A friend of mine invited me to go see the documentary “Miss Representation” with her the other day. The film is written and directed by Jennifer Siebel and it brings to light the “…often disparaging portrayals of women and girls in the media…”. I’m so glad that she invited me because I had not heard of it and yet the topic of oppression of women is one that I am very concerned about. This mirrors an initiative taken by Cynthia de Lorenzi, founder of Success in the City, who has just started a facebook page and website about the “Blue Bra Incident” in Egypt.
What is the “Blue Bra Incident?” It’s a very moving incident that involves a young woman that was protesting in Egypt when she was attacked by the military. They beat her, stomped on her, and nearly stripped her by taking off her abaya. And yet what was she wearing under her abaya? A beautiful blue bra. What a tremendous statement! Sally Quinn from theWashington Post said it best in her article The Blue Bra Revolution, “There was something so shocking about it, so unexpected. This person covered from head to toe demonstrated her beliefs through her choice of underwear. The blue bra said what I imagine her to be feeling: ‘I may be oppressed. I may not have rights. I may have to cover up my body and face. But you cannot destroy my womanhood. You can’t rob me of my femininity. You can’t take away my power.’”
It’s unimaginable that in 2012, women are still dismissed, objectified, disrespected, and abused. We need to educate people everywhere about this treatment. It needs to start with the young girls– that they understand they are about more than how cute they are. I remember reading somewhere that when we meet a little girl for the first time, instead of saying “look how cute you are,” we should say “Hello, it’s nice to meet you. What interesting book are you reading now?”
Women being oppressed. Women being degraded. There is oppression in the workplace, in media, in school, in homes, and that’s just the start of the list. As women, shouldn’t we all be concerned about this and do something to improve this situation? Women and men should all be bringing these offensive situations to light. They happen in all of the countries of the world, and even in our own backyard. As global communicators, let’s talk about the problems and help bring change and solutions. Let’s take action. Start a discussion on Cynthia’s Blue Bra Day website page. Success in the City wants to ignite an International Blue Bra Day movement to coincide with International’s Women’s Day which is March 8, 2012.
I’ll leave you with some powerful messages from young girls in “Miss Representation”:
“You are better at this than you think you are.”
“Don’t let anyone take away your power.”
“Don’t objectify women.”
“Woman’s true power.”
Let’s be mentors to each other.
What are your thoughts? Visit the Blue Bra Day site at http://www.bluebraday.org and add your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for supporting this movement.