Feminism is Dying

During our recent relocation, I’ve discovered some new things to keep me entertained while we waited for our furniture and household goods to arrive. A process that took much longer than we expected. Luckily, Doug had a small fold-down stool in the trunk of his car that we shared for sitting. At the moment, our bed is a mattress on the floor, albeit a very comfortable one, and our lights in the bedroom are the little push-light pucks that you put under the cabinets or in your closet because apparently, the rent here is not high enough to earn you a light fixture?

Last week, while I sat on my fold-down stool, I discovered a show on Amazon Prime called “Good Girls Revolt”. Set in NYC 1969, I was hooked from the moment I saw the fictionalized Nora Ephron challenge the editor on the magazine’s refusal to allow women to be reporters. The show was inspired by the true story about the women at Newsweek Magazine who filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission because they were not allowed to report. As I watched the show progress, it made me wonder, if the writers are storytellers of fortune tellers, because “Good Girls Revolt” rings a lot like the set of the USA circa 2017. Just do a quick Google search for “Feminism is Dying,” and you’ll see what I mean.

Discrimination against women at work, discrimination against women of color at work, discrimination against women at home, sexual harassment — everywhere. “Good Girls Revolt” was canceled, as I painfully realized after watching the final episode of season one. But it’s not the “why” that shocked me, we all know why, right ladies? It’s the WHO. The show was canceled by the now ousted Amazon studios chief, Roy Price, who resigned because of a sexual harassment claim that one of the top producers made against him and later went public about.

Amazon claims the show was performing poorly, and that’s why Price canceled it. However, according to the Washington Post (which is ironically owned by Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezoz… awkward!) the show “earned rave reviews, a 96 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience score and plenty of media buzz. Amazon’s decision, which came just weeks after its October 2016 release, prompted the show’s creator to make the rare move of calling out Price specifically.”

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As of last week, on Amazon, the show has 4.8 out of five stars based on 28,855… and now, 28,856 reviews. 85% of the reviews are five stars, 10% are four stars and you can do the rest of the math. So I got curious. I kept digging through the reviews and went looking for the bad ones, trying to figure out what people found to be so awful about the show to give it one star.

Several women wrote bad reviews because of the sex scenes that were too “nasty” to swallow, no pun intended. One woman, in particular, was so upset about the sex scenes she decided to watch the film, ” The Age of Adaline” instead and gave it a rave five-star review. By the way, I’ve seen that movie and the two main characters do have a sex scene. I read her review of “Good Girls Revolt” further… “lurid, naked sex,” she wrote offended. (See below) So does she prefer clothed sex??? We’ll explore that in a later post.

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That’s cool, I understand if sex on TV makes some people uncomfortable, but in this review, she’s missing the point. The 70’s were the decade of women’s liberation and sexual freedom, that’s what the show’s creators are trying to convey. Another woman was so upset about the character who stepped on poop in one scene that she just could not bare going on with the series. #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS for real! In that scene, the writers are showing how filthy the city was in that era and how little some people cared, this I think highlights how much that has changed since then. In current times, that guy who let his dog poop on the sidewalk would possibly get a ticket, but definitely some serious side-eye from pedestrians. Another one who missed the point.

The point is that situations like this, where a strong female-led show is canceled by a guy who sexually harassed his producer, then seeing some of the negative comments about the show FROM WOMEN, makes me wonder if feminism is dying. Last week I posted the question on Facebook, my favorite way to make waves, “Feminism is dying and we, the millennial women are to blame. True or False? Why?” I received many eloquent responses who said that feminism is alive and well and we need it now more than ever. But I also saw a couple of responses that made me want to slap someone. “Feminism, or the women’s rights movement if you will, was necessary back in the day when women were actually treated as second class citizens… but that is not the case these days.” Said a man. In what world does he live in? I guess he doesn’t pay attention to the reports that show there’s still a major discrepancy in how much $ women make to the amount men earn, for the same positions. Or maybe he’s missed this whole #MeToo movement where countless women have come forward with their accounts of sexual harassment at work. I don’t know how it is possible for anyone to think that we no longer need feminism, but the fact that they are thinking this leads me to believe that we need to do better.

Women, as a group, no matter our ethnicity, nationality, skin tone, or social status need to continue pushing the issue and working to be heard. Because we’ve become comfortable, and passive about our approach. “Oh, I’m not a feminist.” I’ve heard women speak offended. WHAT? Ladies, if you have a vagina, and you don’t like being treated like less of a person because of that, then you are by default a feminist. It’s not a dirty word!

Feminism is not reserved for middle class and rich white women. Feminism is for everyone and we are finally starting to do better, as a society to incorporate issues that affect ALL women, regardless of skin tone or socio-economic status. This is referred to, in woke circles, as Intersectional Feminism. The term has been around for decades, however many still do not realize what it stands for. According to the textbook definition, Intersectional Feminism is “the view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”

So I suppose the old feminism is dying and a new era of feminism has arrived.  Being a feminist means you believe that women should be free to make their own choices, should receive equal treatment than men under the law, and should be paid equally to men for equal work. But we must not forget to address the issues of racial inequality that affect feminist’s ideas of what we should be working on right now. There was once a time, as the show “Good Girls Revolt” portrays when the movement needed a pretty, well-to-do white face on the cover, so the powerful men of the world would pay attention. Do we still live in such a time? Or have we evolved to understand that inequality is represented by many faces? This is the true test we are living through as a country right now. Can we handle it?

You’re probably wondering, how Amazon is responding to this new wave of feminism. If they can do it, others will too! Well, “Good Girls Revolt” is still canceled. They replaced the old studio chief with another man. His name is Jeff Blackburn, I’m sure he’s perfectly qualified, but it’s worth to note that on his top ten leadership team, the Amazon CEO has only one woman, and not one of these leaders is black, latino, middle-eastern, Asian, Native American, the list goes on… (According to CNBC)

So is feminism dying??? It sure feels like it sometimes. What are we going to do to push it forward and wake people up? 

 

 

If you want to get yourself fired up or check my research, go read the bad reviews of Good Girls Revolt.

 

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