Patt Morrison for March 8, 2012

‘Miss Representation’ in the media

Pakistani NGO activists chant slogans du

ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani NGO activists at a rally in Lahore on March, 7, 2012 on the eve of International Women's Day. International Women's is observed annually on March 8, highlighting the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

The 2011 documentary “Miss Representation” explores the way women in powerful positions in America are portrayed.

Hillary Clinton is described by one female commentator as looking “haggard,” and a guest on “The O’Reilly Factor” says the downside of having a woman in the White House is the “PMS and mood swings.” The preponderance of images in the media glorifies and exploits looks and beauty.

Through interviews with women in film and television, the news media and the political arena, from Condoleezza Rice to Katie Couric, Margaret Cho and Geena Davis, the documentary challenges the media’s limited portrayal of womanhood and what the objectification of women says to young girls.

On International Women’s Day, Patt explores whether women have really come a long way, baby.

WEIGH IN:

How are women misrepresented in the media? What ways can we change the portrayal of women?

Guest:

Caroline Heldman, associate professor of political science at Occidental College, senior advisor for “Miss Representation” and author of the book “Rethinking Madame President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House?”

Jim Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the media lives of kids and families, and a lawyer and professor of civil rights at Stanford University


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