Film Follows 1960’s Womens Lib

Happy Fall! This wee In Jennifer Lee’s article, “Film follows 1960’s Womens lib” published Jackson Hole News and Guide talks about her process of making her film on women’s liberation and how she was inspired to develop this. Read more about the full process of her development here:

Jennifer Lee’s quest to make a film about the women’s liberation movement began when her co-worker whispered the question: Are you a feminist?
Lee knew the answer was yes, but she didn’t know how to explain why, so she set out to make the documentary “Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation.”
Lee’s film depicting memories from the feminist movement from 1963 to 1970 will be screened at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Ordway Auditorium at Teton County Library.
Like the whispers of Lee’s co-worker, a lot of information on the movement is not out in the open.
Wanting to know more, but not aware of how to find facts, Lee started calling people who lived before and during the start of modern-day feminism.
Her first phone call was to her mother.
“I asked her what was different back then,” Lee said. “She said she remembered looking in the female help-wanted section of the classifieds.”
The job postings for women were often for lower-level positions with lower-paying salaries.
Lee’s journey continued from there. She started interviewing women who played significant roles in the crusade for women’s equal rights.
She talked with Betty Friedan, author of “The Feminine Mystique,” the book that is often referred to as the catalyst of women’s liberation.
Lee also filmed Frances M. Beal, co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s Black Women’s Liberation Committee.
In the documentary Beal talks about the movements that overlapped during the late ’60s.
The civil rights movement was going on, and so were protests against the Vietnam War.
Lee said Beal describes how race, class and gender oppression related to one another back then. Lee said they still relate to one another today.
In fact, the more Lee discovered about women’s liberation, the more she noticed how many things have yet to change.
Women are still fighting for equal pay, and the U.S. has yet to have a woman serve as president.
While Lee believes the Civil Rights Act and campaigns such as the one for equal pay for women are important, she chose to focus her documentary particularly on female role models.
“When you look at dollar bills, do you ever see a female face on them?” she said. “There’s a Susan B. Anthony dollar coin and a Sacagawea one, but they are no longer in circulation.”
Lee said it is important for young women to know that women played a major part in U.S. history.
Despite the negative image of the bra-burning feminist, she said, there are several women who called themselves feminists who are worth looking up to.
And now, if she were asked the same question her co-worker asked years ago, Lee would have a different answer.
“I would say ‘yes’ out loud, and then I would give a list of reasons why,” she said.
“Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation” will be shown to celebrate National Women’s History Month.
Lee will be at the screening and will answer questions afterward.
She has been making feature films since 1987 and has worked on movies such as “Hook,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Forrest Gump.”
Lee said her experience working in Hollywood has helped shape her documentary-making career because she always tries to create a narrative that will capture the true stories she depicts.


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