Tag: “Feel Good Stories”


659c2fd9d6d148fb28816576425f929a_largeAbout two months ago I was asked to create a short video that would state, “ I AM A FEMINIST, WE ARE ALL FEMINISTS”.  It would be used to help with the promotion of a new documentary, FEMINISTS – WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?   I chuckled upon this request as I come from a long line of “feminists” and I would only be stating “the obvious”.  After all, my family was known to have strong minded women, who are progressive with our thought and believe in equality, etc.  So, making this declarative video was a “no brainer” for me.

BUT.. then I got thinking.  Isn’t EVERYONE a “feminists”?  Surely, there can’t be too many of my contemporaries that believe women should be “June Cleaver” and not have much of a role outside of the home?  Or that if all else is equal that a man should be given a job- “just because”.

Let the research begin... So I decided to delve into this topic. Recalling where I was in the 1960’s when the feminist movement was really getting some power. And how DIFFERENT it would have been if social media was available!  This is what I learned:

1-  Most teens these days don’t realize that there was a time where women were not considered capable of tackling jobs that were traditionally given to men.

2- Most teens these days are confused as to why female students were not allowed to dress in pants, let alone jeans, in public schools. And how those rules didn’t change for me, at least, until the 1970’s!

3- Many teens these days are unfamiliar with what exactly transpired during the feminist movement and are unfamiliar with names such as Betty Freidan or Gloria Steinam.

Ahhh… I get it!  FEMINISTS – WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? is an educational documentary.

So that our youth DON’T forget the hard fought battle women (and men) conducted to be sure that all had equal opportunities.



Then there is a question that still bugs me… why are women NOT paid in the workplace what a man is paid?  In fact, many women are paid only 2/3 of the salary of a man.  Say what??

Read related article about women being paid less then men 

As an educator, a woman and a mom to a grown daughter, I believe it is my responsibility to help our youth learn about the feminist movement from a historical and contemporary perspective.  To do that I interviewed Johanna Demetrakas, the director and spirit behind the documentary- FEMINISTS WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!   Johanna is a fascinating woman who knows her “stuff” when it comes to filmmaking!  She clearly wants to preserve the historical aspects of the Feminists movement in a legacy film reminiscent of  Steven Spielberg’s SHOAH Foundation.  What I found fascinating with Johanna is that she truly believes that the Feminist movement didn’t start in the 1960’s but at the start of World War II when women went to work in the place of men. This Johanna strongly cites was the catalyst for change in the societal role of women.  Instead of being only a person who cared for home and family, women in the 1940’s were made an integral part of the workforce and demonstrated their extreme capabilities far beyond making the perfect apple pie!

History. Legacy. Equality.

That is what I believe has been Johanna’s vision for making this movie. She wants to tell a story so that people don’t forget or minimize the importance of the Feminist Movement.

Below  Johanna and I discuss the  catalyst for the movie


Now for the film specifics. First, it brings together voices past and present of known leaders in the Feminist Movement. The filmmakers had this to say about the “why” behind the making of this film:

In the late ‘70s, Cynthia MacAdams, an actress turned photographer, was roaming the streets of Los Angeles and New York photographing women.  She did it, she said, becausesomething new was happening in women and she wanted to see if it showed up in photographs.  Laurie Anderson, Anne Waldman, Gloria Steinem, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Kate Millett, Patti Smith, Michelle Phillips, Judy Chicago, Marisol Escobar, Meredith Monk stopped what they were doing and looked into her lens.  And many others, whose names and faces may not be so familiar but their struggle is–they stopped and looked too.  And out of it came abook called EMERGENCE. 

Read more

The film is currently in production but in need of a financial infusion of support.  To help  go to KICKSTARTER at this LINK.    Join me in supporting this project! You will be glad you did!  

Continue the conversation and follow all the news by using the hashtag #Feminists_WWTT  if you are on TWITTER.  



One Man + Wheelchair + Documentary Film Crew + 3300 Miles Across America = ROLL WITH ME!

On April 1, 2013 Gabriel Cordell will take his wheelchair and his story of inspiration across America!

On April 1, 2013 Gabriel Cordell will take his wheelchair and his story of inspiration across America!

 Gabriel Cordell believes EVERYONE can learn from his story which is simple.. “Anyone can be an athlete!”

 He believes that people in wheelchairs can be athletes.

 He believes that people with cognitive challenges can be athletes.  

And he believes that even women in their 50’s can be athletes… get my drift!?  

Above is a photo from this past weekend where I attended, with Gabriel and friends,  the ABILITIES EXPO in Los Angeles.  He had just finished scaling a rock wall with no assistance in under 40 seconds.   This was faster than anyone that day.. or maybe ever.   His “posse”,  a film crew, lead by director Lisa France,  was there to start documenting the amazing feats of Gabriel in a documentary titled  ROLL WITH ME “.  

This film will chronicle Gabriel’s journey from California to New York.  The key component in this movie is that the stars will be a man and his wheelchair. The setting will be the roadways of the continental United States.. virtually from sea to shining sea as Gabriel starts his trek on April 1, 2013 and hopes to complete it by arriving in New York City 75 days later. Along the route he will go through the dry desert of Arizona in to the lush farm lands of the Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri until he reaches the city streets of New York City.  They will all depend on the kindness of strangers to help keep them company, bring a meal or ship some supplies. The team also can use someone to donate or rent (cheap) an RV.

Gabriel’s goal is simple – Inspire kids and adults with personal challenges.  He hopes that people will ride alongside him in their wheelchairs, bikes, scooters or skateboards.

I can’t wait to help cheer Gabriel and all on as they leave from Santa Monica!  I hope you will want to be part of this magical journey, too!

Here is what YOU can do  to be part of TEAM ROLL WITH ME!

1) CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/roll-with-me-a-documentary-film

2) SHARE THE STORY with people who are looking for “feel good, positive stories”

3) CONSIDER DONATING food, an afternoon to meet and roll alongside Gabriel on your bike, scooter, skateboard, etc.  Also, some $$ to help with expenses would be greatly appreciated.

4) Organize your group to help- such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Church Groups, CERT/EMS groups, Dairy Cooperatives, Farm Cooperatives, Local Film Societies and more! 



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