There are more than 124 women who will be taking the stage this weekend at the "Women in the World: Stories + Solutions" summit to speak about their stories, accomplishments, and missions for change. One of the attendees was the magnificent Hillary Rodham Clinton, who got the ball rolling with a critique of a media-driven double standard for women.
“The double standard is alive and well," Clinton notes, "and I think in many respects the media is the principal propagator of its persistence....I think the media needs to be, you know, more self-consciously aware of that." (POLITICO)
She is right, as usual. The double standards and sexist biases present in the media are issues BUST, and numerous other feminist publications have spent years working against. Though the Post-feminist and then revamped 3rd wave feminist movements have been toiling for this kind of cultural shift for decades, gaining public support from a powerful voice like Hillary's is huge. As a figure of immense authority and inspiration, Clinton's pinpointing of the biases in the media is a pivotal feat for feminism as a movement. Also, because Clinton has been known and acclaimed for her socio-political Women's rights agenda, her critique of the media places the personal back into the political in a way it has never been addressed before. As exploitative representations of women continue to permeate media platforms, particularly the internet, these kinds of portrayals effect the way women are viewed and treated in the real world. The dismantling of such images and the integration of more accurate ones is an integral step in overcoming gender inequity on and off screen. The presence of feminist and LGBTQIA oriented media outlets is imperative to the reconstitution of hackneyed ideas and representations and thus, the dismantling of social prejudices. At this point in time, when our next president will PROBABLY (hopefully) be a woman, the proliferation of exploitative, degrading, and just false depictions of women is mere ignorance. Clinton's call for a more self-aware media confirms her familiarity with a technology-driven world and with the young individuals who run it. As Hillary reaches out to a new kind of generation, she places her faith in our ability to reweave the social fabric for a more fair-minded future.
The David Koch Center at Lincoln Center in New York City is holding the fifth annual, "Women in the World: Stories + Solutions" summit this weekend. If you had no idea that this was going on and missed out on getting tickets, do not fret! Lucky for you, there is a live feed available here.
Also, here is a kick-ass video of Hillary defending reproductive rights: