Betty Friedan. Gloria Steinem. Sandra Day O’Connor.
We all know these trailblazers who in the 1960’s and ‘70s blazed a trail with the 1963 book “The Feminine Mystique,” the launch of Ms. Magazine and the losing battle for the federal Equal Rights Amendment in 1982.
These icons and many other less well-known women like Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and Lorena Weeks, who fought against Southern Bell in the day and won a gender bias suit, appear in Makers: Women Who Make America – a documentary.
Covering 50 years of feminism, the documentary will air tomorrow evening, Tuesday, Feb. 26 on KSPS TV in Spokane from 7 to 9p.m.
Gloria Steinem was on The View on ABC this morning talking about the documentary and the current state of women in the world saying we’ve come a long way but still only about 40-50 years into “this wave of feminism.”
Here’s a recent excerpt from Steinem’s interview with NYCitywoman.com: "There are now hundreds of companies with family friendly policies that didn't exist before the women's movement," she continued, "but the U.S. is still behind every European country and Canada in providing everything from childcare to flexible schedules. And most women are still paid less than men doing comparable jobs. Women also deserve more leadership positions in politics or business. Remember: Any great movement has to last a century to be fully absorbed by society and we're only about 40 years into this wave of feminism."
In 1967, Lorena Weeks was passed over for promotion in favor of a male colleague and then told that the job should go to a man because men were the breadwinners in the family. That same year, Katherine Switzer registered for the Boston Marathon as K. Switzer. As hard as it is to imagine today, at that time only men were allowed to participate in the Marathon. One man was so angry about her presence that he threw himself into the group of runner and tried to push Switzer out of the race. Makers: Women Who Make America gives these and other women equal prominence with so-called icons of the women’s movement.
The documentary, narrated by Meryl Streep, is a new perspective on the women who were part of history and gives women of today a chance to see how they may have benefitted from their work in the world.
It is lauded to be one of the best and most far-reaching films about the women's movement.