Task Force on Image of Women in Mass Media – 1967

Goals:

We will campaign to change the stereotyped image and the denigration of women in all the mass media, by all the forms of protest and pressure on networks, advertisers and editors which have been effective in abolishing the stereotyped images of Negroes and Jews. We will campaign for the inclusion of images of women which reflect, and thus encourage, the active participation of women in all fields of American society; images which are now completely absent from school books, as well as the media. “Look, Jane, Look” should have other pictures of women than the aproned mother, waving goodbye.

ACTION, FOLLOW THROUGH:

The New York Committee on Image was organized in February, 1967, under the chairmanship of Patricia Trainor, a computer programmer. Because of its geographical location in relation to the centers of the communications media, it will serve as the nucleus for a National Task Force on Image.

Twenty members have been active during the past month, setting up initial priorities, creating a structure for action, and initiating specific projects. Plans for action in the Mass Media have coalesced around three main focuses:

Monitor Subcommittee-

Under the direction of Dolores Alexander, reporter on Newsday, this committee will monitor media, assigning priorities and suggesting specific communications outlets as targets for NOW action. Plans have been drawn up for an Ad Hoc Committee of the general membership to visit various Equal Employment Agencies in New York City and newspapers during April, asking that the interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964, which currently permits Help Wanted ads to be segregated by sex if a disclaimer is printed, be changed to require full integration of employment ads.

In addition to this project, plans are under way to approach specific TV networks and advertisers regarding the image of women they use to sell their air time and products.

Research subcommittee-

This Subcommittee, under the direction of Susanna Schad, sociologist at Rutgers, will perform services to the entire membership of the NOW organization, supplying facts about the role and contribution of women in the modern world. In addition, it will research the current image of women in the public mind, suggesting substitute images for NOW to foster. An In-House Education project, organizing lectures and seminars for members of NOW (and eventually the general public) is planned.

Creative Individual Participation-

We wish to combine the advantages of creative individual action with the power available to an organized group. Action by membership from all geographic areas is crucially important. Members of NOW are urged to write immediately in their own names to publishers and communications executives whenever a false image of women has been promulgated. This enables immediate action, without the delay which is necessary whenever we are going to speak as a group. Then, a copy of the letter is to be forwarded to Dolores Alexander (Monitor Subcommittee). Monitor will analyze all letters received from members with a view to a subsequent statement to the addressee in the name of the NOW organization.

Submitted by: Patricia Trainor, Chairman