Feminist Girls Create Media

Girls Make their own Media

Girls created their own media with feminist Zines, (homemade magazines) and independent punk rock music albums in the 80s and early 90s. The Bikini Kill band was influential, led by lead singer Kathleen Hanna, with its Riot Grrrl Manifesto published in 1991.[i] It included goals such as “creating non-hierarchal ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.” The Manifesto stated that they hate capitalism and are “angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl =Bad, Girl = Weak.” Today girls write Internet blogs and make videos about their issues. “Global Girl Media” was set up by women broadcasters and journalists to assist girls in “under-served communities” to become journalists, to correct the problem that “young women pass silently under the radar” of mainstream reporting.[ii] Their webpage includes videos by girls. The Women’s Rights Campaign put together an “Info-Activism Toolkit” for how to create a successful campaign by telling a story, inspiring action, and grabbing attention.[iii]

A European website called “grassroots feminism.net” corrects the view of vapid consumers: “The preconception of youth, and in particular of girls and young women, as culturally unproductive and as passive consumers of mass culture and media is still very much ingrained today. However, girls and young women are capable cultural producers who create a wide variety of their own films, music, media, and festivals.” The website features those feminist creations and activities, mainly European. Other sites discuss the role of girls and women in media.[iv]

“Culture jamming” exposes advertising tactics to sell products. The term was coined in 1984 by a band called Negativland. Examples of tactics are pasting stickers such as “This insults women” to counteract the message on billboards (called “stickering”[v]), changing company logos, performance art, graffiti, and hactivism. Adbusters magazine satirizes ads and was the first to call for Occupy Wall Street in 2011. The Guerrilla Girls, created by New York City feminist artists in 1985, wore gorilla masks in their demonstrations against exclusion of women in art and film, as shown on their website.[vi]

Bitch Magazine was founded by Third Wave feminists to comment on popular culture.[vii] The three founders, two young women and a man, were recent college graduates in 1996 who were “pop culture obsessives.” They wanted to do fun feminist analysis of sexism in the media. A compilation of their favorite articles is called Bitchiest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine (2006). Their website is called “Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture.” In response to the Supreme Court decision in 2014 permitting some corporations, like Hobby Lobby, to eliminate some kinds of birth control from their medical coverage the site suggested fun ways to protest such as chalk slogans on the street in front of Hobby Lobby stores, produce a zine with the addresses of other craft stores, or put images of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on nail polish.[viii] She wrote the dissent in the case. Other publications for girls and women, including blogs, are listed by Women in Media & News.[ix]

 

[i] http://onewarart.org/riot_grrrl_manifesto.htm

[ii] http://globalgirlmedia.org/about-us/

[iii] https://womensrights.informationactivism.org/

[iv] http://mediagirl.org/whoetc

http://wimnonline.org/WIMNsVoicesBlog/

http://www.igc.org/index.html

http://www.jeankilbourne.com/resources-for-change/

[v] http://www.stickersisters.com/activism.html

[vi] http://www.guerrillagirls.com/

[vii] http://bitchmagazine.org/blogs/social-commentary

[viii] http://bitchmagazine.org/post/eight-new-lobbying-hobbies-that-fight-against-hobby-lobby

[ix] http://wimnonline.org/education/resource_guide.html#feminist

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