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Women in the media

By Rosie Molinary

Posted: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011

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Rosie Molinary

Rosie Molinary is the author of Beautiful You, published in October 2010 by Seal Press, and a regular contributor to Lake Norman Magazine. Find her at www.rosiemolinary.com.

So, I am teaching a totally new to me class this fall- Women in the Media- and designing it from scratch. Here’s my vision for it:

Women in the Media explores the representation of women across television, film, magazines and newspapers, advertising, music, and the internet, looking at how media creates and challenges stereotypes, and creates ideas of difference. We will consider issues of authorship, spectatorship, and the ways in which various media content enables, facilities, and challenges social constructions and examine how gender affects the production of media.

Specifically, we will…

-Interpret, critique, and analyze the representations of women in media
-Reflect upon the work of women within these industries
-Explore how media shapes our attitudes and identities
-Analyze the treatment of women’s issues in media
Develop our ability as thinkers, creators, and interpreters of meaning
-Investigate the role of activism in challenging media and our possible roles within that activism
-Enhance our critical thinking skills and our writing skills through comprehensive discussions and intensive writing assignments

I’ve spent the summer dreaming all of this up and choosing the reading materials and since people are often interested in what we’re reading in class, I thought I’d share the final selections here (don’t worry, my students don’t have to buy this number of books. We’re reading excerpts from most of them that will be on reserve in the library for them).

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf

The World Has Curves: The Global Quest for the Perfect Body by Julia Savacool

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body by Courtney E. Martin

Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV by Jennifer L. Pozner

30-Second Seduction: How Advertisers Lure Women Through Flattery, Flirtation, and Manipulation by Andrea Gardner

Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel by Jean Kilbourne

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards

Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media by Susan J. Douglas

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Have any book suggestions for future body image classes, for the Women and the Media class I am now putting together, or for blog readers? Hope you’ll leave them here!

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