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A Good Cause

Every issue of The Smoking Poet, we feature a good cause that we believe deserves our attention and our support. What do you think?

Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) Miss Representation Vimeo.



"Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation (90 min; TV-14 DL) uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective."

~ from


Visit the Miss Representation website, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on YouTube to learn more. Find or host a screening. Get involved. Make a difference. Do something.

Here are some actions you can take immediately to make a difference:

1. Tell 5 people about the film and share one thing you learned from watching it.

2. Parents, watch TV and films with your children. Raise questions like “What if that character had been a girl instead?”

3. Remember your actions influence others. Mothers, aunts and loved ones—don’t downgrade or judge yourself by your looks. Fathers, uncles and loved ones—treat women around you with respect. Remember children in your life are watching and learning from you.

4. Use your consumer power. Stop buying tabloid magazines and watching shows that degrade women. Go see movies that are written and directed by women (especially on opening weekend to boost the box office ratings). Avoid products that resort to sexism in their advertising.

5. Mentor others! It’s as easy as taking a young woman to lunch. Start by having open and honest conversations with a young person in your life.

You are now dialed into a national movement to stand up to sexism and challenge the media's limiting portrayals of gender. Together we will make a huge impact on contemporary society.

Don't forget to visit for frequent updates and other ways of getting involved.

Each week we'll send you additional steps you can take to make change. Thanks!


Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the Team


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