Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Thought Provoking Film about Misogyny and Pop Culture

A special thank-you to the almighty power(s) that inspired Dr. Thomas Keith to make this intriguing film. Dr. Keith, a California-based professor of philosophy, is the writer, director and producer behind "Generation M: Misogyny in Media & Culture". The film explores the roots of misogynistic attitudes in popular culture, ultimately unearthing the imposed expectations that societies have placed -and continue to place- on women. The film allows us to view these revelations from the unique perspective many of us rarely have the opportunity to experience : that of the informed and culturally aware male.

Keith breaks it down nice n' simple, looking first at the core of what misogyny is: hatred of women. He talks with writers, scholars, medical professionals and others about the many disturbing, synthetic and twisted ideals that misogyny breeds. Violence as power, sexual exploitation, and gender-based oppression caused by misogynistic behavior are just a few of the topics examined closely in Generation M.
One of the speakers in the film described the illusion of liberation through hyper-sexuality in women. Of the strange desire within women to nurture this illusion by obeying what mass media instructs, she says,

"It's a whole new opportunity for (us) to participate in (our) own exploitation".

I can't agree more, as sad and as devastatingly truthful as it may be.

I love that this film has the ability to speak comfortably to men about the social and psychological dangers of misogyny. The film isn't completely revolutionary as an examination of feminist values; much of the subject matter could be considered common knowledge. The approach, however, is gentle enough that almost anyone can relate to it whether the issues are new or not. So it is revolutionary in its ability to address both men and women... straight and queer... from the often undervalued male standpoint. Props to Dr. Thomas Keith for standing in the face of what so many others prefer to turn their backs to.

For information on how to obtain a hard copy of this film (and plenty of others) for public screening or personal use, visit Media Education Foundation's website; it features a plethora of engaging documentary films like this one.

The link to the Generation M page (which includes the trailer as well as a preview version of the film) can be accessed from above.

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