Show Details for December 9th, 2007

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Today’s Guests:


— Ms. Magazine publisher ELLIE SMEAL looks back at feminism

PROF. ROBERT JENSEN on masculinity and pornography


— Ms. Magazine publisher ELLIE SMEAL looks back at feminism

Our first guest will be Ellie Smeal, who has played a leading role in both national and state campaigns to win women’s rights legislation for over two decades. Smeal is president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms. Magazine. As Ms. celebrates its 35th anniversary, Monitor co-host Pokey Anderson will discuss with feminism with her — the past, and looking to the future.

After the first regular issue of Ms. hit the newsstands in July 1972, network news anchor Harry Reasoner said:


“I’ll give it six months before they run out of things to say.”


Cover of Ms. Magazine in 1972

Ms. was the first U.S. magazine to feature prominent American women demanding the repeal of laws that criminalized abortion, the first to explain and advocate for the ERA, to rate presidential candidates on women’s issues, to put domestic violence and sexual harassment on the cover of a women’s magazine, to feature feminist protest of pornography, to commission and feature a national study on date rape, and to blow the whistle on the undue influence of advertising on magazine journalism. Ms. was the first national magazine to make feminist voices audible, feminist journalism tenable, and a feminist worldview available to the public.

Ellie Smeal has fought for passage of landmark legislation such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Equal Credit Act, Civil Rights Restoration Act, Violence Against Women Act, Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and Civil Rights Act of 1991. She has pushed to make Social Security and pensions more equitable for women, and to realign federal priorities by developing a feminist budget. She has campaigned to close the wage gap and to achieve pay equity for the vast majority of women who are segregated in low-paying jobs.

When she was president of the National Organization for Women, she fought for the ERA. She led the first national abortion rights march in 1986, drawing more than 100,000 participants to Washington, D.C.

Feminist Majority Foundation —
Ms. Magazine —

PROF. ROBERT JENSEN on masculinity and pornography

Today’s second guest will be Robert Jensen, an associate professor at University of Texas in Austin. Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi will discuss with him his new book, “Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity.”

Prof. Robert Jensen teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in media law, ethics, and politics. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a professional journalist for a decade.

Prof. Jensen has done work on the topic of pornography and the radical feminist critique of sexuality for over a decade. He has addressed questions of race through a critique of white privilege and institutionalized racism. In speaking and writing he has challenged American assumptions of patriotism and empire, and he is involved in a number of activist groups working against U.S. military and economic domination of the rest of the world.

His undiluted views have stirred controversy; in 2004 he was named on a “professor watch list” published by Young Conservatives of Texas.

A native of Fargo, North Dakota, he obtained his Ph.D. in media ethics and law in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Austin.

“Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity”
“The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege”
“Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity”



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