Yesterday in class we watched a portion of the movie Miss Representation. The part we saw dealt with how few women hold congressional seats. I got the same uneasy, even angry, feeling I got when I watched the entire movie on Netflix a couple weeks ago. The part of the film we saw in class reminded us that 51% of the US population is women, yet women comprise only 20% of Congress. This ratio is unacceptable. How can issues important to women be properly addressed with so few women involved in government? Since the United States was founded on the principle that our government was to be, “…of the people and for the people,” it is time that all the people, women and men alike, make a conscious effort to participate equally in the operation of our country. Certainly, it takes extremely strong women to step up and face the constant criticism about their hair or their weight or their clothing. We must reprimand those newscasters and pundits who feel compelled to address a female politician’s appearance and ignore her substantial qualifications to serve our entire population. We simply cannot bury our heads in the sand when this happens. Speak up! If not publicly, then by writing or emailing or posting on your Facebook page about your outrage when this happens. And to this generation of young women now in college, I implore you to consider using your talents in the service of your city, county, state and national governments so your daughters and their daughters will see an equal government representation.
Also, please watch the film Miss Representation in its entirety. It points out that the average American teenager spends approximately 10 hours and 45 minutes a day consuming various forms of media: watching T.V., listening to music, watching movies, reading magazines, or online. Start to notice how women and girls are portrayed in these forms of media. Is this the kind of pressure we want to place on ourselves and our daughters? We women have so much more to offer than our body parts. We must remember this and remind our daughters and our sons of this. Media’s portrayal of women as being only as good as their appearance must be changed if we want to be taken seriously. Drinking the Kool-Aid by wearing sexy tank tops and tight pants to work won’t get the job done. Get mad. Get active. Get involved.