tv [untitled] CSPAN April 4, 2010 10:30am-11:00am EDT
tv specials based on vic tortorici? good brawls, or the in tv, dvd spring break programs in which young women are routinely expected to flash their breasts for any zip studied male and baggy shorts ask him or how with cream left office eyes by some guy named track and is by the diesel. all too many rap videos require long clad women to shake their booties while climbing over the starting self-satisfied man. . .
the notion that there might indeed still be an urgency to feminist politics, you have totally got to be kidding. so let's remind ourselves of a few statistics. when it comes to income, women remain second class citizens. as i said of about, in 2007, the median income for women was just over $32,000 a year. more than 31% less than their male counterparts. women are still segregated into low-paying jobs. in 2007, nearly half, 43%, of women were confined to just 20 occupational categories, where the median income is just over
$27,000 a year. which is very tough to live on. of the top fortune 500 companies in 2008, only 15 had a female chief executive. the closer aside, only 1% of police chiefs are women. young men are four times more likely to negotiate their first salary than young women, resulting in, on average, $500,000 more in earnings by the age of 60. the united states ranked 69t 69th in the world in terms of the number of women in national legislatures. only 70% of the seats in the house of representatives are held by women. whereas in rwanda, it's 56%. the united states ranks 29t 29th in infaint mortality. 17 places lower than we did in 1960 and we're now behind cuba, the czech republic and hungary and we're tied with poland and slovakia. while 163 other countries on the
planet, offered paid maternity leave, and 45 provide paid paternity leave, the united states does not. unpaid leave, if you can get that, is the best we do. the majority of poor people in the united states are women. and the gap in poverty rates between men and women is wider in america than anywhere else in the western world. but all of these issues and facts remain erased in the country's news media. katie couric and diane sawyer aside. in 2006 of the 35 hosts or co-hosts of prime time cable news shows, 29 are men. on the sunday talk shows, men outnumber women by 4-1. home wood is still very much run by men. we all applauded katherine big low's crashing finally after 82 years of the glass ceiling, but only 9% of major film directors are female. so have we come a long way sips the 1990's?
you bet we have. but women and men should be much more indignant about the resurrection of sexist images that undermine girls and women's self-esteem and seek to keep us, especially our daughters, in their place, and there is still much unfinished business for girls and women in the country, and we should resist and indeed, challenge the seductive message that full equality has been achieved, and that feminist politics are passe and no longer necessary. what can we do? there's plenty to do, but i think the first step is to name enlightened sexism for what it is, to make fun of it, to ridicule it at every turn, because while only an important first step, humor and ridicule may be the most empowering weapons of all. so take a first step and if it feels good, take another. girls and women and men for that matter need to be much more indignant about sexist imagery, especially when it hides behind the shield of irony. that it's all just a joke that
women should laugh along with. challenge people when they make fun of or denounce feminism. do they really think women should be unquammen and second class citizens? do they really think we should go back to 1955? because embedded in this particular media seduction is a kind of intimidation, that women who identify with feminism, let alone embrace it, will be dismissed, ridiculed and marginalized and women need to talk back to this intimidation, because it does work to prevent any further advances for women. we need to real highs that feminism is not dead, it's not dead at all, just look at all of the weep sites. many of them by young women, feminist.com, feminist majority online or magazines like ms., so on and so forth. we can donate to feminist organizations. we can volunteer. we can complain. we can also praise when the media outlets do things that we any are praise worthy. we can write, teach, organize. girls and women need to get together more, become por
political, because while, yes, we've come a long way, there is plenty of unfinished business at hand and achving change is not only necessary, it's also fun and gratifying. thanks. [applause] >> now i'm happy to take comments or questions. i have been instructed to ask you two things, if you do have a question, can you stand up. and also, i believe a big boom mic may be coming your way if you have a question. or a comment. >> i have a perspective that's been developed over quite a few years. and while i was very enlightened by betty and really hoped that
things had changed, my work career shows that they have not. and even my time volunteering for various aspects has shown that women are still being told what to do, and don't worry your pretty little head over it. my concern is about the media. which is very, very powerful. the "new york times" has the most audacious ads. i've been telling myself well, you know, you're an old lady, and you aren't used to ads like this, but the blatant flaunting of sexism, of raw sex, which really is, even though birth
control has allowed women to enjoy sex recreationally, it's still something that is -- a woman still left holding the bag, and i wonder, what do you think, as a much younger woman than i am, what do you think about the advertisements in the "new york times," which is supposed to be all the news that's -- everything that's fit to go. >> in case you couldn't hear the question, it was about the increasing flaunting of sex and the way in which this kind of very blatant flaunting of female sexuality with women, often quite scantly clad is related to sexism and particularly the ads in the "new york times" and what do i think about that? you know, this is kind of a -- you know, an unfortunate story here, and as i was doing my
research for the book, i was really taken by the riot girl moment, and this girl power moment in the mid 1990's and one of the things that young women were saying back then is they were sick of the double standard, which estimate, 20 years after the women's movement was still alive and well, they wanted the same sexual equality and sexual agency as men, which i regard as a completely legitimate desire for young women who have. -- of to. what happened is that desire among young women got taken up by marketers and advertisers, and repackaged and exploited and sold back to young women as moving away from an interest in sexual equity to the importance of young women turning themselves into sex objects. at the same time we did have an increasing loosening of sexual standards in the media as the 1990's progressed. and as the turn of the century
has progressed smed -- has progressed, and so you know, i'm a baby boom feminist, and i am not supposed to say anything critical about this hyper sexualization of my daughter's generation because it turns me allegedly into an anti-sex victim feminist. you know, my generation, like without my generation, there would not have been a sexual revolution, right? so the last thing many of us are is anti-sex. what we are opposed to is this kind of rampant objectification of young women and you're right, you see it everywhere, you certainly see it in fashion magazines, but you certainly see it in the "new york times." this is very much a part of the fashion industry culture and imagery, but you know, study after study shows that women are much more objectified, their bodies used much more to sell products than men, and it's become so naturalized that you know, you barely notice it
anymore. it's just been such a naturalized part of the environment for young women, and the other thing that has happened is that as the 1990's and the 21st century progress, the sexualization of young women has moved farther and farther down the age chain, so you know, you have the sexualization of teenagers, and then there were calvin klein campaigns, which how can one person unite progressive radical feminists and conservative, you know, right wing activists. calvin klein did that, with various ad campaigns that were deemed to verge on child pornography, so we've seen now -- i mean, you know, i was buying a baby present for a friend recently, and you know, it's like, these little pink t-shirts that say little hottie for a baby. and this has been a major concern of parents, this increased sexualization of young women. there have been quite a few books written about it, an on it
goes. yes? >> i'm joanna schultz from adrian college. we met a few years ago. >> yes, hi. how are you? >> your presentation was one of the best we ever had, so i'm hoping at solutions. com point you'll come becom back, but mea, a few years ago, one of my favorite female students persuaded me to be the on-campus adviser for a sorority and she had the bright idea, because i had gone to a women's school and had no personal exposure to a sorority, that i should become inducted into the sorority along with 19 freshmen. so i went through this process myself and it was amazing to me that none of these freshmen women ever questioned why i was there going through this along with them.
but because of this whole thing, i now gets lots of literature from this sorority, and it's hard for me to reconcile what i saw at that initiation, which is you described it so perfectly, you know, all the girls were dressed alike, they were almost all blonde, they almost all had long hair, almost all were in pony tails. but the literature that i get from the national sorority presents a very different picture of the institution of sororities, and so i'm wondering if you think there's any potential, if there's a role, a meaningful role for institutions like sororities in helping promote the cause of feminism? real feminism? >> that's a good question. i should actually ask my daughter that question. i was a student at the university of michigan, and was not in a sorority. you know, i don't know, because
there are -- there certainly are stereotypes about sororities, and i have to say, unfortunately, some of them not unfounded as places where those young women, who have especially internalized this kind of enlightened sexism, you know, live together. and i think in -- it's not true of all of them and it's not true of all of the women in sororities, but it's true of many of them and it's sort of imbibing this particular ethos and fat sororities probably have a different mission statement of ethos than what's on the ground, given the distances from campus, the age of the people, living in sororities, versus those who run the nationals, so on and so forth, that's a really interesting question. food for thought. >> there's a couple of things going through my mind and i'm
going to try to streamline them into a common theme, but a lot of it has to do with money, part of it which i heard just a couple of weeks ago, i don't even know if it was a couple weeks ago, like the net worth of single mothers, like the average net worth of single mothers was somewhere around $500. it was out there in the mainstream media, but i was thinking about that, and then you were talking about, you know, the median income for women versus men and being lower and then i was thinking, oh, well, how much of that has to do with family choices like stepping away from a job, you know, just take some time off, what impact that has, but then the fact that four times as many men get to negotiate their starting salary, that kind of takes that out of the equation too. so you know, at least for someone in my generation, i was born at the tailend of the 1970's, i remember growing up in high school, there was a lot of conversation still at that time iful in the 1990's about payee
quality between men and women and that has at least from the media i consume, that doesn't really exist anymore on that strong a level, but obviously, it's still a major problem, not just for, you know, median in. cool and especially what it means for single mothers who are trying to raise children, but also for families and the choices that are available for you know, whether it be a mother who steps away from a worker to have the great option to, you know, if you're a father who's able to step away from work and what it can mean in that respect, if the mother is not making as much as the father and so, i'm especially given the statistics on i'm kind of shocked that it's not still out there in the media, the pay in high quality, and i'm wondering what -- pay in equality and i'm wondering what you think we can do to raise the volume on that issue. and then the other thing that's
spinning around my head like families and working choices, whatever, there's a new serious parenthood, i don't know how i feel about it, but i think it's interesting at least that one of the families in that, they presented us, you know, a working mother and the father is at home and the emotions involved in that and the situation, i was just curious if you had seen that or had any thoughts, but that's minor. >> thank you. you raise a variety of important issues. certainly, there are many mothers who do choose to work part time, or to step out of the workplace for a while. some because they want to. some because there is no affordable, high-quality day carrie motorly near where they live, and it's not a choice. they don't have a choice. i mean, their choice is to spend more on day care than their salaries bring in, so they can work. and i've heard story after story
about this, and they're also very powerful statistics about this. the other thing is that women are much more likely than men who be slaughtered into service jobs, and service jobs are much less responsive to the push for flex time than other kinds of jobs are. if you're a waitress and you've got your shift, you've got your shift. now sometimes you can switch your shift with somebody else, but if you're a chamber maid, you have to be there at whatever it is, 8:00 a.m. in the morning and so on and so forth. so there are lots of constraints around women, particularly women who are in the top 20 jobs in the country, being able to juggle work and family, and they have virtually no support from the government. and we have the most pathetic public policies for women and families of any industrialized nation, and you talk to anybody who comes over here, who's visiting from france or germany or new zealand or canada, they're like shocked at what
does not exist for families. the other thing that has been a very kind of powerful recent phenomenon in the great recession is is that 75% of the job losses have been sustained by men. and a lot of those jobs were in heavy industry. we know very well in our own state, in michigan, they were in the auto industry, construction. jobs that often paid relatively well and had decent health care. when those men get fired and if they are married, and their wives are working, their wives are typically making a lot less, the health care programs are either non-existent or much worse, and conversations and negotiations and juggling are happening all other the united states right now, as families come to terms with the woman being the primary bread winner, and if she's lucky, if she's lucky, she's making 77 cents to a man's dollar. that's the average. that means that people like me who are comfortable professionally are pulling up
many women who are barely struggling to make it, and maria shriver commissioned this report this past fall about the economic second class status of women around the country and she got a lot of publicity for it, but again, you know, it's a one shot deal, it was discussed for a week or so, and then it falls of off the radar screens again. so the issues around pay and equity, you're right, areot discussed and they are actually a very big issue for women and families. other questions? yes. >> i'm being very 16 l calmics. i suggest -- cynical. i suggest that some of the reasons go back to your statement about how many women are in the political process here, and when the rules for politic and equal pay and so on are being made by men, should we expect anything different? and i absolutely agree with you, i came from england, via canada
to america, coming with young children, i was pregnant when i came to canada, my company there had to maneuver the rules to give me paid maternity leave, but they did, and then i had my second baby there and if knowing what happens here, it's shocking. i believe that east timor is the only country in the world that has worse maternity benefits than the united states. >> yes. was there a question too? [inaudible] >> oh, right. well, you know, i think part of it is being inside washington, and having the whole inside washington political machinality, but i do think that -- and you know, 20, 30 years ago, i didn't think i'd say this so much, but now i do say it. it's not enough to have women.
you've got to have feminists in politics, because we know there are women in politics who are very anti-feminist. and so it's important to have feminists in politics, so the problem again is it is very difficult for women to run for office, especially if they're mothers, because it's very labor and time intense difficult, and they have to figure out how to juggle their families again with this very terrible support system, so it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. i do think that just to respond in a slightly different way to what you said, if you look at workplaces that institute on-site day care centers or provide better support for child care, one of the biggest things that will convert a male c.e.o. to thinking that's important, his daughter turns 30, or 32, and has a baby and all of a sudden is like, what?
now what? and you know, this is only anecdotal evidence, but there have been very interesting compelling anecdotes about that. i also think that one of the ways that many men become feminists is they have daughters and they don't want somebody saying, she capital do that. your wallison can do it, but she can't do it. any other questions? >> still building on your point, susan, we need more male feminists in politics too. >> we do need more male feminists in politics, and when i go and speak at college campuses, the first thing i have to do is lay out what the stereotype of a feminist is. you have to lay it out right away, you know. they hate men, they hate children, they're anti-fashion, they're deliberately unattractive, you know, they're hairy, they think all children should be deported and drown and as you lay it out and they start
to -- first they recognize it instantly, but then they start to think, yeah, well, wait a minute, that's ridiculous. and then at the end of the talk, i talk about -- i debunk this and say i'm a feminist. all of my female friends are feminists. pretty much all of my male friends are feminists. not only do we like men, you know, some of us married them and still like them. and you know, many of my closest, dearest friends are men. and they care about their daughters and their wives and their prospects and their lives, so it's important to both debunk that and also promote the importance of men being at our sides. yeah in? ok. well, thank you so much for coming. and i'm happy to sign books if
anybody would like to have a book signed and thanks again for coming. [applause] >> susan douglas is the chair of the communications studies department at the university of michigan. she's author of "where the girls are" and the mommy myth ," to find out more, visit susan j. douglas.com. >> this weekend, john dean is our guest on book tv's in depth, the former white house counsel to president nixon and author of 10 books, including an updated edition of "blind ambition" takes your phone calls, e-mails and tweets, today, live at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv. >>
did on american history, that ended in 1989, and now you're doing a slightly slimmer volume to continue it, to the present. is that -- you see it as part of a trilogy? >> guest: it is part of a trilogy, it is "the century turns," but it is the third in the trilogy. the reason i was a little reluctant, you've written history books, this history is pretty close to us, so i was worried about perspective, objectivity, but because of "america's last best hope" are available in the public schools, teachers like to believe they're going to get up to the present. i say that because usually they don't make it, but they like to believe they're going to get their students up to the present, so they asked me to. >> host: "america's last best hope" tried to in some way teach history the way we did, from what you might call a leftist or a baez or a bias that didn't
really glorify the triumphs of american exceptionalism, would you say that? >> guest: the problem i have in most of the history books or now as they're called social study books is that they're boring and they put kids to sleep and this is very odd, because as you know, books about american history, historical figures, cemetery well. you've written a number of them. their franklin book is a great book. david mccollough's books sell books. this is our worst subject by the way, and so my major argument is they were boring, but yeah, usually to the left. >> host: give me some examples that you felt was wrong in the way we taught american history? >> guest: well, i can't remember the book, but the famous book when i was secretary of education, i remember -- i was in new orleans develops it'sing a school and we came across a sentence in the book we were using and it talked about the
pir tans as englishmen who took long trips searching for places to live. they didn't want to put the religious part in because it violates the first amendment, but howard zin, enormously successful box and has great scholarship in it, but the people's history of the american republic is a leans left. he's pretty explicit about it, and says this is his perspective and point of view. you would be pretty depressed about america if that was the only book you read. >> host: you got your doctorate from the university of texas, in philosophy. nowadays, texas is engaged in a bit of a struggle over new textbooks for history. what do you think of the school board's -- i guess it's the state school board trying to dictate new types of standards for our