On Campus Lecture- “Missrepresentation”
April 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
For my on campus lecture part of the class, I decided to attend the film showing “Missrepresentation”. The film was a very powerful documentary that featured many different powerful political and media giants. Increasingly there has been a fight between media companies to get our attention and to do so, they are exploiting more and more women sexually on screen. Women are portrayed as sexual objects, only a prop for a man’s pleasure and can even be bought with money. Women today can be cropped off, enhanced and perfected with today’s technology of airbrushing and photo-editing. This is an increasing problem with the adolescents who consume these images everyday and how the view their bodies and sexuality is learned from the media. There are virtually no laws against using images that are degrading for women and therefore, where there is a demand, there will be a continuing manufacturing of these images. Not only is this an increasing social issue but it is also a political issue.
An important political issue is that there is a very small percentage of women running in the office currently helping shape the political decisions of this country. More than half of the population are women but yet they are underrepresented in government office. The media also targets powerful women figures such as Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton or even TV anchors such as Katie Couric or Rachel Maddow. These women are constantly criticized for what they wear and how they look rather than critically listening to what they have to say. “If the media already undermines the already underrepresented population of women in office, how else can women be taken seriously in this country?” Even professional women are led by the media to wear lower cut shirts and shorter length skirts as Katie Couric shared her experience and changes throughout her career as a news anchor. Men are rarely faced with these challenges in their pursuit as a professional. With only a small percentage of women in positions of power, half of the country’s opinions are neglected. Women of power are also labeled “emotional” and “PMS-ing”. A woman who is tough can also be perceived as being less of a woman and stigmatized for that.
The film states that there is a need for women to write their own stories, for women to be the heroine in films and to voice their opinions in office. Women need to be in positions of power not to “take jobs away from men” but to help make this a more well-rounded country. America being one of the most advanced countries in the world has yet to have a woman in presidential office while many other countries have benefited under the leadership of a woman. In this area, America is behind. Women also needs to be the pioneers of films and media. Although there are heroines in films such as “Catwoman” or “Tomb Raider”, they are almost always presented in a sexual light. In the end, it is sex that always sells and often times women always have the shorter end of the stick. If this problem persists, we will end up having a smaller and smaller percentage of women aspiring to be in a position of power and a whole group of young adolescents and children with eating disorders trying to live up to an image that doesn’t exist.