Just came back from Oregon, celebrating the 16th birthday of my first-born granddaughter. S he’s 5’10” and  gorgeous, inside and out. Sweet. Kind. Smart.  But it will take everything we have to help her stay that way. The portrayal of women in the media has become more violent , sexual, degrading, and dehumanizing in the last few years.  If you doubt it, please watch the trailer for the film, Miss Representation.  It has earned many awards and is now the focal point of a national movement to stop sexism and violence against women.

THEN do something!!!  Here’s what Jennifer Siebel Newsom, director of Miss Representation suggests:

1. Tell 5 people about the film and share one thing you learned from watching it.

2. Parents:  watch TV and films with your children.  Raise questions like “What if that character had been a girl instead?”

3. Remember your actions influence others. Mothers, aunts and loved ones—don’t downgrade or judge yourself by your looks. Fathers, uncles and loved ones—treat women around you with respect. Remember children in your life are watching and learning from you.

4. Use your consumer power. Stop buying tabloid magazines and watching shows that degrade women. Go see movies that are written and directed by women (especially on opening weekend to boost the box office ratings). Avoid products that resort to sexism in their advertising.

5. Mentor others! It’s as easy as taking a young woman to lunch. Start by having open and honest conversations with a young person in your life.

Here are my suggestions:

Use Twitter and blog posts to raise awareness about ad campaigns , news images, and films that use women (or men for that matter) in dehumanizing, violent and sexual ways.

Stop buying the products of companies that support such campaigns. And let them know WHY you are not buying it!  My precious granddaughters (all three) and I will thank you.