Yesterday, 2,100 of my closest friends and I got together at the Duke Energy Center for the annual YWCA Women of Achievement Awards.
After the awards part, Gina Davis (the actor [yes, she refers to herself as an actor]) spoke. She was fantastic. In addition to being an actor, a graduate of the world-class Boston University, and a world-class archer, Gina runs a foundation that does research about women in the media.
It may not surprise you to learn that women are not equally represented in movies. For every 5 major male roles, there is one female role (and she’s generally a cute sidekick).
What’s really interesting is that when you see crowd scenes (everyone in the village runs out to see what’s going on), only 17% of the crowd is female. Real world: women are 51%. Movieland: women are 17%. Real world: women are 51%. Congress: women are 17%. And she had tons of examples showing there is something about 17% that is a limiting wall.
I wish I had a transcript of her talk. But the basic point is that there are tons of examples of women being underrepresented and hyper-sexualized in films and she’s working to try to influence change. Because the more we see these types of images, the more we get used to them and consider it normal that women should be underrepresented in business and government.
Did I mention she’s a smart lady who went to BU?