Rules For Media Coverage of Feminists
The inspiration for my Letters to Our Daughters Project comes from my hope that we can recreate our family tree here, creating a forum where the mothers and aunts in our fields (which I hope to not limit to physiology, but that’s where I’ll start because that’s who I know) can share their wisdom with us. I think there is a wealth of information among these successful women and I hope to use this forum to share it with young scientists who are yearning for that knowledge.
Today, Isis tells us, Someone has noticed. Isis followed up on this interest from Someone at a public radio program, only to be finally informed that
“If we can’t identify you by name on our program, then there really is not enough controversy here for us to do a story on this project.”
So what’s that all about then?
Isis says she is left feeling squeemy by this encounter and I don’t blame her a bit. Some commenters are of the opinion that it can all be chalked up to MSM-syndrome: the mainstream media just doesn’t “get” the blogosphere, those old farts who run those tired forms of reporting don’t understand us hip young folks. (Never mind there are young reporters and old fart bloggers, including yours truly.) A few other bloggers suspect a ruse, someone trying to suss out Dr. Isis’s identity, but Isis claims she verified Someone’s identity and was not being Zuckered. (always glad to help try and create a new term, sister Isis!)
Here’s my take on this: it has much less to do with the cluelessness of MSM about the bloggysphere, or somebody’s desire to unmask Isis in particular, than it does with how MSM generally shapes stories about feminists. Stories involving feminists, by definition, must always be controversial, because feminism and feminists cannot be taken as uncontroversial things.
So herewith I present one possible scenario for a “controversy” that Someone from public radio might have been interested in cooking up for a program piece. Just talking about the nice anonymous blogger who started a project to encourage young women scientists? Not so interesting. Framing it (oh my god, I used that word!) as another chapter of the ongoing campus culture wars? MUCH more interesting! If you’re gonna talk about feminazis, there are rules to be followed. Let’s get started.
Rule Number 1: Feminists must not be portrayed as doing anything really positive for Humankind, especially women. Feminists are RUINING!!!11!!!1! women’s lives by not allowing them all to “choose” full-time wife- and motherhood, unless the women are poor, in which case feminists are ruining poor women’s lives by encouraging them to expect social justice instead of just relying on themselves and getting off welfare and going out to work to support their children. (You can play at home! Pick your favorite issue. See if you can explain how, no matter what, feminists are RUINING!!!11!!!1! women’s lives.)
Rule Number 2: Feminists should be portrayed as though their real agenda, no matter what they say, is to emasculate Mankind. Feminists may say they are all about equity in the workplace but what they really mean is stealing jobs from men – the very jobs that make men out of the boys! Just ask Christina Hoff Sommers. She’s created whole conferences about this very issue, and the media loves her. Next the crafty feminists give those jobs to unqualified women (probably unqualified black or Latina women, to boot). Finally, they force men to go against their natural selves through the imposition of ridiculous workplace rules like no groping your colleagues and other ridiculous restraints on a man’s evolved sex drives. You might as well just Bobbitt every man the minute he enters the workplace.
Rule Number 3: You cannot under any circumstances cover anything a feminist is doing without having one or two “experts” to explain why they are evil and wrong. If it’s science-related, preferably one of these experts would be Christina Hoff Sommers. She’s not a scientist, but no matter – she’s positioned herself as the go-to “conservative feminist” on gender and science. If it’s academia-related, it would be great to get some commentary from someone like David Horowitz. The two of them can explain to you how any particular feminist is destroying the minds of America’s youth and the pillars of the American university tradition as we have known it and, by extension, America itself.
So, my guess is, Someone wanted to create a nice “fair and balanced” public radio program about Dr. Isis’s Letters To Our Daughters project. You gotta have controversy in order to be fair and balanced. The controversy is: Isis thinks she’s doing something good, but it’s not really good for young girls, because it encourages them to think of themselves as victims. Furthermore, pushing young women into careers they don’t really want to do – and aren’t, by their biology, naturally inclined toward – is bad for them, bad for science, and bad for our country. Feminists only want to do this because they hate men, and they hate our country. Just ask David and Christina. They will explain it to you.
But you can’t expect them to swoop down on Dr. Isis’s college campus and collect evidence of the nefarious intent of MRU’s network of evil feminist malcontents, of which Dr. Isis is most surely just the latest manifestation, if they don’t know where it is they are to swoop. The controversy is much less exciting if you can’t make a stink on campus. Maybe find a female science student right on MRU who will proclaim, “I don’t want any “special help”!”
Yeah, that’s how these things are manufactured. I have friends on college campuses who have been the target of stuff like this. Isis, I say, count yourself lucky that Someone flounced off into the night. There are some kinds of attention your project just doesn’t need.
Bunny Rock in Zuska’s Garden
Zuska is the kick-ass alter-ego of Suzanne E Franks. When not dispensing Zuska's wisdom, Suzanne can often be found gardening, reading, or having one of her thrice-weekly migraines.
- rentals on Beach Wheelchair
- Geoffrey on How to Feed 4 On a Food Stamp Budget
- อาการปวดหลัง on Juniorprof’s #painresearchmatters Campaign
- hay day hack ifunbox on Nifty Free Media Tools at Fairer Science
- win mobile games on Nifty Free Media Tools at Fairer Science
- airtemperaturespecialists.com on How Not To Sell Me Your Fancy HVAC System
- elm327 on PZ, You’ve Seriously Disappointed Me
- hntvzyjs.com on Nifty Free Media Tools at Fairer Science
- John on How Not To Sell Me Your Fancy HVAC System
- Richard Henderson on How Not To Sell Me Your Fancy HVAC System