Monday, August 4, 2008

Reliving the 1970s with Derogatory Media Portrayals of Women and Limiting Reproductive Freedom

Last week on Twitter someone drew attention to a new BMW ad that would have been right at home in the mid-70s. That was the time when I taught newswriting classes at Temple University Center City and had a large collection of newspaper articles and ads that featured derogatory portrayals of women. I tweeted that I’d already been part of this battle. Did we really have to fight it again?

And then right on the heels of that throw-back to the un-liberated ‘70s comes the July 31st article by Stephanie Simon in The Wall Street Journal titled “Treating the Pill as Abortion, Draft Regulation Stirs Debate.”

Apparently there is a draft regulation circulating within the Department of Health and Human Services that “treats most birth-control pills and intrauterine devices as abortion because they can work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The regulation considers that destroying ‘the life of a human being.’”

I can’t even write about this topic because it makes me so angry. Again, the battle for women to have control over their reproductive organs has already been fought. Must it really be fought again?

On Sunday night I saw the new Batman movie THE DARK KNIGHT. Part-way through the endless violence sequences I asked myself what makes this movie so popular at the box office. Why do so many people want to see larger-than-life characters being brutally vicious to each other? And we call this entertainment.

I’ve just reviewed the military spouse winning essays of the “Tell-Your-Own-Story” contest that I co-sponsored with in connection with Lifetime TV’s ARMY WIVES series. Several of the essays described the difficulties when a spouse is deployed. And as I write this post I’m also in an email conversation with a deployed National Guard member.

The juxtaposition of fake violence and real violence seems surreal, as does returning to the ‘70s with its derogatory media portrayals of women and the limiting of reproductive freedom.

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: