NOW’s Media Hall of Shame

I have one little word: Ugh!

Newsweek Glamorizes Women’s Submission

The article attempts to support its premise with the not terribly precise estimate that “between 31 percent and 57 percent of women entertain fantasies where they are forced to have sex” (according to Psychology Today).

Picture for a moment a mainstream magazine arguing that men feel there is something “basically liberating about being overcome or overpowered.” Imagine a male author positing that men have an “incandescent fantasy of being dominated.” And try, just try, to envision that cover with a blindfolded male model.

Is it paranoid to suggest that Newsweek and Roiphe intentionally portray women as fearful of equality in order to grease the wheels for rolling back their rights? Is it too extreme to suggest that the cover image and the article work together to convey the message that women want to throw in the towel on being in charge of their sexuality and their lives in general? Would it be going too far to characterize articles like this as contributing to a cultural environment where it’s not so bad when men physically assault women, even rape them, because that’s what women really want?

Roiphe argues that feminists are “perplexed” by the persistence of dominance/submission fantasies, but when Gloria Steinem tries to explain it, Roiphe shrugs her off, writing that “maybe sex and aggression should not, and probably more to the point, cannot be untangled.” Sure sounds like a writer with an agenda that’s hostile to women’s empowerment and safety. Not to mention the fact that Roiphe never asks why men might want to dominate and hurt women, and what that might say about them.

Misogyny in the Manosphere

Someone recently shared this site (Southern Poverty Law Center) with me – it’s current:

Misogyny: The Sites

The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general. Although some of the sites make an attempt at civility and try to back their arguments with facts, they are almost all thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express. What follows are brief descriptions of a dozen of these sites.

Read more here

Battered Women’s Support Services

How Media Literacy Can Help End Violence Against Women

by Joanna Chiu

Excerpt:

A recent study by the Parents Television Council found that since 2004, there has been a 120% increase in depictions of violence against women on television, and even more disturbingly, there was a 400% increase in the depictions of teen girls as the victims of violence.

Women Make the News 2012

UNESCO, once again, calls on its media partners to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment remain on the forefront of their agenda, through its Women Make the News (WMN) 2012 initiative. Launched annually on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March), WMN is a global policy advocacy initiative aimed at promoting gender equality in and through the media.

Much has been achieved since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). Yet the Global Media Monitoring Project (2010) finds that still only 24% of the people questioned, heard, seen or read about in the written and audiovisual media are women; 76% are men. Only 16% of stories focus specifically on women.

The UNESCO-supported Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media(2011) reveals that women are underrepresented in the media operations in 73%, 50% and 46% of the countries surveyed in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Oceana, and the Americas, respectively. This is indicative that there is much more to be done.

Read more here.