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Misrepresentation of Women Subject of Film to be Shown at College of DuPage
If the media is sending females the message that their value only lies in their body, this can only leave them feeling disempowered and distract them from making a difference and becoming leaders. Herein lies the message of the groundbreaking film Miss Representation, which first aired at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has since been shown on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), as well as locations across the U.S. On Wednesday, February 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. the 90-minute film will be shown at College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, followed by a panel discussion. Co-sponsored by Family Shelter Service, offering help and hope to victims of domestic abuse, together with College of DuPage, this free event will be held in SRC #2800 (on the second floor near the library; enter from north doors). Family Shelter's "Behind Closed Doors" art exhibit will also be on display at the event.
Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker, actress, speaker, and advocate for women, girls, and their families, Miss Representation explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. In a Huffington Post year-end poll, Miss Representation was ranked number two, "Best Moment for Women in 2011," following Nobel Peace Prize awards to women. Following the launch of her new film, Newsom created the website MissRepresentation.org, the social action arm of the documentary film and a call-to-action campaign that gives women and girls the tools to realize their full potential.
Her objective in writing the film and launching the website was to engender a shift in the cultural mindset of communities, change the way women and girls are represented in the media, interrupt and stop patterns of sexism, and ensure a tipping point that will lead to gender parity in leadership throughout the United States. The website includes special educational tools for teens and pre-teens that teachers can use to help 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.
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 percent of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65 percent of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.
Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics ‑ such as 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.
MissRepresentation.org also pioneered the groundbreaking #NotBuyingIt campaign that serves as a mechanism to call out sexism as it happens and educate others about the prevalence of sexism in our ads. This campaign has caused corporations such as JC Penney and Forever 21 to change their advertising practices.
A wave of change has been occurring as a result of Newsom's work, from fathers advocating to bring the Miss Representation curriculum to their children’s schools, to mothers requesting that media executives pull offensive advertisements off television, to young people starting Miss Representation clubs to talk about issues of sexism with their peers.
To attend the event, please email: Jason Florin, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630-942-2043.
The film's creator Jennifer Siebel Newsom is also an Executive Producer of the 2012 Sundance Award-winning documentary The Invisible War, and is currently in pre-production on her next film. As an actress, Newsom appeared in films and television shows including In the Valley of Elah, Something’s Gotta Give, NBC’s Life and Mad Men. She graduated with honors from both Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Newsom resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and their two children.
The DuPage County-based Family Shelter Service provides trauma-informed counseling to victims of domestic violence. For more information, please visit www.familyshelterservice.org.