Friday, January 27, 2012

Miss Representation: we're catty, we're objects, we're second-class citizens?

Although unable to attend the viewing of Miss Representation in Slayter yesterday afternoon, I found time to watch this incredibly intriguing documentary from the comfort of my own home (...on my computer, right in step with the themes of our Business of Media class last semester). It's difficult to choose one particular aspect of this film that was exceptionally striking for many reasons: firstly, after having studied and learned about depictions of women in the media, the ways in which media industries make money, and American society's disposition toward women's rights in general over the past few year, I found myself less shocked by the information presented than I probably should have been; secondly, although not shocked by the information shown in the documentary, I found many of the statistics to be overwhelming (i. e. statistics about the percentage of girls under 12 that are raped; the number of women that have held office in the United States versus the number of women in countries such as Afghanistan); and lastly, the perspectives that were presented by both men and women in this film all concurred with one specific theme, yes, but simultaneously were so different.

I suppose, however, if I had to choose one aspect in particular that was especially interesting for me, it would be the reason for which this film was created. Throughout the documentary, the narrator chimes in with personal traumas that have occurred throughout her life: the death of her older sister as a young girl, the blame she placed on herself after the accident, her severe eating disorder, etc. Women oftentimes will say things along the lines of: "when will this stop?" and "is this the world I want my son or daughter growing up in?" In the case of this woman in particular, she essentially made a documentary FOR her daughter. FOR the generation that her daughter is a part of. FOR the young men and women of the world. I found this documentary to be very much in accordance with the saying "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Everybody talks a lot. These women, with the narrator in mind, came together to point out injustices in order to make the world a happier, more-balanced place for their sons and daughters.

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