Culture, Media and Women

On Marco Giugni’s piece.

I saw his focus on cultural impacts and long-term indirect impacts as incredibly valuable points!  While reading his piece I was yet again reminded of the book I read for my book report, Power in Movement.  In it, the author writes that movement outcomes are rarely as radical as they were intended to be.  This is because the movement’s claims are get filtered through the mainstream and through the government.  The book argues that if a movement wants a policy change, by the time it comes around, the original desired change will have been diluted.

Politics is important.  Not for each individual piece of legislation or politician that slides across the marbled steps of a capitol building, but for the precedent that it sets for populations to come.  In a similar way, movements are so crucial for their ability to provide “fertile ground for what could come later.”

I initially thought that the Giugni piece and the Pastor, Ito and Rosner piece were in conflict with one another.  One emphasizes the long-term indirect cultural change while the other emphasizes present measurements.  However, when I got more deeply in to the parts describing measurements of transformation, I realized they complement each other.

This piece talks of new media as an add-on (high-tech does not equal high touch).  With new media developing rapidly, can these thorough metrics keep up with it?

I also have a question about who the audience is and what comes after a document like this?  When and how does it get put in to effect?

I recently read an article by Jael Silliman about NGOs.  She wrote about how the importance of receiving funding (and showing accountability) ends up driving NGO actions and behaviors more than their initial mission.  She warns about the co-optation of NGOs and writes about how some people are pushing back against the heavy-business-oriented efforts of NGOs.  Furthermore, some governments get too involved with NGOs and interfere too much with their missions.  Networks have formed among NGOs and lead to complications because of the centralization of decision-making and monopolization of resources that occurs.

Measuring movements and measuring NGOs are two different tasks yet they are related.  I could not help connecting the two readings and get concerned about some of the emphases that the metrics paper made on evidence for funding.  Some of my concerns were addressed, for instance on page 8-9 one participant is quoted as saying that it is the “mission that determines the path – not the metrics.”

Finally, I would like to ask the question, “What is a women’s movement?”

Is it different and if so, how?  How is it characterized?  How are men involved?  Is the way you measure outcomes different?  The readings talk about the impacts on the individual activists involved in movements.  So how would a women’s movement impact individuals differently or similarly?  Can part of the measurement of transactions and transformations include women specifically?

This site lists some successful women’s movements from 2011.  However, I would argue that these are not each movements but are individual instances that are perhaps part of a broader women’s movement.  Successful instances (according to this site from the Global Fund for Women) from all over the globe include:

Uruguay on the Cusp of Legalizing Abortion

Gender Equality Cemented into Moroccan Constitution

Egyptian Court Bans Virginity Tests

European Women Win Domestic Violence Treaty

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One thought on “Culture, Media and Women

  1. Pingback: Week 11 Megablog: Outcomes | Networked Social Movements

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