Princeton, NJ – 12/01/10


Who
Project Brainwash lecture
When
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
7:00pm - All Ages
Where
Princeton University (map)
Princeton, NJ 08544
Other Info
Project Brainwash: Why Reality TV is Bad For Women...
(...and men, people of color, the economy, love, sex, and sheer common sense!)

See description here: http://www.realitybitesbackbook.com/lectures-workshops/

WHEN: Dec. 1, 7pm
WHERE: Princeton University, Robertson 001

Sponsored by the Program for the Study of Women & Gender and organized by Melissa Harris-Perry

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I was working this afternoon with an old SNL episode on in the background, when I stumbled on a vintage “Weekend Update” segment with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey that I wish I’d been able to quote in Reality Bites Back:

Jimmy Fallon: Married By America contestant, Denise, is expected to be removed from FOX’s new reality series, after it was revealed that she is still married. Meanwhile, Candy was thrown off of FOX’s Vagina Auction for having dude parts.

Jimmy Fallon: It’s a good episode this week.

Tina Fey: Yeah. It was a good Vagina Auction this week.

Jimmy Fallon: Big ratings.

Gotta love it! I don’t have the clip online, but if you do, let me know.


DC TONIGHT: Final stop on the Reality Bites Back book tour


Tonight in Washington, D.C.,

I’m holding my last official reading on the Reality Bites Back book tour. It is listed in the Washington Post’sGoing Out Guide Blog,” and their “Going Out Guide.” There’s also a brief interview with the Express.

Tonight, the final official book reading will be held at Busboys & Poets on 14th & V in Washington, DC from 6:30-8pm. RSVP on Facebook (though walk-ins are fine, too). If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come out for a lively discussion about gender, race and class in entertainment media — and support a fantastic local independent DC bookstore and cafe.

This month has been incredible. Journalists from Newsweek, Macleans, Ms. magazine, AOL TV Squad, the St. Petersburg Times, the Denver Post, B*tch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, The American Prospect, and many more have written about the book. That was never a given for a feminist, anti-racist analysis of corporate media which includes extensive critique of product placement, advertising, and media consolidation — not to mention a conclusion featuring strategies for making

change from more than a dozen media activists.


BOSTON: Reality Bites Back TWICE, 11/19 in Wellesley, 11/20 with Jean Kilbourne in Boston


Quick hit from the road: All you MA-area TV fans — there are two chances to catch Reality Bites Backin Boston. Hope to see you at one of these events:

WHAT: Book reading and signing

WHEN: Nov. 19, 7pm

WHERE: Wellesley Booksmith

Why is reality television built on such blatant gender and race stereotypes? Why are women and people of color represented so harmfully, and with so much bias, in popular culture? What is “Frankenbite” editing, how many hours of tape are shot for every hour of reality TV aired, and how much cheaper is it to produce a reality show than a scripted program? Is it true that networks are simply “giving people what they want,” or is reality TV really the result of media consolidation, media economics, and stealth advertising? Find out at Wellesley Booksmith on 11/19!

And it is a HUGE honor and with great pleasure that I invite you to Trident Books on Saturday, where I’ll be sharing the mic with one of my formative influences and intellectual role models, pioneering ad critic Jean Kilbourne:

WHAT: Book reading and signing with Jennifer L. Pozner and Jean Kilbourne

WHEN: Nov. 20, 7pm


TUES, Nov 16, noon: Reality Bites Back event with Jennifer L. Pozner and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Lady of San Francisco


BAY AREA EVENT REMINDER from WIMN and the International Museum of Women:

Nov. 16: Whose Reality? Exposing Gender, Race and Commercial Biases in Reality TV

11/16/2010: 12pm – 1:30pm

A conversation with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, documentarian, actress and First Lady of San Francisco, and Jennifer L. Pozner, Executive Director of Women In Media & News, media critic, author, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV, on November 16th.

SeibelNewsomAndPozneer

Purchase tickets now>>

The International Museum of Women is thrilled to be hosting a noontime conversation between Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actress, filmmaker and First Lady of San Francisco, and Jennifer L. Pozner, media critic, author and Executive Director of Women in Media & News, on November 16th.

Just how real is reality television? With video clips of popular prime time TV shows and a trailer for the forthcoming film, Miss Representation, Newsom and Pozner will shed light on sexism and racism in entertainment media. Please join us for this important discussion about misrepresentations of women and people of color in reality TV, and ways you can demand media accountability.


Newsweek reviews Reality Bites Back: “Everything I Learned About Women I Learned From Reality TV” (Plus: my slideshow: “Reality TV’s 9 Worst Stock Characters”)


As a long-time media critic, I can tell you that

this is not a sentence I’m accustomed to writing: Corporate media gave me a huge gift yesterday.

As I traveled to Denver (to moderate a panel and have a wine and cheese reception for my book at the Women’s Studies Association conference), Newsweek’s Jessica Bennett reviewed Reality Bites Back in a lively feature headlined, “Everything I Learned About Women I Learned From Reality TV.” Her subhead that says it all: “Which means I must think they’re all desperate, competitive, plastic-surgery-obsessed bimbos. The problem? Today’s reality entertainment is a lot more like fiction.”

I couldn’t be happier with Benett’s take on the book and the issue of representation of women in this genre throughout the last decade. She writes:

If your main source of knowledge about women came from reality TV, this is how you’d see the world: a place where your mom is a conniving, deceitful gold digger, your sisters and girlfriends vicious and catty. You would learn that “sisterhood” is a thing of the past, as Pozner puts it—and that girl friendships are not powerful but spiteful. And you’d understand that women were put on this earth to compete for male attention—when, of course, they’re not busy pulling each other’s hair out or lounging half naked in a hot tub.


Reality Bites Back excerpt on Jezebel: The Exquisite Sadism Of America’s Next Top Model


On Tuesday, Jezebel posted (and Gawker cross-posted) an excerpt from the violence against women chapter of Reality Bites Back, focusing on “The Exquisite Sadism Of America’s Next Top Model.” By 9am today, the post had received more than 31,000 views, 315 comments,

and 414 “likes” on Facebook.

When Jezebel asked to excerpt that particular section, I had a feeling it might strike a chord. In all the press since the book launched on Nov. 1, no media outlets have picked up on my discussion of the way reality TV both normalizes and glamorizes violence against women. (A few have asked me about the many male participants in reality dating and lifestyle series who have had restraining orders, arrest histories and even jail sentences in their past for harassment, battery or sexual assault.) So I was glad to know that their readers would be able to sink their teeth into this analysis of the dangerous messages Tyra Banks sends on America’s Next Top Model, in the name of “empowering” girls.

This 800+ word excerpt is just a small taste of a 10,000+ word chapter, but I hope you’ll enjoy it. If “enjoy” is the right word for an essay about girls being instructed that, for


NYC BOOK LAUNCH PARTY and TWEET-UP TONIGHT!


BOOK LAUNCH PARTY TONIGHT!!! NYC TWEET-UP!!!

OK, I know, all caps and three exclamation points = excessive. Still, New York City, I’m just that excited to invite you to this celebration, which has been a loooong time coming.

WED. NOV. 10: Reality Bites Back Book Launch PARTY & TWEET-Up!

Time: 7:30 – 10:30

Place: The fabulous Kush bar and lounge, 191 Chrystie St., Manhattan (212-667-7328)

Cosponsored by Women In Media & News and Culture Kitchen‘s Liza Sabater (the mighty @blogdiva on Twitter) who is cohosting this party to double as a NYC indy media and feminist progressive tweet-up. Also supported by Paradigm Shift (scan down page).

After transcribing every episode of three

seasons of “Flavor of Love,” after NOT accepting “The Bachelor’s” rose for fourteen seasons, it’s finally here — Publication! Freedom from The Real Housewives of…everywhere! Sleep! (No, wait, none of that yet.) Come help this insomnia celebrate at the official book launch party for Reality Bites Back!

I’m so excited to party with you in celebration of this book. Kush is a gorgeous and fun space, and we’ll have great people, tasty treats, strong cocktails, maybe some dancing… and a pile of books, ‘natch. (Bluestocking will be selling books at the party — twist my arm, I’ll sign ’em for you.)


FINAL VIDEO: Reality Rehab Webisode 7: The Gangster Guy (and series conclusion)


Today, at last, I present the thrilling conclusion to the Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn web series, Webisode 7: The Gangsta Guy!

If you’ve been reading the blog recently (or media outlets from The Vancouver Sun to Jezebel to The Frisky), you know I launched a satirical book trailer and webisode series last week, Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn, which spoofs — and then liberates — reality TV’s stock characters through media literacy therapy.

In the final webisode of the series, The Gangsta Guy (actor Brian Moreland)–one of seven Reality Rehab cast members–starts out embodying all the racial stereotypes about men of color in reality TV (“I’ll pimp out every ho in this room! Of course I’ve been arrested. I’m from the hood!”). Yet during the course of media literacy therapy, we learn that he is only pretending to be a “G” because, as an urban planner, if he wins MTV’s “From Gs to Gents” he and his architect wife will be able to use the prize money to build community centers for troubled youth.


Like The Gangsta Guy? Blog him, tweet him, post him to Tumblr, share him on your Facebook wall — let’s make him go viral!


EVENT: Philly book reading TONIGHT, Nov 9, 5:30pm


Hey Philly friends — come join me TONIGHT as I read from my new book, Reality Bites Back.

WHEN: Tuesday Nov. 9, 5:30 – 7:00pm
WHERE: Barnes & Noble, Rittenhouse Square, 1805 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

19103
FREE

Why is reality television built on such blatant gender and race stereotypes? Why are women and people of color represented so harmfully, and with so much bias, in popular culture? What is “Frankenbite” editing, how many hours of tape are shot for every hour of reality TV aired, and how much cheaper is it to produce a reality show than a scripted program? Is it true that networks are simply “giving people what they want,” or is reality TV really the result of media consolidation, media economics, and stealth advertising?

I’ll answer these questions — and whatever else you throw at me — tonight. Hope to see you there!

RSVP at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102502319814899

And for more tour dates throughout November — including the official BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!! in NYC tomorrow (Wed.) night — see event

invitations on Facebook, or view the calendar here.