Out of Class Lecture
April 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
As the treasurer of F.A.C.T. (Feminist Action Coalition for Today) the feminist activist group on campus, I got the privilege to view the film Miss Representation early as well as be part of the group to present the film at a showing. Miss Representation was brought to the campus by the Women’s Studies program, F.A.C.T. as well as the Butler Center on March 27. The film was exactly what the title says: a story of the misrepresentation of women. Miss Representation is said to be a current version of the film Killing Us Softly, which is a documentary about women’s portrayal in the media. Although the host of that film speaks during Miss Representation, this documentary is much more than a “women in the media” movie.
MISS Representation was a wonderful film. Honestly, there really wasn’t one part of the documentary that I didn’t find interesting. If I were to actually find specifics, i thought the portion that spoke of women in politics was my favorite. The speakers talk of how men go into power to be someone, while women go into power to do something. Often time’s women are too afraid to be leaders because they fear rejection and failure. This decision isn’t made lightly. Women are often depicted as too slutty, too ditzy, too smart, too bitchy, too cocky. These descriptions are often times FALSE, but it still gives women the idea that they aren’t capable of accomplishing what they really can. Women running for leadership positions are often asked how they are going to juggle work and taking care of children. A specific new host mentioned women having their period and therefore implied we’re emotionally unstable; haven’t we moved passed this?
In relation to the course, this specific section really got to me. We’ve talked about how hard women have worked to be able to have careers and lives outside of domestic life. To be asked if we can juggle work and family makes me so angry. It’s constantly put in our heads that we have to pick. So many women fought for the opportunities we have now only to be taken back by critics.
The media did play a big role in Miss Representation. We see thousands of advertisements throughout the day. Many young people, and even adults, are obsessed with the internet. Advertisements are all over the internet and social media sites such as Facebook. We also read magazines, watch commercials, and see simple ads in newspapers or on billboards. Media’s representation of women is completely skewed. The media portrays a woman who is tall, thin, and unrealistically beautiful. They create a woman that is unattainable. This fake woman gives younger girls a negative self-image because it just is not possible to be this person. We see Barbie dolls and actresses and say “I want to be her when I grow up”. These images also force girls to believe that their bodies and looks are the only things important in order to be happy and successful or even desirable.
Miss Representation is a film that should be shown in any Women’s Studies course. I think it would be extremely beneficial to be shown especially in intro classes. It has the ability to show students who are unfamiliar with the negative representations of women. It is important to inform people about what happens because many go throughout their day without even realizing what they see or hear.