Women and the First Amendment
Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and one of the founders of the National Organization of Women, spoke at the Freedom Forum on… read more
Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and one of the founders of the National Organization of Women, spoke at the Freedom Forum on the portrayal of women in the media. Ms. Friedan is currently the co-chair of the media project Women, Men and Media, which examines how women are represented in the mass media. Ms. Friedan said the portrayal of women in the mass media often acts as a predictor of how the cause of women’s rights will be advanced in the future, and it also affects how women see themselves and their aspirations. Ms. Friedan said the 1990's showed a “backsliding” of women’s advances in decision-making in television, broadcasting, and the movies. A symbolic “annihilation” of women had occurred in the national media in the 1990's, where women occupied leading roles in only 15 percent of national media coverage of events and issues. She went on to relate the relative absence of women from the media to the reduction in First Amendment rights of women as a group. She recommended women advance their cause in the political forum and show new concern with their political leadership as the Supreme Court seems likely to discard precedents ensuring individual liberties. close
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.