Minorities Still Under Represented on Magazine Covers
Minorities continue to be under represented on the covers of pop culture magazines and publications, according to a recent survey by the New York Times. Examining hundreds of magazine covers from 31 publications, the Times found the percentage of minority cover persons grew to just 20 percent in 2002 from 13 percent during 1998 to 2001. While minorities are gaining more exposure in fashion versus other pop culture magazines, Halle Berry in the December issue of Cosmopolitan remains only the fifth black Cosmo cover woman since 1964, the last one being Naomi Campbell in 1990. Details magazine editor Daniel Peres acknowledged, “Everyone is terrified of a misstep…While most people in the business would prefer it go unspoken because they are horrified at being perceived as racist, it is a well-known legend that blacks… do not help generate newsstand sales.”
Still, with minorities comprising 30 percent of the US population, some publications are shifting towards greater diversity. Teen magazines, for example, feature minority cover models on one-fourth of their issues. In the popular men’s magazine Maxim, nonwhite women took 5 of 12 covers last year. However, in pointing out that the change has more to do with “a certain attraction to exotic women” rather than “any political motivation,” editor-in-chief Keith Blanchard demonstrated that women, particularly minority women, have more obstacles to overcome.
The third annual Feminist Primetime Report, released last month by the National Organization for Women (NOW) concluded that television shows overwhelmingly focus on violence and sexual exploitation. NOW President Kim Gandy remarked, “Network programming sends a distorted, often offensive, image of women, girls and people of color—brought to you through the point-of-view of white men and boys. Television remains very much a man’s world, with women serving primarily as ‘eye candy.’” Last season, Asian American women portrayed only four key roles, and no representatives existed for Native American or Middle Eastern women.
Media Resources: NY Times 11/18/02; Feminist Daily News Wire 10/29/02
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .