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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pop Politics

In honor of all the awesome political discussion, analysis, and action that went into and will come out of the NCMR, I thought I'd post some political links. I'm really glad to have met some of the awesome political feminists behind these sources like Jenn Pozner, Shireen Mitchell, Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Deanna Zandt at the conference as well!

From Feministing:
Politics Made Sexy for Men
GOP Consultant: Sometimes it's "accurate" to call a woman a "bitch"

From AlterNet:
Anti-Feminist Backlash Out in Full Force

From the New York Times:
Judith Warner: Woman in Charge, Women Who Charge

[In a nation indifferent to the sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton, no wonder a film like "Sex and the City" is a hit.]

We of course still have much to do, but I do have a feeling of movement, and sharing information--spreading awareness--is the first step.
Nancy Gruver , founder and CEO of New Moon Girl Media, and I are back at the National Conference for Media Reform today! I'm feeling tired but excited by--as Bill Moyers just said in his keynote speech--being surrounded by "kindred spirits."

Moyers' speech was of course excellent. He handed us the challenge and the power to insist on free media, accompanied by the inspiration and feeling of community to continue to do so. His words even brought a tear to my eye.

After his speech, Nancy Gruver and I agreed on what a great speech it was. And then Nancy said, "But out of all those quotes, examples, stories, and anecdotes he mentioned, not one involved a woman." That fact had slipped right past me, the feminist that I am, because I was listening to the value of his words in my life and my work. And his words were incredibly valuable! But it's just worthy noting that yet again, female voices have been excluded from media, even at the Free Press conference for media *reform.* (There IS an awesome panel coming up today regarding how "there is no media reform without women" that I'm really looking forward to, and I hope they keep panels like this in the future and increase their number.)

I'm not criticizing Moyers for a personal oversight; his speech simply reflects the male-dominated history of media that continues up until today. When women's voices have been absent and silenced, their quotes and stories are much harder to find.

I'm really psyched that In Her Image and New Moon join tons of other awesome organizations that address this issue - What else do you think we can do to help girls' and women's voices matter? What actions are you taking that you want to share? We're all together on this, and I'd love to hear your comments and ideas!

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm at the NCMR!

Hi everyone! I'm writing from the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis. Everyone here has goals of shaping a free, tolerant society with open communication; this is the kind of world I want to help create for girls and women. The girls that I'm lucky enough to work with at New Moon have the passion and energy to change things that frustrate them, and I hope that vigor never gets kicked out of them. When girls continue to speak out as they turn into women, it's much more likely that they will be future leaders in many industries as well as government.

After listening to panels all day, I have a bit of information overload but my overall feeling is of inspiration. Many experts feel that we're at a cross-roads of change, and that calls for media reform and social change are stronger than they've been in a long time.

Also really important to me is the emphasis on collaboration I've been hearing. Events like this conference make the possibilities of the change that can happen with collaboration seem within reach. There are so many passionate, hard-working people here, gathered together to meet each other and work together. It's easy to become embittered or cynical when working alone, but remembering that each of us here today (and many others who aren't!) are out there, contributing to improving life on this planet, refreshes me and helps me keep going. (As always in that vein, contact me if you want to collaborate or guest blog!)

For now, I'm off to the art opening for Project Girl, a really exciting project where girls respond to negative media images with their own art and media pieces.

More later!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Barbie's Not a Real Woman

Looks to me like "Lingerie Barbie" (pictured left - I can't believe she really exists, ack) and this line of Barbie-inspired couture for real women are part of the same harmful trend that tries to sexualize girls and youth-ify women. It seems no one's perfect the way they are and absolutely everyone female should be Barbie incarnate.

An awesome girl I know at New Moon did a piece on Barbie, with all those stellar facts like, "If Barbie were real, she would cease to menstruate because of her unhealthy body weight."