Watch the film Miss Representation directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

After you watch the movie, relate what you’ve seen to what you’ve read in your textbook, and ideas we’ve discussed in class. Consider such elements as how gatekeepers are responsible for the view of women presented by the media; how the under-representation of women, and other groups, affects how society sees them; how advertising sets standards for expectation of female beauty; and how the media normalizes violence against women.

Use your observations and understanding to write a paper responding to the film. This paper must be minimum of three full pages, following the standards detailed in the PAPER GUIDELINES document on D2L. Your paper must include a cover page, to ensure that you submit full pages of text.

The following are some questions you might consider for your paper. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ANSWER ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS. In most case, ONE question would provide you with enough material for a full paper.

Questions for Discussion:

The director and interviewees in Miss Representation talk candidly about their experiences with sexism. What connections or empathy did you feel with the experiences presented in the film? What are your unique experiences?

Some critics claim the “glass ceiling” no longer exists for women in entertainment. Others argue that the successes of Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin indicates that sexism is a thing of our past, not our present. What do you think?

The opening title sequence shows real iconic women throughout history, such as Hattie Caraway and Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and the popular celebrity faces we see on-screen. What contradictions do you see between the real women around you and what you see in the media?

Academics argue that harmful representations of women persist because the media uses hyper-sexualized images to sell products/ideas/services. Who or what benefits from the misrepresentations of women in the media? Who holds responsibility?

How does a lack of diversity in decision-making roles impact what we see in mainstream media and advertising? What impact does this have on us as consumers?

What power do we have as a consumer? How can we change the way media portrays women and girls and the ways in which women and girls view themselves?

What strategies are working to promote more women to leadership positions and make sure they are respected when they arrive?

Late papers will lose points.

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