Dr. Patricia Bradley’s lecture last Monday titled “Mass Media and the Shaping of American Feminism, 1963-1975” outlined the positive and negative effects of the media on the feminist revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. It was based on Bradley’s new book by the same title.
Bradley began by giving a brief background of the cultural atmosphere of 1960s in America.
During the Cold War era, she explained, the media targeted women as audiences, as topics for news stories and as reporters and publicists.
During the 1960s, most Americans believed the media had great power in reaching the American people, according to Bradley’s research. They believed in order to sell any sort of idea to the public, it must be sold through the media.
Bradley said the leaders of the feminist movement emphasized receiving attention from the media, but misunderstood how their protests would be covered by the media and perceived by the American public. Feminists consequently received the stigma of being “man-haters” and “bra-burners.”
Maria Simone, a Mass Media and Communications (MMC) graduate studentwho attended the lecture, commented that, “Dr. Bradley has an insider perspective on this subject. She can look at her research and say ‘I was one of the people involved in this movement.'”
Bradley also mentioned the Women’s Studies Department was not necessarily pleased with her book because it suggests the negative feminist image was in part created by the feminists’ leaders’ misunderstanding of the media. Bradley professes that after it is published, other local feminists might not enjoy it either.
Dr. Matthew Lombard, associate professor in the Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media department and the MMC doctoral program at Temple, also attended the lecture and agreed with Simone.
“I respect Dr. Bradley because she didn’t compile her research and then decide to censor some of it to please certain groups,” he said.
“Mass Media and the Shaping of American Feminism, 1963-1975,” is not Bradley’s first book. In 1998, the University Press of Mississippi published Bradley’s “Slavery, Propaganda, and the American Revolution”, which she says, “examined how the continuance of slavery was used as a way to unite the American Colonies.”
Bradley began teaching at Temple in 1987 and has a background in television news. She also taught at the University of Georgia and the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She says her next writing project may be a history of an American celebrity.
Bradley’s lecture was the first in the School of Communications and Theatre Theory and Research Seminar Series (STARSS), part of the Mass Media and Communications graduate program at the university.
More lectures are scheduled for every other Monday during the fall semester. Lectures are held in Annenberg 301 from 3:40-4:30.
More information on the STARSS schedule can be found on the Mass Media and Communications website at www.temple.edu/mmc.
Lindsey Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.