Film on gender inequality too hot for some parents in Wisconsin town

A teacher in Mount Horeb, Wis., near Madison, is back in the classroom today after being removed for showing her students a film that some people claim showed “nude and graphic images.”

All of the images in the film, “Miss Representation“, came from prime-time television shows and music videos, the Wisconsin State Journal says.

The 2011 film details how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in influential positions by portraying them in demeaning and disparaging ways.

Steve Salerno, the school superintendent, told parents in a letter that the goal of the video in Beth Maglio’s “social problems” class is appropriate, but he says the district will move ahead with a greater sensitivity to those who might object.

He said students who object to portion of the class on gender inequalities would be given alternative assignments without retaliation.

“The images in the documentary are all from public sources and none of the images are from pornography sites,” the teacher’s lawyer said. “That’s the whole point of students seeing these images and hearing these prominent women (interviewed in the film) talking about the issues raised by those kinds of images. It’s very powerful.”

  • Kassie

    I always wonder how parents even hear about this stuff. Do they pour over syllabuses looking for things to be offended about? Or do their kids love to go home and get the parents all riled up?

    • Bob Sinclair

      Its the game of “telephone”. it starts as “you wouldn’t believe the film we say today. It was amazing” to “You wouldn’t believe the film …..saw. It was disgusting!”

    • jon

      It’s a high school, I suspect some students are looking for reasons to get the teacher they don’t like in trouble.

      heck I think the superintendent even sees it that way when he said “and will be free from retaliation” … retaliation is an interesting term…

    • RBHolb

      What teenager tells his/her parents anything about what happened in school, beyond “nothing much?”

    • lindblomeagles

      Kassie’s point is well taken. We adults don’t know what we want. We want 16, 17, 18 year old Johnny and Jessica to learn how to drive, get a job, go to the big dance in a tuxedo and gown as if they are getting married, and have the latest I-phone to text whomever, whenever, without a care in the world about what Johnny and Jessica are saying and doing. BUT when it comes to the political and social issues of the day, THEN, all of a sudden, we want to parent.

  • Margaret

    The controversial part of the video is that gender inequality deserves a remedy, not the pervasive sexualization of women and violence directed at women. We shake our heads about the latter, but justify it as American culture.

    • Al

      Ding ding ding; we have a winner.

  • Guest

    How many wanted to be a journalist after seeing the Watergate movie, how many thought of being a forensic examiner after those TV shows, astronaut, chef….

    The interest in a career comes early so it is no surprise the interest in being popular via allure is also picked up early.

    There is a huge impact of strong role models being out there along with eye-candy. A model was made-up to look fat and her insight into being in public’s was she “felt invisible, no slurs, just no interest at all”. Pretty gets attention. Mind does not.

    When the apparent path is only being desired, those who choose to not play that game are left behind by society’s expectations. That is: Good luck if you don’t look like a movie star, you will need it.

  • Barton

    I object to the portion of Calculus that deals with the area inside a tube: can I miss that portion of class without retaliation?

    No, I didn’t think so.

  • Farmer k

    The complainers should really be worried about the empowerment message that it is being given to young women to recognize their potential. I believe this should be shown to every high school freshman male and female and again to the juniors and seniors.