October 10, 2018
NYU Washington, DC hosted a Salon Series conversation with Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger.
Rage Becomes Her details how women are angry, and delves into the constant tug of war women face between being underpaid and overworked, too sensitive or not sensitive enough, too dowdy or too made-up, and between many other extremes. Chemaly's work explores how women are pulled in all of these different directions and how rage is one of the most important resources women have. She argues rage is the sharpest tool against both personal and political oppression.
Chemaly details how women have been told for so long to bottle up their anger, letting it corrode their bodies and minds in ways they don’t even realize. Yet this anger is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice and a catalyst for change. On the flip side, the societal and cultural belittlement of women's anger is a cunning way of limiting and controlling a woman's power.
Soraya Chemaly further discussed her work and these topics in the evening's program. Afterward, NYU DC's journalism instructor Seth Borenstein facilitated a lively discussion and the Q&A portion of the event.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer and media critic whose writing appears regularly in national and international media including The Atlantic, The Nation, Verge, Quartz, TIME, Salon, The Guardian and The New Statesman. She speaks frequently on topics related to inclusivity, free speech, sexualized violence, data and technology. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, an international civil society network dedicated to expanding women’s civic and political participation.
She currently serves on the national boards of the Women's Media Center and Women, Action and the Media, as well as on the advisory councils of the Center for Democracy and Technology, VIDA, and Common Sense Media. As an activist, Ms. Chemaly has spear-headed multiple successful campaigns challenging corporations to address online harassment and abuse, restrictive content moderation and censorship, and institutional biases that affect free speech.
Prior to 2010, Soraya spent more than fifteen years as a market development executive and consultant in the media and data technology industries. In the early 1990s, after several years at the Gannett Corporation, where she was involved in establishing the newspaper industry’s first subscriber and advertisers databases, she moved into the datatech sector with Claritas Inc. These work experiences give her unique insights into internet data development, leading her to fight vigorously again their abuses.
In 2013, Soraya won the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC)'s Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy and the Secular Woman Feminist Activism Award. In 2014, she was named one of Elle Magazine's 25 Inspiring Women to Follow in social media. In 2016, Soraya was the recipient of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press’s Women and Media Award. In 2017, she was the co-recipient of the Newhouse Mirror Award for Best Single Feature of 2016 for an in-depth investigative report on free speech and online content moderation, The Secrets of The Internet, and a Wikipedia Distinguished Service Award, for exemplary contributions to the advancement of public knowledge and the collection, development, and dissemination of educational content. She is the author of the book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.
Seth Borenstein, Science Writer, The Associated Press
Seth Borenstein was part of an AP Gulf of Mexico oil spill reporting team that won the 2010 George Polk Award for Environment Reporting and a special merit award as part of the 2011 Grantham environment reporting prizes. He was part of a team of finalists for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Columbia space shuttle disaster. A science and environmental journalist for more than 20 years, covering everything from hurricanes to space shuttle launches, Borenstein has also worked for Knight Ridder Newspapers’ Washington Bureau, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He is the co-author of three long out-of-print books, two on hurricanes and one on popular science.
The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists offers an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us.