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A project of the Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU


A journalist’s guide to Don Draper’s ad tricks

By Miglena Sternadori
Gender Co-Editor, Media Diversity Forum

(July 31, 2014) - Media’s coverage of the latest PSA-like, pro-gender-equity ads following in the steps of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign has left me frustrated. Not that I dislike the ads. Not that I disagree with their general message. And not that I am so enlightened that I boycott all beauty products.

What bothers me is the frequent lack of social and historical context. Its omission leads some journalists (and many of my students) to assume that these ads somehow signify progress. For example:

This Great Ad Reveals All the Ways We Hold Girls Back
#SorryNotSorry: How ads empower women
The 7 Most Inspiring Ad Campaigns for Women in 2013

Read more

Meghan Trainor’s new song is just as anti-feminist as “All About That Bass”

By L. V. Anderson
(Sept. 5, 2014 | Slate.Com) - Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” has been stuck in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100—not to mention everyone’s head—for a few weeks now, giving us all a chance to contemplate its mixed messages. While the earworm is ostensibly about body positivity, Trainor disses “skinny bitches” and “stick figure[s]”—suggesting that not all bodies are worthy of pride. Read more

Iranian women's magazine editor accused of promoting feminist views

By Golnaz Esfandiari for RFE/RL
(Sept. 5, 2014 | The Guardian) - Iranian hardliners have accused the editor of a newly launched women’s magazine of promoting un-Islamic ideas and feminist views. Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported last week that Shahla Sherkat has been called to appear before Iran’s Press Court on 7 September. Fars, said to be close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), did not provide details about the charges against Sherkat. Read more

How syllabi can help combat sexual assault

By Nadia Dawisha and Karen Dawisha
(Sept. 3, 2014 | The Chronicle of Higher Education) - While we deal with students primarily in the classroom, we are not insensitive to their larger struggles. As a new academic year approaches, one scourge in particular stands out: the epidemic of sexual violence on campus. Is there anything professors can do to complement the work done by counseling centers? There is—and it involves adding only one paragraph to your syllabi. Read more

The women of West Point

(Sept. 4, 2014 | The New York Times Magazine) - In his opening remarks to the graduating class at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in May, President Obama called out four cadets by name. Three of them were women: Austen Boroff and Erin Mauldin, leaders in one of the academy’s four regiments, and Calla Glavin, a Rhodes Scholar and lacrosse goalie. At the ceremony’s close, Obama was succeeded by the chain of command, which ended with the top cadet — Lindsey Danilack, just the fourth woman to hold this position — giving an order. “Class of 2014, dismissed,” she said. Read more

Why it felt so amazing when Beyoncé stood in front of that glowing “Feminist” sign

By Amanda Marcotte
(Aug. 25, 2014 | Slate.Com) - Rush Limbaugh's claim that feminism exists "to allow ugly women access to society" is going to be a harder sell now that Beyoncé stood in the dark in front of the glowing "Feminist" sign at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards. Read more

Taylor Swift embraces feminism

By Hermione Hoby
(Aug. 22, 2014 | The Guardian) - In Manhattan’s chi-chi Sant Ambroeus restaurant, the pair of smartly dressed women at the next table are making not-so-surreptitious “eek” faces at each other, having clocked that their neighbour for lunch is Taylor Swift. And that’s nothing compared to the commotion gathering outside: wherever Taylor Swift dines, a swarm of fans and paparazzi soon forms on the pavement. Read more

Related Story:
This year's VMAs were all about empowered women (Time | Aug. 25, 2014)

Why are so many women in PR?

By Olga Khazan
(Aug. 8, 2014 | The Atlantic) - About a decade ago, Adriana Sol was helping design ads in Miami Beach when she realized the advertising trade’s nit-pickiness was slowly draining her energy. “Everything was in the details,” she told me recently. Every conversation seemed to involve “having the clients tell me that their logo needed to be a quarter of a shade less green.” Read more

Men’s rights activists think a “hateful” feminist conspiracy is ruining Wikipedia

By Caitlin Dewey
(Aug. 4, 2014 | The Washington Post) - A Voice for Men, the controversial men’s rights Web site, sees feminist conspiracies in many unassuming places: college stadiums, women’s shelters . . . Read more

Frozen Director to adapt a wrinkle in Time

By Laura Stampler
(Aug. 5, 2014 | Time) - Frozen’s co-writer and director Jennifer Lee has signed on to adapt the children’s book classic A Wrinkle in Time to film for Disney, Variety reports. Read more

Public views working moms more favorably, study finds

By Brigid Schulte
(July 30, 2014 | The Washington Post) - For two and a half decades, from the 1970s to the mid-1990s, every year, a rapidly growing number of Americans began to think that women could bust out of their traditional homemaker roles, take on more public roles and work outside the home and their kids and family wouldn’t suffer for it. Read more

Most online commenters are men, so my advice to other women is: join in

By Kizbot
(July 25, 2014 | The Guardian) - I started posting on the Guardian about seven years ago when commenting below the line (BTL) was still a weird and wonderful novelty. I first jumped into the fray because I was drawn to the debates that were going on BTL and found many of the people who were posting comments to be very informative Read more

Matthew Weiner is wrong. The Gender Wage Gap Is Real, Even In Hollywood

By Megan Gibson
(Aug. 21, 2014 | Time) - In a recent interview, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner delved into a sensitive subject about the way women are treated on the job. Read more

The readers' editor . . . on the online abuse that follows any article on women's issues

By Chris Elliott
(Aug. 10, 2014 | The Guardian) - It was one of the more striking remarks of last week, even though it was born out of the recognition of an unpleasant theme that runs through the web. Read more

NBC picks up a new “comedy” about what happens when bosses have vaginas

By Jenny Kutner
(Aug. 8, 2014 | Salon.Com) - NBC is making a bold move to expand its audience’s imagination. According to Deadline, the network has picked up a single-camera comedy that leans more toward the fantastical than perhaps anything before: It’s about what life would be life if — get ready — your boss had a vagina. Read more

Misogyny online is barrier to social good of web

By Alex Hern
(Aug. 7, 2014 | The Guardian) - A pervading online misogyny is the most visible reason why the internet is failing to live up to its potential to improve people's lives, a report for a digital charity has concluded. Read more

"Feminism is not imploding": A response to New York Post

By Amanda Marcotte
(Aug. 6, 2014 | Slate.Com) - Naomi Schaefer Riley of the New York Post is excited, because she believes that feminism is finally, finally on its last legs. Her piece arguing this, titled “Scenes From the Feminist Implosion,” starts from a strange premise. Read more

Raising awareness about girls’ struggles

By Jane Levere
(Aug. 4, 2014 | The New York Times) - GIRLS INC. helps nearly 140,000 underprivileged girls across North America. But the leaders of the nonprofit group think they could do more — they just need to persuade more women to lend their support and money. Read more


(July 29, 2014 | BuzzFeed News) - #UnfollowAMan is the hottest new movement on Twitter. Everyone loves it and is really happy about it. The idea is to empower you to find a man on your Twitter feed who has been kind of driving you nuts with his bad opinions. Read more

"Let's not fawn over male celebrity feminists"

By Andi Zeisler
(Aug. 20, 2014 | Salon.Com) - “Here’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Incredible Definition of Feminism,” panted an article on Time magazine’s site last week. “JGL is one of the handful of male celebrities to use the ‘f’ word,” noted the subtitle, winding up the pitch and prepping readers for something major. Read more

The story behind ‘Quarterback,’ the country song about date rape

By Jessica Goldstein
(Aug. 15, 2014 | Think Progress) - The first time Canadian country artist Kira Isabella heard a demo for “Quarterback,” she said, “my brain did not automatically go to ‘date rape.’”

The song, written by Marti Dodson (of Saving Jane fame), Rivers Rutherford and Bobby Hamrick, tells the story of “a no-name girl from the freshman class” who gets an out-of-the-blue invite from the quarterback to a bonfire party. Read more

There’s a gender gap in bullying — watch it widen as kids grow up

By Steven Rich
(July 29, 2014 | The Washington Post) - Every other year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is required to collect data on “key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools.” A few years ago, the survey grew to include reports of bullying and harassment. Read more

Why do men write more letters to newspapers than women?

(July 24, 2014 | BBC) - A recent audit showed that out of 115 letters published in the Financial Times over a three-week period, just three were written by women. Iain Hollingshead, formerly of the Daily Telegraph, and Yvonne Roberts from the Observer discuss whether this is due to men writing more letters or the papers ignoring women. Read more

Why you should stop saying ‘slut’ and what to say instead

By Danica Johnson
(June 26, 2014 | Everyday Feminism) - How would you describe that low-cut, tight dress you just bought for your best friend’s party? Would you call it sexy? daring? fun? Or would you use a more negative term like “slutty?” Read more

More stories:

RTDNA report 2014: Women, minorities make newsroom gains (Source: RTDNA)

Ad break: Cheerios celebrates fathers and Meteor engages our brains (The Guardian | July 25, 2014)

What you can learn from a domestic violence apology (The Guardian | July 25, 2014)

Republican Strategy on Women: "Rape Is a Four-Letter Word. Purge It From Your Lexicon." (Slate | July 24, 2014)

Why Can’t We Stop Talking About "Bikini Bodies"? (Slate | July 23, 2014)

The Revenge Porn of #Twitterpurge (Slate | July 21, 2014)

Women Can Succeed in Corporate America, as Long as They Don't Promote Other Women (Slate | July 23, 2014)

Why did Science magazine choose to make two headless transwomen the cover of its AIDS/HIV issue? (The Washington Post | July 24, 2014)

In a Sea of Go-Girl Advertising, P&G's 'Like a Girl' Hits Hardest [AdAge | July 7, 2014]

The outrageous shacking of prison inmates [The New York Times | July 27, 2014]

$190 million will not buy closure for Johns Hopkins' victims [Slate | July 22, 2014]

Men aren't entitled to women's time or affection [Slate | July 18, 2014]

Gender balance at executive level [Harvard Business Review | July 18, 2014]

22% of blockbuster crews are women [The Guardian | July 22, 2014]

Syrian mother's agony: why I made my teenage daughter become a child bride [The Guardian | July 17, 2014]

Marriage is not answer to the poverty [New Republic | July 16, 2014]

An obstacle for women in STEM [Co.Exist | July 16, 2014]

GOP’s pathetic new outreach plan [Salon | July 15, 2014]

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