Sheila Nevins – Head of Documentary at HBO

Sheila Nevins has been head of Documentarys at HBO for almost 40 years. She is an interesting and very talented woman and this article would be worth reading for that alone, but it is the 78 year old’s perspective on the current ” battle of the sexes ” that I found most interesting.

“When Sheila Nevins first started working in television in the 1970s, she thought “being touched by a man inappropriately was part of the rules of the game.”

Who better to talk to, than the woman who won the first Peabody Awarded ( the oldest and most prestigious electronic media award in the US) to a cable program for ” She Nobody’s Baby” – which is now on my have to watch list – “The History Of American Women in the 20th Century” produced in 1981 with Ms Magazine, and who bought shows with a sexual edge to HBO.

But Sheila came from the generation of woman bought up on the advise handed down from Helen Gurley Brown the imfamous Cosmopolitan Editor

From New York Times Article by Maureen Dowd …image above by Jesse Dittmar

“I read Cosmo. No one’s brought Helen Gurley Brown into it for older women. We were brought up by her. The younger women were brought up by Gloria Steinem. I think I was a Girlie by Helen. I read Cosmo like it was Spock for babies and I dressed and did everything she told me. I bought cosmetics. I bought a push-up bra. I unbuttoned the second button where you see the cleavage. She also said you should listen to your boss’s sad stories about how his wife doesn’t love him. And make sure you look very good and then throw yourself in front of his car, waving, when he’s leaving work.

“But,” Ms. Nevins adds wryly, “all my bosses took trains.”


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