Democratic Women to show documentary, 'Miss Representation,' explores sexism in the media Sunday

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:32

CHESTER — The Orange County Democratic Women will show the documentary "Miss Representation" for their annual Soup R Bowl event at Colonial Lanes in Chester. This program is a kickoff for the organization's 10th anniversary celebration this year. Since its release, the documentary has created a lot of interest at schools, universities, corporations, government, institutions, and film festivals, but public screenings are harder to find. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, "Miss Representation" exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself. The film includes stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics like Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem.  The film offers startling facts and statistics that will leave audiences shaken and armed with a new perspective.  “We are thrilled to be able to present the first public screening in Orange County,” said Willa Freiband, newly elected president of Orange County Democratic Women.  “Our organization is built on the goal of getting more women involved in public service and government. To create a new generation of women leaders, we have to be informed so we can address the barriers they face. This film is a perfect way to start this process." Writer and Director Newsom says "Miss Representation" is meant to be a change agent in our culture, to inspire both women and men to recognize women's collective voice, leadership capacity and equal rights. "Women have made strides in leadership over the past few decades but the U.S. is 90 in the world in terms of women in national legislatures," says a press release from the Orange County Democratic Women. "Women hold only 3 percent of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65 percent of women and girls have an eating disorder." "Miss Representation" was selected from the Sundance line-up to be part of the Oprah Winfrey, OWN Documentary Film Club. A discussion and soup buffet will follow the screening. The talk will be led by Tiffany Card, Planned Parenthood Mid Hudson Valley.