This film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.
Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation, screening at the Little Theatre on Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m., uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film 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. This screening is co-sponsored by St. John Fisher College, and is part of The Little Theatre, WXXI, and The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies' Women & Power: Women’s History Film Series.
In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.
The Women & Power: Women’s History Film Series is supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.