Last night, a group of my advisees, the Women’s Leadership in Public Policy Screened Miss Representation, a documentary film on media images of women as leaders. I went largely to support my students because I really thought there wasn’t anything new I could learn about the terrible way the media treats women–I’ve been watching this nonsense for a long time now. I was wrong. The film is very good, and it has a tremendous amount of new information about the way the media has treated female political leaders and the subsequent effects on policy (and planning, btw).
There are more opportunities to attend:
Thursday, March 29 7 to 8:30
Saturday, March 31, 2 to 1:30 pm
Sunday, April 1 from 7-to 8:30
All screenings I believe are in Taper Hall.
Here is the trailer:
The WLPPD is partnering with Trojans for Equality, the Undergraduate Student Government, and Graduate Student Government.
Everybody became more aware of this problem when Rush Limbaugh badmouthed Sandra Fluke a few weeks ago. Like the public discussion that occurred after that event, it’s becoming more and more clear that women on both sides of the political spectrum are demonized, ridiculed, or otherwise diminished simply for wanting to serve as their community as leaders. From condescension toward Sarah Palin to racism directed at Condi Rice and Michelle Malkin to the deplorable treatment of both Madeline Albrecht and Hilary Clinton, women who have the guts to try to influence policy are the subject of simple abuse. There is no other way to put it. You don’t have to be a feminist* or anything else to be appalled.
It’s also taking a toll. Fewer women are running this year for Congress; women like Olympia Snowe–a highly effective Republican politico–is stepping down because of the political environment in DC has become so toxic, in multiple ways.
The backlash towards women we are seeing played out at a national level has consequences for men as well. If there is one thing that contemporary politics should be teaching us, it’s that we need to be partners and allies to each other, approaching our differences with a deep-seated and *radical* respect for our shared humanity. We can’t keep pretending that the lack of civility in politics, particularly that shown to our women leaders, doesn’t matter.
I know it’s a busy time of year, but I highly encourage you to go, think about what you are seeing, and support your Price School School colleagues and your peers around the university who brought this opportunity to campus.