We See What We See

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Look at the Girl Authentic logo above. What is it?

We see what we see. Until last week, every person I asked told me they saw a man’s tie first. That’s what I saw first, too. Moments later, I also saw a woman’s dress.

Some people never see the dress until I point it out. Did you?

We see what we see. We are conditioned to see a certain way – by our media, by our historical structures, by our societal structures. If most of us see a tie first, I believe that indicates something specific about our cultural norms. We see what we see every day. We see what we are told. We see what, historically, we are used to seeing. It’s what we are conditioned to see.

Guess what? Conditioning can change.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the historically high rates of young girls enrolling in forensic science programs at school. It’s being attributed to the strong, powerful, female roles in various forensic science programs like “CSI”, “Bones” and “Crossing Jordan.” We see it in art and media – then we see it in real life.

See Jane, the programming arm of the Geena Davis Institute, has done the research to show what we actually see in the media. The numbers are not particularly stellar – the percentage of women shown in professional roles in television and film is disproportionately low. But it’s creating a deeper discussion about having more television shows and movies that portray women as computer scientists, engineers, and in other professional roles we don’t see a lot of yet. A change in what we see on the screen could mean a change in what we see in real life.  The art often comes first.

I’m ready to see that. Are you?

 

Michelle Meyer

2 Comments

  1. Maria McIntyre November 15, 2013 Reply

    Actually, my first thought when I looked at the logo was of a women’s strapless gown…but as i looked to the right of the picture, there was an image of a man wearing a tie, and then I realized the similarity in shape. Interesting.

  2. Michelle Meyer Author
    Michelle Meyer November 15, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for your comment Maria! I’m so glad you saw the dress first! I must admit — I saw the tie first. In fact, I actually had the thought, “Why in the world would my team pick a TIE for the logo?!” Then, I saw the dress. I too like the similarity. I’m hoping we can begin recognizing the similarities as we bring forth a balance of the masculine and feminine. Then, cherish and honor the differences, rather than masking them.

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