CMN 455 UNHS Miss Representation Film Question

I’ll admit that I’m not the most knowledgeable about issues surrounding gender & media (although we have some faculty in our department who specialize in that topic), although thinking about how gender is represented in media, gender issues in the workplaces that make up the media industry, and how gender relates to people’s experience online (in a place that sometimes has forms of anonymity) are just some of the many questions that media scholars examine with regards to gender and media. In particular, we’ve seen a heightened sense of awareness, especially with the recent #MeToo movement that has proven one of the most powerful and influential digital social movement to take place in the last decade.

For today, you watched two films, both by the same producers, one that looks at women, the other, men. They cover a lot (maybe too much?) but I’d like you to expand on some of the issues and topics that were raised. Please be specific, and reference the issue/topic/argument/point that you’re addressing (that is, explain specifically what is being said before you respond). You can also compare how the two films approach the topic of gender (they appear to take a different approach). Beyond this, this is considered an open prompt.

Film: Miss RepresentationMiss Representation (90 mins, 2012)Important note: there is not study guide for this film, because it will be the subject for your 2nd and final SAR paper (OR you can do your SAR on ‘The Mask You Live In’)–so you’ll need to take careful and detailed notes so you can use them to write your paper.HOW TO WATCH THE FILM: This film is available to stream on Netflix, which I assume most students have access too. I you don’t, you’ll need to spend $2.99 and rent & stream it via Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play.This film does a good job covering a really wide spectrum of issues and topics, that’s also one of the film’s weaknesses; that is, they try to cover so much information and so many topics that it lacks the cohesiveness of a more focused criticism. Nonetheless, I think the film is a good “opening” to discuss some of the issues it presents; and it’s a great subject for an SAR paper, given that the film literally has professors and academics of media studies discussing many of the issues, concepts and topics we’ve learned in the last few weeks (keep your eye out for these concepts!)One important point to remember (and another limitation of this film) is that this film almost entirely ignores digital media, social media, or anything originating from the Internet. While the Internet certainly has plenty of horrifying and outright misogynist content, the exciting freedom of the Internet is that it isn’t bound by the same rules or restrictions of traditional mass media like Hollywood or cable news. In this environment, it’s not surprising that a new generation of emboldened critics and commentators have taken up the issue of representations of women in media.We are living in the midst of perhaps the beginning of a new wave of interest and energy over women’s equality (similar to what we saw in the late 60s and early 70s); at least in terms of Hollywood, many new films have led a new potential in embracing an expanded representational realm for many different types of characters. 

Film: The Mask You Live In

The Mask You Live In (90 mins, 2015)Important note: this film is produced by the same people who produced Miss Representation, but it focuses exclusively on issues of masculinity, it actually focuses slightly less on the role of media, but it’s still a major element of the issues raised in the film.

This is your second option for the focus of your final SAR paper, if you chose to write about this film, I suggest you take detailed notes while watching.

HOW TO WATCH THE FILM: This film is available to stream via Kanopy, which is a free streaming service that all UNH students have access to. Note: you’ll need to login with your UNH credentials.

Watch The Mask You Live In on Kanopy (Links to an external site.)

This film is newer than Miss Representation, and it’s unique in that it’s one of the few documentary films that looks at issues facing boys and men, rather than girls and women. There is a large body of work dedicated to examining representations of women in media, far less so regarding men. I’ve only just started using this film in this class, and have been pleased with how it has resonated with many students — especially male students who often wonder why issues of masculinity do not get much attention in a class on media.

Are you stuck with your online class?
Get help from our team of writers!