Honoree and CBS News Chief Foreign Corespondent Lara Logan talks courageously about being assaulted in Tehrir Square with WMC’s founding president Carol Jenkins.
“Employ very medium” is No Excuses Power Tool #8, and the honorees of the Women’s Media Center first ever Media Awards gala fundraising event November 30 lead the way. I’ll post the video that event chair and filmmaker extraordinaire Donna Deitch created for the event when it’s available, so please check back for it. Meanwhile, here is Marianne Schnall’s first hand report about the evening, originally posted here on the WMC blog.
I’m proud to serve on the board of an organization that is tackling one of the most important issues of the day with the big vision of making women visible and powerful in the media.
Check out the WMC’s Facebook album if you’d like to see more pictures from the Media Awards, including Arianna Huffington, Sheryl Sandberg, Business Media Award Recipient Maggie Wilderotter, Carol Jenkins Young Journalist Award Recipient Yanique Richards, and many others!
The invitation to today’s Phoenix-Scottsdale National Organization for Women (NOW) “Equality Day Feminist Convergence” depicts a quaint sepia photo of suffragists picketing the White House. It telegraphs “old.” After all, the event celebrates the 91st anniversary of the date in 1920 when women’s right to vote entered the U.S. Constitution.
But, remember, in the decades at the beginning of the 20th century those purple and white sashes and those picket signs wielded by (purposefully) demurely dressed women were new media in action.
Fittingly, attendees at the Arizona event will have a contemporary victory to celebrate, one involving media activism squarely in the suffragist tradition. But this one is powered by e-mail and concerns itself with very modern day attire. Tight jeans to be exact…
The Women’s Media Center Board and special guests. From left to right: Jodi Evans, Jewelle Bickford, Jane Fonda, Gabourey Sidibe, Julie Burton, me, Carol Jenkins, Robin Morgan, Marlo Thomas, Gloria Steinem, Jamia Wilson, Michaela Monaha.
Before she began her remarks at the podium, Jane Fonda pointed her digital camera at the 500 women and a few men packing the Paley Center auditorium on April 20th. We’d all paid somewhere between $50 and $5,000 to see D. A. Pennebaker’s 50-year old documentaryJane.
The film tracks Jane’s dismal flop in her first Broadway play at age 23. Afterward, we were to hear the actress discuss women’s self image with Preciousstar Gabourey Sidibe in a panel moderated by feminist star Gloria Steinem.
But first, Jane’s blog had to be fed, so she snapped her photo. She does her own blogging and a good bit of her own tweeting, and those social media are always hungry for content. I could relate. After posting at least daily during Women’s History Month, I have not been feeding my 9Ways blog properly. Today I begin anew with a promise to post at least twice a week so we can keep the conversation about women’s relationship with power that was started with the launch of No Excusesgoing.
But back to the evening’s program…Widely divergent in age and race, Jane and Gabourey found their key differences to be in their relationship with power, the locus of their power (inside versus looking outward for affirmation), and their concern about body image. Most notably, Gabby expressed love for herself whereas Jane still obsesses about her weight and appearance.
As Jane reported in her blog afterward: “Gabby was really amazing. I wish I had recorded some of the things she said. So wise and strong.”
The screening and panel discussion were a benefit for the Women’s Media Center, a nonprofit dedicated to making women visible and powerful in the media. Women currently make up only 16 percent of the expert “talking heads” on news and public affairs shows, and 3 percent of the top level positions that decide what the stories will be. I’m honored to serve on the WMC board to support women employing every medium to get their messages out and change those dismal statistics to 50/50.
What stories about women do you see in the media you watch or read?
How has the prevailing media narrative affected your self-image and sense of power?
I’m interested in your thoughts. Please share them here.
Wednesday, Oct. 2-Nov. 13, 2013Gloria will teach a 6-week online course "9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career".This is a Take The Lead event in partnership with Arizona State University Online. Participants will receive a certificate to enhance their resumes along with practical skills and understanding of power dynamics in the workplace. Don't miss this opportunity and register today!