Media inequality: Femhawk series shows documentary on women’s underrepresentation

Kandice Johnson

Thursday night, students attended the documentary showcase MISS Representation hosted by english instructor Vanelis Rivera, and the ULM student volunteers group Femhawks.

For Rivera, MISS Representation is more than just a movie documentary. “The goal is to expose students to messages in the media that overtly affect them and their expectation of girls and women,” Rivera said.

The 90 minute documentary touched on how media creates unrealistic expectations of beauty and how media has over sexualized women.

The documentary included alarming studies like the increase of self-injury by young girls and the rates of depression, violence and teen pregnancy. It brought up the negative portrayal of women, and issues dealing with women in politics, in leadership roles and women attending institutions. It also discusses the effects it has on men, resulting in the negative treatment of women.

Rivera said she was first moved by the documentary two years ago, and that she loved the focus on the film’s portrayal of women, as well as the drive it gave to girls in building up theirselves.

Her efforts to bring awareness to women’s treatment and fairness is just the beginning. Rivera,along with her colleagues, have continued showcasing women awareness by hosting the Vagina Monologues and the feminist series on campus.

“There’s definitely an interest and need,” said Rivera. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest by both men and women students.”

While this is ULM’s first screening of MISS Representation, Rivera said the “campus is not a stranger to progressive events.”

If you missed the screening of MISS Representation, Rivera and her colleagues will host The Vagina Monologues Feb. 24 in Stubbs 100 at 6 p.m. and on Feb. 27 in the Upstairs Gallery, Art Alley in downtown Monroe.