Deborah Taylor Tate, former FCC commissioner and co-chair of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, received the Crittenton Award for Advocacy in Washington, D.C., last week.
On Sunday, she took to The Tennessean to recognize Geena Davis, the Academy award-winning actor, who has been an ardent advocate for improving gender equality in media, especially in children’s media.
"How did her work begin?", asked Tate. "She decided to take action as a mom, watching movies and TV with her daughter. Geena found an unequal proportion of strong, active, inspiring female characters for her daughter to emulate."
After commissioning the largest research project on gender in film and television she found that in family films, there is only one female character for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17 percent of the characters are female. The repetitive viewing patterns of children ensure that these negative stereotypes are ingrained and imprinted over and over. Today, eight years later, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media continues bringing groundbreaking research to content creators and families nationwide.
On May 24, Geena will bring her message of gender equality and empowerment to Nashville , joining six local female media leaders in a discussion about the impact of media — both positive and negative — on girls and women.