Oprah Winfrey is the single most powerful woman in media. She presides over a multi-billion dollar empire as both mogul and star. As a model of American womanhood, she is distinctly contemporary: never before has the predominantly white, middle-class public accepted such an anomalous spokesperson. She is single, childless, and co-habiting with the distinctively named Stedman Graham, who guards the few slivers of privacy she has left; her soul mate is her best friend, Gayle King. These factors alone would seem to mark her populist origins as more of an iconoclast than an icon; a free-thinker, cultural feminist, and a liberal.Read the rest of Will Oprah Winfrey save us all?.
Deirdre English teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. She has written and edited work on a wide array of subjects related to investigative reporting, cultural politics, gender studies, and public policy. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones magazine where she worked for eight years, ending in 1986. She has taught American Studies and magazine writing and production at the College of Old Westbury at the State University of New York and has been a lecturer at City College of New York and the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her most current work includes a revision of For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women (Anchor), co-authored with Barbara Ehrenreich and published with a new Afterword in 2004, and an essay on the work of photographer Susan Meiselas, published in Carnival Strippers, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2003.