01 February 2012

Miss Representation

I ran into the trailer for the documentary Miss Representation this morning on Facebook. It was posted by a blog I follow. The movie “explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.” (IMDb, 2011)

It’s important stuff. You should go watch it. Go. Now. I’ll wait.

It makes you want do something, doesn’t it? It did for me anyway. So I shared it on my Facebook page, and visited www.missrepresentation.org and pledged I will do anything I can to change the message that is being sent out to little girls and boys today. It’s not much, but it’s something.

What got me thinking were the comments on the original Facebook post by Little Acorn Learning, a Waldorf inspired blog. They boiled down to turning off the TV permanently, not allowing children access to computers, no video games, no cell phones, nothing. While I do understand this knee-jerk reaction, to me it is sticking your head in the sand.

There is no way we will be able to keep our children from the media, and the media from our children. Unless you go off the grid and never return, chances are your child will watch TV or play on a computer at some point. If it’s not at your own house, it’s at school, at a friend’s house, in a waiting room, in a restaurant, in a store. It is extremely hard to avoid.

We do not raise strong, confident, and respectful women and men by ignoring the topic. This approach is very popular with some but teenagers still get pregnant and people still get infected with HIV. Time has proven again and again that the ostrich method simply doesn’t work.

Instead we need to be aware of what we watch, what we say, what we do. We need to talk with our children about what they watch, what they say, what they do. This is how we raise children that are not interested in the current message because they know how limited it is.

So this is me, creating awareness. Please pass it on and help me change the message that is sent to our kids. Thank you.

I’ll get off my soap box now.


  1. Though I do think LIMITING media is very healthy. You can't ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist, but as a mom I sure say "No, we're not watching that because_________" quite often.
    Such a powerful message--even in the trailer.

  2. The concept of a vaccine is to expose us to some disease in a controlled way so we can fight off the real thing.

    Avoiding media is like thinking we can keep our children safe by not exposing them to the media. As you point out, they will get the exposure somewhere, sometime. The best thing a parent can do is educate and prepare a child so they can be exposed to the media but not be harmed by it. Talking about a bad program or message and correcting that message is far more effective in the long run than shielding the child from it (I am NOT talking about the really bad stuff which should not be seen by children).

  3. Every time I come across some of the sitcoms that are scheduled for prime time in the evenings, my blood pressure spikes. I worry about my 4 granddaughters.


Related Posts with Thumbnails