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Help A Journalism Student – What Women’s Issues Would You Like Covered?

September 8, 2007

I received an email from a journalism student/school newspaper reporter from Syracuse University, asking about topics relevant to women that should be receiving wider coverage. Although many of you might not end up reading this student’s work, it’s still a good opportunity to influence coverage of women’s issues. Please make your suggestions in the comments.

1. What issues do you think should be covered that are female centric that are not being covered in the media at the moment?

2. What deserves further investigation?

3. Do you know of any events worthy of note pertaining to woman that are occurring on university campuses?

4. What type of story would you like to see covered?

You don’t have to answer all these questions, but I was hoping you can provide me with some direction or any tidbits regarding woman that deserve further investigation.

I suggested the increase in birth control prices on campus as one possibility – it’s been covered in a general way by large media outlets, but a local angle might be interesting. Keep in mind that your answers don’t have to be health-related. Any other suggestions?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2007 12:11 pm

    1. What issues do you think should be covered that are female centric that are not being covered in the media at the moment?

    Why only pretty blond rich girls ever get kidnapped and the pervs leave the poor, ugly children alone. (I kid!!!)

    a)Marijuana legalisation

    There are many female health issues, from basic menstruation to various hormonal imbalances, to chronic illnesses like SLE, which cause nausea. Current prescription medications for the treatment of nausea also make the patients drowsy and/or unfocused. This affects many women’s ability to get or maintain employment and consequently health insurance. Medical marijuana is a CLEANER drug for anti-nausea than any prescription medication out there and would allow many more women to function at their full potential.

    I believe (although I can’t find the study in my files right now) that women tend to complain of inhibiting nausea (that is, nausea that inhibits them) at a rate 4 times that of men, and this is believed to be largely because of the hormonal involvement.

    b) Debt-Reduction

    I think this is getting a lot of media coverage right now, but it’s still worth addressing as a women’s issue. Especially at the college campus level. Many women incur massive debt in college, both through student loans and credit cards. Because of the fact that women statistically work less for employers throughout their lifetimes and earn less money, this debt can be especially crippling. The lifetime buying power (*different from buying INFLUENCE*) of women on their own is significantly less than men. While I think we feminists are focused on the earning-side of the equation, it would do us well to also focus on the debt-obligation side.

    I feel like I’m not getting at what the student wanted, but there’s at least a shot at it. ;-p

    Oh, yeah!

    c) Gun control

    Write an article on how campus-wide bans on firearms are preventing legally adult women from constitutionally defending themselves in what is historically one of the most high-danger environments for women.

  2. September 8, 2007 12:19 pm

    Kat, thank you for your suggestions. The gun control one is interesting to ponder – on one hand, many people assume campuses are safer when guns are banned. On the other hand, campuses are *not* an inherently safe place to be – one of my classmates was brutally attacked just yards outside of our living space, in one of the best-lit parking lots on campus. The idea of looking at both sides of the issue from a women’s safety perspective is an intriguing one, regardless of how I feel about gun control in general.

  3. Mary Fradin permalink
    September 8, 2007 3:43 pm

    You could do a story on why women’s employment choices make rational economic sense, or not, given that historically women have been choosing lower paying occupations, b.) women are rapidly gaining on men in the professions, c.) women make major gains in male dominated occupations just at about the time the prestige and payscale start to erode (law, accounting and medicine come to mind). Females are still rare in engineering disciplines at school and have a very short half-life in the workplace (ask me why).
    “Pink-collar” professions–do they still exist?
    Is have-havenotness amplified by career choices?
    Does the decline of stable marriage as a viable long-term life-choice affect other choices?
    Singles get penalized financially in a whole host of ways. How is this affecting single women, and how might they combine forces in buying groups, or lobbying to change this? Why do women put up with being charged more for dry-cleaning and haircuts? Is the move toward ‘zone-pricing” an obscurantist method of discriminating against people?
    Make me stop!

  4. September 8, 2007 10:10 pm

    You beat me to the birth control prices and lack of coverage. (They are not covered by our school health insurance.)

    I am a mother, and I am sure that is not the case for most “traditional” students. However, I am annoyed that there is no funding that I know of to pay for child care during college. I have to take out extra unsubsidized loans that I will have to pay back with interest to cover child care. Our school has no discounts for students on their preschool tuition. In fact, the preschool on campus is more than $12,000 a year (!!!), I am only budgeted to borrow $6,000 extra for childcare (this doesn’t even consider my second child!) and there are no spaces reserved for students’ children. I put myself on the extensive waiting list and put my child in a cheaper school.

  5. September 9, 2007 8:16 am

    Thanks, Mary and Hilary. As an addendum, what is the ratio of female students in traditionally male majors at the University, and are there any barriers in place that affect this ratio. Adding to what Hilary said, what kind of support is in place for students who may become pregnant to continue their educations (maybe with background on when SU stopped kicking out pregnant students, if it ever was doing so)? Is emergency contraception available from campus health services?

  6. September 9, 2007 10:48 am

    I second the marijuana legislation issue. I have a dear friend who suffered from severe hyperemesis gravidarum during both her pregnancies (which were spaced about 16 years apart, for obvious reasons)… Her doctor prescribed her a very powerful antipsychotic drug (the name which escapes me right now) both times. The medication left her very subdued and she had to quit her job. She was not her normal self; she could not function normally. Thankfully, both her children are healthy, but it made me wonder if marijuana (high-quality, organically grown, of course) would have been better for her (and her children)? It gets a lot of bad press, but there have been studies on women who’ve used it during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and their kids are completely normal. If it were me, and I had severe hyperemesis, I would prefer to take marijuana (not smoked, maybe in a tincture or a pill?) over an antipsychotic medication any day…

  7. September 9, 2007 12:52 pm

    Mama Bear (and Kat), I think that’s an interesting issue as well. And one college students might be inclined to be interested in. :) Anecdotally, I had someone close to me die of cancer who was, ah, familiar with both the natural and pill forms of marijuana, and reported that the synthetic was not nearly as helpful as the real thing. It would be nice if we could get some real research done in this country on this topic, instead of continuing to treat it with “Reefer Madness”-style hysteria.

  8. September 9, 2007 1:06 pm

    Another thing – do students know where they have to go for an evidentiary exam if they are raped? Not all hospitals provide them, but instead refer the victim to another facility. How does the University respond when assault happens between students?

  9. September 16, 2007 10:44 pm

    I’d like to see an article (actually a series of writing from a lot of disparate media types, including blogs) about helping young women deal with the hypersexualization of females in society today. By “young women” I mean teenagers and young adult women. Between the silly double-standardized abstinence-only crap that passes for sex education today, and the overtly sexually saturated society we live in (inculding everything from subtle sexual advertising to the extreme forms of misogynistic porn), young women have absolutely no clue about how they are supposed to deal with their sexuality realistically in our society. At all.

    I could go into great detail about what I mean, but I think I’d prefer that writers attack the subject from their own understanding of the concept.

  10. Vil permalink
    January 14, 2009 4:32 pm

    1.Violence within marriage, supportive organisations, things they can do, an informative article.
    2.Violance outside marriage and ways for protection
    3.Legal rights of married women in case of conflicts with the spouse

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