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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Miss representation represents

Nowadays, when anyone opens a magazine, turns on the television, or surfs the web, it isn’t surprising to see a woman in skimpy clothing. The way media represents women has been problematic at best. With media depicting more sex and violence, this has only facilitated the worsening image of women. “Miss Representation,” a documentary by Jennifer Sievel Newsom, tackles this burgeoning dilemma. Newsom is also an actress, activist, and wife of California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

The movie originated from Newsom’s own fear of the kind of world she would be bringing a daughter into. As such, Miss Representation is the “An Inconvenient Truth” of sexism in the media. Throughout the documentary, media experts, actresses, professors, and female political leaders provide commentary. In between these interviews, shocking statistics and rapid-fire images from advertisements are played.

The documentary points out how the objectification of women in the media creates a barrier in our culture and political process. Women are disempowered and trivialized.

“The film argues that lack of representation or degrading and disrespectful depictions of strong and powerful women in the U.S. dissuades young women from pursuing positions of power,” said Sapir Blau ’14, who worked with Films to organize the screening and panel this Friday.

Some of the statistics from the movie include: Women are 56% of the U.S. population, but only make up 17% of Congress, 78% of girls hate their body by age 15, 17% cut themselves, and the number of cosmetic surgeries quadrupled on women from 1997 to 2007.

The film finds a lot of the misrepresentation of women in highly popular reality T.V. shows. They depict women as gold diggers, back stabbers, bitches, or sometimes all three. Look at shows like “Jersey Shore” or “The Bachelor.”   Miss Representation has a running time of 85 minutes. It includes stars like Rosario Dawson, Margaret Cho, and Katie Couric. It has gone through the festival circuit and has even been shown at the Sundance Film Festival. It will be showing in ARH at 7 p.m. this Friday, organized by Phillip Brogdon ’12, Films Chair, and Blau. Afterwards, there will be a panel with professors Victoria Brown and Katya Gibel Mevorach, and third-years Robert Mulry and Natz Soberanes.

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