Women get Geena's message at festival

Sophie Moeller photographing Leader of Community and Business Engagement at North Coast TAFE, Kerry Bowtell and former Mayor of Lismore Jenny Dowell at High Tea as part of Lismore Women;s Festival.
Sophie Moeller photographing Leader of Community and Business Engagement at North Coast TAFE, Kerry Bowtell and former Mayor of Lismore Jenny Dowell at High Tea as part of Lismore Women;s Festival. Clayton Lloyd

WITH three millennial daughters, two of whom are going out into the big wide world, I have been acutely aware of the messages they have received throughout their upbringing.

They are, to varying degrees, addicted to their mobile phones and, as such, getting gratification or demoralisation cues from the "likes”, or lack thereof, their mini electronic receptors are giving them from the moment they wake up in the morning until, in many cases, the last interaction they have at night.

So you can only imagine how utterly gratifying it was as a woman, and mother, to be in the audience at Lismore Workers Club last Sunday to listen to Geena Davis (beamed in from the Sydney Opera House) speak about the representation of gender in the media.

Her institute has been giving Hollywood's movieexecutives lessons inhow they have been (oftenunwittingly) adversely representing gender in film.

She reminded them women make up 50% of the population - a fact not represented in the scripts and character types coming to our screens.

She said research had shown the depiction of women on screen led to a decline in girls' self-esteem, almost in direct opposition to boys, whose self-worth increased due to messages received as they went through adolescence.

Davis said her career had been defined by the roles she had "chosen”.

As a little girl she didn't want to be the wan, fainting rose-type whose destiny was determined by getting the guy. She wanted to be the leading cowboy.

Thank you Lismore Women's Festival for organising the high tea in collaboration with NORPA's Big Ideas and the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

You were right on message.

Topics:  big ideas norpa geena davis high tea lismore chamber of commerce and industry lismore women's festival lismore worker's club norpa sydney opera house

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