Connected Learning

Jarrod Lamshed

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Miss Representation

This week several staff from Hackham East attended a session of Miss Representaion run by Louiza Hebhardt. The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence. It explores the images of women that we are exposed to everyday and how this effects both our girls and boys.

After the film we heard from Melinda Tankard Reist from collectiveshout.com . Collective shout is an organisation that campaigns against the sexualisation of girls. One of the many battles this organisations fights is to remove items, such as sexualised clothing from our stores. It is amazing (and disturbing) to see how much of this material is out there for our kids to soak up.

AS A PARENT I walked away from this session feeling fearful for my children. As the father of an 8 year old girl, I am already aware that it is difficult to buy her clothes that I feel are appropriate. I find myself wondering how I will help her to develop positive self body image and expose her to images of positive women that can serve as her mentors and role models as she finds her passions and areas of interest in life. How do I combat the massive amount of negative, horrifying, inappropriate images telling her how she ‘should be’.

As the father of a 12 year old boy I have very similar fears. In a world of sexist, horrible music, TV, video games and movies portraying men as powerful and women as weak, how do I teach him that women have the same right and expectation of power, success and equality as he does? I really don’t know the answer.

AS A TEACHER OF A BOYS CLASS I walked away realising that I have a responsibility to educate my boys to be better men. We need to provide our boys with role modeling of appropriate interactions with women. We need to talk to boys about what is and isn’t appropriate and have open, honest discussions drawing their attention to the way women are portrayed in the media. In our classroom we do this regularly already. We call the boys on an inappropriate comments they may make and spend the time to pull these apart and look at WHY these type of comments are harmful. I hope this continues as they move on to high school at a time where they really need support to navigate their way through adolescence.

AS A MAN I walked away feeling a little guilty for my gender’s part in this.

AS A HUMAN BEING I walked away concerned about our society as a whole. I walked away wondering when big business might develop some corporate responsibility? When do the powers that be step up and make a call that padded bras for four year olds are not how they are going to do business. I walked away wondering when this will become a ‘big deal’ for the public at large and I walked away wondering why I hadn’t taken notice before now.

 

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

4 Responses to Miss Representation

  1. @dukelyer says:

    As a father of a 10 and 13 year old girl I understand your fears and I share them. The key to trying to overcome these fears begins by what you have done, naming the fears, and slowly we are able to influence boys in our class away from past norms and scaffold our daughters through tough times.
    It may be shocking, it maybe horrid, but it is no longer the norm in western society and slowly we will be able to pull gender into equality. My hope is that in 30 years sexism will be a history topic along side WWII and no longer a reality our children face.

  2. john goh says:

    Jarrod
    Wonderful post that highlights the importance of good role models for our students.

  3. Jarrod Lamshed says:

    I agree with you. I think that by being aware we are taking the first steps in breaking the pattern. My daughter is lucky to have some strong female role models in her life, including her mother (brownie points). I am hopeful for her future and feel like I am now beter armed with the knowledge to support her 🙂

  4. Pingback: ‘Miss Representation’ screening in Sydney May 16, NSW Teacher’s Federation, 37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills | Louiza Hebhardt

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