DISCUSSION: “Miss Representation” & “TV Shows and Movies are Training Us to be Sexist”

In what ways did Miss Representation and the Geena Davis article make you think differently about the media you consume?

4 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: “Miss Representation” & “TV Shows and Movies are Training Us to be Sexist”

  1. Both the article and video were quite eye opening. This topic has not one that has been on my radar up until now, but I have been completely convinced that media has a direct connection to teaching how girls and women should be and how they should be portrayed. I was already aware how women were often objectified in media, but not aware of the extremes of the situation, aka, the power that women have and how many female characters there are compared to males. That simple fact is crazy, how from such a young age, we subconsciously notice that women are less present in media and thus can draw conclusion about their importance. Furthermore, the portrayal of women that does exist often is sexist and untrue which paints another image. One of how women should look and act, and another of how others should have a standard of what women should be. This media is all around us and although much of the media which portrays women in a negative light may be unintentional, this is the most important to try to fix, but it is what is being consumed the most.

  2. Before hand I thought I had a pretty good amount of knowledge about what the media promotes and how that promotion is affecting our ideals of beauty and worth of women. On the other hand, I really wasn’t aware of the statistics that come with world of advertisement, money spent on beauty, and the numbers that involve women in the government. I guess I never really realized how much the media has specifically, subconsciously affected the way I view my own self and how I view the women around me. I honestly have slight stereotypical views on how women should look like and behave and I trust that this belief stems from the media I consume on a daily basis. One quote that really stuck out to be in the movie is the quote “You can’t be what you can’t see.” This quote really resonated with me. In order for girls to be believe that they can be whatever they want to be takes a lot of effort and time to convince oneself; however, if girls are able to see girls and women achieve things intellectually all over media, it becomes truly believable. What I got the most out of the movie and article is the fact that we have to start showcasing girls and women in a much better light on the media in order to teach girls they can be whatever they want and shut down stereotypes of beauty.

  3. What stuck out to me the most was the idea about false empowerment that was brought up in the documentary. I think a lot of times people (media critics? Society at large? Who knows!) look at Hollywood and point to movies like the Hunger Games or Divergent and say, “Look this woman is holding a weapon and doing what she wants so she must be empowered! We’ve solved the gender bias and sexism in mass media!” But when you take a closer look, like Miss Representation does, these women are just as objectified as any other. I think a particularly useful example is Wonder Woman. This movie was put on a pedestal as the ultimate feminist movie, perfect in everyway. She grows up with strong female role models and saves the day. But when you look further, you can see this movie’s feminism was a simple disguise used as a marketing tool. Gal Gadot perfect fits mainstream beauty, accentuated by the form fitting bodice and little skirt she wears. True, they point out most female clothes at the time were constricting, but the solution to that problem isn’t, say, pants, but a sexualized mini skirt. Whatsmore, she needs a confession of love from a Chris Pine before she finally believes in herself enough to defeat the villain, despite the fact that she was revered, loved, and supported her entire life by an entire community of powerful women. That kind of love just doesn’t cut it compared to a man’s love. But people don’t really want to see these faults, they just want to celebrate the “progress” society makes through these movies. That works to devalue and undue the modern feminist movement. Saying movies like these are feminist ideals leaves me feeling like people don’t understand what it means to be feminist outside of the male gaze.

  4. I found this subject very intriguing. I am a major component of gender equality in our society and I am a very frequent user of media, and I never thought how much it would make an impact on our gender biases if we made a simple change in what is displayed on screen. People in our society take what they see in the media very seriously, and it very frequently translates into their lives. For example, people are constantly discussing the fact that women are comparing themselves and their bodies to the ones that they constantly see in magazines, social media, and billboards. This unrealistic expectation of themselves that they see constantly in media affects their daily lives in a very real way. This is the exact same concept that Gena Davis is talking about. Although it is oftentimes a negative thing, we recreate what we see on screen in our real lives. We can take advantage of this and make it a positive thing by displaying gender equality and women empowerment on screen. Especially in children’s shows, if we depict young girls as equal to the young boys, then we can shape the next generation’s ideas of what real life should be like. If there are more intelligent, athletic, hard-working, and high-paying women showed on screen, then women will be inspired to be the same and the rest of society will be more accepting of this change.

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