Geena Davis, real life superhero, brings education on gender bias into schools

Anyone who has ever written a book will tell you, heroes act. They make choices. They take risks. Heroes are not passive.

Geena Davis saw a problem and instead of safely sitting around griping about it, she took a risk and took action. She started a non-profit, raised some money, and now she’s changing the world with the Geena Davis Institute.

I just got this email from the Institute about a new program they’ve developed for schools that includes an “eight-lesson curriculum introduces topics like media and bullying in the context of gender equality.”

Courses include:  Do TV Shows and Movies Influence Careers Held by Women and Men? Do TV Shows and Movies Make Sexual Harassment a “Normal” Part of the School Experience? and Who is Your Hero?

Please go to this link to see all the curriculum and consider talking to teachers and administrators about bringing it into your children’s schools.


Geena Davis, armed with 1.2 million and new technology, imagines gender equality in the fantasy world

You know how when you say something is sexist, like, say, the genre of animated movies marketed to kids, people will tell you it’s all in your head? They will say you don’t know what you are talking about and to stop picking on Nemo or Ratatouille or Frakenweenie or whomever.

Well, guess what? Geena Davis, goddess that she is, just scored 1.2 million dollars from Google to develop software that will analyze the portrayal of females in children’s media. This technology will scan hours of media content and through voice recognition and other features, will calculate how much screen time females get, how they appear, and the roles they play. This technology will calculate as quickly as Nielsen ratings so that it can show statistics about what appeared on TV the night before the very next day.

Gee, I wonder what this technology is going to tell us about gender roles and children’s media. How cool is that Davis got funding for an objective system that no one can argue with? She rocks.


Geena Davis optimistic about gender roles changing

Geena Davis tells the Wall Street Journal that when she presented her data to filmmakers about the lack of girls roles in kids films, they listened, were surprised, and promised change.

Davis tells WSJ:

 The whole idea for me was I wanted to take the facts and go back to the people who are creating the media. We go straight to the studios and the producers, the Writers Guild, the Animators Guild, the Casting Directors Guild, and present our research.

The fascinating thing that we found from the beginning was that they were absolutely shocked.

The fact that, in general, all of their movies are so lacking in a female presence is stunning to them. That makes it, obviously, not a conspiracy, not a conscious choice, and leaves them very open to rethinking it and saying, “Now that we know, we’re going to make some changes.”