FEMINIST FRIDAY: Spending Mother’s Day Weekend Watching Netflix’s Michelle Obama Documentary!

Courtesy of Netflix

Welcome to a special Mother’s Day edition of Feminist Friday! The column where we share 3 of our favorite videos of the week centered around an intersectional feminist theme. While Mother’s Day isn’t typically considered a feminist topic, there are many social and political stories and narratives that help us understand how it actually is in America today (especially when you watch this John Oliver segment breaking down the hypocrisy around the annual celebration).

First up, a documentary that couldn’t have been released at a better time! Netflix released its Michelle Obama ‘Becoming’ on May 6, and ties in with the title of her recent memoir, which incidentally became the best-selling book in the US for the year 2018. The former First Lady and mom to two daughters, Malia and Sasha, always brings a sense of empowerment and warmth with her in her appearances.

Unlike the book which shares detailed accounts of her life growing up in Chicago to becoming the First Lady, ‘Becoming’, directed by Nadia Hallgren, is an intimate look into the life Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories. Watch the trailer below:

The second video this week is a short clip from a forthcoming documentary called ‘Pray Away’, directed by Kristine Stolakis, which delves into the history—and the legacy—of the “pray the gay away” movement in the United States. Often referred to as “gay conversion therapy”, or “ex-gay ministry” by churches, this harmful practice is now banned from being practiced on minors in 20 states, with Virginia becoming the first Southern state to sign legislation in 2020. But there is still a long way to go to counter the deep and harmful impact this form of “therapy” has brought to individuals and families.

In the clip, tweeted by the Pray Away account, we meet Julie Rodgers who was one of hundreds of thousands of people caught in the web of harm of Exodus International, which was the largest and most controversial conversion therapy organization in the world. As a writer, speaker and Christian, Julie today uses her voice to speak out against the harm of such practices and shares her own story. Watch the clip below, and follow news of the film’s release on Twitter. If you are interested in learning more about gay conversion therapy and the movement to ban it across America, follow the Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States campaign – the largest campaign in the world endeavoring to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy.

The final video this week is another campaign video, and underscores why Mother’s Day needs to be more of a national call-to-action about better policies for working mothers, including paid leave, and less about flowers and superficial consumerist platitudes.

The National Partnership for Women and Families has released a video called ‘Know Your Rights’ which is aimed at sharing important information for working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NPWF made the short video below to easily explain parents’ rights to paid leave for child care due to the Coronavirus.

It should be pointed out that although a handful of states offer paid leave to certain types of employees, America is still the only developed nation in the world not to have a national paid leave policy, or a national system of public childcare centers. And we can see how faulty and devastating this can be in the midst of a pandemic. Here’s hoping the country can progress toward better legislation, but in the meantime, Know Your Rights! You can learn more from the NPWF fact sheet, and watch the video below:

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Podcasts By Women, About Women, To Keep You Inspired This Summer - GirlTalkHQ

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