Money & Careers

Movie Review: ‘Equal Means Equal’ — An Idea Long Overdue

7f71bb99-cadf-4104-9e84-09cd4c47daf2Gloria Steinem, the de facto matriarch of the modern women’s movement, agreed to an interview with Lopez after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her observations underscore Lopez’s point that without guaranteed equality, every aspect of women’s lives are affected and effectively diminished. Steinem sees an historic link between women’s rights and abolition/civil rights. As master (of slave or wife), free men control reproduction, which in turn equates to wealth, power, defense, and legacy. “If we didn’t have wombs,” Steinem asserts wryly, “We’d be fine.”

Lopez, on the other hand, again and again points to the financial implications of equality. “Greed,” she says, “Is this country’s Achilles heel.” If it costs a corporation, Wal-Mart is used as an example, millions of dollars more to close the gender wage gap, why would they?

“What if we added it up and sued the government for back pay?” Lopez muses, “It would be trillions of dollars!”

Equal Means Equal is an enormously impressive accomplishment. It’s meticulously researched and well crafted, yet it isn’t easy to sit through. In fact, when I had the opportunity to speak with Lopez a few days after watching her film, I commended her and then confessed that I had found it deeply disturbing. In making the case for the prevalence of discrimination, exploitation, and victimization of women, she makes the problems seem insurmountable.

“What can we do about it?” I asked her. “What’s next?”

Lopez has a definite plan. Without much hope of major distribution (from the industry, she hears repeatedly, “We aren’t doing a woman’s project his year,” or “We already have a woman’s film in the pipeline,” or, “We can’t sell a woman’s film.”) she’s urging women to share the film at a grassroots level. Harkening back to the consciousness-raising activities of 1960s and 70s women’s liberation, Equal Means Equal is available for “house party” screenings. The aim is that the film and its powerful message will help bring the ERA back into the national conversation. She believes that when women — and especially young women — fully understand how they are being left out of what this country promises, things will change. “I’m a believer in civilization,” she declaims,” We won’t go backwards.”

“We have the power, duty and obligation to change things,” Lopez contends. “Everybody deserves safety and happiness.”

For more information about Lopez’s film, to preorder it on iTunes, request a screening, or host a house party, visit

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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, MD September 6, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Kamala Lopez has provided great inspiration for women to start the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment again. On March 22, 1972, the Senate vote of 84 to 8 sent the ERA to the states for ratification. Kentucky, my birth state, voted to ratify this amendment in June of 1972. This act gave me such courage as I entered medical school in the fall of that year, one of a very few women in an auditorium full of men. Ten years later, I finished my medical training on June 1982 and the amendment fell three states short of ratification and that was that. Business as usual. I chose a solo practice at the end of my training because I knew that I would survive and thrive with my capacity for hard work and passion for relationship based medical care for women. I knew that I would have no equal rights in a bureaucratic hospital or clinic run by men.

    I can imagine that Alex found this film disturbing to watch. It was so painful to live through that time with hope then readjust to loss.

    I am so grateful that this film has been produced and have hope again that it may serve to educate and galvanize women and men to begin the struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment once and for all.

  • jean lawless September 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Equal Means Equal,could it have come at a more timely time than right now when our supreme court will be needing new judges and our next president might be…..?This is alot more than the ERA,its our rights as human beings in all aspects.Kamala Lopez has opened a door and millions can rush through and change the world for the better.Thank you for the gift Kamala,you deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.Jean H.Lawless