Devils Lake has in the past seen women succeed in some non-traditional roles like the female sheriff, Bertha Regan who served in the 1930s and Roberta “Berta” Soper who was elected to the city commission in 1981, elected the city’s mayor on April 1, 1986, and served in that capacity for four years.

Devils Lake has in the past seen women succeed in some non-traditional roles like the female sheriff, Bertha Regan who served in the 1930s and Roberta “Berta” Soper who was elected to the city commission in 1981, elected the city’s mayor on April 1, 1986, and served in that capacity for four years.

There are a number of other women who also have served in some positions of power traditionally held by men through the years including Dr. Sharon Etemad who was president of the community college in Devils Lake for over 30 years, Kathy Svidal who was the publisher of the Devils Lake Journal for more than two decades, Marlene Krein who was administrator of Mercy Hospital and Myra Pearson who is the present Chairwoman of the Spirit Lake Tribe and has served in that capacity more than once. Pam Brekke and Myrna Heisler both served on the Ramsey County Commission taking their turns, also, as chair of that body. The community’s economic development office, Forward Devils Lake was, until recently, directed by Rachel Lindstrom. Presently the city’s Chamber Director is Paula Vistad and its Tourism head is Suzie Kenner.

No doubt there are many other examples from the past and present where women have been elected to or promoted to positions of power and influence.

However, these few listed here and the others do not make up numbers equal to the number of men who have been elected to or promoted to positions of power and influence.

A documentary coming to the Devils Lake AMC movie theater for special presentation Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. takes a look at how women are represented - or misrepresented - in movies, TV shows, commercials, modern fiction and how that might have shaped attitudes, actions and ambition for both men and women in today’s society.

Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the documentary, Miss Representation, exposes how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film draws back a curtain to reveal a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see – how the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls makes it difficult for women to feel powerful and achieve leadership positions. In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message we receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 33rd out of the 49 highest income countries when it comes to women in the national legislature.

And it’s not better outside of government. Women make up only 4.6 percent of S&P 500 CEOs and 17 percent of directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists, and academics, like Katie Couric, Rosario Dawson, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Condoleezza Rice, Rachel Maddow, and Nancy Pelosi, build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken, but armed with a new perspective.

Plus this film provides tools to champion good media, challenge the bad, destroy harmful stereotypes and empower women and girls to achieve equity in all walks of life.

Panel discussion                                                                                                                                  A 30-minute panel discussion will follow the showing of this film moderated by the State AAUW president, Theresa Leiphon, Devils Lake. This educational documentary has been brought to the community by the local AAUW organization.

The American Association of University Women is open to both men and women who have a minimum of an Associates Degree. Their mission is to empower women and girls to seek education and to move into a future without limitations and “miss representation.”

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or about the Devils Lake AAUW, call Michelle at 701-230-3748 or contact her by e-mail mlfritz301@gmail.com There is a fee for this movie, however, there are sponsored tickets available if you or a friend want to attend.

Note: Much of the content in this story came from information gleaned from a search for “Miss Representation” on Google and from the poster created for the event.