Letter to the editor

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Dr. Timmons opening commentary at Miss Representation did not address the context of the documentary

I guess since I was raised in a country that values freedom of speech as a privilege that anyone can exercise, I am allowing myself to take advantage and express myself.

There is a burning in my ear from the opening remarks made by Dr. Vianne Timmons at the Oct. 16 film screening of Miss Representation at the University of Regina. I find it abhorrent that an educated woman beaming with intellectual power would stand up for such an amazing message only to perpetuate ongoing stigmas that are continually shown in the media. Dear Dr. Timmons: Please help me understand how political issues abroad are relevant to the main topic of women’s position in society in North America as portrayed in the documentary.

Maybe it’s just me, but this constant finger pointing and blame shifting is getting rather tiring. I am still left wondering: “what does a woman’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia have to do with the structuralized disempowerment of the most affluent women in North America?” After all, it is these types of micro-aggressions that are the catalysts for misrepresentation in the world.

In this day and age, we have never ending information at our fingertips – couldn’t she have just Googled a topic that would better coincide with the subject at hand? I’m sorry, but it just seems easier to target these ongoing issues on the other side of the world that really don’t affect North Americans in our day-to-day life rather than focus on what is happening here. Yet, I wonder, how many people knew about and supported the “Sisters in Spirit Gathering” hosted by the First Nations University on Oct. 4? What names and whose stories, other than Tamra Keepness, do we, as a community, know about? Why was there yet another suicide last week in BC due to bullying? How is our society responding to the perpetual cycle of domestic violence? All of these issues are directly linked to the messages found in the Miss Representation documentary, and I am still waiting for the relevant commentary.

I just wish that we could look beyond the ends of our noses to realise that yes, we live in an amazing country, and yes, we are free in many ways, but we also need to acknowledge our shortcomings. Only then will we be able to take on such issues as put forth in these types of inspiring documentaries and truly make a difference in our homes, communities, and our society as a whole. Dr. Timmons, I am not so much concerned that you are showing your disapproval of atrocities around the world as I am that you left the context of the discussion around Miss Representation. Next time, let’s try to stay focused on the issues presented.

Debra Schubert
Contributor

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