All right, so for today I thought I would share this interesting blog post that I ran across. First off, I have to make my standard disclaimer that just because I’m linking to it doesn’t mean I endorse or agree with everything on the website, I just found this one post interesting when I ran across it.
Anyways, the post is about April O’Neil, from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (of my childhood!) and how the toymakers changed her toy over time. It’s pretty interesting to see and to think about in terms of what that tells us about women – especially April’s shrinking weight in her statistics. So anyways, head here and take in this food for thought. And if you want to start a discussion with me about it, I’d love to get some comments.
All right, here is another woman who I feel is super famous. Oprah Winfrey. Let’s dive in.
- Best known for having her own talk show (The Oprah Winfrey Show), which ran from 1986 until 2011.
- In American history, she is the greatest black philanthropist.
- She is thought to be a big influence on the talk show as a genre.
- Some experts think that her endorsement of Barack Obama led to over a million votes for him in the Democratic primary. Just because she endorsed him.
- She owns her own production company – Harpo Productions.
- She co-founded the tv channel Oxygen.
- In 2011, she launched OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, her own tv channel.
- Her website gets an average of 70 million page views per month and 20,000 e-mails every week.
- She has her own XM Satellite Radio channel.
- Apparently, she has been appearing on Time’s Most Influential List since 2004 and is the only person who has been on it in all those years from 2004-2011.
- She has two of her own terms (coined by other people):
- Oprahfication: This is defined as confessing something in public for therapy.
- “The Oprah Effect”: This is defined as her ability to influence people to do something (especially to buy something).
- She has been able to raise millions of dollars for charity.
I definitely think Oprah is influential – almost scary influential in my opinion. I don’t know how she had managed to do what she does, to get the kind of following she has, and to have so many people think that her opinion is trustworthy. But she has. Actually, I think she is kind of a good example of what influential looks like, just because she is so influential. In fact, some sources I read even named her as the number one most influential person in the world and I don’t know if I agree that she’s number one, but it is true that she has TONS of influence. Just think about how many people are e-mailing her and visiting her website. That means whatever she puts on her website is being seen that many times. And then you have the people who watch her tv show and her tv channel, the people who read her magazine, and the people who listen to her radio show. That is a lot of people combined. How many other people have that kind of reach? Even her book club. Do you know when she introduces a book on her book club that it usually gets 1 million more in sales at least? Who else can do that? I don’t know if I’m an Oprah fan, but I would be wrong to dismiss her as not influential because clearly she is highly influential. I bet you even that if she ever decided to run for president (which I doubt she would), she could easily become president even if she didn’t associate herself with a political party – that’s how much influence I think she has.
Okay, so sometimes I talk about very serious subjects on my blog. You know rape, abortion, child soldiers, things of that nature. But sometimes there are other important women’s issues that need to be talked about too.
For example, where are all the Female Writers in Late Night TV?
What got me thinking was this chart that I saw:
Look at this chart. Even the female host has only half a staff of women. One (Bill Maher) has no women writers. And two hosts only have women writers who are related to them. This should be such a shocking picture.
And then I read that ‘The Late Show’ made history by hiring a second woman. And this was mere months ago. History. When you think of things that make history, should ‘The Late Show’ hiring a second woman make history in this day and age? Or should they have hired a second (or a third or a fourth etc) woman writer a long time ago?
That got me to try and figure out why this is. Some people just say it’s because there are not women out there looking for these jobs. “It’s harder; there are less women looking for work. It’s easier to have an all-white male writing staff,” is one quote from Dan Harmon on the matter. Are there really less women looking for work? I’m not sure. But it would seem that Laurie Kilmartin (the only female writer on Conan)would agree with him when she says, “This is a huge generalization, but I think guys get on stage to get laid, and women get on stage to get heard. For female comics, it’s such a personal thing. I hardly know any female stand-ups who talk about generic stuff: It’s always really what happened to you. It is sort of a big switch to go from that to writing for someone else. And I think that that stops a lot of female comics from making that jump over.” Others argue that it’s just too much of a boy’s house – crude and rude and lewd – and that limits women.
To be honest, I don’t know why there aren’t more women writers in late night tv. It’s probably not a simple answer. Are there more male comics? Possibly, but is that just because women have very few women role models to look up to in this area. Something should be done, because there obviously are funny women, the question is just, where are they?