Sunday, January 22, 2006

There is a charity for everything!

It's always amazing to me the kind of very specific and odd organizations there are out there to whom you can donate your dough. Just finished flipping through USA weekend. Apparently Geena Davis, bored with trying out for olympics teams and winning Oscars, has started a non-profit agency, See Jane, dedicated to promoting the increase of female lead characters in children's shows.

She noticed the current imbalance of gender in kids' programming while watching TV with her little girl. "So I started to think, what is the message we're still sending to kids? That boys' stories are more interesting, more prevalent and significant, and that girls, if they are there at all, are peripheral and acting stereotypically girlie." Right on Ms. Davis! I think we look all the time at how our media treat women and other marginalized people, but rarely do we look enough at how we marginalize people in kids' media. It's about time we did, because as I have discussed before, I believe children's media has an enormous idealogical influence on our kids, so we really should be paying careful attention to what they are seeing, beyond violence, etc..

On the other hand I do think it's a weird thing to have a charity for. I, myself, would probably just have written something and tried to get it published in major publications. Especially with her notoriety she wouldn't have had problems getting her words out there. But then again, that probably would not be enough.

Back to the full blog...


Futbol Lover Girl said...

That's so weird, because I read that same article, and I almost never do more than skim through those articles... but I actually read that all the way through! WEIRD!

It is strange that she came up with a charity for that purpose though. I do agree with you. I think it's good, yes, but how exactly does a charity help correct something like that? I think talking about it and bringing the issue to spotlight would make it a lot more effective than just raising money. Perhaps she's thinking she can raise money to start an association or something that will bring the issue to light, but it is strange, still.

Elisabeth said...

Well, I think she did start an organization and that is what you can donate to. The organization is trying to inform parents so that they will actively ask for equality and reduced stereotyping in children's media (either by their selection of what they let their kids see, or by actually voicing their opinion to studios.) I think the organization is also hoping to deal directly with studios to try to get them to alter programming a bit.


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