I gave myself a birthday present today I treated my boyfriend and me to the movie Suffragette. I thought it might be a derivative retelling of the suffragette movement in the UK in the second decade of the 20th Century. It was anything but derivative. Nothing about the fight to get the vote for women in the 20th Century is uninventive, unimaginable or uninspired.
For almost 100 years, women have been leading a crusade to obtain the vote. Through sacrifice, desperation, jail and even death, women have been driven by the need to be heard and to be accounted for in society. We make up over half of the world’s population and most of us are not heard from in the underdeveloped part of the world.
Western civilization has acquiesced to the reality that women should be able to choose for themselves in all areas of life – at least in theory. However, there is still the debate in the United States that women should have full control over our bodies and that the male gender is a far superior barometer of what we need and want. What an absurd notion! Males find women very complex, and the only way they can understand us is to manage us.
The movie was emotionally moving. I cried, and then cried again and again because it was such a compelling story. I wanted to be a suffragette and fight the battle to get the vote so that I could determine my own destiny.
But I do control my destiny and I am one of the lucky women in the world who can say that. I don’t suffer degradation and food deprivation, nor do I live in squalor or poverty. I am able to get an education, to vote, to choose my profession, to marry who I wish, to raise my children the way I see fit, to determine my lifestyle choices and even to die with dignity.
Suffragette was so powerful a view of women struggling to achieve their natural rights that it captured once again the vivid stereotypes, male projections and paternalistic thinking that have produced a female underclass. The message of the movie was a grateful reminder that my life and the lives of an educated western world that we’ve come a long way toward civilized discourse and are getting closer to unequivocal disparity.
Although I have lived a little over 70 decades with gaining some knowledge and insight about the human condition, I acknowledge that I am still in an ongoing process of learning about the state of human existence.
Today, I made yet another intention to stay aware and focused about what constitutes parity in society for women. Although I can’t force the energy toward equality to move at a faster pace and instantly make the world a level playing field where rights for both men and women are equal, I can lead on by example and lend an awareness of to the plight of women who have no way to manifest their destiny. Knowledge is power and the knowledge of the history of how women struggled and fought to have an equal voice in society is germane in the way we conduct ourselves in society and lend our support to those who have no platform for their agenda.
So happy birthday to me in my 72 year. I’ve given myself yet another wake up call, another gift by renewing my intention to be all that I can be and use my knowledge and skills to influence other women to maximize their human potential so that they may lead on in their lives.