse backgrounds to work toward causes and ideas greater than themselves.

We believe that true unity starts from open dialogue and a belief in fair-mindedness, acceptance, and curiosity. The tolerance that is at the core of the magazine is not a morally lax, "anything goes" attitude. Rather, it is a discerning acceptance that holds as its highest value the worth of human life and endeavor and understands that this principle can be upheld only by combating ignorance and division, and by supporting free thought and expression.

We will not hold ourselves to any political standard in the sense of left or right, liberal or conservative. We are a magazine for everyone. Everyone must grapple with identity--whether in their own lives, or in their dealings with other people.


Why now?


Today, large numbers of the world's population are interacting across great distances. Individuals are in daily contact with people of different backgrounds, whether in their workplaces or neighborhoods, or through the information piped into their television sets, radios, and computers. And various communities existing on the margins of society--whether indigenous or transgendered, feminist or Deaf--are gaining self-awareness. With this mixing of values comes the opportunity to build bridges and encourage a greater understanding of difference.

At the same time, the weakening of boundaries is helping powerful interests to expand their influence. In places around the world today, groups of concerned individuals are protesting the threat that the emerging global order poses to their livelihoods. But divisions of identity--including those of belief, class, gender, physique, race, or sexuality--divide these groups. Too many are unable to look beyond the limits of their own agendas. They pursue a single-issue activism that reduces human experience to one facet. Their simplistic approach to multiculturalism blurs over differences, discourages dissenting opinions, and prevents genuine cooperation.

Now more than ever, there is a need for a broad-minded sense of identity, one that is comfortable with diversity and yet also envisions a richer, more complex humanity than can be found in nationalism or consumer culture. There is a need to build enduring coalitions dedicated to social justice and equality, spanning the entire spectrum of cultures and categories. And there is a need for a forum that will bring people of all walks of life together, in the pursuit of their common destiny.

We aim to be such a forum. Our understanding of pluralism is complex, critical, and action-oriented. In an increasingly diverse and fragmented world, we seek to build understanding--in a way that is sometimes radical but always intelligent, frequently controversial but ruthlessly honest, often inspired but ever independent. Our mission is nothing less than the transformation of the political scene, rethinking multiculturalism and making it a mainstream concern, not just a problem for the minority to talk about and the majority to retreat from.


What do we cover?


Inthefray is focused on six chief areas:

1.   Belief. Faith and fanaticism. Morality and hypocrisy. The diversity of the world's wisdom traditions, the perversity of blind ideology. The tension between the individual and community.

2.   Class. The rich, the poor, and those in the middle. Highbrow and lowbrow culture. The world's financial pecking order. Education as opportunity, education as action. Meritocracy versus egalitarianism. The global fight for goods.

3.   Gender. First sex, second sex. Men and women, born or made? Feminine and masculine, feminism and machismo.

4.   Physique. Not just musculature, but the broader definition of "bodily makeup." Body image in a culture of hunger. Aesthetics and anorexics. Mind and body. Life as seen from the wheelchair, as heard by the Deaf, as experienced by the mentally ill.

5.   Race. The fights against racial hatred and injustice. The global mélange of cultures, the ongoing hostilities between ethnic groups. The world as refugee camp. The study of whiteness, the preservation of indigenous and immigrant culture.

6.   Sexuality. Straight, gay and lesbian, and those in the middle. The spectrum of sexual orientation. Bisexual and transgendered identity. The evolving nature of the erotic. New models for the family.

As of now, no other publication thoroughly addresses these concerns. The Web and print publications that exist focus on the issues relevant to one group, such as African American or gay issues, or, at their broadest, issues within limited categories, such as race or sexual orientation. The progressive media outlets that profess to cover such topics often do not have diverse mastheads and approach such issues of identity from the vantage point of an outsider. Inthefray fills a void in today's media offerings, presenting a discussion of identity that is neither slanted toward the views of the majority culture, nor restricted to the perspective of a single group.


Why online?


A Web site is the perfect gateway for this magazine for several reasons:

1.   Reach. The advent of the Internet has created unprecedented possibilities for dialogue across dividing lines, whether social, economic, or geographic. We offer a magazine that is free to any reader with Web access, an increasingly common amenity across the world.

2.   Young market. Inthefray aims for a young audience--people in their twenties and thirties who are hip, open-minded, and curious. These are the kinds of people who surf the Web in the greatest numbers. Furthermore, multiculturalism is an experience most known by this younger generation--in the United States, the children who grew up after the 1965 reform of immigration laws and the various movements for civil rights.

3.   Interactive possibilities. Inthefray strives to make full use of the Web's unique features. With discussion boards, live chats, multimedia presentations, and interactive writing, art, and photography, our magazine is more than a passive reading experience. Our format allows for the immediate mobilizing of people around issues of concern and a constant and frank exchange in which personal and private details are hidden until the participant wishes to share them.

4.   Reliability. Through sound reporting and expert commentary, we can establish ourselves as a voice of authority in cyberspace journalism, a field in sore need of reliable sources.


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