Monday, October 6, 2014

Your Invitation to the Sisterhood

Women’s progress is human progress.” –Hillary Clinton

Trending this past month was the word “feminism” and what it means to be “feminist.” We were brought to tears when Emma Watson moved us with her #HeForShe campaign speech at the UN. Clapped out loud when Lena Dunham called out to women to join together instead of being pitted against each other. What is the use of the word “feminism” if we aren’t all standing together for it? Instead we are debating on whether or not a woman is a good enough feminist. Obviously, there still needs to be more dialogue, more conversations, more debates on the issue of women’s rights in the United States, and more importantly around the world. The International Day of the Girl is upon us and in honor of this week, I am going to share with you three impactful documentaries you can watch on Netflix right now.

This is your formal invitation to become part of the sisterhood of solidarity. To become an activist, a leader, a voice, and a sister in efforts to join the movements of the different issues women face today. From female genital mutilation, to forced marriages, to not being allowed to get a driver’s license, for not having the right to receive an education, to constant degrading body images in the media, -- these are all issues women face in the world. And before you think “it’s a different country, it’s their problem,” every single one of these issues happen here in the United States of America.

The first thing you have to keep in mind when watching these very real issues is to not look upon these women with pity but with understanding, and with the solidarity of knowing you are most likely privileged to be reading an article like this right now. I am privileged to write this right now.
  1.  Girl Rising, 2013: This movie is all about giving girls education and with that education allows girls to become achievers and dreamers in their lives. You will follow the stories of nine girls from different parts of the world who face cultural setbacks from arranged marriages, to child slavery, and other injustices. Despite these horrific obstacles, these girls are rising up and breaking barriers to create change.
  2.  Honor Diaries, 2013: This movie features the stories, influences, and inspirations of nine courageous women’s rights activists in Muslim-majority societies. You will learn the hardships of women in Southeast Asia are undergoing on a daily basis. This movie advocates for discussion and the awareness of the issues women face.
  3.  Miss Representation, 2011: This movie explores the under-representation of women in the media. More importantly, of women in power and how their limited and often sexist portrayal is filtered to become a norm in our lives as part of our daily consumption of television, magazines, the internet, and social media.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that by watching these movies, you are becoming apart of these women’s lives, and it should make you see the world differently. Maybe even give you a power inside you to act.
"Apparently, I'm among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, -- unattractive even. Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?" - Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador