I Have A Problem With Miss Representation

Well hello there!

If you have a Netflix account, or have gained access to one because your friend is super generous, you've probably looked at the documentary section. It's my go-to when I look for new movies, there's just something about real life issues that make a film more intriguing. So last night I went to find one instead of starting another season of a show, and I came across Miss Representation. 

The documentary is a look at the way women are portrayed in the media and how it reflects on the average woman's views of herself, and both men and women's views of other women. As a woman (please note that word makes me feel extremely uncomfortable when referring to myself because I don't feel like an adult) I understand where this is coming from. The viewpoint of the movie is from a woman who is pregnant with a daughter that fears what our modern culture will teach her about herself. And I know what happens when those fears produce themselves in girls.

Women are portrayed, in media, to be these sexual objects for men, and I have no disagreement there. Typically when an actress is wearing very little clothing she is there for her male counterpart and the male audience. She is doing things to intrigue them, leaving little interpretation to young girl's minds, and even young boy's minds as well. Because if the women on the screen are what women are supposed to look like, then the average women will never be "good enough" for the men. And these points the documentary makes, I have no problem with. 

It's the points the movie makes about women not becoming politicians, or getting their degrees, or spending their money on beauty products. I make a point of always telling people "do you booboo" because if you doing that makes you feel better, makes you happy, makes you comfortable, then you do it. There's a point that mentions that because women don't see other women in positions of power it makes them believe that they can't obtain those positions. But the one thing I remember every girl saying when I was younger was "anything a boy can do a girl can do better." So I don't understand why because maybe women don't like doing certain things, it turns it into a point of "they just don't think they can." They do think they can, they know they can, but if they don't have the aspiration to do so then there's no point to it.

When it comes to getting degrees there's an issue with their stance of women not getting them simply because they think their worth only comes from their bodies. Women were allowed to go to post secondary institutions starting in 1848, 170ish years ago. That's a significant amount of time. But things were different in the way society worked back then up until maybe 40 years ago. Women were the child bearers (they still are) that stayed at home and got the housework done while taking care of the children. Men went to work, some with their degrees, to be able to allow their families to live. So within the last 40 years women haven't needed to go out and get those degrees to get the jobs they wanted. And still till this day, if someone doesn't want to get a degree they don't have to because that's their choice. But even so, here in Canada, more women go to post secondary institutions than men, and have been for 25 years.

This last part is the part that really gets me. As an avid beauty lover, I do spend a large part of my earnings on beauty products. But accordingly so, under some ridiculous stigma, I am doing so for the approval of those around me. Here's the real fun part about that, I literally do not give one single shit what those around me think of the way I look. I do not spend the money that I do to get compliments, to make everyone else feel comfortable looking at me, because I don't love myself, because I can't accept my flaws or because I was told that I needed them. I very often go without makeup because I don't believe I need it. I just think it's fun, I enjoy doing it and it makes me happy. Maybe there are some people that feel that they need it, but instead of ridiculing them into making them think that they're wasting their money for something no one should ever want, why don't you make them realize how important it is to love themselves?

My biggest fear is with this documentary. By definition I am a feminist, and I believe every human being on this Earth deserves the same rights, the same treatments, the same respect, the same pay, the same justice. This documentary is telling women that feminism is believing women deserve the best of everything. It tells women that they do things for men and that in doing so we will teach the younger generation of girls that everything they do is for men. And that won't be true so long as we teach women that all people are equal and that they're allowed to do things for themselves. 

Yes, women will be portrayed sexually in most movies and shows, but that's not to say men aren't portrayed the same way. Yes, women are less likely to be in high power positions, but that's not to say men aren't less likely to be stay at home parents. Yes, women are scrutinized constantly for the way they look, but that's not to say men aren't. Yes, women will be apart of the fight to make the world a more equal place, but that's not to say men won't be helping.

I'm not writing this to say that we as people should not believe in feminism. I am writing this to say that we as people should believe in the feminism that supports equality and equity through all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions and every other differential category we as humans come in. Because we are all human, regardless of our differences, and we should all be treated with respect from one another.

Until next time...
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