There’s no definition for Hawaii Women’s Journal. And that’s the point. As our managing editor writes in her letter opening this issue, “Strict roles do not function well here.”
I just wrote a manifesto on why I write, to contribute to a friend’s project. “Our world is full of word problems, isn’t it? Writing is a strategy to solve them.” HWJ is full of the writing people do to solve myriad problems: emotional, physical, spiritual, critical, artistic, social, psychological, and more. Some literary journals exist to showcase inspiring pieces. Some magazines exist to sell products and ideas. Some blogs exist to display the cleverness and opinions of their authors. HWJ does all of that, but, it seems to me, not because it wants or needs to. It just sort of does. Its inspiring pieces are just that–inspiring. Its products and ideas are meant to be healthy and enriching (you won’t find a crash diet in these pages). Its authors are clever and opinionated. Simply to contribute to our world, HWJ exists.
If there’s one strict rule, it’s that women writers (and publishers, editors, designers) are behind it. Meaning, to break that rule, you’d have to sweep in, remove the women, and restaff with men only. That would really suck. It’s not that men don’t contribute. They do. But it’s the women who drive HWJ.