October 25, 2017 / 5:16 PM / a year ago

All-male panel on U.S. women scrapped after social media uproar

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A panel of men invited by a U.S. magazine to discuss “Women in Business” has been canceled for lacking that one key ingredient - women.

Sponsored by SJ Magazine, a lifestyle publication based in New Jersey, the November event was intended to focus on the male perspective but was scrapped this week after meeting with relentless ridicule on social media.

“As a woman-owned business, women’s empowerment has always been part of our mission. We believe it is helpful when everyone is part of the conversation about women’s empowerment and feminism,” the magazine said in a statement cancelling the event.

“It was never our intention to offend anyone.”

The Nov. 6 event was announced on Monday and canceled within hours.

The all-male panel was entitled “Women in Business: A man’s point of view,” and its four contributors were a television sports correspondent, a university president, a health care executive and a local politician.

The magazine had announced the panel on Twitter, where its tweet went viral and soon met with derision.

“Nothing like a good old “mansplanation” to “empower” women...!!” one woman tweeted.

“Wait until you see the African-American panel later that day,” read another tweet.

Following the cancellation, one Facebook user remarked on the magazine’s statement that it was a woman-owned business.

“Probably shouldn’t brag about being an all-female outfit,” the Facebook user wrote. “I mean what’s the point of being women-only if all the women lack the judgment to realize what a colossal screw-up this was.”

The magazine had initially defended the panel on Twitter, saying it was one of four in a series on “Women’s Empowerment,” and that its other events were all female-fronted.

The editor of the Maple Shade, N.J.-publication could not immediately be reached for comment.

The next scheduled event in the series in is entitled: “Success Stories: Taking charge without wearing a suit and tie.”

Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org

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