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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Media Stories

Is your story being told in the media?

Because mine isn’t.

Beware, you’re about to enter a rant…

I want to have children. Probably just one because I plan on having a career, but if I have a daughter I am very worried about the media she will encounter every day. Some may believe that children shows are innocent and safe for little girls to watch, but the statistics are alarming.

From 2006 to 2009 not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, as a business leader, in the law, or in politics. 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real-world statistics of women comprising 50% of the workforce.
Even among the top-grossing G-rated family films, girl characters are outnumbered by boys three-to-one.

Female characters continue to show dramatically more skin than their male counterparts, and feature extremely tiny waists and other exaggerated body characteristics.
So I guess I will have to write my own film… while maybe starting a psychology practice and having a child.

My film would be a cartoon, a la Disney Fairytale with way less stereotypes. It would be about a twenty-something starving female student studying to become a research scientist. She would spend much of her time in the library at her prestigious research university that she worked her butt off to attend by receiving Valedictorian status in her high school. She would be a size eight and have frizzy brown hair that she never had time to do. She would wear sweatpants and eat too much fast food. Her name would be Alex. She would graduate with honors and go on to receive her PhD. Her parents would be very proud of her because she is the first woman in their family to go to college. She would be a minority too. Maybe Mexican mixed with some Middle Eastern. There would be some conflict between her father wanting her to settle down (you know, to create some tension) but he would come around when he saw how happy she was. She would maybe meet a couple guys along the way but they would be extremely minor characters. They would all be very nice but she just wouldn’t have time to fit them into her schedule. Then she would move up the ranks in her company until she was offered an opportunity to start a branch in a different country (maybe Tokyo, they do a lot of stuff their). She would jump at the opportunity and carpe diem the shit out of her early thirties. Then she would meet the man of her dreams, Devon. He would sweet and charming. He would let her split the bill on their dates without getting all pouty. He would do half of the chores and love to cook. He would be Japanese. While working Alex would have a child with Devon. Their child would be named Haru. They wouldn’t be married. She would keep working and kicking ass and taking names. Alex would be a great mother instilling a hard work ethics and acceptance for all. She would still have tons of friends that she would go out with. Eventually, they would all return to the States. Alex and Devon would fight sometimes but they would always make up (or leave passive-aggressive notes for each other later on). Haru would grow up biologically as a female but at age six would begin to show signs of presenting her gender as male. I mean this could go on and on. Maybe a series called “Positive Role Models.”

There are so many stories that aren’t being told. A white, heterosexual women in her 30’s struggling with AIDS. A little transgender boy persevering in grade school. Lesbian scientists bringing much needed medicine to sub-Sahara Africa. Women changing history without a man in sight.
The fact is that only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female.

Until more women are making films this problem will never be reconciled. If media producers don’t hear women screaming to be better represented they won’t change. Let’s make our suffrage sisters proud and finish up some of their work. I am a strong believer that if you can’t see something you can’t be something. We need to show young girls that they are more than their recipe book and babysitting skills

Can every women become a superstar writer or director?

Well, probably not. But as a parent one can be careful what they present to their children. As a consumer one can purposely support female writers and producers.

For alternatives and suggestions see:

All statistics taken from

This is also a great sight about the lack of children’s media geared towards strong female characters. Funded by Geena Davis.

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