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Generation M

Misogyny in Media & Culture

Generation M

Duration: 60 min
ISBN: 1-932869-27-1
Date Produced: 2008
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
Press Room
Praise for the Film

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Generation M
Misogyny in Media & Culture

Despite the achievements of the women's movement over the past four decades, misogyny remains a persistent force in American culture. In this important documentary, Thomas Keith, professor of philosophy at California State University-Long Beach, looks specifically at misogyny and sexism in mainstream American media, exploring how negative definitions of femininity and hateful attitudes toward women get constructed and perpetuated at the very heart of our popular culture.

The film tracks the destructive dynamics of misogyny across a broad and disturbing range of media phenomena: including the hyper-sexualization of commercial products aimed at girls, the explosion of violence in video games aimed at boys, the near-hysterical sexist rants of hip-hop artists and talk radio shock jocks, and the harsh, patronizing caricatures of femininity and feminism that reverberate throughout the mainstream of American popular culture.

Along the way, Generation M forces us to confront the dangerous real-life consequences of misogyny in all its forms - making a compelling case that when we devalue more than half the population based on gender, we harm boys and men as well as women and girls.

Featuring interviews with gender violence prevention educators Byron Hurt, Jackson Katz, and Jean Kilbourne.

Sections: Introduction | Female Empowerment? | The Doll Wars | Idealized Beauty | The Pink-Blue Dichotomy | Misogyny and Double Standards | Bonus Section: Media Literacy, Education, and Choice

Filmmaker Info

Director, Writer, Producer: Thomas Keith
Directors of Photography: Michael Enriquez, Jonathan Bennett
Editors: Thomas Keith, Michael Enriquez, Jonathan Bennett
Production Assistant: Fredy Sedano
Camera Assistants: Roxanne E. Suarez, Savina Hernandez

Filmmaker's Bio

DR. THOMAS KEITH | Director, Writer, Producer
Dr. Thomas Keith received his bachelor of arts in philosophy from California State University, Long Beach and then received both his Masters and Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California. He specializes in American philosophy and pragmatism with an emphasis on issues of race, class, and gender. In 2011, Dr. Keith directed and produced the bestselling film, The Bro Code which is used in classrooms around the world. Dr. Keith's forthcoming book is Masculinities in Contemporary American Culture: Confronting Complexities and Challenges of Male Identity.

To book Thomas Keith for a speaking engagement, contact Leslie.

Film Festivals

Press Reviews

Praise for the Film

"Generation M is concerned about sexism and gender bias in everyday life. Holding up to scrutiny mainstream entertainment - from children's toys to video games to music - filmmaker Thomas Keith exposes the consequences of gender stereotypes that are often ignored or taken for granted. By exposing how mainstream American media hypersexualizes girls and promotes violence among boys, Generation M ties together complex issues of misogyny, sexism, and pop culture in ways that are sure to stimulate insight and debate. Generation M isn't the final word on the subject: The film provides language and tools that helps continue much-needed conversations about these tough topics."
- Shira Tarrant, PhD | Author of Men and Feminism

"Thomas Keith, a philosophy professor at California State University -- Long Beach, leads this critical investigation into the many forms of misogyny found in popular culture, culling numerous examples from advertisements, television shows, movies, music videos, pop music, and even toys. Perhaps one of the most insidious examples offered here is Lingerie Barbie, a line of dolls dressed up in panties, bustier, and negligee that was discontinued by Mattel after general uproar. Fellow academics, as well as veterans of other Media Education Foundation productions (including Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, and Byron Hurt), contribute to this critique, which also features snippets from classroom discussions and interviews with college-age students (such as a young woman who had an eating disorder) that reveal the pernicious effects of misogyny in media. One study purports that within three to five years of the introduction of television to Fiji - which has a traditional culture that finds large women attractive - 74% of young women were dissatisfied with their bodies and 11% had developed eating disorders. For the most part, Keith wisely avoids claiming direct casual relationships between media and culture, instead suggesting the kinds of disruptions in the social environment that media can create. Sure to be a valuable discussion starter that will encourage students to think critically about the ways in which media can shape our perceptions of women, this is recommended."
- Video Librarian

"Keith offers an updated version of Kilbourne's Killing Us Softly film series (1979; 1987; 2001), presenting still images and video clips of contemporary icons and brands that will probably be familiar to many high school and college students and those in their twenties. Because the argument is so basic - and includes definitions of terminology such as misogyny - this film is useful for introducing concepts in gender, media, and communication classes to a younger audience... Generation M tackles a wide range of topics, including role models, advertising, the gendering of toys, video games, violence against women, racism, and the nature vs. nurture debate regarding gender."
- Agatha Beins | Films for the Feminist Classroom

"If you have shown any of the Killing Us Softly video series by Jean Kilbourne or Jackson Katz's film Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity in your classes and found them very useful for discussions on sexism, objectification, violence, and the media, you will find this video even more compelling to use. ...Undergraduate students at all levels would certainly benefit from the film in courses varying across the field of sociology and beyond. It would be appropriate for critical thinking discussions on gender, violence, media ethics, popular culture, socialization, the nature-nurture debate, and more."
- Tricia Davis, University of Wisconsin, River Falls | Teaching Sociology

"In an age when sex sells, media educators must look at what such a message communicates to teenagers. By citing endless examples of barely dressed singers, scantily clad dolls, and men's misogynistic treatment of women, this documentary reveals how women are trained to think of themselves as sex objects. The once respected "feminist" is now disregarded. The once craved sexual freedom is really just a new opportunity to participate in one's own exploitation. Generation M argues that teenage girls should explore their identities and sexualities on their own terms and not be bombarded by messages about how to explore sex."
- Nora Hicks | Afterimage

- Educational Media Reviews Online

Conference Screenings

Southwestern Social Science Association 2013

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