Take Action > Gender in the Media

Attend an Event: "It Starts With Me"Created by Zoe

“It Starts With Me” is a free youth dialogues event focused on combatting discrimination through active witnessing happening from 10am – 5pm on Saturday July 14th at the Vancouver Central Public Library.

There will be workshops in the morning, which will foster discussion about hate crimes, fear and causes of discrimination through art, theatre and brainstorming. Lunch will be provided, and after lunch a guest speaker, Romi Chandra, a community activist, will also be addressing the group. This will be followed by several dialogue sessions, and the day will finish with a flash mob.

The Minister of State for Multiculturalism, John Yap, will also be dropping by to share some of his experience with multiculturalism and combatting discrimination as well.

For more information, please check out our links:
Website – http://itstartswithmepromot.wix.com/itstartswithme#!home/mainPage
Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/events/378500512199931/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Itstartswithme_
Registration – http://tinyurl.com/d8g5vra


  1. We want to spread awareness about discrimination and the fact that it is still a problem, and how to not just be a bystander, but an active witness.
  2. We want to create an environment where people feel willing to share their experiences about discrimination.
  3. We want to provide youth with a way to find out more about ways to combat discrimination.
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Don't Fund Sexism

Refuse to buy video games, magazines, movies, or other media or products that portray people in degrading ways.

There are many products and media that portray people, often especially women, in degrading ways. Consuming these products can send the unintentional message that we are O.K. with these representations. It is important to be critical and vigilant since these messages can be subtle.

If you see an advertisement, product, or campaign that is sexist, talk about it with your friends, challenge others to think critically and share your concerns. If the message is sexist, don’t buy the product.

Related Workshops

Gender Representations, Media Awareness

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Edit a zineCreated by Sharnelle

This project would be a local zine created by youth called “Breaking Boundaries: Defining Community and Place.” It will call for submissions under this title and select pieces that discuss or showcase topics or stories such as: community building strategies, narratives on how people found community, how they came to community, the geography of their community, movement between communities, photos essays defining places. There is also potential to host a launch party if contributors would be interested in showcasing their work.

In my own personal experiences it was through alternative media (a small magazine from the USA called New Moon) that I was introduced to critical thinking around women in the media at the age of eleven. Alternative media like zines allows people to take about the defining of their own gender experiences and in creating and defining community, people’s experiences and understanding of gender is often a large part of how we build or experience community. I also feel our experiences of place are directly impacted by how we travel “between” places, encouraging submissions that ask people to explore places and boundaries begins a discussion about movement and how transporting people between places and how we experience this time in between places.


  1. To showcase young people's ideas on community and place
  2. To introduce readers to critical thinking and ideas about community
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Hold a Documentary Screening

Invite people to watch a documentary on the impact of media.

There are several documentaries out that address the impact of media. Many of them discuss issues about gender representations, consumerism, and social stratification.

Choose a documentary to screen at school or host a screening for your friends and family at home. Create discussion questions for the group to answer after watching the film.

Suggested Steps

  1. Choose a documentary film;
  2. Choose a date, time, and location;
  3. Spread the word through social networks;
  4. Prepare for the screening: make some snacks or suggest that others bring a dish, watch the film beforehand, develop discussion questions for a conversation after the film;
  5. Watch the movie;
  6. Discuss your questions.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Gender Representations, Globalization, Health Care, Income Inequality, Media Awareness

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Introduce your friends to the Bechdel TestCreated by Alex

The Bechdel Test (http://bechdeltest.com/) is a very simple set of criteria that can be applied to every single movie to test for the presence of women characters. To pass the test, a movie has to: (1) have at least two women in it, (2) who talk to each other, and (3) about something besides a man. Even though these look like the simplest criteria ever, it is amazing how many movies fail the test. Even if movies pass the test, that doesn’t make them good or feminist, it simply means that they include at least one scene where women characters talk to each other about something other than a man!

This is an easy action to take with friends and gives everyone a handy conversation starter after a movie night!

Related Workshops

Gender Representation, Media Awareness


  1. To get people talking about media and representations of women.
  2. To see how many movies pass the bare minimum standards for women characters.
  3. To watch movies critically.
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Networking and Relationship-Building PicnicCreated by Natalie

This project will initiate a chance for youth to come together and talk about the important area of gender and the symbiotic relationship with the media. The picnic will create an opportunity for young people to strengthen connections as well as create new relationships around an ever relevant area of discussion. This picnic will include a dialogue, fun interactive games relevant to gender and media, discussions regarding key issues and a time for sharing key experiences.


  1. To bring together young people who are passionate about gender & media
  2. To build and strengthen relationships
  3. To share ideas
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Produce Your Own Media

Create your own media – a blog, a Zine, a video – to share your perspectives and opinions.

Although media often produces negative messages that tell us how to view ourselves and the world, we can take back control of the media by producing our own!

If you have something to say, or an idea to share, multi-media outlets have made it very easy for us to produce our own media and the Internet has made is easy to distribute. Create a video, Zine, Blog, or song and share it with your online social networks.

Related Workshops

Climate Change, Food Justice, Globalization, Income Inequality, Media Awareness, Sweatshops

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Do you have an Action idea? Tell us about it and we’ll add it to the list.
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Re-write a Fairy TaleCreated by Monique

I plan to rewrite the story Cinderella in comic book form so that the genders are swapped. When a man is in the role of Cinderella, the story will seem strange, and it will become apparent that values like physical beauty and humility are the only values that are placed on female characters.

The stories we tell children influence their perceptions of themselves, shape their values and create their moral and sociological framework. The gender roles and values in most ancient and many contemporary stories published for children are limiting and disempowering.

The zine will have a critical structure, and address issues in the story. By reading this zine, both parents and kids will think critically about the portrayal of women in the stories they read.


  1. To challenge gender stereotypes
  2. To give people a creative tool to use to think critically about the portrayal of women in the media
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Support and Create Education on GenderCreated by Eunice

My action idea is for a short lesson on gender and current societal views towards gender and gender identity. I am hoping to do this in a workshop format because then the lesson can be more of a collaborative and community based event, and I find that that format is best for introducing new ideas. For my project, I will be interviewing and compiling a short video of people’s different impressions and ideas surrounding gender. I am hoping to start off my presentation with this video to start the conversation rolling.

I believe that the first step to creating an open and accepting environment is education. Without education, it is unfair to assume that people will be open to accepting new concepts and ideas. Often when there is a lack of understanding and education there is a higher potential to harm or reject an idea that is different than what is known. This is where I believe the education portion of my action idea comes into effect. By starting the conversations around gender and educating individuals about it, I will be assisting in facilitating new dialogues and hopefully allowing more people to be open to change and to accepting gender. For the video more specifically, I am hoping to use it as a means for finding out the current views in my city on gender. I will use this information so as to figure out where I will aim my efforts in the workshop.


  1. To start conversations about gender.
  2. To assess existing perspectives on gender.
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