I finally got to watch PBS' new documentary charting the women's rights movement in America (thanks PBS for posting the entire 3 hour film online for us to enjoy here). As much as I (someone majoring in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) or anyone else may know about the eruption of second wave feminism in the 1960s and 70s, it is still powerful to reflect on these histories. The film does a great job of featuring countless interviews with men and women, including people involved in organizations that countered feminist movements (pro-life activists, anti-ERA activists, etc). It is impossible to feature every aspect of a social movement, especially one as far-reaching and revolutionary as the women's liberation movement - which affected men, women, children, the economy, popular culture, law, education policies, labor rights, etc. However, I was a bit disappointed with the gentle highlight of women of color and their response to the second wave, which I think could have been better handled; especially considering that these fierce conversations between women of color feminisms and tradtionally white, middle-class feminism are what brought on the third wave. As many others have recognized, I also wish that the film had ventured into the late 1990s up until now, with young feminist movements and their utilization of the Internet (hello!). Perhaps they will continue making segments of "Makers," and continue this story, but for now, here are some articles and reviews that I find critical to the film:
A Pinterest board that showcases millenial feminists: "Feminists of Generation Now"
"PBS Gives Feminist History Its Due in Three-Hour Documentary, But Skimps on Today" from Slate's XX Factor
A history of the making of the film: from Time Entertainment
The "Makers" Blog with reactions to the film: here
And the Twitter page where you can read about and join in on the conversation: #makerschat
I encourage everyone to watch this film with both a critical eye and praise for the work that went into both the making of the documentary and the women's movement! Then feel free to share your thoughts here.