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Feminist Consciousness and the Production of a Contemporary Women's Section
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking number: ICA-12-11416 14 way. Because of that I think they’re interested in hearing different things. They do want to hear about safety issues, protecting themselves; they want to hear about violence against women; they want to know what’s being done to combat violence against women. They want to hear about health issues, about activism, and there’s just so much to learn. I also think they want to see positive examples of women in the community who are doing good things, and that’s most of it. Mertz’s acknowledgment of stereotypes is an important one. It reflects the difficulties with defining news content in relation to a group of people, especially a group as large and diverse as women. Contemporary feminism focuses attention on the diversity of women and the dangers in promoting essentialist notions of femaleness through stereotypes. Mertz’s discussion of stereotyping women also hints at the personal struggles she faces in constructing a section targeting women. Another instance of this personal conflict surfaced when I asked her directly if she worried about promoting stereotypes. “Yes, definitely,” she explained, If there’s a fashion story or something like that, you know, women like to shop and they’re often the primary buyers in their house, but the least that we can do is try to put an interesting edge on it by maybe doing environmentally-friendly places to shop, or something like that. Again while trying to avoid stereotypes, Mertz offers one. But she goes on to explain how she rebelled against stereotyping women when she took over Savvy. A syndicated

Authors: Harp, Dustin.
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Tracking number: ICA-12-11416
14
way. Because of that I think they’re interested in hearing different things. They do
want to hear about safety issues, protecting themselves; they want to hear about
violence against women; they want to know what’s being done to combat
violence against women. They want to hear about health issues, about activism,
and there’s just so much to learn. I also think they want to see positive examples
of women in the community who are doing good things, and that’s most of it.
Mertz’s acknowledgment of stereotypes is an important one. It reflects the
difficulties with defining news content in relation to a group of people, especially a group
as large and diverse as women. Contemporary feminism focuses attention on the diversity
of women and the dangers in promoting essentialist notions of femaleness through
stereotypes. Mertz’s discussion of stereotyping women also hints at the personal struggles
she faces in constructing a section targeting women. Another instance of this personal
conflict surfaced when I asked her directly if she worried about promoting stereotypes.
“Yes, definitely,” she explained,
If there’s a fashion story or something like that, you know, women like to shop
and they’re often the primary buyers in their house, but the least that we can do is
try to put an interesting edge on it by maybe doing environmentally-friendly
places to shop, or something like that.
Again while trying to avoid stereotypes, Mertz offers one. But she goes on to explain
how she rebelled against stereotyping women when she took over Savvy. A syndicated


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