Stockton- CA, As part of the Women`s History Month activities at the University of the Pacific, acclaimed writer and producer of the documentary “Miss Representation”, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, led a discussion after the screening of her film at the Janet Leigh Theatre on Tuesday, March 13.
The 2011 film explores the media’s misrepresentations of women based on the concept that women’s value is simply based on physical characteristics.
“It is more than just making a film, I wanted to wake our consciousness and then transform us,” said Newsom. “This is about respect for women.”
According to the film, women are far less likely than men to be politically active and to hold positions of power and influence. Women make up 51% of the US population, yet comprise only 17% of congress.
The film also claims that since women hold only 3% of power positions in mainstream media, the majority of the messages send to the public are formulated by men.
“I am a firm believer that if you get more women behind the seats in media you are going to get another face of media, you will see a less sexualized, youth-centric stereotypical media.”
The 90 minute film features stories from young teenage girls and interviews with politicians, journalists, activists and academics like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric and Rosario Dawson.
During the discussion Newsom explained the definition of feminism.
“Women often think that feminism is a bad word,” said Newsom, “if you are someone that believes that men and women should have equal opportunities, if you believe in equality, then you are a feminist.”