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On Monday, the seventh of November, about a hundred people enjoyed MISSRepresentation playing on campus. The film examines the portrayal of women and girls in the media as objectified or ignored. Females are often seen as having value only if their appearance is acceptable, not their intelligence, personality, or other gift of the mind. Annoyed yet? Here are a few humorous, yet poignant, videos to check out, especially if you saw and loved the film!
This link will bring you to Feminist Frequency’s analysis of popular films using the Bechdel Test. The Bechdel Test is a test that measures the presence of women’s voices in the media. It is a simple pass/fail system with three criteria:
1) Are there two or more women who have names?
2) Do they talk to each other?
3) Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?
As the speaker notes, many popular movies fail this test—ones you may not have expected! Films that fail include:
The Dark KnightSlumdog MillionaireShrekWatchmenTransformersGhostbustersThe Big LebowskiWALL-EPirates of the CaribbeanAustin PowersMen in BlackFight Club, The Fifth ElementThe Princess Bride… the list goes on.
Think about this when you see movies. Do they pass or fail? Do you feel a lack of female presence? Why do you think this is?
The second video is an ad for Bitch magazine (which sounds disparaging, but go with it; it’s actually a reclaiming of the word):
This ad comments on the vapid content of your average magazine, where the most stimulating content tells women, not so discretely, that they need twenty kinds of beauty products, among other things. But one element I especially love about this ad is that it includes men—yes, men in feminism! Feminism champions equality of the sexes, for those of you who may have been unsure. The same system that makes assumptions about women and expects them to focus or behave in certain ways has a similar effect on males in our society. They are typically socialized to not show emotion, and to channel violence instead. This can handicap many men in their ability to express themselves without feeling ashamed.
An important thing to remember is that inequality of the sexes affects everyone. A good way to encourage men to join the effort for equality is to educate them about how patriarchy affects their lives negatively too.
And for those of you who missed the screening of MISSRepresentation, it’s a must see!
Happy watching,
Ray M Carmody
Women In Leadership Guest Blogger 

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