NIU Gender & Sexuality Resource Center Hosts Screening, Discussion About Women In Media

May 2, 2016

The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at Northern Illinois University recently hosted a screening for a movie about the role of women in different media in the U.S.

Credit Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The film was called Miss Representation, which was about how women are portrayed in American television, magazines, music and broadcast news and the issues those women face. It was the first time NIU’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center hosted a documentary screening like this, and the idea was to have people come watch it and discuss what they saw afterwards and relate it to their own experiences.

“We wanted to highlight sort of a less-visible population in the media or a population that isn’t always accurately displayed and evident in the media,” Audrey Wilson, who is a graduate assistant within the resource center, said.

The movie gave facts saying American teenagers consume about 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media per day. It also said only about six percent of all T.V. and radio stations are run by women.

Romeo Jackson -- who is a student at NIU -- attended the event as the cultural affairs director for the school’s student association.

“Well, you know, women are over half of the population and still experience all kinds of double-standards and pressures around representation and appearance and stuff, so I think it’s important that I know more of this stuff so I can go back to the office and we can talk about more of this stuff so it can really inform how we advocate for students,” Jackson said.

Tawanda Gipson works for Assessment Services at NIU. She says she wishes more people came to the event because screenings like this could help people on campus feel more supported if they feel like they’re exposed to these kinds of gender issues.

“The place that I work, I’m thinking of all of these great women that could’ve really added to this conversation, so I’m hoping that the next event will be, you know, better-attended,” Gipson said.