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Empowering Young Women with the film ‘Suffragette’

We attended a media event for the film

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I grew up in a time of “firsts” for women – Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman appointed as Supreme Court Justice, and Sally Ride was the first female astronaut, to name a few. I feel it is important that young girls grow up knowing that they can be anything they want – not just hoping. When we have role models in real life, it is inspiring. I want to keep this trend going because I have a daughter, and I want her to see all the options in front of her and not to limit herself. In that vein, “Suffragette” is keeping with the tradition of “firsts” and empowerment for women.

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Bringing the topic of voting rights for women to the forefront, the movie “Suffragette” is a must-see film, especially in this very important presidential election. Producers Faye Ward and Allison Owen told me that this movie took five years to come to fruition, and they are very excited that it is coinciding with our election year, but it was not planned to be that way.

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Ms. Ward wanted to make this movie because of the importance of the subject matter and the fact that feminism has been waning recently. Allison Owen, a feminist herself, wanted to make the movie have an impact on the younger generation of women all over the world.

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They wanted to make a movie that would help women to feel empowered and to realize that change comes from being part of the system – which is impossible without the simple right to vote.

Screenwriter Abi Morgan was triggered to write the screenplay for “Suffragette” after talking with Director Sarah Gavron and their desire to look at the journey of the working class women who had to go through the inequalities stemming from their lack of rights. They wanted to find out more about the foot soldiers, the women who fought so hard, even experience police brutality, simply for the right to vote.

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When I asked why the word feminism has such bad connotations, Allison Ward feels there is a myth that feminists don’t like men. She also feels the media perpetually shows feminists in a negative light. In making the movie, Ms. Ward is hoping to reclaim the power of the word. I think Abi Morgan said it best when asked about the “F” word, “The word feminism has survived.”

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I think this is a must see movie. There is such high voter apathy these days, particularly amongst young women, and a movie like this really makes one see how important it is not to take the right to vote for granted.

“Suffragette” is currently in theaters now.

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