In January, I began putting more focus on my feature length documentary, Pioneers in Skirts. This is a documentary I have been “thinking about” for over three years. It started out as a short film about the Business & Professional Women’s Organization, (BPW) an organization started over 90 years ago to advocate for women’s rights. As I sat behind the camera listening to their stories, I realized I had never heard them before, at least not from someone who wasn't on the cover of newspapers and interviewed by Oprah. This was the “average” person who made change happen.
Like the Gandhi quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” - these are those people. I was in absolute awe of them.
I watched the footage again and again as I edited the short film. I realized that we, my generation, never really asked average women who came before us to share their stories. For some reason, we associate women’s rights and advocacy as “feminism from the past.” And those of us who are in our twenties justify our disassociation from the bra-burners because we have nothing to complain about, nothing to continue fighting for. Women are doing okay, right? We don’t want to be perceived as “that girl” who is never happy with the state of women today. C’mon…you know “that girl.”
The past is the past right? No. The only equal right we have to men is the right to vote! I learned that fact when I was working on the BPW short film.
I don’t want Pioneers in Skirts to be a call to “fight” - I want it to be a call to support. I have come to realize the women of my generation no longer support each other the way the women of the 60s and 70s did. I want that back. I think we need that back to continue working toward equality and beyond.
Do you, as a woman, feel you can accomplish anything? Or do you struggle with that “family issue?” Or are you afraid of appearing too aggressive? In my preliminary interviews for Pioneers in Skirts I met women who have these fears and older women who lived through these fears. So what’s the answer? The answer is support (promise me you’ll still watch the movie now that I’ve given you the conclusion...). We can’t hide in the corner afraid to share our troubles, and we can’t judge each other for sharing. We need to support each other and offer solutions. This is the only way for women to continue a forward momentum toward equality in the workplace.
I swear, if someone says to me one more time, “Oh, look at the hens working together,” I will scream! But you don’t do that. Don't scream. Don’t do what I do…
Please, please don’t let the bulls**t that people say to you discourage you from realizing women need to stick together. Through Pioneers in Skirts, I will share the stories of women being knocked down by words of others and how they pioneered through.
Please keep up with the making of this film. If we all can share this notion of support – and really change our way of thinking – then we can make a real difference. Together.