Our Media, Our Selves

By Christine Cupaiuolo — January 4, 2008

Writing at the Huffington Post, Gloria Feldt outlines the dismal statistics for women in media, both in terms of corporate ownership and the inclusion of women’s voices in the news.

But before you get too despaired, consider Feldt’s call to action:

Fortunately a number of organizations with bold visions and courageous agendas have emerged to rectify that situation. So, after a lifetime of leadership in issue advocacy organizations, I choose now to contribute my volunteer time and money to groups working to close one of the last gaps in women’s equality. I believe this work is absolutely essential to bringing forth simple justice for women, by bringing women’s faces, voices, stories, and influence to parity in our media saturated world.

In so doing, I am convinced also we are creating a media that strengthens democracy and enriches public discourse. A media that is powerful, not a media that merely serves the interests of the powerful.

Feldt lists five organizations that she currently writes for or supports in some capacity, including the Women’s Media Center, SheSource, Women in Media & News, Women’s eNews — and Our Bodies Ourselves. She writes:

One mother of women’s media endeavors is Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), also known as the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (BWHBC), is a nonprofit, public interest women’s health education, advocacy, and consulting organization. Beginning in 1970 with the publication of the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, OBOS literally fomented a global women’s health movement revolution through its groundbreaking book that is now available in multiple languages and on-line resources.

In media discussions, it’s easy to overlook the essential role OBOS and other women’s publications historically have played in bringing attention to women’s issues and reframing topics to include the voice and perspective of women. Kudos to Gloria Feldt for highlighting OBOS alongside the other terrific media organizations mentioned.

Plus: OBOS’s newest book, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth,” will be released in March 2008. It joins “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” as one of the specialty titles on women’s health and is the latest example of how OBOS is continuing to present a feminist perspective on health research and political and cultural issues. More details on the new book will follow soon!

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