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Multimedia Lecture Series

Faced with inaccurate news reporting, exploitative entertainment offerings and insidious advertising images, many students are hungry for tools to critically challenge sexism, racism, homophobia and class bias in the media.

WIMN's multimedia lecture series is designed to give students a deeper understanding of women, media, politics and pop culture. Participants learn critical media literacy skills and the methods to begin advocating for media justice. Read what participants have said about the presentations.

These interactive and dynamic programs can be adapated for specific classes or campus groups, as well as community, media and feminist organizations. Contact WIMN today (or email into[at]wimnonline[dot]org to book a program tailored for your audience.

Topics in this series include:

In addition, WIMN offers media training workshops for campus activists and community organizations, including the popular "Getting Your Message Heard."

Check What's New for a schedule of upcoming events to see when WIMN might deliver a lecture or participate in an event near you.

Thousands of people across the United States have attended WIMN's presentations. Click here for a list of colleges and universities that have signed up for WIMN's lectures, or here to view campus groups and organizations that have benefited from WIMN's media training.

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When Anchormen Attack!: Gender, Race and the Media in Election 2008

For the first time in history, American voters had the opportunity to choose between a white woman and an African American man to be the Democratic presidential nominee -- and the Republicans have selected their first female vice presidential nominee -- much to the media's chagrin. In this multi-media lecture, journalist, author and media critic Jennifer L. Pozner, founder of Women In Media & News, exposes how sexist backlash and racial prejudice have dominated and distorted media coverage of one of the most important moments in U.S. history.

When Sen. Clinton forgot to leave her breasts at home before giving a Senate speech, The Washington Post ran a 746-word article on the political significance of “Hillary’s cleavage.” The New York Times condemned Clinton’s “cackle,” pundits questioned whether an “emotional” “weepy” woman was fit to lead after she got choked up on the campaign trail, numerous commentators branded her a "bitch," and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said he “hates” the NY politician, branding her an “uppity,” “witchy,” “scolding,” “anti-male,” “she-devil” who can “grate on some men” like “fingernails on a blackboard.”

At the same time, early campaign headlines like Time’s “Is Obama Black Enough?” were followed by a constant refrain of “Is America ready for a Black president?” from the mostly-white newsmen of CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox. ABC debate moderator George Stephanapoulos wondered if Barack’s “cool style” is “tied to [his] race,” while cable news anchors and analysts insinuated that Obama may be a “secret Muslim,” has an “angry,” “un-American” minister, and (gasp!) doesn’t wear a flag pin. Put that all together, we learned from Fox News, and we find out that Obama "has come out of the closet" as a "domestic insurgent." Cal Thomas warned that Michelle Obama would be our first "angry Black woman first lady," Fox News labeled her "Obama's Baby Mama," and the National Review featured her frowning face on a cover story headlined, "Mrs. Grievance."

Meanwhile, within days of Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate, Yahoo News encouraged readers to click over to a Wall Street Journal Magazine article all about "Her workout, eating habits" and hundreds of news outlets weighed in on her hair, her body and her "naughty librarian" demeanor... for which CNBC's Donny Deutsch decreed Palin the ideal way to "sell a woman in power," because "I want her laying next to me in bed."

None of this, of course, has anything to do with how any of our presidential and vice presidential candidates’ policy positions will affect health care, education, two wars, the economy, reproductive rights, poverty or any other issue important to women, people of color, or our country as a whole. For all the talk about “race and gender” in the 2008 campaign, why has the media been focusing so heavily on the ethnicity and biology of the candidates and failing to substantively investigate Obama, Clinton, McCain and Palin’s legislative records and policy positions on crucial race and gender issues?

In "When Anchormen Attack," Pozner uses wit, insight and damning news footage to expose and challenge the media’s irresponsible preference for regressive stereotypes over substantive reporting. Pozner helps her student audiences unpack the biases underlying this increasingly contentious election cycle, giving them the media literacy tools they need to critically analyze journalism and pop culture long after they leave her presentation. Students will see campaign coverage – and possibly all of news media – as never before.

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Bachelor Babes, Bridezillas & Husband-Hunting Harems: Decoding Reality TV's Twisted Fairy Tales

» View color flier (.pdf)

Do you ever wonder ...

Why TV frames humiliation of women as "perfect fairy tale romance"?

If Prince Charming would really make his "true love" bend over to remove his boots, then kick her in the butt?

If men should be valued for more than just the size of their ... wallets?

Then don't miss this rousing multi-media presentation. With humor, razor-sharp analysis and provocative clips from shows like "The Bachelor," "The Swan" and "America's Next Top Model," WIMN Executive Director Jennifer L. Pozner exposes how "reality" TV reinforces regressive stereotypes about women, men, love, marriage, sexuality and class in America.

She skewers the lack of ethnic and physical diversity in a genre where women are sold right alongside soda and cell phones, and reveals how reality TV glorifies eating disorders, derides female intelligence and reduces Prince Charming to any jerk with a firm butt and a firmer financial portfolio.

Students will never see mating and makeover shows the same way again, and they will laugh - a lot.

Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner:

• "The Unreal World," Ms. magazine, Fall 2004

Jennifer talks with readers about reality TV, "Desperate Housewives," and other pitfalls on the television landscape in a December 2004 live chat at MsMagazine.com

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Condoleezza Rice Is a Size 6 ... and Other Things I Learned from the News: Challenging Media (Mis)Representations of Women

» View color flier, p. 2 (.pdf)

• Question: Why does The New York Times consider Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's dress size newsworthy, but has never reported Dick Cheney's inseam?

If 90 percent of global sweatshop workers are female, why isn't global trade considered a "women's issue"?

Why are women nearly invisible on the op-ed pages of leading US newspapers?

Was Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the Superbowl really more obscene than humiliated women going under the knife on Fox's "The Swan?"

Using multimedia clips and well-documented research, WIMN Executive Director Jennifer L. Pozner exposes how media conglomerates serve corporate agendas, reinforce cultural stereotypes and limit democratic debate about women's and human rights issues.

Funny and frightening, this program debunks popular media myths about women and reveals little-known facts that enlighten, engage and sometimes even enrage thinking audiences. Students will learn how commercialism and sexism shape news and pop culture — and how they can fight back.

Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner:

• "Commander In Chic," TomPaine.com, Nov. 8, 2005

• "Cosmetic Coverage," AlterNet.org, March 13, 2001

• "Power Shortage for Media Women," Extra! magazine, July/August 2001

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Media, Women & War: How does the silencing of women's voices in war coverage shortchange America?

This presentation analyzes the dangers of sidelining women in coverage of terrorism and war — which are most definitely women's issues, despite contrary frames in most reporting. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, media claimed Americans unilaterally supported war in Afghanistan, ignoring polls showing women's more measured responses to terrorism and banishing female journalists and commentators from the op-ed pages and pundit seats. 

At the same time, media exploited Afghan women's oppression to trump up support for bombing Afghanistan — and later, framed the war in Iraq as one in which America was aiming to "liberate" the Iraqi people, in particular, women.

WIMN Executive Director Jennifer L. Pozner exposes how media marginalization of American women's voices — and the cynical use of Afghan and Iraqi women — helped the Bush administration restrict civil liberties at home and wage deadly wars abroad.

Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner:

• "Missing In Action: Whatever Happened to the Gender Gap?" Women's Review of Books, February 2002

• "Missing Since 9-11: Women's Voices," Newsday, Dec. 13, 2001

• "Casualty of War," Ms. magazine, December 2001

• "Look who's not talking: Women," Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12, 2001

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Race, Class, Gender and Katrina: The Human Impact of Disastrous Reporting

In this critical presentation, WIMN Executive Director Jennifer L. Pozner documents how biased reporting on Hurricane Katrina contributed to the injuries and deaths of thousands of American citizens.

First, U.S. media framed the mostly poor, mostly African American New Orleans residents as stubborn and stupid for not evacuating — with little awareness that without cars, money for gas or ability to pay for hotels, thousands of people living in poverty simply could not leave. Then, TV and print media ran often-unsubstantiated rumors of theft and violence, which slowed the relief effort and slandered survivors. Race was often the only difference between those media labeled "victims" and "criminals," as illustrated by widely-circulated news photo captions describing a black flood victim as "looting" groceries and white flood victims as "finding" food.

Once finally relocated, media called survivors "refugees" rather than evacuees — as if they were foreigners rather than America citizens in desperate need of immediate government aid. 

Join Jennifer for a challenging discussion about the impact of race, class and gender bias in U.S. news media — and what you can do about it.

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Surviving "False Feminist Death Syndrome": Media Coverage of Feminism from the '70s to Today

Ugly, male-bashing Feminazis! Godless, baby-killing sluts! Media have hurled these attacks at feminists for decades, while simultaneously proclaiming the movement "dead," a "failure" or "irrelevant" in our supposedly "post-feminist" era. Yet despite 40 years of insults and false obituaries, young feminist women and men are engaging in dynamic activism far from the media's lens, as this lecture explores.

Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner:

• "No Post-Feminists Here," Women's Review of Books, October 2004

• "Old Boys Network: Women confined to pink media ghetto," NYC Indypendent, December 2002 (scroll down)

• "Female Anti-Feminism for Fame and Profit," Uncovering the Right on Campus, published by the Center for Campus Organizing, 1997

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Triumph of the Shill: How Product Placement Corrupts Media and Threatens Diversity

Ad-creep is everywhere: nude girls pose in nothing but strategically-placed Merit Diamonds on "America's Next Top Model," "American Idol" wannabes gulp Coke, shampoo with Herbal Essences and drive Ford Focuses, and even "serious newscasts" regularly "report" on brand-name health, fashion and entertainment products. 

Learn why product placement is so prevalent, how commercialism corrupts media content and threatens diversity, and what you can do about it. 

Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner:

"Triumph of the Shill," a two-part series on product placement, media commercialism, and the increasing threats to content, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture:

• "Product Placement Runs Amok in Movies About Product Placement Run Amok," Bitch, Issue 23, Winter 2004

• "Reality TV Lets Marketers Write the Script," Bitch, Issue 24, Spring 2004

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Getting Your Message Heard: Interactive Media Training Workshops For Campus Activists

» View color flier (.pdf)

Sick of media calling feminists and anti-racism activists "whiners," women's studies programs "anti-intellectual," anti-war protestors "un-American," and gays and lesbians "immoral?" Want to learn how to raise public awareness about violence against women, sweatshop labor, immigration, racial profiling and other social justice issues?

This intensive media training gives students practical, concrete strategies to challenge media bias. Students gain skills they need deconstruct "spin" and inaccuracy, get their own positive messages heard, and access (or create) independent media alternatives.

Read more about WIMN's media training workshops.

Related articles by Jennifer L. Pozner:

• "How To Write a Protest Letter," Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, Issue #20, Spring 2003

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WIMN's lectures have been presented at the following colleges, universities and high schools, as well as conferences and community events:


September 18: PUBLIC EVENT: WIMN & NOW-NYC co-sponsored panel on gender, race and reality television, with Jennifer L. Pozner, NOW-NYC's Sonia Ossorio and moderator Pat Jerido, WIMN’s Voices blogger and GoLeft.org director

SEPT. 23: Worcester State (MA)

SEPT. 24: Colby Sawyer College (NH)

SEPT. 26 - 27: WIMN's Jennifer L. Pozner will be presenting "White Male Electile Dysfunction: Gender, Race and Media in Election 2008" at the St. John’s University conference, “Making History: Race, Gender and the Media in the 2008 Election”

OCT. 2: Bridgewater College (VA)

OCT. 3: Young Harris (GA)

OCT. 9: Oklahoma City Community College

OCT. 14: University of Missouri, Columbia

OCT. 16: LaSell College (Newton, MA)

OCT. 22: Ramapo College of New Jersey

OCT. 28: Arkansas State University

OCT. 29: Central Washington University

OCT. 30: Pacific Lutheran University (WA)


SEPT. 9: James Madison University (VA)

SEPT. 10: Virginia Commonwealth University

APR. 27-28: Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA

MAR. 31: MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cambridge, MA

MAR. 28 - 30: WAM! Women, Action & Media Conference, Cambridge, MA

MAR. 20: Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH

MAR. 18: Northeast State Community College, Blountville, TN

MAR. 14: New York University, New York, NY

MAR. 13: Vincennes University, Vincennes, IN

MAR. 10: Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, PA

MAR. 5: University of Texas-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

MAR. 3: San Antonio College, San Antonio, TX

FEB. 28: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

JAN.: Elmira College, Elmira, NY


WAM! Women, Action & Media Conference, Cambridge, MA, several panel presentations on feminist blogging, feminist media activism and media monitoring, Cambridge, MA

National Conference on Media Reform, panel: "There Is No Media Justice Without Women: Models for Feminist Media Action," Memphis, TN

New York City Bar Association's Domestic Violence Committee panel: "Love Triangle: How the Media Covers Violence Against Women," New York, NY

Urban Resource Institute's "Unlocking the Secrets: Acquiring the Tools to Overcome Domestic Violence" conference, panel presentation: "Breaking News: Does the Media Play a Role in Helping or Hindering Domestic Violence Prevention?" Brooklyn, NY

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL

Stonehill College, Easton, MA


Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY

California State University - San Marcos, San Marcos, CA

Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT

Doane College, Crete, Neb.
Penn State University-New Kensington; Upper Burrell, Penn.


Black Hills State University, Spearfish, S.D.
DePaul University, Chicago, Ill.
Highline Community College, Des Moines, Iowa
John Dewey High School, "College NOW" program, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Longwood University, Farmville, Va.
Mohave Community College, Bullhead City, Ariz.
Queens College-CUNY Worker Education Extension Center, New York, N.Y.
Ripon College, Ripon, Wisc.
Seattle Central Community College, Seattle, Wash.
Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.
St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind.
Suffolk Community College, Long Island, N.Y.
University of Maine-Orono, Orono, Maine
University of Michigan, Dearborn, Mich.
University of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.
University of Southern California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.
Webster University, St. Louis, Mo.
Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.


Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.
Loyola University, New Orleans, La.
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, Calif.
University of California-Davis, Davis, Calif.
University of California-Irvine, Irvine, Calif.
University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Wheelock College, Boston, Mass.


Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Conn.
Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y.
Sewanee: University of the South, Sewanne, Tenn.
Stonehill University, Easton, Mass.
University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.
Viterbo University, LaCrosse, Wisc.

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