As the saying goes, "Two steps forward, one step back." In this particular case, it applies to the Washington Post's free daily edition's decision to feature a cover story of the women who have organized the Women's March on Washington on its Jan. 5 cover. Initially, that sounds like a wonderful idea. The problem? The symbol depicted on the Washington Post Express' cover for the Women's March story, meant to be the sign for Venus (that is, female), was instead the sign for Mars (male).
The cover is an illustration of a group of women who are standing in the shape of the symbol. It would have been a great representation for the event had it been executed properly. The story itself explains the origins of the Women's March on Washington, which is expected to be the largest event linked to President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration and a chance for Americans frustrated by the treatment of women and minorities throughout the election to declare their feelings. The Women's March, which also includes some men and has the support of Planned Parenthood and feminist activists like Gloria Steinem, will take place one day after Trump's inauguration: Saturday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It's important to note that once the image of the cover began circulating Thursday, Express quickly apologized for the error via Twitter, saying "We made a mistake on our cover this morning and we're very embarrassed. We erroneously used a male symbol instead of a female symbol." They also posted a corrected version of which does indeed have the Venus sign.
This is how the cover should have looked. We apologize for the mistake. pic.twitter.com/MKKOkHPV8T— Express (@WaPoExpress) January 5, 2017
However, it's a disheartening error on the paper's part. As the story itself explains, the point of the march is to demand for equal rights for women. This great message paired with the cover image feels like a bit of a snub against the women who are working hard to fight for our rights. Yes, mistakes at publications do certainly happen, and not all art directors are going to be checking to make sure that the symbol on the cover is the correct one, but it's also so disappointing that no one in their newsroom caught the error before it went to print.
Express had a great idea with this cover, and probably similarly great intentions when planning it out, but unfortunately the execution was far less than ideal.