Lauren and Kevin,
for expressing your outrage against the media.
It's so much healthier to do something rather
than just waiting for someone else to do something.
I hope that it proves to be a good experience
for you and that you begin to make a dent.
The problem with complainig about magazines who
"sell sex" is quite simply -- that sex
sells. I have yet to see an entirely effective
campaign created to really challenge the mainstream
media. I think that best thing to do is to both
believe in and support alternative media -- places
like Bust, Bitch and Colorlines -- all offering
a more comprehensive or complete perspective.
Bitch magazine recently did an interview with
Jean Kilbourne who wrote Killing Us Softly
-- as well as other books, which challenged the
current media stranglehold on creating a certain
brand of pop culture.
problem, however, with Jean's work, including
what was outlined in this article in Bitch, is
that she complains a lot about the media and leaves
only generic responses when others ask what they
can do. For instance, she advices us to "pay
attention," fill out magazine subscription
cards with messages such as "feed your models"
or "stop exploiting women.," and she
asks us to lobby and to boycott products associated
with bad advertising. I certainly support all
of measures, but I'm not sure they are what will
think that consumer power can work, but it needs
to be on a large scale. It's more effective to
be fighting as an insider -- someone who knows
what should be done because you care.Also,
I think that letters can be effective, especially
if in those letters you propose more reasonable
of the problem is the media doesn't understand
what we do want -- we say we don't want that,
but we don't say what we do want -- so I would
be clear about that.