There’s an extraordinary new group of women coming together to lend their visibility and wisdom to all of us women boomers who have lived through the Feminist Movement. The name of this group is Makers and their name refers to a 3 hour documentary which they have made, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, for PBS.
The film, and online experience, is built from first-person, intimate accounts of women who experienced this time of change, including movement leaders such as author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; opponents such as conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly; celebrities including media leader Oprah Winfrey and journalist Katie Couric; political figures such as former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; business leaders such as Linda Alvarado, president and CEO of Alvarado Construction, Inc., and a co-owner of The Colorado Rockies; and many “ordinary” women who confronted the dramatic social upheaval in their own lives. (from Ekaterina Walter, Huffington Post).
From their website: “MAKERS: Women Who Make America will tell this remarkable story for the first time in a comprehensive and innovative three-hour documentary for PBS, to air in early 2013. Built on the extraordinary archive of stories already completed for MAKERS.com, the film will feature the stories of those who led the fight, those who opposed it, and the unintentional trailblazers — famous and unknown – who carried change to every corner of society.”
Watch this remarkable documentary here: Makers Documentary . This extraordinary doc is in 3 consecutive segments of one hour each. Yes, that’s a long time, but the content warrants this much attention.
I had forgotten many of the benchmarks of our movement and this documentary brought them all flooding back, along with a realization of just how very much we did accomplish in those first efforts, including the passage of the ERA, The Equal Rights Amendment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned workplace discrimination not only on the basis of race, religion, and national origin, but also on the basis of sex, and, for the first time, recognized women as being equal to men.
I was born in 1943 and so my young formative years were shaded by the old standard of what a successful woman should be – educated, yes, but not too much, career, yes, but only until I married, dreams of accomplishments, yes, but only as they pertained to my husband and children.
So you can imagine how I embraced the equality sought by the feminist movement. It was like a door opening in my life, in all our lives.
Many young women today seem to eschew feminism, saying that they are not feminists. I think that all women under 40 need to watch this documentary to see how their lives are so different from ours because of the movement, because of what we fought for, because of the historical gains we achieved.
So, what does this group do for us, for you and me? To start, at the very least they bring their own brand of equality for women and at the very most, they bring their high profile to lend credibility to their message in the documentary. The more visible equality is for women, the more this equality filters down to all women, particularly Boomer Women who are having some dynamic influences of our own in our own small circles.
These women, this documentary, both are highlighting the remaining imbalance of the roles women take on today. The women individually are inspiring, collectively are a steam roller for equality in all facets of our lives today.
I’m old enough to have witnessed the original Feminist Movement in the 1960s when feminism became mainstream for female boomers. Between the impact of the issues and the huge size of the female boomer population, the message of equality spread quickly, often aided by some evening news story of yet another bra burning. We fought for and often won a new vision of equality; not always, but often.
I’m also old enough to have gushed with excitement when I met Gloria Steinem in 2007 as I covered a luncheon fundraiser for a local women’s shelter. Between gushes, I said “You spoke to me; you spoke to all of us.” Ms Steinem replied “And there are still so many to speak to, so many that we still have to help.”
Makers and their documentary will, I believe, bring the concerns of today’s boomer women to the forefront once again, just as it did in the 60s. But today we’ll be adding our 40 more years experience to our cause and to our voices.
There is no end to my article, no end to Makers. It’s now a piece of on-going progressive growth in equality for boomer women. Get on board!
©Marcia Barhydt, 2013