[3/12/19] – International Women’s Day: Women in Media

This week’s lecture is guided by International Women’s Day (March 8) which received a lot of attention in the news this year. Rather than focus on a particular event, we will be looking at a variety of instances of women in the media. How are they portrayed? We will turn a spotlight to the problems women face, the depiction of movie character Captain Marvel, women as photographers with access, and the advertising/marketing of “real” women.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for International Women’s Day: Women in Media   



A brief history of International Women’s Day.


The “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” represents an archetype or trope of a female character serving only to forward the plot of a male protagonist. More on the term in this video.





Writing: How can depictions of women in media be improved? Please provide specific examples.

Debate: Is it possible to achieve accurate depictions of women in media? Why or why not?

Poll: There have been many superhero movies in the last 5-10 years. Do you believe they have given fair representation to women characters?

  • Yes, No, Unsure

Short Answer: What are some issues of female identity that are dictated or influenced by the media?


Current Events Quiz

The Forbes article argues that the female characters in the Marvel movies are lacking:

  • Supporting female characters
  • Humor
  • Flaws
  • Strengths

The Forbes article argues that while some of the male Marvel characters are bland as well, most have:

  • A sense of humor
  • A problem
  • A love interest
  • A tragic origin story

Women in the world of photography often have the benefit of being ____ secret worlds.

  • Welcomed into
  • Pushed away from
  • Distanced from
  • Experts of

Downsides of being a woman photographer include tackling:

  • Stereotypes
  • Cat calling
  • Mansplaining
  • Limited clientele

In representation of women, women can’t be divided neatly into ____ and ____.

  • Straight, LGBTQ
  • Professional workers, stay-at-home moms
  • Old, young
  • Models, real women



Photo credit: Shannon Collins

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