Jennifer Siebel Newsom

 

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"I knew that we couldn’t move toward real cultural change without also challenging the damaging masculinity narrative fed to our boys and men."

 
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Jennifer's Selections

Hero: Márcio Chagas da Paz

In discussing the responsibilities of parenthood, Marcio Chagas da Paz reminds us that "love and affection" are not gendered terms. His work to reduce sexual violence against women and youth displays the kind of empathy that defines true heroism. Go to the selection >>

c. Delicate Veil

With an in-your-face tone that both captures and subverts traditional masculinity, Everett's poem is a powerful look at the contradictions of the hypermasculine ideal. His notion of a "delicate veil" echoes our own thoughts behind The Mask You Live In. Go to the selection >>

Life is Good

I have learned that the concept of survival as it relates to masculinity is one that reoccurs across cultures and individual experiences. Atem Ajek’s story of survival and commitment to reconnecting with his family in the wake of the Sudanese Civil War represents a touching and emotional narrative about global masculinity and the need for men to use their voices to be forces for justice. Go to the selection >>

The Male Breadwinner Model – How a 19th Century Theory Limits Women’s Economic Opportunities

Karen Offen’s article The Male Breadwinner Model – How a 19th Century Theory Limits Women’s Economic Opportunities exposes how a gendered division of labor contributes to the devaluing of women’s work, both in and out of the home, and that this mentality is detrimental to the advancement of our society as a whole. When mothers suffer, we all suffer. Go to the selection >>

The Daddy Shift

This article offers an important perspective to the conversation about shifting gender roles. It examines the idea of partnership and work/life balance from a historical, and sociological lens. The article points out that in American culture today, the question of what it means to be a father is changing. It is vital for men to have a forum to discuss their shifting cultural identities in caregiving. Go to the selection >>

Man and Father

In discussing his short film, Dutch filmmaker Pelle Koornstra explores the idea that though “Mothers have a wide array of media outlets in which to express their views [as parents], The father’s point of view, is under-represented…” Through this short film and his related work, Koornstra provides an avenue for men and fathers to discuss their changing roles in their families. Go to the selection >>

Hero: Hatungimana Sylvestre

At The Representation Project we champion positive male role models who stand up against harmful cultural norms and lead by example. Through his participation in a men’s group with Project Kirumara, Hatungimana Sylvestre not only challenged and changed gender dynamics in his own family, but he took a step toward positive change for his entire Burundi culture. Go to the selection>>

How Does Dad Inspire You

This selection is special to me because our organization created it when we were still named MissRepresentation.org. We created this video to celebrate fathers who empower their daughters to transcend the limiting labels of the media and a culture that undervalues women. Now, as The Representation Project, our organization continues to honor dads who challenge gender norms. Go to the selection >>


What Does Gender Have to Do with Hunger

This study from the Global Hunger Index provides evidence of an indisputable link between high rates of hunger and gender inequity, citing that “addressing gender inequalities is crucial to reducing hunger”. This analysis of the Global Hunger Index and the Gender Gap Index provides critical evidence as to why gender parity is a human rights issue. Go to the selection >>

Mr. Mom

This short film addresses some very important and timely themes related to shifting cultural gender roles and parenting. Mr. Mom illustrates many of the issues faced by households with two parents working outside of the home. One important aspect is how different corporate benefit structures, such as paid parental leave, can impact a family. Go to the selection >>

Curator's Statement: Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Masculinity

My first film, Miss Representation, exposes how mainstream media contributes to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman. The film grew into a movement, now called The Representation Project, and has been seen by millions since its 2011 release, in addition to releasing an education curriculum that is now in thousands of schools across the globe. Yet as I traveled the world to speak, from San Francisco to Singapore, I often heard the same refrain afterwards: “What about our boys? Isn’t there a boys crisis going on?” As the mother of three, one of whom is a gentle yet physical little boy named Hunter, I wanted to know more about where their questions were coming from. Even with all of our success, I knew that in Miss Representation, we were only telling part of the story – we couldn’t move toward real cultural change without also exposing and challenging the damaging masculinity narrative fed to our boys and men. 

Thus, in 2014, we will release The Mask You Live In, a documentary that explores American masculinity and asks how we as a society are failing boys in America. Watch our trailer! 

These selections are meant to highlight individuals around the world challenging a gender binary that limits and hurts us all. I’m particularly excited about spotlighting diverse examples of strength for men and boys – whether it be through bravery, empathy, or patience – which are so rarely celebrated. The work here reflects The Representation Project’s global mission to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes, shifting people’s consciousness towards change and ultimately transforming culture so everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, or circumstance can fulfill their potential.

 


About Jennifer

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a CEO, filmmaker, speaker, and advocate for women, girls, and their families. After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Newsom wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation and subsequently launched MissRepresentation.org (now The Representation Project). The Representation Project is a call-to-action campaign and media organization established to shift people's consciousness, inspire individual and community action and ultimately, transform culture. She also Executive Produced the Academy Award Nominated documentary The Invisible War and is an Executive Producer on the upcoming documentary Campus Assaults. Newsom is in production on two documentaries, The Mask You Live In and The Great American Lie. Today, when she’s not running The Representation Project and making documentaries, Newsom serves as a board member for PBS’s Northern California affiliate KQED, a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project, a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Women and Girls Lead Leadership Council, and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts’ Healthy MEdia Commission. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and their three young children.


Get to Know Jennifer

Learn more about Jennifer and why she's involved in IMOW's Curating Change.

  • IMOW matters to me because... their work amplifies meaningful cultural conversations and spotlights diverse and inspiring representations of humanity.
  • A mantra to live by... A mantra to live by: Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Ghandi
  • My favorite book is... Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry

Take Action

Learn which causes and organizations matter most to Jennifer and how you can connect with them.

The Representation Project 

The Representation Project is a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change. Interactive campaigns, strategic partnerships and education initiatives inspire individuals and communities to challenge the status quo and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation or circumstance can fulfill their potential. I am so proud of how our organization has grown from a documentary film, Miss Representation, to a movement that is inspiring individuals on a daily basis to crate change and make the world a better place for us all.

The Project for the Advancement for our Common Humanity (PACH)

PACH is an emerging think and do tank, funded by the NoVo foundation and based at New York University, that aims to bring together the science and practice that underscore our common humanity in order to create a more just and humane society.c. PACH is a partnership between our dear friends Niobe Way. Pedro Noguera, and Carol Gilligan, all of whom are committed to bringing together the most prominent and brilliant voices and minds to solve some of our society’s most significant challenges. Their emphasis on partnership and positive social change is an inspiration to us all.

Coach for America

Coach for America is an organization founded by former NFL player, mentor, and coach Joe Ehrmann. The organization’s mission is to inform, inspire and initiate individual, communal and societal change that will empower men and women to be their very best – personally, professionally, and relationally through transformational coaching. The work of Joe Ehrmann and Coach for America’s impact may be impossible to measure. It will continue to evolve over time, as his athletes become healthy MEN who ultimately influence future generations. The word "coach" has an entirely new meaning to me after working personally with Joe. Coach is now a symbol for inner strength, respect and love.


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