Women in Media & News (WIMN) founder and feminist media critic Jennifer L. Pozner offered a workshop, titled “Project Brainwash: Why Reality TV is Bad for Women,” on Saturday, April 21. The workshop was held at 12:30 p.m. in the Blackwell Room in Demarest Hall.
Screening provocative clips from popular reality shows like “The Bachelor,” “America’s Next Top Model” and “Flavor of Love,” Pozner exposed the editing tricks and ideological agendas producers and advertisers use to create a world in which women not only have no real choices, they don’t even want any. Pozner pushes back against “reality” TV’s regressive stereotypes about women, men, love, beauty, and race and class in America, and reveals how unreal so-called “unscripted programming” really is.
“I think it’s important for students in this generation who are into reality television to hear critiques on it and how it relates to feminism,” says Gabrielle Perez ’11, the vice chair of women’s collective. “Pozner enlightenrf students and made them critique not just reality television, but all pop culture. We are so engrossed by popular culture, but sometimes we need to step back and see it from a different perspective.”
The founder and executive director of WIMN, a media analysis, education and advocacy group, Pozner is also the managing editor of WIMN’s Voices, the popular group blog on women and the media. Her book, “Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV,” grew out of WIMN’s media analysis program.
Pozner serves on the board of editors of In These Times magazine. Her work has appeared in corporate media outlets such as Newsday, Chicago Tribune and the Boston Phoenix, independent magazines such as Ms. magazine, The American Prospect, and Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and online media such as WomensEnews, AlterNet, and Salon, among others. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies. Additionally, she has served as an adviser for and has been featured in several documentary films, including “I Was a Teenage Feminist” and “Miss Representation.”
She has appeared as a media commentator on NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News Now, GRITtv, Democracy Now!, National Public Radio, and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
A noted lecturer, Pozner has spoken on women, media, politics and pop culture at more than 80 colleges across the country, on topics ranging from portrayals of women in reality television, to gender and race biases in journalistic coverage of elections, to media coverage of war, poverty and natural disasters. She conducts media literacy workshops and media trainings for women’s groups, youth, and social justice organizations.
The event was sponsored by Women’s Collective.
The photo above features Jennifer Posner meeting with students on the Quad.