March 28, 2013

photo: No Job for a Woman

NYU Washington, DC and the National Endowment for the Humanities co-hosted a panel discussion that explored how women have made their way to the front lines, first as journalists covering conflict and now, as combatants participating in conflict zones across the globe.

Special guests included Soledad O'Brien, who moderated the discussion, and Missy Ryan, both journalists who have redefined the role women play in media. Admiral Ann Rondeau of the US Navy and Kristen Rouse, an Army Reservist and active-duty member of the US Army who has served three tours in Afghanistan, shared their experiences with advancement within the ranks of the military, where the push for gender equality continues to garner national and international attention. Documentary filmmaker Michele Midori Fillion and historian Leisa Meyer joined the discussion as well and put historical perspectives on the role of women in society and how that identity has evolved over time.

Meet the Panel

Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien

Kristen Rouse

Kristen Rouse

Missy Ryan

Missy Ryan

Leisa Meyer

Leisa Meyer

Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau

Ann E. Rondeau

Michele Midori Fillion

Michele Midori Fillion

The film is available online via public media’s World Channel.

Before World War II, war reporting was considered NO JOB FOR A WOMAN. But when American female reporters fought and won access to cover the war, there was another battle to fight: Women would be banned from the frontlines, prevented from covering Front Page stories, and assigned “woman’s angle” stories. Instead, they turned their second-class assignment into a new kind of war story: one that was more intimate yet more revealing.

“No Job For a Woman”: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII tells this story through the lives and work of wire service reporter Ruth Cowan, magazine reporter Martha Gellhorn, and war photographer Dickey Chapelle.