Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Christine Cupaiuolo at Ms. Musings has a great overview of how NY Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof marginalizes the work of feminist organizations by pretending it doesn't exist. Notes Cupaiuolo, "Kristof seems to have succumbed to the oft-repeated belief that feminists care more about access to golf clubs than women's lives -- a belief that is propagated by the media, which usually finds these sorts of glass-ceiling issues, along with women's 'empowerment' ? la Charlie's Angels and stripper poles, more interesting to cover than, say, global human rights." And because serious life-and-death issues are less "sexy" the media perpetuates falsehoods that women's groups don't care about or work on them, when actually it's the media itself that ignores these issues unless they can use them to bludgeon various women's movements for not doing something that they're, you know, actually doing. We see versions of this all the time, when of course the reality is that our current administration and its more complacent media buddies tend to abandon women at the drop of a hat when their plight is no longer politically expedient, and it's the movements who continue the actual work of trying to help these women. I think it's more than coincidence that this parallels the way women's labor or interests are marginalized or ignored or devalued in our society in general, whether economically or politically (thanks for that one, CJ; sic 'em, Trish!) or culturally.