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maryann johanson | takeaway only

question of the day: Does Hollywood contribute to violence against women?

Nicole Kidman testified before Congress earlier this week, in her capacity as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Development Fund for Women, regarding the International Violence Against Women Act (more on the act here). From the Associated Press via Google News:

Nicole Kidman conceded Wednesday that Hollywood has probably contributed to violence against women by portraying them as weak sex objects.

The Oscar-winning actress said she is not interested in those kinds of demeaning roles, adding that the movie industry also has made an effort to contribute to solutions for ending the violence.

Kidman testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that is considering legislation to address violence against women overseas through humanitarian relief efforts and grants to local organizations working on the problem.

Asked by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., if the movie industry has “played a bad role,” Kidman said “probably,” but quickly added that she herself doesn’t.

“I can’t be responsible for all of Hollywood but I can certainly be responsible for my own career,” she said.

The roundabout way the story is structured — and that’s almost the whole thing in blockquotes; I don’t usually grab an entire story, but part of the story is how little story there is here — and the minuscule level of content that consists of actual quotes from Kidman suggests that someone went cherry-picking in an attempt to find something juicy in her testimony. (What else did she discuss before Congress? Just try finding any coverage of that. Even C-SPAN doesn’t seem to have anything.) The Guardian does have some video of her testimony, but just about the only of interest is the fact that it highlights, in case you’re not already aware of this, that Rohrabacher is a man, and that his tone appears to be suggesting that Kidman has no right to be arguing against violence against women because she’s part of the problem.

Anyway, the question stands: Does Hollywood contribute to violence against women? If so, how? Does it also contribute to the solution?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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