Geena Davis

In honor of International Women’s Day, I thought it was appropriate to dedicate this post to the talk on the portrayal of women in the media I went to last night. Scripps College hosted Academy Award winning actor Geena Davis, who spoke about her experiences in the industry, the research of her institute (the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media), and the current state of gender representation in media. Garrison Theater was completely packed; we were some of the last ones let into the theater and stood up in the back. I was a bit disappointed that Davis only spoke for about 40 minutes, as it is a topic I am very interested in and feel that we only just skimmed the surface. However, this did allow for a number of audience questions at the end.One of my favorite ideas from the talk was that instead of art imitating life, life can imitate art. Davis stressed the importance of (non-stereotypical, non hyper-sexualized) female visibility on screen, as it leads to the normalcy of females in various positions in real life. She gave the example that the number women in forensic science has increased with the rise of shows such as NCIS. This is important because as she stated, a government report found that across 10 different sectors of employment, female employment maxed out at 17%. This number was also surprisingly reflected onscreen, with crowd shots being comprised of only 17% females, in both live action and animation. I know I will definitely be on the look out for this when I watch television shows and movies in the future!