In this week’s Wednesday 5: the documentary MAKERS: Women Who Make America premieres next week; unpacking the myth of women as terrible drivers; a flashback to 1949 lists on how women can be more attractive to men; male stereotypes that Hollywood needs to rid itself of, and the beauty of educating girls in our world’s poorest countries.

 

MAKERS Documentary Premieres February 26 on PBS

What an incredible month it has been for women’s movements. We’re still reeling from the global impact of last week’s One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women and girls. Next week, we’re anticipating the premiere of the groundbreaking documentary MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Women’s Voices has been following this documentary-in-process over the past year, and we have featured excerpts about phenomenal women such as Susan Brownmiller, Lilly Ledbetter, Sandra Cisneros, and Sheryl Sandberg, among others. Now completed, MAKERS: Women Who Make America weaves together remarkable stories of trailblazing women who led the fight to challenge the status quo across all industries. Check your local PBS listings here for details on the premiere. 

MAKERS: Women Who Make America – Trailer

 

 

Jane Jetson and the Origins of the “Women Are Bad Drivers” Joke

jetsons-jane-driving-lesson-smWhere did this myth that women are worse drivers than men come from? Clearly, the claim is not true, but perhaps The Jetsons can shed light on the origin, declares Smithsonian Magazine, which has been doing a sociological analysis of every episode of the TV show from the original 1962–63 season. Yes, you read that right, the Jetsons are worth the Smithsonian’s time! Jane Jetson of 1963 was supposed to represent “the American middle-class everywoman of 2063,” and yet she portrays the 21st-century woman as a terrible driver throughout the series. It’s a timely analysis when we consider the fact that Danica Patrick just made history as the first woman to win the Daytona 500 pole. The article argues:

 

Much like other episodes of “The Jetsons,” we’re left to wonder what kind of real-world impact a different depiction of the future may have had on the world we live in today. Obviously, the episode is little more than one long “women are terrible drivers” joke and it’s easy to dismiss it as such, but it was seen repeatedly throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s by kids all over the world. Time and again we see “The Jetsons” used as a way to talk about the future in which we’re currently living.

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.

 

Flashback to 1949

Speaking of antiquated myths about women, we found this 1949 list featured on the blog Explore. It’s from Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, and features 17 ways women can make themselves more attractive to men. As Explore’s editor noted, the list “is the most amusingly appalling memento from the yesteryear’s sexism since that Victorian list of don’ts for female cyclists.” Enjoy and be thankful for how far we’ve come. Although we think number 7 is still sound advice! (Click images to enlarge)

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Six Male Stereotypes Hollywood Needs to Let Go Of

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We’ve spent lots of time lamenting the stereotypical and one-dimensional roles for women in Hollywood. Noah Brand at The Good Men Project says there are equally horrid stereotypes for men as well. “Real feminism has been doing a good job breaking down the cheap stereotypes, clichés, and ill-drawn characters that have too often been women’s lot in TV and movies. It’s past time we started doing the same for men,” says Brand. His list of male stereotypes is as funny as it is serious. He sheds light on the “strong, silent type,” the “romantic stalker,” the “sitcom husband,” and the “badass loner,” among others, and why these figures are harmful to both male and female viewers.

Read more at The Good Men Project.

 

 

Girls Rising . . . through Education

For this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you Nazma’s story—a young girl in Kolkata, India, fighting her way out poverty by fighting for an education. She is featured in the upcoming film Girls Rising, which champions education for girls around the world.

The Road Out of Homelessness, Nazma of Kolkata, India, from the upcoming Girls Rising film.