Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No big surprises

Book: Feminism in the News: Representatives of the Women's Movement Since the 1960s

Author: Kaitlynn Mendes

Published: 2011 (Palgrave Macmillian)

Pages: 165 (not counting endnotes)

Headline: Feminism Not Taken All That Seriously by Male-Dominated News Industry Unless It Concerns a Court Case or Something Like That.

No big surprises here, except at how fast it read as an academic study. I was thinking it'd take at least a week to slog through, but the newspaper and feminism terminology were both explained clearly enough to not necessitate a lot of paging back to re-read definitions.

The most interesting bits were when she compared British newspaper coverage to American, which revealed both the differences in journalism and the difference in the women's movements in each country. In America, the women's movement was a lot more centralized and media-ready, so it got covered as a sort of institution. In England, where the movement didn't have that kind of bureacratic cohesion, it got covered as an individual issue. Both countries used more of a "soft news" approach to coverage, which while regulating the women's movement largely to what journalists considered a less serious genre, also allowed room for more in-depth analysis of the movement in longer feature stories rather than the tight space regulations of breaking and hard news sections.

Bored yet? Don't be! Come back into the folds of autodidacts! I have 11-year-old British girls talking about how all they want is to be wives and mothers! Black feminists starting their own movements because they don't feel like they belong in the white, middle-class majority of the mainstream movement! Lipstick and miniskirts as expressions of feminism!

Ah well. It's an interesting topic, but the findings didn't surprise me so much as make me extremely glad that I was born after most of this had settled into at least nominal equality.

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