I have also, in recent years, gotten in touch with the feminist inside me.
These two burgeoning interests collided recently when I watched the PBS documentary titled Makers:Women Who Make America, a new three-hour film about the women’s movement in America.
As a senior in high school, I wrote a scathing review of radical feminism for a persuasive writing class, blaming the movement entirely for the decline and destruction of the American family (a.k.a. Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver, Wally and Beaver). I judged very harshly the same women who fought angrily against society’s ridiculous norms so that I might not have to fight so hard during my lifetime; I disrespected the brave, strong women who demanded equality not only for themselves, but also for me, my sister, and millions of women to come. I look back at that naïve, oblivious girl and feel embarrassed and a bit ashamed of her. I’m not sure what changed my views about the women’s movement or the importance of equality between men and women, but something did, and I’m glad.
Watching this incredible three-hour depiction of the women’s movement connected me to a whole family of women I never knew before. I walked away from those three hours incredibly proud to be a woman and amazed by the leaps and bounds American women have taken to demand equality between the sexes. I also walked away angry, appalled at what women suffered daily in a society that did not value them as equals or respect them as human beings. And I walked away unsure of what comes next for American women and how I fit into the unfolding future.
If you love history, feminism, and/or documentaries, or if you want to know more about the journey of American women, I highly recommend this documentary.