Monday, January 3, 2011

Twice Censored: Underreported Women's and Gender Issues of 2010

The Project Censored List of Top 25 Censored Stories of 2009-2010 includes not one story related to a women's or gender issue. NOT ONE! Does that mean women's issues get lots of attention? We don't think so. Instead, it points to the masculinist bias of even the progressive media and media watchdogs.

So producer Kate Raphael has produced her own quite inexhaustive list of censored or underreported stories related to women and gender in the last year. See what you think. If you want to comment on one of her choices or suggest one of your own, please email us at

Listen to the show, which also includes memorial tributes to Dorothy Height, Wilma Mankiller and Mary Daly.

The list below is not in ranked order, though Kate feels that Iraq does belong at the top.

-- The impact of 7 years of occupation on Iraqi women (Malihe Razazan of Voices of the Middle East and North Africa comments)

-- Sexual assault in the military hits epidemic proportion (includes excerpt of report by Scott Shafer of KQED TV)

-- New mammogram guidelines stir controversy (interview with Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action)

-- Grassroots women's organizations are leading in the rebuilding of Haiti (interview with Yifat Suskind of Madre International [Malihe points out that Madre's website doesn't even mention Iraq!))

-- Pregnant women prisoners in California still face shackling, and thousands of abused women are still in prison for defending themselves (interview with Karen Shain of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children)

-- Victoire Ingebirre Umuhoza was the leading challenger to Rwandan president Paul Kagame, except instead of being allowed to run, she was imprisoned (Ann Garrison interviewed Ingebirre for WINGS)

-- Many women political prisoners in Iran are held in solitary confinement and without access to lawyers, families or medical care (interview with Malihe Razazan)

-- Global gatherings like the Cancun climate conference, the G20 and the U.S. Social Forum were covered from start to finish by progressive media, but several major international women's gatherings didn't even rate a headline. These included the 15 year review of the Beijing Platform for Action, the Global Maternal Health Conference and the third African Feminist Forum (interview with Nigerian feminist scholar Amina Mama).

-- Year of the Disabled Lesbian (interview with Laura Rifkin, founder of the Fabled Asp project)

-- Disabled women led the fight against cuts to In-Home Support Services and other social welfare programs, with ArnieVille, a tent city in Berkeley (Jean Stewart, Jan Santos and Hannah Jo Karpalo talk about the creative protest known as ArnieVille).

-- More bad news for women workers: Republicans in the Senate filibustered to block passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have required employers to prove that wage disparities were job-related, not gender based.

-- Did you know there were women working on oil rigs and leading the clean up of the Gulf? Coastal Women for Change is one of a number of women's organizations that sprung into action when the Deepwater Horizon well blew up. (Merle Savage, general foreperson on the Exxon Valdez cleanup, begs President Obama to make BP give the Gulf cleanup crews respirators and tell them the truth about the risk.)

-- Same sex marriage and Don't Ask Don't Tell were all over the media, both mainstream and progressive, but where were the voices of queers who aren't interested in heteronormative marriage or seeing queers join the imperialist military? (Excerpt from the documentary "Beyond Gay Marriage" by Women's Magazine's Lisa Dettmer)

1 comment:

  1. Kate Raphael's biting observation points to a lack of women's editorial voices in progressive media. While more women in decision-making positions wouldn't guarantee they'd pull for gender issues, one could assume their influence would result in more stories.

    But I see a bigger problem: gender issues aren't important to the majority of people, and editors know this -- the chronic job recession and people's own well-being are front and center right now.

    When we show how the plight of women affects all of us in one way or another, then I believe women and gender issues will get the attention they deserve.