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We all know that the media is powerful. But have you ever considered exactly how much influence the media has on how we view women today? In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. How and why should we change this?
At this months Think Act Change, we'll be exploring this issue by hosting a screening of Miss Representation followed by a presentation by Melinda Tankard Reist and a panel & audience Q&A.
Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.
While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviours. (USA)
The film documents stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave you shaken and armed with a new perspective.
This is a must-attend event for both men and women. If you're a woman attending I encourage you to bring a man you care about in your life along too, as this is an issue that needs to be spoken about with both men and women alike.
MELINDA TANKARD REIST
Melinda Tankard Reist (www.melindatankardreist.com) is a writer, speaker, blogger, media commentator and advocate for women and girls. The author of four books and a columnist with Fairfax Media, she is also co-founder of the grassroots activist movement Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation (www.collectiveshout.org). Melinda has a long record of supporting global projects addressing poverty, trafficking and violence against women. Melinda is named in the Australian Who’s Who of Women and the World Who’s Who of Women.
SARAH MCMAHON - PSYCHOLOGIST & ENTREPRENEUR
For the last 10 years Sarah has specialised in the field of eating disorders and has successfully treated over 200 individuals who have made a complete recovery from this insidious problem. Sarah is also experienced in providing treatment for the many “comorbid” issues that typically present with an eating disorder, including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder. Sarah established BodyMatters as she felt there was a dire lack of genuine, quality treatment services for eating & body image issues in Australasia & abroad. She began to notice a serious emerging public health crisis, with a war against “obesity” on the one hand & “the odd anorexic” or eating disorder sufferer as the necessary casualties of this war. Sarah touts the “health at every size” mantra as the solution to this paradox.
The mandate of BodyMatters extends beyond the treatment of people with eating issues & body shame to engaging in advocacy & prevention initiatives. In particular, Sarah has had the wonderful opportunity to be the cofounder & inaugural, immediate past chairperson of grassroots advocacy group Collective Shout . She has also been involved in other worthy organisations, including Lifeline & Endangered Bodies.
ALEX MCCLINTOCH - JOURNALIST
Alex McClintock is a freelance journalist from Sydney. He's written about everything from pornography to AFL for the Guardian, The Monthly, The Hoopla, VICE and many others. Follow him on Twitter at @axmcc.
Ines Almeida - Founder, Toward the Stars & Co-founder Brave Girls Alliance
Further speakers and special guests yet to be announced.
6pm - pre event drinks at bar
6.30pm - film starts
8.00pm - presentation by Melinda
8.15pm - panel discussion
9.00pm - event ends
Further panel details to be announced soon.