Friday, May 17, 2013

Girl Rising

I saw this documentary the other night, and I was very moved by the beauty of the cinematography, the power of the girls' voices, and the artistic way their stories were portrayed.  That's not to say it didn't have its flaws--there were segments of statistical commentary in between stories that became somewhat heavy handed, and the portrayal of women's educational opportunities in Afghanistan seemed overly rosy, at best.  Even so, the overall experience was inspiring and humbling, reminding me to be grateful for how I have always had access to education, to books, to ideas, to travel, to work that is not degrading, but meaningful and lucrative enough for a high standard of living.

The movie was, in my opinion, a nearly perfect expression of why feminism is important movement for creating a better world.  That word--feminism-- is so loaded, so often maligned, and generally treated with great suspicion.  But here's what I think it means: acknowledging that women have value and worth as human beings equal to men, recognizing that this equality is not culturally expressed, and expressing hope that something can be done to give women more opportunities.  That's really it.  There certainly are extreme branches of feminism that clamor for things that can cause great contention and debate, and while it's certainly likely that some of my own views on the matter might be more extreme than everyone is comfortable with, I remain convinced that its essential worldview of the value of women should really be universal.  Acknowledging the value of half the world's population, desiring that their potential might be better achieved--it seems hardly controversial.

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