Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Most Influential Women in Media

Sometimes I love - like SERIOUSLY - love the copy and paste function.

The Most Influential Women in Media is based on money, fame, audience and power. Money is determined by an estimation of earnings from approximately July 2008 to July 2009. Audience is determined by average Nielsen Media Research numbers for television ratings and net traffic for the past 12 months. Fame and influence is determined by overall mentions on Factiva and by social media outreach, or the amount of followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook


Minus the "audience" bit, I could have SWORN I read something back in my younger years about basing anything on money, fame, and power usually leads you down the wrong path.

I think Utne's list of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World is actually much more refreshing, uplifting, and real.

Let's start a fresh list; a list of people who actually think women of the world MATTER and actually WORK for little or no money.

Who do YOU think are the most influential women in media?

Let me know who and why and perhaps I'll write a rebuttal, with a link, to Forbes telling them to kiss my big, round pregnant belly.

I just spent 30 minutes writing an update and now it's gone. In a nutshell, I wanted to hat tip Joan Kelly (first in comments) who helped me clarify my original point. I do not think income runs parallel to sincerity in one's work. I meant that I wanted to recognize women who do back-breaking work and are barely scraping by with their families. I agree with JK - most of the influential women in my life are sacrificing and trading one good for another to make ends meet to buy groceries.

How do WE define "influential" people in our lives?


  1. On board with the part about a fresh list of people who actually think women of the world matter, but compelled to note that I don't think work needs to be for free or for very little in order to be sincere/helpful/loving/etc., if that makes sense?

    I believe that there is for sure a difference between doing things for self-interested reasons alone (fame, money, power, etc.) and demonstrating care for others without having to prove it via being self-sacrificing. I don't mean "oh let's stop critiquing financially well-off/famous feminist ladies!" I mean that I want *all* women to have enough, receive enough, feel worth enough, that when they work with and for themselves as women, and other women, they still get to eat well and be comfortable and have fun and get health care, etc.

    I feel like so many women, especially particular classes of women, are expected to get by and/or go without as a particular function of "good" female-ness.

    If it's justice-minded (and I think it is) to want women doing back-breaking work of all kinds to get paid MORE than a living wage, not just elevated to "okay now they can get by instead of not-getting-by" wages, I think it's also fair for people who - as you say - work with/as/for women's lives mattering to get to more than just survive financially.

    I bring this up because I feel like right now, all the women I know personally and ever hear about as well, whose life's work is about and for women, are either just getting by or not getting by at all.

  2. "I bring this up because I feel like right now, all the women I know personally and ever hear about as well, whose life's work is about and for women, are either just getting by or not getting by at all."


    the women who are most influential to me, whether in media or otherwise, are predominantly women who are not getting by... the two of you, for example; also Lex, BFP, Noemi, Nadia, Stacey, Mai'a, Sydette, Sylvia, Donna etc. the women are most influential to me are either already dead due to suffering and "not getting by" (june jordan, for example) or are living women who are now suffering to some degree. those who might be considered "getting by" like alice walker, rebecca walker, laila lalami, andy smith, sonia sanchez, suheir hammad, etc. also have painful tangled up lives in many ways, even if they do have a lot of followers on twitter and fb or are making reasonable incomes or whatever. there is NOTHING wrong with women "making it", making good money, having power, etc. the truth, however, is that i can't think of any in that position that really truly move me anymore or influence or inspire me. okay, Oprah, sure, to some degree (and in other ways she annoys the tar out of me, LOL). maybe i should look at Forbes' list and see if i even recognize any of the women on it! and then i'd wanna know, just how many of them are of color???

  3. "the two of you, for example"

    I wasn't sure if you meant me, Aaminah, as one of "the two of you," and in case you did, I didn't want to be misleading about my situation.

    There have definitely been times when I've *felt* like I didn't have enough, was scared and stressed, felt in crisis around money for various reasons.

    But I've never had to go without food, a place to sleep that was indoors, and in fact the times where I've just gotten by really have been of my own making, which I think is substantially different than being economically oppressed.

    For instance, when all I could get was a part time job at minimum wage, and stayed at that job for three years, I still had middle class white parents who I knew would not let me starve if it came to that, or die of an untreated medical condition if it came to that. And I was only in that situation to begin with because of effing up my own life.

    I mean, yes mental health issues had a lot to do with the path I did take that got me there, but so did a certain amount of immaturity and entitlement issues. So whereas for three years I felt desperate in some ways around money, it was more like a point of trying to have some self-esteem around standing on my own, that prevented me from even asking for my parents' help. I don't want to pretend like what I experienced compares with people who had no choice to "stand on their own" or not, and who also had a lot of forces trying to keep them on their knees anyway.

    I know several of the women you mention above also have college degrees and stuff, so I don't mean it like "oh you poor ladies who have so much less than me," in saying I come from the kind of privilege that would have allowed me to basically never know the kind of economic discomfort I've felt at points in my life. But then again, I also know a young black woman with a degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the country, who can't even get *interviewed* for jobs if she puts her actual name on her resume. So it's still different.

    Anyway, I feel kind of OCD about not wanting to appropriate anyone else's situations and struggles. It SUCKED at a few different times in my life to not know where I was going to get rent money or be able to eat good food or pay for migraine medication or...etc. But I have a good-paying job now, and I always had a safety net with my parents and with the position my skin color and background puts me in.

    Lordy, Lisa, I feel like I have just derailed your whole dang post, sorry. Also thanks for your update, I'm still waking up and just saw it, ha.

    I was going to ask the same thing too basically - how do you/we define what working with/for/as women who care about women is? Because I know people who do things that maybe you won't find as job listings on, that sound kind of simple, like changing minds, and yet having my own mind changed in these ways, by these people, feels like a really big effing deal to me.

    And then I'm also shy about listing some people who influence me because I'm like, "oh people are just going to think it's my own personal circle jerk of fawning over people everyone already knows I love and admire."

    Seriously am I even capable of being on topic for this thread, jeez!!!

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