Reality Bites Back at SPARK Summit: Challenging media sexualization of girls


Quick reminder: if you’re in New York City, Hunter College is the place to be today, as media literacy activists, media makers, youth educators, girls’ rights advocates, scholars — and, importantly, girls themselves — will be coming together for the SPARK Summit (Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge).

On behalf of Women In Media & News, I’m thrilled to be presenting tomorrow during the “Shining a Light on Sexualization in the Media” workshop, along with Andrea Quijada of the Media Literacy Project, and Yana Walton and Jill

Marcellus of

the Women’s Media Center. Andrea will be conducting an interactive media literacy game, we’ll show a Spark Summit-produced video about sexualization (including many clips from reality TV shows), after which I will discuss sexualization in reality TV–in particular, stereotypes about women’s sexuality, the differences in how hypersexualization of women of color plays out, how to watch critically.

Media personalities including Geena Davis and MTV’s Amber Madison will be speaking, as will WIMN allies such as Samhita Mukhopadhyay of Feministing, sex educator and young feminist leader Shelby Knox, Emily May of HollaBack, the WMC’s Jamia Wilson, and many others.

See the SPARK Summit agenda.

There’s still time to register.


ColorLines on race and reality TV: from cultural transgression to minstrel shows


Today at ColorLines Magazine, Neelanjana Banerjee looks at race, representation and reality TV and asks, as per the story’s headline: “Is Reality TV a Revolution for Race or the New Minstrel?”

A smart, nuanced and well-reported piece, Banerjee notes that:

“A series of NAACP reports have tracked the dismal representation of African Americans and other people of color on network television for the past decade. In 2000, the NAACP called for a boycott of the four major networks because none of their 26 new shows featured an actor of color in a lead or starring role. In 2006, the NAACP reported the number of minority actors of any sort in prime-time had declined to barely 300. In its most recent report, however, the NAACP declared reality TV ‘the only bright spot’ in the industry.”

The NAACP could arrive at such a conclusion because, as Banerjee writes, “Today, the mainstream dating shows, such as ‘The Bachelor,’ primarily ignore people of color. But on competition shows and on cable networks, characters of color are much more likely to show up.”

Which


New York City, NY – 09/27/10


Who
Ladies of the Left: White Women Talk White Privilege, Progressive Media, AntiRacism
When
Monday, September 27, 2010
6:30pm - All Ages
Where
Brecht Forum (map)
451 West Street bet Bank & Bethune
New York City, NY
Other Info
White privilege, notions of power, challenging white America, talking tough personal truths dealing with the work of undoing racism, asking how much stronger progressive media can and should be.
Come on Out. Hear a Personal, Professional, Historical, Institutional Perspective. And be heard.
...
Power Panel, Monologue, Q&A

Join Us. Come Out. Take Part.

Admission: $10

Laura Flanders - New York Times Best-selling author, Host of GRITtv, the daily show on MNN (Ch 34) and CUNY-TV (Ch 75.) www.grittv.org

J Love Calderon - Author, Educator, Activist; Editor 'Love, Race, & Liberation: Til The White Day Is Done

Jennifer l. Pozner - Founder & Executive Director of Women in Media & News

Margery Freeman - Educator and Activist; organizer and trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond & The Anti-Racist Alliance

Moderated by:

Esther Armah - International Award winning Journalist, New York Radio Host Wake Up Call & Off The Page WBAI99.5FM & Playwright.

THIS IS AFROLICIOUS : THE PROVOCATIVE, POWERFUL EMOTIONAL JUSTICE ARTS & CONVERSATION SERIES.

TONIGHT: Livetweeting America’s Next Top Model Cycle 15, 8pmEST: Join me on Twitter @jennpozner


OK, it’s official: my summer reality TV fast (a needed respite after sending the Reality Bites Back manuscript off to my publisher) is over. To mark the occasion, I’m going to be livetweeting analysis of the season premiere of America’s next Top Model, Cycle 15 — yes, 15 — tonight at 8pm EST. (UPDATE: Full feed of the livetweeting session below.)

Long-time readers of my other blog (WIMN’s Voices, the group blog of Women In Media & News) know that I’ve monitored this series since it debuted, often to horrifying results. Not surprisingly, then, ANTM features quite often throughout Reality Bites Back, in chapters on body image, race, and product placement advertising and media economics. But the show also has the distinction of being the only reality series of the decade to get its own chapter in the book: “Ghetto Bitches, China Dolls, and Cha Cha Divas: Race, Beauty, and the Tyranny of Tyra Banks.” Let’s see if tonight gives us a glimpse why…

Send your questions, comments and snarky hashtags about gender, race, beauty, product placement, manipulation, Tyra Banks’ batshit crazy antics, and anything else ANTM-related to @jennpozner on Twitter, or post your questions to the comments section below. (You can connect to my Twitter feed by clicking on the blue “t” icon on the sidebar at the right of this page.)