Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Director Of ‘Miss Representation,’ Says Sexism Starts Young

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom is the mind behind the new documentary Miss Representation, a powerful look into how the media’s depiction of women impacts children. The actress and wife to Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom, was inspired by the birth of her daughter to understand how the misrepresentation of women in our culture is ultimately so harmful.

I attended a screening of the compelling film last week, and at the conclusion, Jennifer shared a personal story about her children. The mother of two remarked that she received a gift package from the White House after each of her kids were born. For her first child, a girl, Jennifer and her husband received a congratulatory letter from the President. She received a similar letter after the birth of her son earlier this summer.

Yet, along with the congratulatory letter for her son came a baby’s shirt that read “Future President of the United States.” She then begged the question of why her son received such an encouraging message and her daughter had not.

Already, just as babies, Jennifer noted that the cultural suggestion is that “my son has the capacity to be a leader and my daughter does not.”

The articulate blonde spoke about how “parents are fed up” with the media’s handle on their kids and the many messages kids receive about women, women’s value, and their capabilities.

Miss Representation is debuting on the OWN network tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Tune in, mommies!