The mainstream media play a vital role in constructing certain endangered young women as valuable ‘front-page victims’, while dismissing others as disposable. In this essay, I examine the techniques that activists can use to challenge media stereotypes of ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ victims. Drawing on examples from the USA, central America, and Europe, I offer three practical methods for engaging in feminist media activism: the ‘diagnostic’, to provide a cultural vocabulary for unveiling and resisting media biases; the ‘theatrical’, to revive the lives of disenfranchised bodies in the public imagination; and the ‘archaeological’, to dig proactively for the human stories that have been buried beyond the margins.
This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.
How to cite this resource
Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context. You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:
Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL
Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.