Episode Information

WWL: The Faces of Feminism
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
04/03/2009
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In this episode:

A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men - Steinem

 

 

Episode Audio

42:56 minutes (20.61 MB)
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Feminist icon Gloria Steinem is still going strong at 75, and taking her message of a struggle for gender equity to college campuses.

Coming up, Where We Live - we’ll talk with Steinem and other leading feminists about where the movement is today. We’ll also hear about the feminists that shook up New Haven in the late 60s early 70s.

Join the conversation.  What does "feminism" mean to you?


 
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WWL: The Faces of Feminism

Feminism is very important to me, as it has been since the 1970's when my awareness was first raised. I don't feel girls and women have made sufficient strides in breaking through gender barriers as is warranted some fifty years after the movement emerged. My primary concern today is the lack of women's voices in the public forum, namely, the media--and I include public radio as part of the problem. I've been in contact with Lisa Shepard, NPR ombudsperson, about my concern, especially regarding programs like On Point and Talk of the Nation (less so with Morning Edition and All Things Considered). I'm particularly discouraged by Fresh Air, with Terry Gross, who should be sensitive to equal representation of women, but who rarely has women guests or selects works by female artists, such as musicians, to review. Women anchors on my local NPR stations (WAMC and WNPR) are also lacking. Commercial radio and TV are dominated by men (how is it possible that all late-night shows have male anchors??) and therefore by topics slanted towards male interests. For example, both public and commerical media feature a constant rehashing of the economic crisis (critical when it first erupted but now overdone) with males, often business executives whose positions aren't readily available to women, far outnumbering women; also endlessly covered are 'hot spots,' such as conflicts in the Middle East, (all, by the way, male-generated...which should be underscored in the reporting), instead of a variety of newsworthy events where women's roles can be emphasized. Men's professional sports are ubiquitous on TV and, of course, monopolize the sports channels.

I challenge women who feel the gender battles have been won to count the number of men whom they hear and see in the media, both private and commercial, and contrast this to the number of women. It will--or should be--a consciousness-raiser. 

All of this said, I salute WNPR for offering The Faces of Feminism and inviting Gloria Steinem, whose activism and wisdom have been invaluable to feminism since its inception. Because of this program and Ms. Steinem's presence as a guest, I might even revew my membership!