The Friends of Thirteen, alongside the Macaulay New Media Lab at Macaulay Honors College, CUNY, presented a community screening of the Independent Lens film Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The film, directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, and aired recently on THIRTEEN, examines the portrayal of women in comics and pop culture through history, questioning the lack of women as heroes in the center of their own journey, and explains how young girls need to see larger-than-life fictional characters (like Wonder Woman) in order to foster desire for high achievement in the future.
The evening began with introductions from Dr. Ann Kirschner, University Dean of Macaulay Honors College; and WNET President & CEO Neal Shapiro. Neal Shapiro welcomed Macaulay to a fresh perspective on public television: “When you think of public media, you think opera, ballet – but we also look at pop culture,” he said. “A year from now, you won’t remember which Housewife was the meanest. But you will remember what you’re about to see.”
CUNY students and community members enjoyed a free screening of the film, followed by a discussion panel moderated by Portfolio TV co-host, So-Chung Shinn. Panelists were Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice President of Worldwide Policy, Pfizer and Friends of Thirteen Board Member; Susana Polo, Founding Managing Editor of The Mary Sue; Shelby Knox, Feminist and Director of Women’s Rights Organizing at Change.org; and Dr. Jonathan Gray, comic book scholar and Assistant Professor of English at John Jay College, CUNY.
Macaulay New Media Lab students worked closely with WNET staff to operate cameras that streamed the panel discussion live to THIRTEEN’s audiences through the station’s livestream page. If you didn’t tune in last night, you can watch the discussion any time here. The audience was also able to join the discussion on Twitter using #WWomen13.