Welcome to the Women’s Media Group blog! Since WMG is all about figuring out what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century, it seems like 21st century tools are the only appropriate way to go about this, so here we are, on your computer screen. I don’t know how you came to be reading about WMG, but I’m happy you’re here.
My name is Jenny Friedler, and I’m a rising senior at Colorado College, as well as WMG’s current blogger-in-residence (aka intern). The two driving forces behind WMG are Maya Friedler and Jamie O’Reilly – if you want to know more about them and how they arrived at the creation of WMG, check out their bios on the website (http://www.wmgchicago.com/about.htm). They’re both pretty amazing women.
If you’re reading this blog, you might already know what Women’s Media Group is. Or, you might think you know… kind of. Well, let me cut through some of the confusion. Let’s start with the mission statement:
“Women's Media Group, Inc is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization created by Maya Friedler, and others, to encourage, promote and participate in the public dialogue of women's issues from a feminist perspective, via film, radio, recordings, and the Internet, as well as through live productions and forums.
Women's Media Group provides a platform for discussion and resources to community organizations, and individuals, who are exploring feminism via research, archiving history, writing, recording, and creating art. By hearing from, and collaborating with others, Women’s Media Group challenges gender inequality in areas of politics, public health, the law, and social mores, while acknowledging, identifying and contributing to the progress made in various areas.”
At the present moment, the primary project of WMG is the production of a radio show called talk.in. So far we have recorded three episodes: “The Post-Feminist Mystique: Bringing Back the F-Word,” “Sex: Let’s Get Real” and “Hanging by a Thread: Where’s The Safety Net?” We plan to record our fourth and final episode of the pilot season on September 21st. You can listen to any of these episodes here: http://www.wmgchicago.com/podcast.htm. If you’d like to learn about how you can donate and participate, or how you can attend the next taping, that info is all on the website as well.
So what else do we do? Well, that’s the best thing about WMG - while we do have some major upcoming projects in the works, the dialogue about feminism that we aim to continue can take on any number of forms, and it will continue to evolve along with the rapidly changing modern media. We have sown the seeds of a story project working with artists from all different fields to tell women’s stories in an innovative, exciting way. The talk.in project began after Maya and Jamie tried to put a documentary together about what feminism means now, but realized that the subject was just too huge and too current to put off for the years it would take to make a film. They wanted to start talking, and start listening, and so talk.in was born. The experiences of the talk.in shows have allowed us, in turn, to refine the scope of this documentary, and its production remains a primary goal for WMG.
Ultimately, the goal of WMG is to re-engage citizens everywhere with feminist issues. Of course, the word feminism is loaded with connotations, so let us be clear: we see feminism as the basic desire for equality, for the recognition that all genders are equally and fully human. We also see feminism as an inclusive, not exclusive movement; this is a movement for anyone who believes that our world will be a more harmonious, vibrant place when women are an equal part of it.
One of the most important aspects of the work that we at WMG aim to do is to help move feminism past the backlash of the 80s and 90s and into the 21st century. The conversation about women’s issues today requires not only the recognition of how far we’ve come, but also the incorporation of new voices and new words in order to get where we’re going.
How does this blog fit into all that? It will be a way to stay updated on what WMG is doing in between talk.in episodes; I’ll keep you up to date on the stories we’re clipping from the news, the guests we’re booking for talk.in, important dates and events, and the general happenings around WMG. If anything exciting pushes our buttons, this will be the place to hear about it.
So please, come join us. Listen to the podcasts. Read the blog. Come to the live tapings. Give us your thoughts. We are all part of the same movement, and we want to hear from you.
Jenny Friedler and Women’s Media Group