Friday, March 11

National Women's History Month

In honor of National Women's History Month I thought I would share the trailer of a documentary film MissRepresentation. It is a film about how media portrays women. Being a communication major, we talked a lot about this topic in college. My sister was a gender studies minor, so our family is well versed on the topic.

Short Story: My senior year of college I was the Editor In Chief of the student newspaper. In one issue a full page ad was printed with a topless woman (her back was facing the camera and you saw nothing of the front) advertising a cell phone company. I forget the exact wording but it was something like "You wouldn't want to miss that call". We did not design the ad, it came to us as is and we were getting paid to print it (something very valuable to a student newspaper). It was my job to proof the whole newspaper, including the ads, but the ad didn't stand out in my mind until a fellow student brought it to my attention after print. We were in a senior level communication class (Communication and Contemporary Society I believe) and he pointed out the sexual nature of the ad. I defended the ad stating that if it were a man would this be such a problem; we see men in media with their shirts off all the time. This sparked discussion on campus regarding how the media portrays the sexuality of women. I am not sure that a definitive answer ever came from the discussion. Needless to say that the student who brought the ad to my attention did his whole senior research on the ad, it's affects and the discussion on campus. I think he got an A+.

I don't see myself being affected negatively by the media, but I am bias towards myself. I feel that I deal more with this issue as a nanny. I never want to tell the 1-year-old female that she is something or anything for that matter: girl, not boy; sensitive, not aggressive; less, not more; etc. I am happy to help her understand her body in a positive manner. Appreciating her Buddha tummy and curly black hair, but never defining herself as such.

I guess that is more of an issue of gender not "the negative portal of women in main stream media". But where do you draw the line really? I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Do you think women are portrayed negatively because of a choice the media is making or are they simply reflecting main stream society? Is the issue one of gender roles or raw sexuality?

In Honor of Powerful Women

No comments: