Sunday, April 30, 2017

Women's Rights Documentary Equal Means Equal Brings Fight To Memphis

Posted By on Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 3:33 PM

Here is the text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification


The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1920, guaranteed women the right to vote, but the suffergette movement that produced that great human rights victory didn't feel that the struggle for sexual equality under the law finished there. The first draft of what would become known as the ERA was written during the Seneca Falls Convention of 1923. Fifty years later, a fierce, decades long battle in Congress and state legislatures came very close to finally ratifying it, enshrining equal treatment for men and women under the law. The final failure to ratify in 1982 came as a major blow to the feminist movement. But with the defeat of Hilary Clinton by Donald Trump, American feminism has become energized as never before, turning out the largest protest march in the history of the republic last January. Now there is a serious movement afoot to bring the dreams of generations of women to fruition by finally enshrining the ERA as the Constitution.

This is the atmosphere into which Equal Means Equal is being released. Actress turned director Kamala Lopez steps back from the daily political storms to render the big picture of women's rights in twenty first century America. The film is a mixture of ground level stories of pay inequality, domestic assault, and discrimination, and examinations of the legal and political fights for reproductive, economic, and legal rights for women.
click to enlarge Equal Means Equal director Kamala Lopez
  • Equal Means Equal director Kamala Lopez

The Memphis Women In Film and the Memphis Area Women's Council have arranged three free screenings of Equal Means Equal during May. The first one will be May 2 at Malco Ridgeway at 7:00 PM. The second will be a part of the MWIF/Indie Memphis event series, and will happen on Monday, May 8, 7:00 PM, at Crosstown Arts, with complimentary food and beverages beginning at 6:30 PM. The third will be at the National Civil Rights Museum on Tuesday, May 16 at 6 PM, which will be accompanied by refreshments and a panel discussion facilitated by Memphis Area Women's Council.

For a taste of the film, here's the trailer:

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