Demia teams with local groups to screen movie

Indy’s biggest women’s rights supporters to fight against the media stereotype of the modern woman.

Girls Rock! Indianapolis, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Girls Inc. and the Demia Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance are screening “Miss Representation” this Thursday on campus.

The piece is a 2011 Sundance Film Festival movie that fights against the media portrayal of women, and its message that young women and men receive: that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader,  according to the movie’s website.

The site goes on to say that the United States currently ranks 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, places women in three percent of clout positions in mainstream media and features a population in which 65 percent of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

“We must, as a society, show our next generations of leaders what good looks like—both for young women and young men,” said Erin Albert, assistant professor of pharmacy. “Butler contains future leaders. Especially in COPHS, we have more women in our programs than men. If we don’t show girls and women what good, strong, fierce leadership can look like, we won’t know what we won’t know.”

Ashley Plummer, new media coordinator for marketing communications at Butler, said that it was fairly easy to obtain the movie for a university viewing.

Plummer said Irwin library already had a copy of it, so all Demia had to do was contact the “Miss Representation” people to inform them they were doing a screening.

Plummer runs Girls Rock!, and she said getting the help of other women’s rights organizations was simple once they knew what was going on.

The movie features familiar women who have struggled with their portrayal in the media, such as Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem. It also has the Oprah stamp of approval—it was featured on the OWN channel in October and re-aired Nov. 12.

This movie has the potential to raise critical consciousness for the Butler community,” Demia president Caitlin Jackson said. “It is my hope that this film will encourage its viewers to consume media in a different way in the future.”

Albert said she thinks the movie could help change attitudes at Butler.

“Butler has had its own issues in the past with gender equality,” Albert said. “While I was not part of the gender equity commission a few years ago, we have had the issue—as many universities do—of very few women becoming full professors, achieving tenure and moving up the administrative ranks here. While I think there have been some positive changes, we’re still not there yet. There isn’t equality yet.

“That’s why I am passionate about having every chair in the room where we are showing the movie filled because the first step in getting to equality and to stop the stereotypes in the media for women is to get everyone to address the issue and talk about it first.”

The movie will be in Pharmacy Building 150 at     7 p.m. Thursday. There will be a 20-minute discussion facilitated by leaders from the community partners following the movie.

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