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Thanks to BitchFlicks, I knew when Missrepresentation premiered on the OWN network, and so for the first time I actually tuned-in to that channel. Yes, we have a big enough cable package to get OWN. It is the one non-essential expense we’ve kept throughout our financial difficulties, because …well, we actually use it. Since we never have the money to go out to eator to the movies, it really is the one piece of entertainment we get. That, however, is an aside.
For me the importance of the film wasn’t that it said anything I didn’t already know, but that it said what needed to be said. Earlier this month I gave a paper at a conference that talked about this same issue from a slightly different angle. Missrepresentation focuses on how women are portrayed negatively in the media, which is an important place to begin this discussion. While I want every one I know who has a child to watch this film, I also want them to read Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas. Douglas discusses, not just the portrayal of women in media, but the specific moves the media has made to make such overt sexism a significant part of the media we see. In fact, without a frank discussion of the embedded feminism Douglas identifies in the media, it isn’t possible to get at the root of all the sexism.