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“Miss Representation”: Giving Women a Reason to Take a Stand

The setting sun warms up the room. Neatly lined up in the center of the room are about 70 seats. The grand room is filled with the cheerful hum of chatter.  About 40 women are busily chatting and nibbling on treats at the reception of Miss Representation on March 20. Little clusters of ladies are formed throughout the room waiting for the film to begin.

Katy Strzepek, the Director of Women’s Studies, encourages all newcomers to write words of wisdom on card. A few cards were to be randomly selected and those selected won flowers. The words of wisdom were then to be put on a wall of wisdom to encourage women to take part in leadership.

The film screening was sponsored by Women’s Studies, American Association of University Women, and HERcampus. The film was to raise awareness of female justice. It portrayed the statistics and stories of women in the professional world and every day life. The topics touched ranged from eating disorders, sexual assault, to discrimination. The audience whispered and shook their heads to images of thin fragile bodies of teen girls on the screen. Others gasped at the stories of girls cutting and contemplating suicide because of bullies.

Following the movie, the tension bubbled in the room with a short discussion. The audience asked questions on what to do to help women’s rights. There were others who spoke of their personal experiences. A woman in the crowd asked the young women what their opinion of the movie was.  One woman said that it seems that women must sexualize themselves to get ahead even to get a job.  Many followed up this argument by agreeing that it is difficult to avoid the media. Another problem the audience found was that the current generation is not standing up for women’s rights and against sexist discrimination.

A member of the audience, Jessy Black, said she knew everything the movie spoke about. The statistics and professional women giving their story helped to put together what she already knew. She expressed that the film was still powerful for her nonetheless.

“Having it in black and white in front of you is hard hitting,” she said.

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