Sunday, November 29, 2009

Apocalyptic Flicks: Manly Men, Helpless Women

Well done: The Washington Post's Monica Hesse's deconstruction of movies about the end of the world (Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009) reveals themes and characters that depict women as useless in the face of threats. In these films -- not just recent releases such as "2012" but throughout the whole genre -- Hesse says, "Unfortunately, there are no women at the end of the world. There are men, there are children, and there are helpless damsels who beg to be rescued. But there are no women. Sorry, women." Hesse says this is true of "every apocalyptic movie ever," with the possible exceptions of Linda Hamilton's character in the "Terminator" movies, and Tina Turner's character in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." Most of these movies, along with video games such as "Grand Theft Auto" and others consumed by male audiences, feed a cultural theme of feminine weakness that works to the detriment of women and girls.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Still Searching for Women at the Top

Marie Wilson, author and founder of The White House Project, writes about a new study of women and leadership in today's Washington Post

She bemoans the persistent frustration women experience in vaulting themselves into the top ranks of organizations, especially corporations, but also non-profits, where women are the vast majority of employees but only a fraction of executives. Wilson also notes gender disparities in leadership of a number of professions, including journalism. For a more detailed picture of women in media careers, check out our "Industry Statistics" page at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clash of the Titans? Not Exactly

Oprah Winfrey – one-woman media powerhouse – hosted nouveau book author Sarah Palin in a show that aired Nov. 16, two days before Winfrey shocked her audience with the news that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” would go dark in 2011 after 25 years. News of what is bound to be a long good-bye for Winfrey likely dampened whatever bounce Palin might have gotten out of her appearance on the show, during which Winfrey was cordial, even empathetic. Not all of the interview saw airtime, however. The Christian Science Monitor has a summary of what it considers some of the better moments left on the cutting room floor at, with video on Winfrey’s web site at