Steinem starts radio station for knitters and cookers

// 19 September 2006

Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and “other prominent women” have launched a new radio station in the US, catering specifically for women.

Now, a whole radio station for women run at least partly by a feminist sounds like a good idea. On the website there is a link to Steinem’s keynote speech, titled: “Broadcasting: as if women mattered”.

But the New York Times is not convinced, and their review is enough to put any feminist off. For example:

But a humor of complacency stands in for a language of subversion, and the extent to which you will find the shows funny seems dependent on how seriously you ever considered buying tickets to "Menopause: The Musical." (Ms. Gaffney on the challenges of fashion: "If you\x92ve ever listened to this show, you know pants don\x92t fit me.")

So far, so unappealing. But if the content is as interesting and incisive as a damp towel, maybe it’s because of Steinem’s assumptions about her audience:

GreenStone, as Ms. Steinem explained in a CNN interview last week, is predicated on the notion that women have abandoned radio, and the talk format specifically, because it is "too hostile and argumentative and crazy" and because women are "not nearly as hostile and argumentative." Certainly the participants on, say,, an online community for young mothers, would dispute that assessment, tackling as they do the issues of pediatricians or foreign policy with the ferocity of the Achaeans at Troy.



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