Wed., Jan. 15, 9-10 pm–Then and Now: New Hope for Childcare in New York City–plus: Reclaiming our Feminist History

Joy of Resistance airs on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 9-10 pm (EST) at 99.5 FM in the tri-state area & streams live at wbai.org. JOR tweets at @joyofresistance

We’ll start the show by touching on some of the major issues for women’s rights in 2013 and what we are facing in the new legislative session–as well as announcing events for the upcoming 41st Anniversary of Roe v.Wade on January 22.

There is new hope in New York City for progress on a longstanding feminist demandaffordable and accessible childcare (including Pre-K and After-school programs) for all–now that we have a new Mayor who has pledged to prioritize this issue.

Our first interview will be with Neal Tepel, who was an organizer with DC 1707 (the Union of daycare workers) which led the fight against former Mayor Bloomberg‘s decimation of the city’s daycare system. Neal will help us assess the state of these critical facilities today, catch us up on recent history and try to see the shape of daycare’s immediate future in NYC. We’ll also play a portion of our 2010 interview with Professor Rosalyn Baxandall, who was part of the original feminist direct action movement that won for New York City a daycare system that was a model for the rest of the country.

In the 2nd half of the show, we’ll speak with Jennifer Lee, director and creator of the new film Feminist Stories from Women’s Liberation–which just  won the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival as “Best in the Festival for Documentary”–but which, more importantly, has the approval of many of the movement pioneers–approval difficult to come by, as this group was actually there  and has had to see its history distorted many times over.The documentary chronicles the story of the women’s liberation movement from 1963 to 1970. Beginning in 2005, Lee traveled the country interviewing many of the women who created modern feminism.

Lee introduces the film by telling her audience that she was motivated to go on this quest because she couldn’t figure out why the word “feminist”, when it came up in the conversations of her generation, was whispered, as if it were a scary and somehow shameful word. She felt that being a feminist was a good thing–but didn’t have the information whe needed in order to convince the whisperers of why she felt that way. She wondered why her feminist history had been so hidden from her and became determined to go in search of it.  

Lee interviewed, among others, Betty Friedan (Lee holds the rights to her last video interview before she passed), Aileen Hernandez (first head of the EEOC), Kathie Sarachild, (a member of Redstockings and a SNCC worker), Frances Beal (SNCC Women’s Liberation Committee and author of Triple Jeopardy), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton–and many others. 

Punctuated by an astonishing amount of period footage and an energetic sound-track; the film touches on women in the U.S. before the feminist movement (starting with their having been ousted from well paying jobs after WWll); Betty Friedan‘s publication of the The Feminine Mystique; the President’s Council on the Status of Women; the struggles within the movement over lesbianism as well as class and race; the influence of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Civil Rights Movement; the fight to get women included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, leading to the founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW); the Miss America Beauty Pageant Protest–and up to the Ladies Home Journal sit-in and the Women’s Strike for Equality. Many of the issues you see being raised in the film by are still being struggled for today–such as full access to reproductive rights and childcare–some 50 years later! Joy of Resistance hopes to offer DVD’s of this film as a premium during WBAI’s Winter Fund Drive in February.

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