Recently, I was invited to the movie premiere of MISS REPRESENTATION in Pittsburgh, PA. Sydnee Bagovich called upon her friends and colleagues and coordinated an event filled with sophisticated, intelligent, and outspoken women. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing their fascinating life stories.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, this movie showed that the collective message 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. The film challenges that the media’s depiction of women is crude, overly sexual, abusive, and subservient. Ouch!

Was Jennifer Seibel Newsom trying to stimulate and educate women when she wrote this story? It surely did not inspire me. Or did it?

✑ As I listened to the conversation that followed this film, I heard the question: “What can we do?” over and over again. No one really had an answer. After the dust settled and I had some time to think about the movie and the conversation that followed, a few things became very clear to me.

To begin with, this film did not inspire me. Miss Representation was 90 minutes of frightening facts and statistics about every dangerous circumstance facing women today. Yes, we already know. Many of us are victims. Stop reminding us. This film made me feel defeated and frustrated. Why would all these accomplished women want to express this type of message? It makes no sense to me.

When we speak words like, prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and bias to our daughters, then they learn early on that people already dislike them. If we raise them with confidence and fortitude, they will learn that hard work and determination will take them everywhere, regardless of their race or gender.

This film was full of disgraceful pictures of women in unflattering and sexually submissive roles. If a woman doesn’t want to be labeled a sleazy whore, then stop performing in those despicable videos and pornographic movies. To our female performers: Shame on you!! You have allowed the almighty dollar go straight to your head and like a drug, you will do anything to get even more; including throwing your reputation and our daughters views of what a real woman is, into the sewer.

I raised a daughter showering her with confidence and praise. Along with some unpopular discipline, I never once told her there was something out there she could not do. Films like this scream ‘limits’ to the world. There were dozens of accomplished women in this film and yet it only exposed negativity and defeat. Why? These women are brilliant. Instead of showcasing them as victims, highlight their achievements. We need to show our daughters that the sky is their only limit and that young woman around the world can and will succeed!!
What do you think?


May 5, 2014



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