It’s easy to get on a soapbox and rail against whatever one feels is wrong with the world. But sometimes, it takes art and music to give that needed change life.
I Am Woman premiered last year. Starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Evan Peters, and Danielle Macdonald, the movie tells the story of the late singer Helen Reddy. The narrative begins in 1963. Helen (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) is a single mother with a dream of signing a recording contract. Originally from Australia, she is currently living in New York City. Making a living as a lounge singer, it looks like her dream is just that.
Her fate changes when she meets music journalist Lillian Roxon (Danielle Macdonald) and wannabe talent manager Jeff Wald (Evan Peters). Lillian inspires Helen to write her iconic song “I Am Woman“. Jeff straddles to the dual role of husband and manager.
It looks like Helen has everything she has ever wanted. But fame and the constant grind of work begins to take a toll on her private life. Jeff becomes an addict, forcing Helen to take a hard look at her life.
The thing about a movie or television biopic is that it can feel dry and predictable. The womb to tomb story arc has been done to death. But this movie is neither dry or predictable. It is entertaining, charming, and most of all inspiring. I love that the filmmakers wove in their protagonist’s story with the burgeoning second wave of feminism in the 1970’s.
Her most famous song is the 1970’s feminist anthem, “I am Woman”.
The thing that I love about her song is that it reflects both the joy and the work that comes with being independent. It is also one of the OG feminist songs, paving the way for future female artists to express themselves and inspire the next generation of women.
RIP Helen Reddy. May your memory be a blessing to all of us who have walked on the trail you blazed for us.
It’s taken multiple generations and the hard work of countless women (and their male allies), but we have accomplished what our fore-mothers could only have dreamed of.
Granted, it goes without saying that the fight for equality is not over. Issues such as equal pay, sexual assault, and the right to make decisions over our own bodies are as much as in the forefront as they were decades ago.
My generation of feminists took the ball that our mothers and grandmothers started rolling and have run with it. We stand on their shoulders so that future generations will be able to finish this fight for good.