Documentary teaches about misrepresentation of gender in media

The Superbowl is close at hand, and so are the commercials. It’s no secret that media and advertisers have profited from unrealistic portrayals of men and women, and Superbowl ads are some of the worst offenders. This year a non-profit organization called

<a href=”http://www.missrepresentation.org/”>Miss Representation</a>

is fighting back. The organization is encouraging men and women to challenge sexism in Superbowl commercials by calling them out on Twitter with the #NotBuyingIt hashtag. The goal is to let advertisers know that sexism won’t be tolerated. Commercials are just one of the forms of media that often distort how women and men view themselves and others. According to Miss Representation’s website, the average teenager consumes 10 hours and 45 minutes of media daily – from TV to time on the internet. Media representations lead consumers to believe that a woman’s worth lies in her sexuality, beauty and youth. That’s where Miss Representation steps in. Miss Representation is a “call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting media labels in order to realize their potential,” according to the organization’s website. The campaign is committed to teaching media literacy to kids so that they are less influenced by the images they see constantly in the media. The Cache community has the opportunity to learn more about sexism in the media at a special documentary viewing. The documentary, called “Miss Representation,” is being shown by the USU Center for Women and Gender at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Taggart Student Center Auditorium. The film, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, discusses sexist portrayals of women in media and includes interviews with Condoleezza Rice and Gloria Steinem, to name a few. The film viewing is free and open to the community. The documentary “challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself,” according to a press release. Miss Representation is a non-profit organization that thrives on volunteer representatives. The representatives spread awareness, hold meetings in their communities, write about media issues to local newspapers and host viewings of the film. Participants are also encouraged to make a YouTube video telling the media how to better represent women. These videos will be distributed in large quantities to media executives. Miss Representation also offers curriculum for teaching media literacy in the classroom. The education program is broken down into age groups, with options available for students from kindergarten to college. Boys and girls are encouraged to really think about the messages they are sent through media and how these messages can affect them. Educators can purchase the curriculum, which includes the “Miss Representation” film and supplementary information, online. Information on the organization and how to get involved can be found on the official

<a href=”http://www.missrepresentation.org/”>website</a>

or

<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/MissRepresentationCampaign”>Facebook page</a>

. – rachel@cvdaily.com

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