Throughout my college career, I have watched numerous documentaries. However, there are two that stand out to me as extraordinary as well as impactful. Interestingly enough I watched them both twice in two separate courses and then a few times outside of class as well. The two documentaries I will be discussing are MissRepresentation and Tough Guise. I was utterly shocked to find that neither of these were on the top 100 list that we were provided with. I would (and do) strongly encourage anyone and everyone to take the time to watch these documentaries; it is nearly impossible to see them without walking away with some part of your perception changed and isn’t that what learning is all about?
MissRepresentaion showcases the inequality that women face while also depicting the way that women are influenced by images they are bombarded by throughout media. This documentary was put together by several very strong women with a lot of really good information regarding what women and young girls deal with as far as self-esteem and body image go. Essentially, the argument that MissRepresentation is making is that men, as well as other women, keep women submissive by asserting to them that they are not good enough and filling their heads with ideas about what a woman “should” be. In reality, the images that are shown to us through our media sources are often edited and completely unrealistic; yet this is the impossible standard that “normal” (non-photoshoped) women are faced with and held to. I feel very strongly that this is an important as well as productive documentary for all people to consider watching and learning something from.
Tough Guise (and Tough Guise Two) is written and directed by one of my idols, Dr. Jackson Katz. I originally fell in love for Katz’ passion for women while watching a TedTalk that he did a few years back. I encourage you to watch the video below to get a small taste of what Jackson Katz stands for and maybe you can fall in love with him as I have.
Tough Guise centers around men and young men being taught that performing violence (mostly physical but also emotional and verbal as well) is the only way to be a “real man”. Young boys are shown this dynamic from the older men in their families, television shows, movies, video games, and a host of other mediated sources that promote the use of violence for men. If you watched the video linked above you know that Dr. Katz frames violence against women as a mans’ issue. This is absolutely revolutionary considering that we live in a society with a primarily victim blaming mentality. Hearing Katz attempting to reframe masculinity and reclaim women’s voices is absolutely awe-inspiring for me; I truly hope that at least one of you takes the time to hear him speak on this matter and that it is able to change you a bit for the better in some way or another.
As pertaining to this weeks’ reading, I would say that both of these documentaries are honest and productive. As Diedre points out though, independence gets a “thumbs sideways to independence” because neither of these documentaries is truly completely independent; however, they are both produced by small organizations.
If anybody is interested, MissRepresentaion is available on Netflix as well as Youtube and parts of Tough Guise is available on YouTube but unfortunately is not yet available free to the public in its entirety. Though you get quite a good idea what Katz stands for if you take the time to listen to his TedTalk, which again, I genuinely hope you do. Nothing I could say here could be nearly as important, passionate, or eloquent as that Talk so please, quit reading and go watch. You can thank me later! 😉
Linked below are some of my favorite quotes from Dr. Katz; I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!