Documentary addresses biases and misconceptions of women in the workplace

Submitted photo.

Submitted photo.

Alyssa Morlacci

Students and faculty gathered to discuss the media’s objectification of women and its effect on the younger generation represented in the documentary “Miss Representation” Wednesday night in the Student Center.

A group of about 30 people moved their chairs into a circle after watching the film to talk about reactions. Women’s Studies and the Women’s Center hosted the screening in honor of Women’s History Month.

“Miss Representation” premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and talks about how the media’s portrayal of women affects their likelihood of occupying powerful job positions.

Suzanne Holt, director of Women’s Studies, said the film was “an opportunity to have the group realization.”

“I think it was saying that this media behavior that we have been so overexposed to that we’ve begun to think of it as normal,” Holt said. “I think that the movie wanted us to feel the rage again. I think it kind of wanted us to get back in touch with the feeling we had when we saw this ad or that comment.”

Holt said she found out about the film through her students.

“Last semester, I had at least 10 students who had heard of the movie before I did and asked if there was any chance in the world we could get a screening here at Kent,” Holt said. “I was amazed at the trailer when I saw it.”

Sohomjit Ray, English graduate student, said he had hoped that there would be a showing of the film in Kent, and there was one quote that resonated with him.

“I remember this quote that really stuck with me, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see,’” Ray said. “There are very few people who can break out of that boundary of ‘OK, I can imagine a woman president,’ but if you don’t see something, how is it going to be that a young girl is going to think, ‘OK, I can do that one day.’”

Amanda Anastasia Paniagua, senior art history major, said the film inspired her to continue sending a positive message to women.

“Your confidence can come from your intellect, it can come from your insight, it doesn’t have to come from you having the cutest outfit on in the room or having the best makeup on in the room,” Paniagua said. “If another women walks in who is prettier than you, skinnier than you, that doesn’t matter.”

Holt said there will be another showing of the film during the Fall 2012 semester, and students who would like to get information about other films shown through the Women’s Studies program can contact her at [email protected].

Contact Alyssa Morlacci at [email protected].