In one week American teenagers spend 31 hours watching TV, 17 hours listening to music, 3 hours watching movies, 4 hours reading magazines, 10 hours online. That’s 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption a day. What are they absorbing?
On Friday Sept. 21 the Funhouse Commons will be showing “Miss Representation,” a film that explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman. “The film Miss Representation exposes how American youth are being sold the concept that women and girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality. It brings a “gender focus” to explore how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.
“Miss Representation, ” by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. In addition to the screening at 8 p.m., a wood fire pizza oven will be at teen night providing fresh hot slices for free, before and after the showing.
The movie asks girls and boys alike to think about the effects of the images they see—particularly the ways media affects women and girls’ ability to see themselves as leaders and be seen as leaders by others in society.
“The media can be an instrument of change: it can maintain the status quo and reflect the views of the society or it can, hopefully, awaken people and change minds. I think it depends on who’s piloting the plane.” Katie Couric, Journalist
Viewers consider alternatives to passive viewing, to:
- Identify different types of media and understand that media communicates and teaches individuals ideas;
- Think critically about how stereotypes of femininity and masculinity limit girls and boys;
- Examine the impact media has on a woman’s ability to see herself as a leader and obtain a leadership position;
- Understand how behind the scenes decisions affect the way gender is represented in media and impact our culture;
- Become engaged in efforts to influence positive change in media and advertising industries,
A trailer for the movie can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2UZZV3xU6Q
Miss Representation is sponsored by six non-profit organizations: Girls for a Change, the Women’s Media Center, Step Up Women’s Network, 20 by 20 Women on Boards, Love Social and Girl Scouts Healthy Media Commission.
The social action campaign that produced “Miss Representation” also offers a curriculum to continue thought and discussion about media, stereotypes, self-perception, and advertising with regard to feminine empowerment. To learn more, go to http://www.missrepresentation.org/