Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Raising Girls: Documentaries Raising Awareness

I am raising 2 girls. I want them to be happy, confident, kind and leaders. I am conscious about the women whom they interact with, and I am conscious of the fact that I will always be their role model. What I do, think, and say will have the most impact on my girls. I do my best to show my girls that women can be powerful and leaders. I have them both in Girl Scouts because I believe the program helps girls to build confidence and gain leadership skills. I am trying to reemphasize that idea by being a troop leader myself.

I recently watched two really great documentaries that are currently streaming on Netflix.

Girl Rising is all about the power of education. It follows different girls from different parts of the world. Some of these girls have to fight and overcome just to get into a classroom. This documentary shows how important education for girls is. It shows how education can overcome poverty and help each generation become better than the next. The statistics in this documentary are outrageous and sad. I feel that this film would be appropriate for young girls to watch with their parents. I think this is a great film to remind our girls that education is so important for them to have, and to remind them how lucky they are to be able to go to school.

Miss Representation is a documentary about the image of women. The tag line "You can't be what you can't see" is powerful. This documentary talks all about how the media is perpetuating the idea that women are judged by their looks and not just regular everyday looks. They are judged against impossibly perfect images. Even though I am trying to give my daughters a role model who values intelligence and kindness I am fighting mainstream media who gives my girls the idea that women are judged by their looks and that women are looking for that prince charming. Or if women are success business women, they have to sacrifice a family and are usually pretty bitchy. Even the powerful badass types are still sexual.  It's not just movies or magazines but it's even in the news. And let's not get started on reality TV. Women are portrayed as bitchy, mean, stupid and constantly against each other. This documentary was such an eye-opener for me. These images and the messages that these images are sending have become so ingrained in my mind that I did not think twice about what I have been watching. All this even trickles into our government. Even though this documentary is not appropriate for kids to watch I think it's a great way for parents to start a discussion with their kids. 

These documentaries are great not just for parents of girls, but for all, these issues impact boys, girls, women and men. 

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