Miss representation was a fascinating and wonderful documentary. I definitely agree with a point the movie brought up, which was: the sexuilization and “dumbing down” of women works to cast women aside, especially when it comes to positions of power. The sexuilization of women works to objectify them, which became apparent in Killing us Softly (Kilborne was in Miss Representation as well). And if women are believed to be inherently stupid, it is considerably easier to ignore them.
Another thing the celebrities kept referring to was a need for women to come together and support each other. They talked about the fact that nothing will change for women unless we push for it ourselves. This resonates with me a lot because, in the words of Tina Fey in Mean Girls, there is a lot of “girl on girl violence in the world” and calling each other derogative names “only makes it ok for guys to do it.” I actually stood up to a group of my friends the day after watching this film. They were commenting on how a certain girl shouldn’t be wearing a certain shirt for her body type and I stood up for her and said, you know, that’s actually pretty offensive towards women because you wouldn’t say that about a man. No one can really say what someone else should wear, unless you’re ok with anyone else stepping into your life and doing the same. I definitely felt connected to a community in that moment.
That connection was what Litty Paxton urged the women in the room to feel with each other. She talked about how we have choices everyday whether to stand up for what we believe in or not. She put a sense of duty in me that didn’t burn quite as strong before. I especially loved her story about walking around grocery stores and stamping different things that were offensive to women. I actually turned to Sheila and said, “You know that actually sounds pretty awesome!” to which she answered “Yea, I was wondering where to get one of those stamps!”. In that moment I felt that community Litty Paxton was talking about. Once you feel that connection, it’s hard to let go, and I don’t intend to.
My question to the world is: What will inspire you to take action and band together to form a community? Or what already has?