Evolve Asia talks to Carole Ng and Susan Tham, who organised the Miss Representation screening and panel discussion featured this month, on their motivation behind rescreening this controversial film.
CAROLE NG 1. Tell me about yourself, your work, your family.
We moved to Singapore from New York over 16 years ago for work. Both are children, Nicholas and Natalie were born in Singapore. I have been with the same company, Credit Suisse for the entire time.
2.How did you come together?
Susan and I met through friends over 10 years ago – and our children have practically grown up together. We’ve vacationed together, celebrated many family holidays together.
3. This is a pretty feminist film, right? No – this is not about women’s rights…but rather how negative images persisted by the media can have a negative impact on how women are valued in society by both women and men. These images and messaging impact our children and will shape how they perceive their roles in society – again this is true for both boys and girls.
4. What is your motivation for showing it? We want other to be awares of how media (both tradition and social media) can shape our children’s view of the world. It’s important that we all play a part in society to change images and portray a more balanced view of the value that both genders can bring to table when decisions are made with a more diverse points of view.
5.You're both women in business and you've climbed the ladder.
Would the film have helped you earlier in your journey?
I do think that talking about the topic would help raise awareness and change mindsets….and they more mindsets that change, the momentum can be built to creating a more gender-balanced work environment, as well as more gender-balanced representation in government.
6.You've mentioned that you wish to spread the message for your children.
What does the world look like to you today? What do you hope will change for them?
I hope that both my son and daughter grow up to respect both genders and appreciate that by understanding the viewpoints of both genders, they can make better decisions and have access to more opportunities (than is available today both)….more men running our homes and more women running government and businesses!
Mom, with a boy and a girl, both teenagers. Both born in Singapore, very much cushioned in a “safe family friendly” environment. I am a banker and my husband is an engineer. Both husband and son are in Canada now, I am here with my daughter and will return to Toronto end of this year.
Met Carole here because our kids.
Actually NO. It is NOT about fighting for gender equality, rather to correct the INCORRECT PERCEPTION PERMEATED BY THE AMERICAN MEDIA.
They have already type-casted women into certain roles in a bias way.
And certainly a lot of broadcasters were disrespectful of women in general.
So imagine a dad raising a daughter, does he want his daughter to be seen as “sex objects”? It is a terrifying thought.
Simple. Spread the message. “PASS IT ON”
This is a very simple gesture in Canada (I’m sure in USA as well). I was once stranded on the highway as my car broke down. A total stranger stopped by to help, called AAA (road side assistance) on his mobile phone and send the tow truck to help me as I didn’t subscribe to Road Assistance. When I want to thank him, his simple reply was “pass it on”. So the next time, I saw a car stranded, I stopped and passed on the same gesture to the poor stranded gal.
I saw the movie, I felt it was worthy for others to see it and I simply “passed it on”.
Nah ! My personality is such that I don’t care two hoots what others (guys or gals) think of me. So how others think of me wouldn’t have affected me at all.
The world in Singapore is sterile, safe and good. The world I am returning to in North American is not. I hope this film gives my daughter a different perspective, to prepare her for a diverse and not necessary always “safe” world.
I watched “TAKEN” the movie with her. She was rightly horrified and she acknowledged to me, now she understands why I want her to always text me her whereabouts when she goes out with her friends or when she goes to work on a bus. Yes , she is 14 and working in her first job at a pizza parlor.
In school, she learns about diversity, religion, tolerance, eco-friendliness etc. Her choices however, are her own, all I do is to give her a structure to guide her in her choices. So in showing her this film, she saw the difference in “respect” (understood norm in Singapore) versus “disrespect” (as shown in the film) of women in America. She also understood how people can judge her by first impression – a point related to her dressing. I once commented her top was a little too low and shows her cleavage. Then, she couldn’t understand why I was picky. Now after the movie, she does. However, her choice of dressing is hers to decide – all I can do is to guide her.