Representation Matters

I think it is not only important how we represent ourselves, but also what media we consume because dollars support creation. More money going into movies that only provide laughable stereotypes tells the system that more of them should be made. I disapprove of censoring, but highly approve of simply not supporting bad representation.

Feminist issues have always been important to me, but when I became the mother of a little girl it became doubly so. I’m not just working to shape my future, I am shaping hers. Do I think this means never letting her see anything I don’t approve of? Absolutely not. But when I see things that I think set a bad example I need to make sure we have a discussion about it. Because she needs to hear and see different viewpoints. We need to push back and ask for more in our media. Sadly I never see this not being an issue, so I think it is important that she is exposed to the good and the bad, in order to be able to make her own judgment calls. I believe in raising a child able to make her own decisions and form her own opinions on things, and a totally shielded person cannot do that.

My feminism and womanhood aren’t the only issues that need to be covered, I think everyone deserves honest representation. Everyone deserves their gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, subculture, and age to be more than a cartoon representation. I think movies can be comedically critical, and do it in a smart fashion. Stereotypes hurt us all, and I think we all need to be more aware. I do believe that satire is a necessary tool, that can be wielded against issues, but a skilled and educated hand does it better.

I think there are a lot of good documentaries out there which illustrate the good and the bad. Seek them out. Below are the ones that I have enjoyed. But I would love to hear about more, because better representation for everyone makes a better world for all of us. And like GI Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.”

Miss Representation
You can’t be what you can’t see.

The Celluloid Closet

The Slanted Screen
Discover the History of Asian Men in Hollywood

The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in American Cinema

Reel Injun
On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian

BaadAsssss Cinema

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