RECLAIM THE DAY! A Call to Action
May 9, 2007Fifteen years ago, in a book defending Clarence Thomas’s selection for the Supreme Court, author David Brock described me as “nutty” and “slutty.” After making millions in book sales, Brock recanted and confessed that he was “blinded” by his own financial and political ambitions. Last month Don Imus described the members of the Rutgers Basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” A week of protests resulted in Imus losing his lucrative television and radio contracts with MSNBC and CBS respectively. Yet, Imus is reported to be suing CBS for the $40 million remaining on his contract claiming the network encouraged him to be “confrontational and irreverent.” Because the debasement of women continues to sell and derogatory terms for women have become part of popular discourse, I’m convinced that we need more than Brock recanting or Imus being fired. We need a movement to counter the verbal assaults on women that flow freely in modern media outlets and that have now crept into our workplaces and are increasing in our schools. In addition to our efforts to “Take Back the Night,” we need to “Reclaim the Day!” I’m not talking about censoring artists or comics. What I want is positive entertainment and educational programming that replaces or, at the very least, balances the negative. It is true that many women struggle financially and continue to suffer abuse and discrimination. Yet, today, women as a group are more economically self-sufficient and better educated than ever. We can use our brains and our spending power to develop and support programming that portrays women (and men) realistically. Please share with me your ideas about how this can happen. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) If you do, I promise to use all of the resources available to me to see that you are heard by those who can make them a reality.