who's watching

on monday, participated in a consultation for MediaWatch, an organization so defuct i don't even have a link to offer. a couple of die hards are trying to revive it - and good for them, i say - so some of us were invited to brainstorm about the whats and hows. as a media junkie, i had a thing or two to say about what this org could be doing in terms of depictions of women in media and our access to it. many women said many interesting things, yet we became concerned about the need to re-define the term Media. it encapsulates so much more than even 25 years ago when this org might have looked at how women and women's issues get 'covered' in the 'press'. it would seem that the increasing diversity and complexity of media requires a diverse and complex analysis of its inclusion of and impact on women. especially girls.

i get especially excited about the kind of innovative and relevant monitoring and advocacy we could do re: young women and new media. because i spend a lot of time thinking about the demise of the F word, the rise of the feminine, and the era of reality tv and surreal expectations. i think about how confusing it must be to be 15 - gangly or gorgeous - having to contend with seventy-bajillion images and messages about what is cool, pretty, 'clean', power, desirable, famous, and phat or sick or whatever.

when we imagine what kind of fresh feminist approach to media watching should be, we gotta think about who's watching what too. the digital age can be confusing to second wavers who want to talk lots about enhanced school curricula on media literacy but can't seem to have a conversation about xbox. our progressive mothers used to host uppity kitchen table discussions about gender roles dictated by dolls and barbies. now we need to talk about how girls play and get played from every angle. i think it could be radicool to 'watch' what big pulsating imprints are being made on our girls through all that new-fangled media. mixed messages ain't just on the airwaves and newsstands anymore. a few of us hip youngsters at the consultation talked about the crazy overlap of pop and tech culture these days. from lara croft to lava life to msn to myspace. not like i know any fucking thing about anything: my ipod hasn't been fired up in a couple of months, my cell doesn't take pictures, and my first serious foray into text messaging was during the meeting itself when this fellow attendee sent me funny notes about people in the room As They Spoke.


Anonymous bill, sign guy said...

I'm glad you are talking about the "other ways" of media; you do us Canadian's proud to remember Marshall McLuhan. Ok, maybe I don't understand his deep understandings.

"These days," I've been crying out for media watch, remembering how in the 80's, those TV ads would not have dared (or quickly got rid of, when the shit hit the fan)...blatantly objectifying but more to the point, exploitive to women and the ensuing potential sex/gratification/pacification opportunities or self image stuff. The impacts used to be divided into: the impacts of the images for the boys, the impacts of the images for the girls.

I think the TV ads need to be the arena of focus rather than program content. Perhaps it is because the ads are the synaptic gaps or ultimately, the public/common square where viewers met.

I also think it would be useful to provide critique/analysis with nuance. Problem isn't seeing legs, breasts or smouldering eyes, too often, media watch was filtered, by the media that way. Would be great to “show” examples where breasts/legs, eyes, story lines which were positive as well as the negative ones

Ok, I’m in a loop; this media within media stuff is getting to me. As well, i've got to go back into time and consult, explore with my men's consciousness raising group. I'm starting to feel nervous about what is: erotic, exploitive. Must acknowledge the exploitive part of me.

Sign guy, Bill

6:31 a.m.  

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