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FEMINISM AND FILM: We have work to do.

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FEMINISM AND FILM: THE SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

and why we still have work to do.

 

When I first I saw the Suffragette trailer, one phrase in particular stuck with me.

If we allow women to vote, it will be the loss of social structure!”

Is this is what “the structure” has always feared more than anything? The voice of a woman? Her influence? This is what the last thousand years have been about: suppressing the power that women have been given by nature and effort by putting us in the kitchen, in burqas, mutilating our genitals and instilling in our minds that being sexy is encouraged, but being sexual leads to trouble.  We grow up with Barbies and Cinderella stories, rescued by a prince, resigned to love happily ever after in a castle far, far away. We don’t empower each other enough. We don’t tell the stories of female courage and leadership to our younger sisters and daughters, we don’t encourage them to take charge of their sexuality, their divine powers, we don’t instill in them the desire to be leaders, to take charge. We don’t do this nearly enough. Something has to change. Women make up the majority of population on this planet. Yet we still have a very long way to go to live like we matter.

This movie is about a few women who made an impact and I think it’s release is very timely.

Here’s the official trailer for “Suffragette“:

 

 

I couldn’t watch this trailer without getting emotional. These women did nothing less than sacrificed everything in order to make it better for the rest of us. What have we done with these gifts?

AM I A FEMINIST?

I was recently interviewed for an publication, and after an hour or so, the journalist (a woman) looked at me and asked: “Do you consider yourself a feminist?”

I said that I definitely consider myself part of the movement, but I think people will place me where they want to place me. I am just doing what I think it right, by giving myself and my audience a voice. I think it’s tragic that we still live in the world where women are pitted against each other,  competing for mates, comparing beauty and in a constant race against a socially-decided “expiration date.” I think we need to change the way things are and it’s not by force, but by becoming who we really are. I hope to be able to be useful in this movement and I hope it catches on quickly.

“I had to get a close-hand view of the misery and unhappiness of a man made world, before I reached the point where I could successfully revolt against it.” ― Emmeline Pankhurst, My Own Story

 

“Suffragette,” a new feature film inspired by the true story of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the UK, will be released in the US in October. Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, and Helena Bonham Carter are all part of this historical movie, that is based on true events. In addition to telling the story of these trailblazing leaders, many women have also been integral to the film’s creation — Sarah Gavron is the film’s director, Abi Morgan its writer, and Alison Owen and Faye Ward its producers. This is a message from women to women. But also to men. This needs to be understood and as anti-Hollywood as I am, I think this sizable production is a very important contribution to what is going on in the world right now.

The film, with its tagline “The time is now,” tells the story of “the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State,” a synopsis from the production explains. In an interview, Mulligan, who plays “one such foot soldier,” Maud, said that working on her film completely changed her view of the movement: “I had no idea they were beaten, imprisoned, blew up bridges, went on hunger strikes. We have a very muted picture of happy women with banners marching down the street.” Famous suffragettes like Emmeline Pankhurst and Edith New, played by Streep and Carter, are also featured prominently. (source here)

The film is also the first feature film permitted to film in the Houses of Parliament in London. When the approval for filming was granted, Gavron said, “We are honored to be allowed to recreate a crucial moment in that long journey towards equality by filming where the Suffragettes actually brought their protest over 100 years ago.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

For an excellent film about two leading American suffragists, Lucy Burns and Alice Paul, and their important legacy in securing women’s right to vote, we highly recommend “Iron Jawed Angels” for viewers 13 and up at http://www.amightygirl.com/iron-jawed-angels

To learn more about Pankhurst and the other great but under-recognized Mighty Girl Heroes, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=2515

For many stories for children and teens about the women’s suffrage movement in the UK, US and Canada, visit  http://www.amightygirl.com/…/mighty-girls-w…/women-s-history

For many stories for all ages about girls and women who refused to be silence in the face of injustice, visit “Fairness & Justice” book section at http://www.amightygirl.com/boo…/personal-development/values…

And, for over 500 true stories of women trailblazers in a wide variety of fields, visit A Mighty Girl’s “Role Models” biography section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/history-biography/biography

And make sure to stay true to yourself. We have never lived in a time where things can change faster. These are the times where we can make a lasting impact.

Love,

S.

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