Starting Date: 10-15-2005
Starting Time: 11:30am
42nd And Broadway
Manhattan, NYC, New York 12009
United StatesThe Capital District Campus Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), a chapter for high school and college aged feminists in the Albany, New York area, is organizing a protest of MTV on October 15, 2005 from 11:30am-1:30pm outside the MTV studios in Times Square, Manhattan.
The group has several grievances which they wish to address:
• MTV sets unreasonable and dangerous standards of beauty for young people: scarily thin girls, and overly muscled guys. There is so much emphasis on celebrities and their bodies—and not enough on health, and what real people look like. This causes self-esteem issues for both genders, and eating disorders at alarming rates.
• MTV reinforces gender stereotypes that men need to be unfeeling and macho, and women need to be brain-dead, beautiful, and catty. This is contributes to our country’s problems with disempowered young women, and machismo among men.
• MTV exploits women and their bodies, portraying females as sexual objects, not people. While the sexualized women on MTV do make conscious choices about their actions for themselves, they objectify all women, and help form attitudes among men that women are simply for their viewing/using pleasure. The way in which women are represented in MTV programming bolsters the “rape culture” in which we live, where women are not viewed as intellectual, emotional human beings—they are walking targets for sexual predators.
• MTV promotes racist stereotypes, by endorsing disrespectful attitudes towards women of color in hip-hop and rap music. There is no harmony in misogyny. Anti-woman rap music disempowers women of color—already one of the most oppressed groups in our country. Misogynistic music also spurs racist stereotypes against the African American and Latino populations in all-white communities where teens grow to think that this is how men in these ethic groups actually treat women.
• MTV sends contradictory messages regarding safe sex to young people. Although MTV does have a good amount of commercials and programming dedicated to HIV prevention and testing, the examples set by personalities on their television shows have quite a different message. We have problems in this country with younger and younger teens engaging in dangerous sexual activity—and they learn it from seeing “one-night stands” with no discussion as to birth control or STD prevention on reality television shows and other programming. If MTV is so adamant about publicizing music videos that encourage the curbing of women’s reproductive rights (i.e. Nick Cannon’s “Can I Live?”), then they shouldn’t display young people behaving in a promiscuous manner that essentially hurts women.
Also, a filmmaker from Rooftop Films will be present, making a documentary on the protest (and the reasons behind it). The film will be shown at college campuses in the spring. Come to take part in this very promising film!
The chapter is also conducting a postcard campaign against MTV, and aims to have sent MTV CEO Judy McGrath 10,000 postcards by August 10, 2006, telling her to stop manipulating her viewers, and take sexism off TV! The campaign works much like a petition—interested parties contact Liz Funk to request pre-written postcards to the CEO of MTV, have their friends and family fill out the postcards, and send them back to Ms. Funk to send onto MTV.
For more information, please feel free to contact Chapter President/ Protest Organizer Liz Funk at the above contacts.
Geographical Scope: State