We had a full-to-capacity crowd at Saint Anthony Main Theatre last night for our screening of the documentary film "Miss Representation." A note to those who were disappointed that the screening was sold out: the documentary will be shown on the Oprah Network this evening, and it will also be screened again by The Advocates for Human Rights on November 9 (7:00 p.m. at Metro State -- seats are available on a first-come basis).
As those who attended the Gender Justice screening last night know, we had some problems with the film copy, but we persevered and were able, in the end, to see most of the film. Thanks again for everyone's patience.
After the film ended the audience stayed for a discussion of the question all of us were left with: What can we do? Several audience members, including Betty Folliard, emphasized the importance of political power: women need to run for office! Allie Arends of The White House Project, a co-sponsor of the event, encouraged everyone present to attend their upcoming how-to training. Others in the audience emphasized the importance of supporting media produced and directed by women or girls, an idea enthusiastically supported by representatives from both New Moon Media (Nancy Gruver) and TVbyGIRLS (Barbara Wiener and a group of girl-producer/directors). Phil Duran of OutFront Minnesota helped draw the connection between the gender bias seen in the film and discrimination and hardships encountered by LGBT youth, and Janet Asancheyev of OWL explained the link between gender bias and the particular economic challenges facing older women. Thanks to all of the audience members and co-sponsors who participated in the discussion, including The Emily Program (Keri Clifton), The Center on Women and Public Policy (Debra Fitzpatrick) and Laura Jeffrey Academy (Carolyn Westra).
In our concluding remarks, we touched on the connection between the biased images seen in the film and cognitive bias. The media continually recreates stereotypes, which generate cognitive biases, which lead to real-world discrimination in our workplaces and schools. How can we break that cycle? Educating ourselves about cognitive bias is a good start. If you would like to organize a training on cognitive bias for your school or workplace, let us know!