Women in View tackle sexism in the media with SexMoneyMedia

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WhenRina Fraticelli took a closer look at the makeup of the Canadian media landscape, she was shocked to see the lack of women being represented in positions of power.

“You would think that in the 21st century that we would be looking at more of a balance in terms of who is producing the television that's on the air and the films that we are watching,” she told the Straight in a phone interview.

Fraticelli is the executive director for Women in View, an association of independent Canadian media professionals. The organization will be hosting SexMoneyMedia at their website, a symposium in Vancouver from October 14 to 16, in the hopes of creating dialogue and acknowledging the implications of gender imbalance in the media industries. Speakers will include filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes), Ingrid Veninger (MODRA), and Ning Ying (Railroad of Hope); actor Tantoo Cardinal (Mothers&Daughters); Discovery Channel founding president Trina McQueen; and Rita Cugini, regional commissioner for the CRTC, Ontario region, among others.

According to Fraticelli, the issues that women face today come from the deep roots of sexism that has existed throughout time and continues to surface in new and less obvious ways today.

“I don't think, in general, we're talking about old-fashioned sexism,” she said, “It's a kind of feedback loop that needs to be interrupted.”

She explained that this is particularly important with the media, which, she claims, is pivotal in shaping the public's perception of women and their role in society. It was after a conversation with a colleague, Fraticelli said, that she realized how vital this topic is in shifting responsibility to everyone involved in the field.

“She [her colleague] told me, ”˜You know, in the '70s we [women] were patronized and now we are brutalized with the image of women on TV,' and I think that was a real factor in getting me very concerned about this in an immediate way,” she explained.

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