Sunday, March 03, 2013

Makers: Watch It Here

If you missed the PBS documentary Makers, about the history of feminism, which aired on February 29, 2013, it's available here, though I don't know for how long.

It's three hours long (three parts, each 55 minutes long), so it's an investment; but it's well worth your time.

I knew some of these things, but I'll admit I didn't know half of them, and I didn't know the scope or depth of them at all.  I watched this Friday night and at one point I was yelling very bad words at my computer (I had my headphones on) and the kid came running out of her room.

"What? What?"

"Nothing.  Oh.  Just -- oh, these horrible --"  I said the word again.

"Well, don't call them that.  Mama!  You should never use that word."

"It's what they are!  Jesus!"

She was right, of course.  But OTOH.

I remember, vaguely, the Anita Hill hearings.  I remember my fucking brother telling me that Hill was lying.  I remember asking, "Why would she be lying?"  (I was not a feminist then.  I was barely anything then -- I knew nothing about politics.)

"Of course she's lying," he jeered at me.  "She's doing it for the attention.  To take down the man.  To make money.  To keep the Republican off the bench.  A hundred reasons."

"But..."  I knew, even then, that these things did happen to women.  Because they'd been happening to me since I was around eleven; because they happened to every woman I knew.  "But if he did do what she's saying--"

"Oh, bullshit.  Why wouldn't she have said anything before this?"

Yeah.  Why wouldn't we ever tell anyone?  I mean, it only happens like nine or ten times a week.  Why don't we tell people about it?

Oh, wait.  That's right.  We do.  And they tell us we're lying, or we're making it up, or we're hysterical, or we should be flattered, or why were we even out that early in the morning or that late at night or dressed like that, or we know we love it or if we can't stand the heat we should get out of the kitchen or we should be glad he didn't actually rape us, that's just how guys are, or we were asking for it, or he didn't mean it that way, can't you take a joke?

That's the trouble with you feminists.  No sense of humor.

Then last night, I watched North Country.

It's been a very rough weekend here at the delagar household.


Bardiac said...

And yet, they want us to have guns... I can't tell you what a good thing it is that I'm averse to violence (and don't carry a gun), because sometimes I'd like to just shoot a sexist.

I was an adult during the Anita Hill hearings, and it was beyond horrid to see these aged, nasty, sexist white men treating her with such contempt. (See, again, good thing I'm averse to violence, or I'd want to do some. If this were a play, though, some women would have shot them on their way home and justice would have been served.)

delagar said...

I want to go back in time and shoot some of them, Bardiac!

Well, not really, I suppose. I'm committed to a non-violent revolution! But wow, did some of those, ah, people in that documentary make me itch for violence!

Anonymous said...

They want to behave badly and, when and if called on it, blame it on women without shame. I hate to say it, but I think this is ingrained male behavior. If the bad behavior were toward another man though, the other man would be to blame as well. Women are just highly exceptionally convenient and attractive targets. We're less likely to hit back. Not every male is this way. My husband is more evolved. But it's common male behavior.

I believe that change can only come through more and more effective child rearing over time combined with societal enlightenment, particularly via art forms of all kinds. Hearts and minds. The right versus the might. Probably to a large degree in fits and starts. -- L