Women in the media

July 30, 2014

Women in the media

July 30, 2014

Group Gordon’s Elizabeth Gemdjian blogs about women and the roles they play in media. 7.30.2014

Recent weeks have yielded a number of compelling, inspiring, and debate-inducing works from or about women who work in, work with, or express themselves through the media. These representations of and testimonies from women offer thought-provoking looks at the status quo, giving us an opportunity to reconsider the pervasive, yet often overlooked ways in which women are perceived, represented, or expected to behave. Worth a look across the board, this trend should be of special interest to those who work in communications, marketing, media, or other fields that are dominated by women or that have the power to tell more stories like these.

Here are a few examples that caught my eye:

1) Ann Friedman’s article in New York magazine, “Why Do We Treat PR Like a Pink Ghetto?,” asks why PR, and the women usually behind the scenes, is so often denigrated despite the difficult and demanding work actually involved. Worth a read, especially if you’re in the biz.

2) Always’ #likeagirl campaign takes a deeper look at what we really mean by the innocuous-enough sounding expression “like a girl” and how we should be using it. Reading the NY mag article alongside this video is especially interesting—are PR pros, most of whom are women, disparaged, dismissed, or disrespected for doing their jobs #likeagirl?


3) Alisa Schindler’s column, “I’ve Ruined My Boys,” in The New York Times’ “Motherlode” blog is one mother’s refreshingly honest account of her trials with her oftentimes demanding boys that questions the burden women frequently place on themselves to be Superwoman, often at the expense of their work….or sanity. It is a more lightly toned piece, but one that joins the conversation brought to the fore by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In about women’s ability to “do it all.”

4) Pantene’s viral video, Not Sorry, is in the same vein as Always’ campaign, asking women (and men) to reexamine their overuse of the word “sorry.” This video made me think again about the NY mag article, which pointed to the tendency of not only PR pros, but women in general to apologize for promoting themselves and their work. A recommendation: let’s stop apologizing for essentially doing our jobs.

5) A new song, “Girl in a Country Song,” by duo Maddie & Tae, which was reviewed by NPR’s Ann Powers, mocks the representation of women in country songs. It’s refreshing to see young women take what has become a norm in country music, and use the same medium to turn the usual portrayal of women upside down.


Have you been reading/watching/listening to anything else that falls into this trend?