Tuesday, December 24, 2013
according to an analysis by a George Mason University academic that shows how careless reporting, sloppy handling of data and an inability to resist sensationalizing news have poorly served women and those who care about them.
The statistics show that males continue to consume alcohol in larger amounts than women and tend to binge drink more often, but they're not getting the amount of attention for their excesses that women are.
No one is saying that women, particularly young women experimenting with alcohol, aren't ever binge-drinking. But distorting the data in the course of reporting about the problem delays finding a solution. George Mason's Rebecca Goldin, who wrote the analysis debunking the media reports, says journalists have to be more careful and more thorough when reporting on public health data. "Scare-mongering headlines suggesting that females are suffering worse than males or that the female trajectory is one that will invariably land them in rehab or to death are a misleading use of statistics," Goldin write.
Furthermore, media reports about the so-called increase in binge drinking about women in part blame feminism, with its championing of women's independence, for women's infatuation with the bottle, says Amanda Hess in a piece for Slate. She was particularly irritated with media reports implying that liberation leads to liquor. "Many of these stories imply that female binge drinking is a problematic side effect of equality for women," she said.
"The fact that we are actually having this conversation shows that men and women are not yet on equal footing where drinking is concerned: When men drink, they don’t also risk calling their civil rights into question," Hess said.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Both the men's and women's teams were playing in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge, which set up a series of contests between teams in conferences that usually don't play one another. And get this: among women's teams, Maryland remains the only team from either conference that is unbeaten in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
And for this they got Page 3?
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
|An example from "How the Media Failed Women in 2013": |
an ad for Carl's Jr. hamburgers.
Monday, November 25, 2013
|Malala visits President and Mrs. Obama and their daughter, |
Malia, in October.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
"I kind of thought it would be lopsided," Mellie said, "but not that lopsided."
This kind of continuing imbalance is damaging to the way girls see themselves, Laura Ahearn says -- and it can't help the Post with selling newspapers to women. Indeed, women, as a proportion of newspaper readership, have been declining for years.
Read about the Ahearns' enterprising study here.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
"I want to show my daughter, over and over, why the images of so many women she sees aren't realistic," Willard writes. "And what I really want is for us to stop turning beautiful women into drawings and passing them off as real."
In 37 seconds, the woman in the video is made up, bewigged, and then with the wonders (or horrors) of Photoshop, has her contours reduced, her eyes enlarged, her mouth turned into a pout, her legs lengthened and her skin lightened. The result is an all-too-familiar image type that dominates fashion and feature photography images of women and girls. The nicest thing one can say about it is that the image is unhealthy. The more honest comment is that it's sick and feeds devastating thoughts about self-image. See it for yourself.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
"These ads do a stellar job driving home the daunting fact that enough people around the world share these vile opinions that Google has come to expect them," Adweek says. Check out the results in Adweek's article here.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
"The irony behind this is that the women generally filling these roles are very young, often previous child stars or Disney-tweens, who are simply interested in getting along in an industry glamorized to be the most desirable career for young women,” Church said in the lecture, as reported by The Telegraph. (No joke: Miley Cyrus starred in the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana"; another child star turned musical sexpot is Britney Spears, a veteran of Disney's "Mickey Mouse Club.") "They are encouraged to present themselves as hyper-sexualized, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win," Church said. She endorses a system that would give age-appropriate ratings to music videos.
Church, 27, has described being whipsawed in her own career by differing visions of her sexuality as she went from a breakthrough classical vocalist at age 11 to an adult musical interpreter with crossover appeal. In an interview with the BBC, Church said that early in her career, "There was a big clamour to cover my breasts as they wanted to keep me as young as possible. Then it became, "You should definitely get them out, they look great."
Church talks about this worsening issue for popular female musical performers, her own career, and women in music in this interview with the Women's Hour of the BBC, which happily includes many other women active in the music industry.
Monday, September 30, 2013
|Bryna Dabby of Women in Games in a 2011 interview in Vancouver.|
LaFrance writes a thoughtful piece on the problem. "Underrepresentation of women in media is one of those topics that’s so big and so multifaceted that a lot of people don’t really know how to begin to talk about it, let alone do anything to make a difference," she says, adding that saying "Journalists are simply reflecting the imbalance that exists all around them" is a poor excuse that makes it possible for nothing to change."
She has written one of the most thoughtful pieces on the subject I've ever read. She concludes that both sides of the equation have to work harder -- journalists to track down appropriate sources who are female and women being willing to be quoted. LaFrance notes a reticence among women that is less of a problem with men she contacts for interviews -- she's not the first person to notice this or wonder why it is the case. Her account is a good example of why we're still talking about this and why we need to get on with fixing the problem.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Why Are Women Still Being Told They Must Overcome Their Personality Traits to Succeed in the Workplace?
The gender disparity in news media management and so many other fields persists and people at the top don't even seem embarrassed about it, let alone motivated to do anything about it.
So when Australian newspaper editor Kylie Davis unpacks the problem for us, lays out the research showing how well women manage life in general as well as their work place responsibilities, you have to wonder about the management decisions that leave so many of them behind.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Some highlights about this quintet, announced Sept. 12:
-- The group includes two Stegner fellows— Molly Antopol is a former fellow who now teaches at Stanford and NoViolet Bulawayo is a current fellow.
-- Molly Antopol’s story collection, The UnAmericans, is largely based on her family’s involvement in the Communist Party.
-- NoViolet Bulawayo was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing and her novel, We Need New Names, is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
-- Daisy Hildyard is pursuing a doctorate on scientific language at the University of London.
-- Amanda Coplin won the 2012 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for The Orchardist, for which she drew from her experience growing up in Eastern Washington.
-- Merritt Tierce received a 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her first published story was selected for inclusion in the 2008 edition of New Stories from the South by ZZ Packer, an inaugural 5 Under 35 author in 2006. She is also executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, a reproductive rights nonprofit for low-income women.
Past 5 Under 35 writers include Danielle Evans, Keith Gessen, Amity Gaige, Nam Le, Dinaw Mengestu, Téa Obreht, Karen Russell, Justin Torres, Claire Vaye Watkins, John Corey Whaley, Tiphanie Yanique, Paul Yoon, and Charles Yu.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The five women included in the report -- all great selections, by the way -- are Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington; Kathy Yates, former Knight Ridder executive; Betsy Morgan, former CEO of the Huffington Post; Caroline Little, CEO, Newspaper Association of America; and Chloe Sladden, head of media for Twitter.
The report's authors -- John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz and Paul Sagan -- explained their choices this way:
"We started by identifying the institutions that we believed were central to the Riptide story — the change of news through the rise of digital technology, beginning around 1980. Then we sought to interview many of the key people at those institutions. At that time, they were, regrettably, overwhelmingly white and male.
"Riptide was always intended to be an organic project that would be expanded over time with other voices exploring more and more parts of this story. That’s why we created it as a website. We welcome suggestions for voices or topics that could now be added to Riptide. Please feel free to post them below or send them to us at Shorenstein_center@hks.harvard.edu."
So fire way, readers.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
ESPN To Air Documentary on Women Sports Journalists Who Fought for Professional Access and Treatment
"Let Them Wear Towels" -- Directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern. Airs on ESPN Tuesday, July 16, at 8 pm EDT
Lisa Olson was just trying to do her job as a reporter for the Boston Herald in 1990 when a group of New England Patriot players sexually harassed her in their locker room by exposing their genitals and making lewd and vulgar comments. Even though a subsequent NFL investigation concluded that Olson had been "degraded and humiliated," the 25-year-old continued to be tormented by Patriot fans -- so much so that she temporarily moved to Australia to resume her career.
Why has equal access for women reporters remained such a hot-button issue? That question is asked in "Let Them Wear Towels," a history and examination of females working in the man's world of the locker room. Through interviews with such pioneer women as Ludtke, Claire Smith, Lesley Visser and Christine Brennan, you'll hear stories of raw behavior and humorous retaliation, angry lawsuits and remarkable resolve.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
I'm not getting my hopes up. For the most part, the most successful of 2012's top-grossing films from U.S. studios again delivered superhero fantasies, lots of weaponry, and action sequences valued most by male teens and male young adults. The good news is that some of these powerful heroes were female (The Hunger Games and Brave come to mind).
Here are the Top 10, with the date of release, name of studio, film type and rating. The dollar figure is the gross; the next number is the number of tickets sold.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
The late, great Ruth Whitney, editor of Glamour from 1967-1998, made a point of publishing brain food between the beauty tips. Under her leadership, Glamour won four National Magazine Awards. (It has continued to excel, named magazine of the year in 2010.) It's fair to say, though, that some of the journalistic heft in women's magazines began to fade as they became more tied to niches in which they delivered specific reader demographics to advertisers, and their "general-interest" material became, well, less general. Fiction has all but disappeared.
Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers weighed in on the debate, taking on directly the comment to Grose by ASME head Sid Holt, who said "serious journalism" is not the mission of women's magazines. Myers described Elle's longtime publishing of in-depth pieces, citing an important one on politics and culture (a profile of then-Senator Barack Obama written by a writer who accompanied him to Kenya) and issues such as the rise in selective reduction in pregnancies of twins. Not exactly journalism lite.
Grose discusses the resistance of some female writers to write for women's magazines, concerned about being ghettoized and less marketable to titles with large male audiences. Not a helpful attitude, perhaps, but one can't blame writers for seeking what they believe is the best environment for showcasing their work.
So let's see what the editors of women's magazines do in response to this conversation. More brain food would certainly be welcome.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Facebook has published a written policy allowing mastectomy photos after holding a meeting with breast cancer advocates including Scorchy Barrington, a NY-based woman struggling with Stage IV breast cancer who started a Change.org petition with 20,000 signatures, and photographer David Jay, founder of the SCAR Project.
Facebook’s VP of global public policy to proactively organize a conference call with Barrington and Jay.
Does Facebook allow post-mastectomy photos?
Yes. We agree that undergoing a mastectomy is a life-changing experience, and that it's important to share photos to raise awareness of breast cancer and support the men and women who are facing diagnosis, undergoing treatment, or living with the scars of cancer. The vast majority of these kinds of photos are compliant
with our policies. However, photos with fully exposed breasts, particularly if they're unaffected by surgery, do violate Facebook's Terms. These policies are based on the same standards which apply to television and print media, and that govern sites with a significant number of young people. The policy can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/help/318612434939348/.
Barrington learned about the policy directly from Facebook representatives and provided this response: “For some time now, Facebook’s policy regarding mastectomy photos was loosely defined, and offered no real assistance to Facebook users posting images and little guidance to Facebook staff tasked with responding to images that were reported. As a result, numerous photos were removed from The SCAR Project page,
and David Jay, an internationally known photographer and founder of the project, was banned from posting for 30 days. Anne Marie Giannino-Otis at Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer was also asked to remove post-mastectomy photographs from her Facebook page.
"But after thousands of people signed my Change.org petition, Facebook’s policy team told me they are committed to clearing up any internal or external confusion regarding images of mastectomy and have clarified their policy. From now on, these powerful visual testaments to the real impact of breast cancer and the
resilience of breast cancer survivors will be welcomed on Facebook, as they should be.
"For me, a woman with Stage IV breast cancer, this is a victory I share with the 20,000 people who have signed my Change.org petition and the countless men and women who have this disease and who are newly diagnosed each year. We want the world to know that breast cancer is not a pink ribbon – it is traumatic, it is life-changing, and it urgently needs a cure.”
monitoring the implementation of these policies. For those that gain an immeasurable amount of support and hope through the images of The SCAR Project, this is an immense victory."
Live signature totals from Scorchy Barrington’s petition:
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
How very much he underestimated what the young women of that era and what they set out to achieve. Richman did not ultimately make a career in urban planning, but she distinguished herself in journalism, which she was drawn to as she began raising her family and looking for fulfilling -- and lucrative -- professional work. Richman eventually became adept at disguising herself as she dined at restaurants throughout greater Washington, DC, testing their offerings and writing up her findings for The Washington Post. A Richman review could make a restaurateur's day or send him or her home with a migraine, or worse.
Richman has now answered Doebele, not unkindly, but firmly, in an essay that is worth sharing widely. Here it is.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Victoria Vantoch’s book is a welcome history of a career that got a lot of women off the farm and out of dull offices, promising glamorous travel (never mind the low wages) and the opportunity to meet “interesting people” (i.e., potential rich husbands during the years flight attendants were required to be single). Vantoch shows how ad agencies pushed the sexualization of flight attendants in advertising, with the airlines cooperating by vamping up the stewardesses’ apparel. Vantoch’s book contains a terrific collection of ads that show how the military-style stewardess uniform was shed in the late 1960s in favor of mini-dresses, “hot pants,” and go-go boots. The advertising copy made sure you didn’t miss the point: An “I’m Cheryl. Fly me” ad showed a National Airlines stewardess in close-up, with a come-hither look. In 1974, Continental Airlines introduced the slogan, “We really move our tails for you.” Porn movies featuring stewardess characters inevitably followed.
The airlines' sexual sell in the 1960s and 1970s was intensifying as the women's movement was gaining ground. Inevitably, there was a collision.
Flight attendants rescued their dignity through their union, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and legal complaints. They eventually succeeded in striking down the no-marriage rule, the no-pregnancy rule, the age limit, and unreasonable height and weight restrictions. And the you-must-be-female rule, too. The steamy airline advertising faded away. Finally.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
"Hillary jokes that people regard her hair as totemic, and just so, her new haircut sends a signal of shimmering intention: she has ditched the skinned-back bun that gave her the air of a K.G.B. villainess in a Bond movie and has a sleek new layered cut that looks modern and glamorous."
Shimmering intention? K.G.B. villainess? Bond movie?
Dowd also informed us that Clinton was wearing a hot pink jacket and black slacks.
Still waiting for the day when coverage and opinion about powerful women doesn't always include a fashion statement.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
"Whether by chance or by collective soul searching, this year has seen dramatic improvement within the reporting and writing categories (public interest, reporting, feature writing, essays and criticism, columns and commentary, and fiction). Last year, women were only nominated for seven of the available 25 slots, and were completely shut out of four categories. This year, they've garnered 17 of the available 34 spots, and women are nominees in every category."
Of course, this is just one awards competition for one year, and being nominated isn't the same as winning. But it's great news and I hope it's a sign of things to come. The winners will be announced May 2.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sherin Moody, an adjunct professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo, commented to El Masry about the selectivity of censorship policies. “The interesting thing about the process of filtration that happens to drama and movies is that they cut out the content that has most to do with sexuality, leaving in violence and pervasive language. They think sex is more dangerous than violence while in fact they are very interrelated. Those people are blinded like horses with blinkers; they don’t realize that violence could escalate to rape, for example,” Moody said.
Given the volatile climate in post-revolutionary Egypt, women remain vulnerable. CBS Correspondent Lara Logan's horrific experience at the hands of a mob in Tahrir Square is well-known; so is the stripping of the "blue-bra" woman by males outraged at her presence at a political protest there. El Masry has given us an overview of how embedded violence against women is and asks a fair question: Are the media complicit?
Read her full report, "The Coverage of Violence Against Women."