This “feminist issue” totally escaped my radar until I saw/heard it being discussed on the O’Reilly Factor last night:
DENVER (AP) — Weeks after scoring a publicity coup with a 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is at the center of another marketing tug-of-war — this time involving the major governing body of college sports.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association removed a Focus on the Family banner ad from one of its Web sites this week, NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Wednesday.
The NCAA made the decision after some of its members — including faculty and athletic directors — expressed concern that the evangelical group’s stance against gay and lesbian relationships conflicted with the NCAA’s policy of inclusion regardless of sexual orientation, Williams said.
The ad in question was not about sexuality. It featured a father holding his son and the words, “All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing.” Like the Tebow ad, it included the address of Focus on the Family’s Web site and the slogan, “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.”
Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger said that if such material were “all of a sudden labeled hate speech, we have deeper problems in our country than we even know.”
Williams said the decision to pull the ad was based not on the message but on the messenger.
Advertisers “should be generally supportive of NCAA values and attributes and/or not be in conflict with the NCAA’s mission and fundamental principles,” according to NCAA standards. The NCAA may exclude ads or advertisers “that do not appear to be in the best interests of higher education and student athletes.”
The NCAA Web site is maintained by CBS Sports, and the ad was part of Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl contract with CBS, Schneeberger said. CBS sells ads to support the NCAA.com site — which features information about NCAA championships — and the NCAA reviews the ads, Williams said.
He said the ad was reviewed and the content did not raise any red flags. Williams said he was sure there was some discussion of Focus on the Family, as well, but he did not know the details.
Schneeberger said there is nothing political, controversial or hateful about the ad, saying it’s meant to urge people enduring life challenges to check out Focus on the Family as a resource.
But Pat Griffin, a retired University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who is a consultant to the NCAA on gay and lesbian issues, said it’s not a generic feel-good message.
She said the slogan’s “life” reference is anti-abortion, and celebrating families does not extend to all families but “a very specific kind of family — heterosexual married families. A large part of their energy goes to preventing other kinds of families of having recognition.”
Gasp! Horror! Now that’s certainly anti-family if I’ve ever heard of it. Anti-abortion? You’re not really “pro-family.” Heterosexual married families? You’re not really “pro-family.” FOF wanting to “prevent other kinds of families from having recognition”? I don’t think so. As a Christian organization, they are supposed to encourage couples to get married if they want to start a family, rather than have any children out of wedlock. And they support the concept of a male and female parent structure because they believe – as a lot of people do Christian or not – that having a mother and father is the ideal way for children to be raised.
What do radical liberal “feminist” women believe? Well, first and foremost, that men are the root of all evil. So naturally, the ad is “hateful” because it features a father and young son duo (eeeevil!). Secondly, that it’s all about “me” – meaning “them.” If you’re a woman and you get pregant and that pregnancy is inconvenient to your lifestyle, then you should have a right to terminate the little unborn child growing inside of you. BUT, if you choose to have the baby, that it should be perfectly okay to raise that child with five mothers and one father or two mothers (all married or not) or, hey, whatever combo works for you – regardless of the potential consequences it will have on both the child and society on the whole. Now that’s “pro-family.”
Not content to let the NCAA handle the issue, a group called the “Women’s Media Center” weighed in on the controversy and their comments were – yes – predictable:
This week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – the major governing body of college sports – yanked a Focus on the Family banner ad from its website amid concern that the group’s agenda conflicts with the NCAA’s policy of inclusion. As the LA Times reports, the NCAA made the decision after some of its members — including faculty and athletic directors — expressed concern that the evangelical group’s stance against gay and lesbian relationships conflicted with the NCAA’s policy of inclusion regardless of sexual orientation. Pat Griffin, a consultant to the NCAA, said: “It’s not the right image or role for the NCAA to be endorsing an organization that has such an extreme right-wing Christian political mission.”
What is the “Media Women’s Center” supposedly all about? From their website:
The Women’s Media Center makes women visible and powerful in the media. Led by our president, the former Rock the Vote head Jehmu Greene, the WMC works with the media to ensure that women’s stories are told and women’s voices are heard. We do this in three ways: through our media advocacy campaigns; by creating our own media; and by training women to participate directly in media. We are directly engaged with the media at all levels to ensure that a diverse group of women is present in newsrooms, on air, in print and online, as sources and subjects.
So … this organization is primarily about “making sure women’s voices are heard”? All well and good but if that’s the case, why take policy positions if your primary purpose is to “make sure women’s voices are heard? Oh, wait, this begins to explain it:
The Women’s Media Center was founded in 2005 as a non-profit progressive women’s media organization by writers/activists Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem.
“Why” they do what they do? This one’s a laugh (bolded emphasis added by me):
Simply put, there is a crisis of representation in the media. We live in a racially and ethnically diverse nation which is 51% female, but the news media itself remains staggeringly limited to a single demographic. While women hold less than 3% of decision-making “clout” positions in media, they also earned only 25% of all new media jobs created from 1990 -2005, despite constituting 65% of all undergraduate and graduate journalism and mass communications students.
The media should reflect the reality of our lives and can also help to determine the political policies and elections that shape our lives. The underrepresentation of women and people of color is at its most acute on the influential Sunday morning political talk shows where male guests outnumber female guests four to one, and white guests outnumber guests who are people of color by seven to one. Our work in diversifying the media landscape is critical to the health of our culture and democracy.
Hmmm. So they want to “diversify” the media landscape by “making sure women’s voices are heard” but yet they apparently want to exclude from the “media landscape” a viewpoint expressed by FOF which many women themselves hold. Ah, I see – it’s about a select group of women, as we learn in reading the bio of Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center:
Throughout her career, Jehmu Greene has skillfully worked with the media to build powerful social justice movements. A frequent commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and elsewhere, Greene helmed Rock the Vote, the largest youth [Democrat – ST] voter registration group. Under her leadership, its membership grew from 1500 to over 1 million. Earlier this year, Greene participated in the WMC’s nationally recognized leadership and media training program, Progressive Women’s Voices, which has trained over 60 progressive thought leaders who have achieved over 4000 media hits in the two years that the program has existed.
A native of Austin, Greene got her start working in the fertile ground of Texas politics including an early stint with Governor Ann Richards’ campaign in 1994. Greene later played key roles at both the Center for Policy Alternatives and the Democratic National Committee, where she ran the women’s office. An advisor and national surrogate for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Greene has worked on over 20 political campaigns at the local, state and national level. The recipient of numerous awards from organizations including Essence Magazine, the National Conference for Community and Justice, the National Council of Research on Women, the American Association of University Women and others, Greene has served on numerous boards of directors for various media, politics and social justice organizations.
“The Women’s Media Center is breaking down barriers and leading the way to make sure that women’s voices are powerfully represented in the ever-changing media landscape,” said Greene.
Make that “progressive women’s voices.” Conservative women’s voices, as usual, are not welcomed within elite gender feminism circles because, you see, we’re “willingly subservient to the patriarchy.” Or something like that.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what the ad looked like, here it is (hide the women and children …):
Thanks once again to FOF for indirectly exposing, as they did with the Tebow ad “controversy” (which the Women’s Media Center also opposed) just how anti-diversity these “progressive women’s groups” really are.