If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had more than your fair share of arguments with people who refuse to see the blatant inequality of gender representation in mainstream media. These are the people who think that everything’s fine because “Black Widow was the best part of The Avengers” and “The Hunger Games made a ton of money.” “I mean, come on, even Pixar made a girl movie; isn’t that enough?” And let’s not forget that old favourite: “It’s only a movie. Lighten up.”
Now, thanks to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (and, in the video above, Geena Davis herself), you can fight back with the power of facts. The institute’s website provides data on women’s involvement both in front of and behind the camera, linking the often disappointing quantity and quality of female characters to the dearth of women writers and directors. They pay particular attention to children’s media and the insidious messages that people internalize during their formative years. The studies make for fascinating reading, even if you don’t intend to memorize some of the more disturbing figures for use in verbal smackdowns.