Every social movement starts with a small step toward change.
The 2021 Netflixdocumentary, 9to5: The Story of a Movement is the real-life 9 to 5. In Boston in the 1970s, female office workers were second-class employees. Stuck in an administrative (aka the secretary) role, they were blocked from climbing the professional ladder due to their gender. Banding together, they raised their voice and fought for better pay, better opportunity, and against sexual harassment.
I loved it. My generation of women stands on the figurative shoulders of these women. Without them, we would still be making coffee and answering the phone for our male bosses. What was also apparent is that though it’s been fifty-odd years, the issues they experienced then are still being wrestled with now.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
9to5: The Story of a Movement is available for streaming on Netflix.
When Patrick Bronte died in 1861, he was the last surviving member of his immediate family. Outliving his wife and all six of his children, his legacy would have faded into history if not for the extraordinary books of his three youngest daughters.
Though history tells us that Patrick died without any descendants, author Catherine Lowell asks what if someone living today could claim otherwise. In her 2016 book, The Madwoman Upstairs, Samantha Whipple is an American woman raised in Boston who can make this kind of statement. Raised by her late unconventional father after her parent’s divorce, many believe that she has access to a treasure trove of previously unseen materials created by her ancestors. But Samantha has no knowledge of these artifacts and believes them to be fiction. When she enrolls at Oxford University, clues begin to confirm that what Samantha believes to myth is fact. Working with a handsome professor who she gets along with like oil and water, the mystery of her birthright starts to reveal itself.
I loved the first half of the book. There are plenty of Easter eggs to please the most ardent of Bronte fans. I will warn that the reader should go into the novel with at least some knowledge of their life and work. Otherwise many of the details of the plot will go over their heads. The problem is the second half. The unraveling of the truth is not as exciting as it could be. Neither is “romance” between Samantha and her professor. The sisters are known for heart pounding, blood pumping sexuality (Charlotte and Emily to be specific. Anne‘s novels are not as highly charged in that manner). There is no chemistry between the characters, nor do I believe that in their happily ever after.
The purpose of religious observance is to provide community and structure to the ins and outs of our daily lives. That does not mean, however, that some within the clergy will use their power for less than honorable means.
When this movie originally came out six years ago, I tried to see it in the theater. There is a reason why it was sold out. It is gripping, intelligent, and a bare knuckle ride from start to finish. This is why we go to the movies. It is also a reminder of why journalism is so important and can never be overlooked.
It’s no secret that for most of American history (and human history), a minority has ruled the majority. This minority is the straight, White, Christian and (mostly) wealthy male minority. The rest of us have had to fight for our basic rights.
I suppose that the organizers see it as their version of the LGBTQ Pride parade. But this parade is nothing more than a statement of hate and reminding us who is still in charge.
We are thankfully living in an era in which those of us who have been disenfranchised have rights and opportunities that previous generations had only dreamed of. But those rights and opportunities only came about because of those previous generations who fought, marched and protested for their their rights.
I respect their right to march, but I highly disagree with the reason for the march. If we want to better this country, it’s time that we came together instead of dividing us based on superficial reasons.