Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are you a MAKER?

In celebration of Women's History Month, PBS showed their documentary "MAKERS: Women Who Make America." We're watching part of the video in my WST/ART seminar, "Women, Art, Objects, and Histories" and we'll be discussing the film next week for those interested in contributing to the discussion. The film includes interviews with Sandra Day O'Connor, Betty Friedan, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Marlo Thomas, and Erica Jong who share their memories, as do countless women who challenged the status quo in industries from the airline industry and communications fields to coal-mining and medicine.
Think back to your history classes. During WWII, women took on very important roles in the military effort. Over time, women became advantaged by education; and yet, they did not have a shot for a better opportunity. For instance, young adult author Judy Blume recollects how she hung her diploma over the washing machine as a young, college grad which pays heed to the expectation that women would take the single role of a cheerful wife after school. Blume wanted to have another role, too: she wanted to write and, as a result, faced humiliation from her neighbors. Consider, too, how "back in the day" across the US, "help wanted" ads were divided by gender: pink crds for women to fill out; blue cards for men to fill out. In contrast to the disparity faced by women versus men, African American women were even more disenfranchised. Their opportunities were much lower paying.

Watch part one above and catch a glimpse of a true interdisciplinary film that touches on politics, economics, careers, and culture.

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