Change does not happen from nothing. It requires the will to see it happen and the bravery to stand up against those who would prevent such change.
Radium Girls premiered in 2018. Based on a true story, it takes place in the 1920’s. Sisters Bessie (Joey King) and Josephine (Abby Quinn) are employed by American Radium (based on the real company U.S. Radium Corp). Their job is to paint watches and military dials with radium. In order to paint within the miniscule lines, they had to wet the brushes with their lips. When Josephine starts to get sick, Bessie starts to put two and two together. But when the company starts to push back, she realizes that getting justice is easier said than done.
The narrative is the classic underdog/working class vs. the big bad men who keep them down. Though the story is in the same genre as Iron Jawed Angels, Norma Rae, and Suffragette, I didn’t getting the same “yes I can” rush that I usually get with these kind of films.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Radium Girls is available for streaming on Netflix.
The core of any legitimate democracy is the right to vote. On the surface, voting is a simple act. But if one were to dig a little deeper, they would see that voting is much more than simply casting your ballot on election day.
Today is the 100 anniversary of the 19th Amendment. In the span of history, 100 years is not a long time. But in the history of the fight for female equality in the United States and around the world, 100 years means the difference between being chattel and beating treated as a full human being.
The women of that generation saw voting as only the first step. They understood then, as we do now, that gaining the vote was only the first step in a long path ahead of them.
Given our breathtaking progress in the past century, there is a part of me that is bursting with pride. But another part of me knows that legislation cannot wash away centuries of sexism and double standards. That requires education and changing of hearts and minds.
Though there are many issues that must be dealt with (including the fact that women of color are still fighting for their rights), the fact that we have come as far as we have is nothing to sneeze at.
Ladies, we know that today is a celebration. But we also know that there much more work to be done. Today, we take a breath and a moment to enjoy the progress that has been made. But tomorrow, the work begins anew.
There is a lot that has been said, but I feel like it comes down to two words: thank you.
Thank you to the generations of women who have come before us. Their bravery, strength, and courage paved the way for us.
Thank you to the current generation of women who continue to fight for our rights. And finally, thank you to the future generation of women who will end the fight and live within the equal world that we are all fighting for.
Nowadays, the fact that women have accomplishments and responsibilities outside of the traditional female sphere seems normal. But the reality is that it was not too long ago that women had no rights and had to fight for even the most basic of rights that men take for granted. The 19th Amendment was only ratified in 1920.
Don’t get me wrong, our accomplishments in only a few generations are nothing short of breathtaking. When our fore mothers were simply fighting for the right to vote and have a voice in their government, they might not have foreseen the snowball effect of wanting to vote. The educational and professional opportunities that were once closed to us are now ours for the taking. We can choose if and when we marry and have children. Our lives are our own.
But even with all of that, there are still many battles to fight:
Equal pay for equal work.
Safety from sexual violence, at home, on the street and at work.
Easy access to safe and reliable birth control.
This war is not over and will not be over until women are seen and treated as equals to men. While that day has not come yet, it will come. We just have to keep working and fighting for it.
Across the nation tomorrow, multiple towns and cities will be holding local elections.
I urge my fellow citizens, if there is a local election in your area, regardless of where your land on the political spectrum, to get out and vote.
It is our right, it is our privilege, it is our responsibility. There countries around the world where the simple act of voting is tantamount to revolution.
My fellow New York City residents, if they are still up in the air about whom they are voting for, can find more information here.
I also want to remind any woman who is ambivalent about voting, what it took to get us the right to vote.
Alice Paul was tortured in prison, just for protesting that women could not vote. If we don’t vote tomorrow, we dishonor her memory and the memories of the women of that generation who suffered so we could vote.
Next Tuesday is a momentous day in American politics. November 8th, 2016 is the day that we finally go to the polls and determine who will next occupy the oval office for the next four years.
Regardless of who we vote for, we need to vote. Here are the reasons why:
Voting is both a privilege and a responsibility:
There are far too many countries in this world of ours where voting simply does not happen. The right to have a say in how a government runs a country is still a dream for far too many.
Don’t complain if you don’t like the decisions that our next President may or may not make.
There is always that one person who doesn’t vote because they don’t like either of the candidates of they feel like their voice is not heard. I can’t force anyone to vote next Tuesday, but I will say this: don’t complain about the direction this country is taking. Just saying.
For American women, this election is the most important election in our country’s history. There is no reason why any woman should sit back and rest on their laurels next Tuesday.
With a certain misogynistic, fake tan wearing Republican candidate running, Donald Trump, running for office, we need to send a message that a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be. Not just in the bedroom or the kitchen or the playroom with the children. There are no boundaries to what a woman can accomplish.
Crossing fingers, America will have her first female President in the form of Hillary Clinton. As a woman reared by the second generation of feminism, hearing the words Madame President is music to my ears and represents the work of many women for more than 100 years.
It was not that long ago that American women were fighting for the right to vote. In four years, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Next Tuesday, we have an honor, a right, a privilege and a responsibility to step into the voting booth and determine how our future will be. I am proud to be an American and I am proud that my voice will be heard.
Today was the Democratic and Republican primaries in New York State.
Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary and Donald Trump won the Republican primary.
Today I voted.
Among the iconic and most basic human rights that are listed on the Bill Of Rights, one of the most important is the right to vote. It guarantees all citizens have a voice in how their country is being run.
I voted today not just because it is a privilege, but because it is my right and responsibility. There are many countries around the world where voting rights are severely restricted or non-existent, especially for women.
I voted today because 100 years ago, women were still fighting for the right to vote.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, I’d like to share a few quotes and videos from some of the trailblazers and fore-mothers who have come before us.
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand.
“If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light: they misapprehend them, both for good and evil: their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Shirley
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”- Jane Austen, Persuasion
“A woman is like a tea bag-you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water”-Eleanor Roosevelt
“The greatest feminists have also been the greatest lovers. I’m thinking not only of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, but of Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and of course Sappho. You cannot divide creative juices from human juices. And as long as juicy women are equated with bad women, we will err on the side of being bad.”-Erica Jong, Fear Of Flying
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!