Press release: Women’s Media Center statement on the Arizona shootings

The Women’s Media Center just released this message:

Women’s Media Center Statement on the Arizona Shootings

The Women’s Media Center (WMC) is stunned and saddened by the attack on Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and her staff and supporters. As media cover this tragic story, they have a special responsibility NOT to legitimize violent rhetoric that targets and attempts to silence women leaders and progressive voices. The Women’s Media Center will continue to monitor the coverage of this story, and encourages media to make the link between hate speech and violence, and to condemn violent rhetoric. 

Vitriolic, sexist, and racist language is a form of hate speech and bullying. Examining recent political intimidation can shed a light on the toxic political and media landscape in which the Arizona shootings took place. Here are some highlights from the past two elections that paint a broader context and help us analyze this tragedy. See recent examples here.

To speak with WMC Board Member, author, and activist Gloria Feldt about the lessons learned from this horrible episode, contact the press contact above.Read her moving piece here, in which she explains that this incident is less about decrying our declining civility and more about teaching everyone from their earliest years how a democratic government works, because we are our government.

Our hearts go out to the victims of this violence, and hope that through critical examination of the cultural factors that produce such tragedies, that we prevent them in the future, because violence against one woman is violence against all.

Press Contact: Yana Walton – yana@womensmediacenter.com or 212.563.0680

Healthy Media for Youth Act

Should we mandate positive images of women in the media? by Brittany Shoot in Change.org – Please visit the site to sign the petition

Excerpt:

If it passes through Congress, the House (H.R.4925) and Senate (S.3852) bills, collectively known as the Healthy Media for Youth Act, would do a couple of key things. It would provide federal grant money for media literacy programs and youth empowerment programs and endorse research about the role and impact of girls’ and women’s images in the media. Best of all, it would enact a National Task Force on Girls and Women in the Media.

As Rachel at The F-Word.org points out, other countries have been considering similar legislation for a while now. With a whopping 90% of girls saying they feel pressured by the media to be thin, don’t we think it’s time to enact some girl-friendly legislation of our own?