by Emma Dunn ’13 –
This past week, as part of the school’s TELL Program, the Pomfret community gathered to view the film Miss Representation. The main purpose of this film is to show how the media in America portray women, and don’t always set the best examples of how women should be treated. There was a sort of optimistic energy as we were going into the film since we thought we would be learning about new ways to conquer the barriers that prevent women from moving up in society and respect themselves. But sitting there and watching how horribly women are depicted and how susceptible we all are to fall for these stereotypes was scary.
Miss Representation does a wonderful job of providing accurate evidence about how degrading the media can be and the amount of pressure put on young girls, teenagers, and even grown women to look and act a certain way. The idea that women must be skinny, submissive, and less powerful than men has been present in American society for hundreds of years. Even when women have accomplished so much, such as becoming the first female Supreme Court justice, the first woman to fly around the world, or even the first woman to become mayor in her town, the media always find some flaw in that woman and disregard her accomplishments.
During the film, it was difficult to feel empowered as a young woman. However, the greatest impact that the film had on the Pomfret community, especially the female community, was to point out that we have given in to the stereotypes that we have tried to fight for so long. Whether we know it or not, the media have distorted the way women respect themselves, how they treat men and each other, and how men treat women. Pomfret has always strived to maintain a warm, open, and accepting community. But as society keeps progressing, we must address the issues that women in our community face everyday. The strong urge to fight these dreadful stereotypes was felt by many women and men. Now the question is, what are we going to do to challenge the system that prevents females from receiving the respect they deserve?