Readers write: May 23, 2016 issue

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May 18, 2016 | Viewpoints | Volume 20 Issue 11

Intent of Star Wars review is to criticize culture of violence

Re: “Star Wars review promotes violence against women,” April 11, page 11.

Thank you to Bev Hunsberger for alerting me to the different ways my article on Star Wars and Hollywood feminism can be viewed, even by likeminded people. She has helped me reconsider how best to communicate my thoughts on violence in film.

Her letter focussed on one particular sentence in my article and I admit that this sentence was poorly worded. Standing on its own, it can easily be misconstrued. I would therefore like to clarify its intent.

First, I believe that all human beings are inherently nonviolent, so this sentence is not based on any assumptions regarding the inherent nonviolence of women or the inherent violence of men.

Second, the sentence refers specifically to the way Hollywood has recently demonstrated the strength of its female protagonists by showing how they can be as violent as the violent male protagonists that have dominated Hollywood during the past century. (For much of that time, women were generally portrayed as weak and passive.) My article argued that it is an error to view the capacity to act violently as a strength or virtue.

I certainly agree that it is not the responsibility of women to fix men’s problems or to teach men about nonviolence. The reference to Rey as a female leader teaching men is related specifically to Hollywood feminism and Hollywood’s contribution to perpetuating a culture of violence that views violence as a necessary and potentially redemptive response to evil. Showing that violent action heroes can just as easily be women as men does nothing to challenge the dangerous—and false—assumptions of the myth of redemptive violence, and does little, in my opinion, to advance the cause of Hollywood’s historically unjust portrayal of women.

Vic Thiessen, Winnipeg


A ‘respectful’ question to LGBTQ commentators

Re: “When the church listens,” April 11, page 16.

Who has watched the Listening Church video that is online at I know what the commentators meant when they used the “coming out” term, but I want to respectfully ask them, “Where have you been that you need to ‘come out’ again?” We have all been “out” since God let us live on this “fallen earth.” God loves us all and he gives us the grace to love each other.

Helen Lepp, Steinbach, Man.

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