Are you a Feminist?

BettyJean Downing Kling

Are you a feminist? To many this sounds like a silly question, and some might respond with a statement like; “Well Yeah! If not a feminist, what does that make me? A misogynist (having a hatred of women, as a defined group)?”

Men and women alike call themselves feminists believing the term refers to respecting females and believing them equal and capable deserving the same opportunities as men. And yet describe yourself as a feminist and there is a good chance your will be misjudged!

Feminism comes with a lot more negativism than it deserves. Unfortunately not everyone has a positive opinion of the term or for what the movement accomplished for women and girls. In order to undermine the feminist movement a great number of negative stereotypes have been perpetuated; such as the man-haters, ugly, lonely, barren, angry woman who is a feminist only because she cannot find or keep a man etc. etc.

These stereotypes are intentional propaganda, plain gibberish, served up to give the so called “post-feminist” generations pause about self-identifying as feminists. Instead are we to be ashamed our foremothers fought for the right to vote and are still fighting for equality under the laws?

I suggest films like “Feminist: Stories from the Women’s Liberation Movement” are very important and serve to correct the history of women’s history and struggles. This independent film, made by Jennifer Lee (@JenniferLeeUSA) documents some significant events of the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and reminds us of the positive changes which addressed the legal and economic obstacles facing women.

Men and women worked together to tackle issues of working women, gender roles, salary, and opportunities of women in the workforce . It is important that we tell the whole story, correct the lies instead of focusing on Bra-burning for example, which became associated with the movement, but the term is a misnomer as no bras were actually burned at the Miss America protest.

“Feminist: Stories from the Women’s Liberation Movement.” 

Why are people reluctant to call themselves a “feminist”? Why aren’t we proud of what the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and the 1970s did for us?  I am making this documentary film about the significant events of the Women’s Liberation Movement so that we can remember why we’re proud of the word “feminist.”  I have traveled all across the United States and interviewed over 30 feminists who participated in the Women’s Liberation Movement – including some famous faces. The Women’s Liberation Movement was a momentous time in our history – when you see these feminists tell their stories, you will be proud to call yourself a feminist.

Why is this film important?

The fight for equality is not over. For example, today only 17% of our congress is female with only six female governors. In order to move forward and truly have equality we must embrace our history. Rejecting the word “feminist” holds us back. Hearing and seeing the stories of what these women did when they were college students during the Anti-War and Civil Rights Movements will show us how to move forward.

As a mother, it’s important to me that my child knows the history of women in the United States. Women have a rich history full of dramatic stories, tough fights, and huge successes. In order to create equality for women in the United States, we must honor the work done during the Women’s Liberation Movement.

I completed all of the interviews with my own money. The cinematographers who shot the interviews did so for free. This film is a labor of love for all of us. ~Jennifer Lee

2 Responses

  1. …started writing a lengthy piece about how Women have separated their political values from their economic concerns, and when I tried to link it to the Book of Genesis and the Divine Force which made heaven and earth, “So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.” Genesis 1:7 the faeries took their turn and deleted it from my would-be-post. Unable to recover that which I had written initially, I am able to retain the thought and give Thanks to God, Ave Maria, and Merry Christmas that I was prevented from boring you too much when I just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas. I was over at UppityWoman08 and am energized by the impending New Year’s Blessing for the True Majority United.

    Helen Reddy’s “WOMAN” didn’t begin to rise to the top until the listeners requested it from the stations who knew who buttered their bread. I admit a glib satisfaction seeing Katie Couric gone from CBS, seeing OWN bankrupting Oprah, hearing that AOL is getting gutted by Huffing and Puffington Post … all “Religion” and No Faith in the Women who made them Queens.

    After getting their asses kicked in 3 consecutive national elections, the Democrats are winnowing their ruling classmates. A few survivors will attempt to “Old Guard” the Old (Boyz) School political hacks, but the Primaries promise a backlash of Women wronged. It’s not about Hillary Clinton or the Brat in Chief; It’s about surviving vs. thriving. We, the Kitchen Table Economists are newly minted Diplomats, too intent on remaining “pretty” to give the Billion Dollar Candidate a heads up about what’s about to come. They of the In-The-Tank Liberal Media have so soured the Women Folk on the whole Liberal notion, that “Feminism” is fatally linked to Liberalism, denying Tradition and Common Sense.

    Liberal Mothers of little boys find out quickly how that gets played. In the interest of successfully managing a household, they quickly dispense with the nice/nice and get seriously effective in “educating” their male progeny. The Jelly Roll of political pressure is winding ever tighter as the Secret of Service secures those of us who understand how long and hard you work to get on the inside, only to discover that the only way out of something that turns out to be not quite what you expected, is to just drop.

    Hermione Granger – in Harry Potter & the Sourcer’s Stone – taught Harry and Ron to go limp and the Devil’s Snare will drop you. So, I’ve put my energy where it will do ME the most good, having learned that my volunteer service to a political cause only marginally helps. My one Vote is all I have. It’s not about Feminism, it’s about the strength that a Woman brings to the table. Any entity unwilling to tender me my just due is unworthy of my service. My economy is no longer dollar-based. A financial system too fragile and vulnerable to “insiders” is not for me. I’m good with whatever the Majority comes up with. It’s clear to me that the 2nd 200 years of the Nation is built upon the same acquired respect George Washington discovered on Christmas Day, 1776 a mere 5 months after signatures appeared on a document in whose first paragraph was written: “…to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Those who have survived and mastered the nuance of leadership are shaking out into those who understand that liberal doesn’t mean intellectual superiority.

    We, like in Genesis, are performing the most simplistic and basic function of the computer: Sorting. Under the Sorting Hat that puts us into our houses, we may choose to steer the Hat’s pronouncement with the Will to Transcend the easy paths to power. Upon the strength of our “Sorting Function,” we build our universe, separating the qualities that we are proud to embody, from the negatively driven expedients. And in the output, we know our like-minded and allow those who were only using us to move onto their darkened choice. Like healthy brains, we are forming new connections, using our Medicare-Funded health care for the Aged in good health. We’re understanding and responding accordingly. We’re not “labelable” and no longer react to being called “liberals” by partisan divisionaries who don’t see what we see. The way the Womens’ Groups formed and turned into partisan abusers of my trust in 2008 taught me to hold onto my true, proven Friends, and I find them here.

  2. You are so right- my favorite line from above is this one

    “Any entity unwilling to tender me my just due is unworthy of my service.”

    When we as women learn to stick together instead of sticking it to each other – we will have the world by the balls!

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