What is “feminist media?”

Dana Goldstein of CampusProgress, who is also at WAM, has an interesting post up about what exactly folks mean when they say “feminist media.”
What do you think?

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6 Comments

  1. Posted March 31, 2007 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    whoa. Calm down Ivy. I don’t see how you can advance individual rights without equality, which is the ideological basis of feminism. You can dispute it all you want, but
    Anyways, on topic, I’m not sure I know what qualifies as feminist media, but I tend to think the definition by Dana Goldstein is a little too broad. Admittedly, anytime you have a blog which is empowering to women, it has the affect of promoting equality, but it doesn’t necessarily have the intent. So it’s crucial to me that her bullet point number 4, “recognizes gender as a crucial catagory of analysis.” Without awareness, equality is an accident. There needs to be a conscious understanding of what you’re doing to qualify as a feminist, in my opinion.
    But on her second point, I’m inclined to disagree. Universal Health Care has nothing to do with gender equality, at least directly. Personally, I am supportive of universal health care but having the background I do in economics means I’ve read plenty of studies which suggest that it may be complicated in terms of whether or not its the best way to address the problem of health care. Therefore, i find it a bit unfair that someone can support gender equality, but have different economic persuasions, and thus be disqualified from the title of feminist.
    In general, Marxist language and ideology is a big part of the language of oppressed classes and post-colonial studies. But Marxism as an economic structure is definitely outside the scope of discussing gender equality.
    I understand that Universal Health Care and Marxism are not the same thing, necessarily, but I do think egalitarian economic policies are definitely in the realm of Marxist discourse. One may find it hard to divorce economic issues from gender issues, but that is only because we start with different assumptions. I think Ms. Goldstein would be wise to avoid turning feminism into everything she likes, or finds true, and stick to a more narrow scope, which is far more achievable.

  2. roymacIII
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    What do you think?
    Aside from being sad/annoyed that the first comment here and at the article was typical anti-feminist crap…
    I think that’s a pretty solid list to work from. Primarily, I look to see if women’s issues are treated with respect and if there is generally an emphasis on examining those issues in the larger context of the world we live in, rather than as sort of “special topic” articles. If articles about feminist concerns only show up rarely or do so as sort of “special issue” type things, I wouldn’t consider it a feminist publication, necessarily.
    Before reading that, though, I’d have been more specific. Generally, I’ve thought of a publication/website as being feminist if that’s the primary focus. If a magazine has a “broad progressive outlook” that includes feminist topics, I’d have thought of it as feminist friendly.

  3. donna darko
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    ooh what did the troll say? bring out the dumb so i can laugh some more! honestly, he reminds me of an 18-year-old college freshman in a late night bull session with other 18-year-old guys. they are only enlightening to each other.
    the article sums up what i think of as feminist media.

  4. donna darko
    Posted March 31, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    hey, have you heard of this brilliant writer named ayn rand? a woman who hates feminists! cool! –18-year-old college freshman

  5. Rach
    Posted April 2, 2007 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I think the article is very general, but it hits the highlights of what makes media feminist.
    I think most people would agree with those points, but everyone has there own additional set of identifying features they look for. Everyone has different interests and views, so that’s only natural.
    I think another great way to tell is if there are angry, childish, anti-feminist responses to the post.

  6. Posted April 2, 2007 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    The definition posed is a good start, but there’s something missing I think.
    There’s an implicit assumption in these rules that such coverage is done with an eye to positive change — e.g., women’s pay inequities are a bad thing, so the hope is that coverage of the topic can help be a step in remedying this problem.
    The assumption is implicit, but I think it’s best if it be stated outright. Let me suggest as a fifth criterion for feminist media:
    5. Discussion and coverage lends an eye not just to content of current “women’s problems” in their own right, but also lends an eye toward remedying those problems. The hope is ultimately to improve things, no matter how small an improvement can be achieved.

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