Miss Representation screens at Pemby Library, April 26
You can’t be what you can’t see. Write your stories, girls. And cast them with smart, feisty asskicking heroines. Just like you.
When Miss Representation came to Squamish in February, I had hoped to make the trip south to check it out. Especially after watching the trailer.
Alas, I didn’t get the chance. Luckily, three local parents, who just happen to be some of my favourite thinkers/sources of good conversation/Potato Nation twitter buddies, were in the same boat, and decided to do something about it.
I checked in with Angela Stott for the story behind the screening.
What do you, Shannon and Paul have in common?
Why would you guys band together to bring this film to Pemberton?
I posted the Squamish screening on twitter and talked about going with the Pemberton Interact group but we decided the winter drive might be too much and we could buy the school a copy of the film for about the same price as all going down. Meanwhile, Paul tweeted me about going to Squamish with a group. When he found out Pemberton had a copy, and Marilyn Marinus told me that the Public Library was also getting a copy we thought “shop local, stay local” and the three of us got together to plan an event in Pemberton!
How did it come up on your radar?
Cathy Goddard’s promotion of the Squamish screening on Twitter.
What’s the story of the film, in brief?
Short version: The misrepresentation of women in media, hence the title: MissRepresentation!
Why do you think it’s important to expose people to that information/message?
I always think of the Virginia Slims ads I would see in magazines when I was a kid: “you’ve come a long way baby”. We need to see this because “we” (as in ALL of us – not only women) may have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. The way in which women are portrayed in and treated by media needs some critical assessment.
If you could tell people one thing, that you took away from this film, what would it be?
I watched this with a group of people ranging in age from 10 to 45. The film makes people feel uncomfortable because it is not funny and it is real. And, it is the world in which our children (both boys and girls) are growing up in. Makes me ask how we can enact change.
On what level did this film affect you the most? As a parent? As a teacher? Or as a woman?
This is a BIG question. Parent, for sure. I watched this with my son. He says it was the movie he hated the most. Morbid fascination mixed with understanding a really uncomfortable message. Scary. As a teacher it is important to be aware of what is going on in the world your students are influenced and Miss Representation puts it right in anyone’s face! It is definitely a film that reaffirms what I already knew as a woman; the film provides something to focus on and then discuss with anyone. The film should have an impact on men.
Popcorn? No popcorn?
We hope for popcorn. The high school has a machine and I have a connection to the high school!
Does advocating for girls and women mean a person hates men? Does empowering girls and women mean disempowering boys and men?
There is always a balance in empowerment. However, advocating for girls and women definitely DOES NOT mean that a person hates men. Quite the opposite for me. I believe that we have to work collaboratively to create a world that represents people well and fairly. Air brushing does nothing to improve the way women are perceived nor how they feel toward each other.
As a parting thought. I’m secretly hoping the screening ends with a push-up contest. Okay, better start training:
A note from Shannon Ellis, at the Pemberton & District Library:
This is a powerful film addressing the representation of women in the media, as well as the lack of female representation in leadership roles. This film is about women and girls, but by no means is meant to be viewed by women only!
The event is free to attend.
If you would like to bring your children, they are welcome, though heads-up that the film includes some frank discussion and strong imagery and language, though nothing that can’t be seen everyday in the media we consume or observe. If you have questions or concerns regarding age for viewing, give me call and we can talk through it. I think this is a fabulous opportunity to discuss this with multiple generations and viewpoints in the room.