Whether you know her from the cult classic Beetlejuice, as Dr. Nicole Herman on Grey’s Anatomy, from A Long Kiss Goodnight, or from Thelma and Louise, Geena Davis is a name to be recognized.
Not only for her acting though. Geena Davis is well known for being the founder of the Geena Davis Institue on Gender in Media. According to Wikipedia, the institute is an American non-profit organization dedicated to the organization and research of gender representation in media and advocates for the equal representation of females.
Davis found that male characters were depicted roughly 3 times more often in children’s television programs than female characters were. She also discovered that when scenes showed characters in the workplace, over 80% were male and less than 20% were female. This is a staggering statistic when you think about the number of working women and mothers there are that are not being depicted in the media for their children to see. Or, the number of little girls that don’t have female representation in the home, showing them that they can be active members of their communities and workforces.
This data, along with other information surrounding gender representation gaps in the media prompted her to continue her research and partner with several other agencies including the Academy of Television Arts & Science Foundation.
Geena Davis also founded the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015, which is held each year in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Bentonville Film Festival focuses on promoting diversity in the film and television industry. According to The Guardian, “more than 80% of the films were directed by women, 65% by people of colour and 40% by LGBTQ people.”
To put that into perspective, only about 12% of directors in 2019 were women, and less than 13% were people of color.
Geena Davis is changing the world in big ways. She is promoting change in an industry that historically, is run by men. She is standing up for, and alongside those that need more, and better representation.
Next time you hear the name Geena Davis, don’t just think “Thelma Dickinson”, think Geena Davis Insitute on Gender in Media: bridging the gender gap for everyone. Because THAT’S what Geena is doing.
This month is Women’s History Month and here at The In Trive we wanted to take a moment to commemorate some amazing women who are doing extordinary things! Our in-house contributor Kelsey Erynn helps us highlight these special women along with sharing some lessons that we all can learn from them. Check it out and enjoy! xoxo – CP