On Wednesday-night I was privileged to join a close friend of mine, Robin Morgan, at the Red Carpet Premiere of the documentary "MAKERS: Women Who Make America", that will be premiering on PBS on February 26th. The movie "tells the story of the women's movement through the firsthand accounts of the leaders, opponents, and trailblazers who created a new America in the last half-century." Robin is one of these trailblazers and is interviewed in the film and on the Makers.com-website. I feel very lucky to have access to her brilliant mind and to have gained her friendship.
I proudly call myself a feminist. It seems that these days, many young women and men (and quite noticeably artists and actors), distance themselves from the word, because of the way it has been tainted in the media. I think that because of bad propaganda, a lot of us these days misunderstand the meaning of feminism. Here is what Wikipedia says:
"Feminism is the set of all the various movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending how women should be treated and what rights, power, and opportunities women should be allowed to have. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment."
Feminism thus is about equality. Equal rights for men and women: equal pay for the same jobs, in contract law, property, and voting, bodily integrity, autonomy, and reproductive rights, among other things. I personally don't understand how anyone could oppose these rights..! But oppose them they do. Here is what Hillary Clinton said in the 1995 UN Conference on Women:
"If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely -- and the right to be heard."
As a woman who has been abused in a number of ways, and silenced by men in the past, I have taken this issue very close to my heart.
I am a heterosexual woman and I love men. One in particular. Being a feminist does not mean that I shit on men or that I want women to take over the world. Nope. It is merely equality that I am after. And this documentary, Makers, is a great reminder for us younger women, who didn't live through the time of the Women's Movement, that the rights that we currently have are not to be taken for granted, even if they are our "inalienable rights." Our rights were hard-fought, and the stories of the battles are shocking to hear in this day and age... If we want to keep the the status quo and further advance towards equality in the world, we need to continue fighting. Both men and women. It is in all of our best interests that woman is equal to man in society, and the work is not yet done. I will certainly do my part, and I salute everyone who brought us where we are.