After taking the trivia quiz on the number of storytellers honored by Oscar, Katrina Van Overbeke, told me about SeeJane, an organization founded by Academy Award winner Geena Davis. In accordance with SeeJane's mission to improve gender portrayals in children's media, the organization commissioned USC's Annenberg School of Communications to analyze gender roles in over 100 G-rated films. The findings were summarized in Where the girls aren't.
Two highlights from the study are:
Did you know that three out of four characters are boys?
That fewer than one out of three speaking characters (28%) in film (live and animated) are female?
Lest I digress too far, let's go back to what I want to be our key takeaway:
If one of the best ways to find our voice is to listen to women who have found and expressed theirs, and these voices are hard to find, how do we do this?
Here are three suggestions:
1) Re-watch A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I saw this film when it was first released, and just happened across the below review from The Washington Post this morning. It is a beautiful film; here's a girl that is the hero of her story.
Link: ‘A Little Princess’
2) Take a look at this list of questions provided on the See Jane website. As you watch television or films with your children, I think you'll be surprised at just how underrepresented girls are. And it's not just television shows like Pokemon which my daughter happens to love because her older brother watches it. Two delightful bright points are Dora the Explorer and The Little Einsteins.
3) And finally, do you have stories inside of you? Are you telling them? They don't need to be written down — just start telling stories, your story.
Any other films you'd recommend for young girls? Television shows?