The Night of Terror: 100 Years, Women Were Beaten and Tortured For the Right to Vote:

This story needs to keep being told until equality truly exists. A movement is afoot to make sure this happens. 

Because of these brave women, others began to emerge to become “inconvenient woman” in their own rights. Some of them became my role models because of my love of movies, movies I watched at night on TV with my mom. Katherine Hepburn, in particular, became a lifelong favorite and whom I saw many years ago in her golden years, on stage, in “West Side Waltz.” Spunky and sure of herself, she epitomized my ideal woman. Throughout her 60 year acting career, every decade she inspired new devotees.

Having women in leadership roles is essential because of the power of film. Now Hollywood faces accusations of being biased against women both in front of and behind the camera. So much so that the ACLU recently announced an investigation into discriminatory hiring practices in the industry. Then, of course, we have this year’s Time Magazine’s #MeToo ‘Silence Breakers’ as its Person of the Year. Bravo!  

But there was a time when women were calling the shots. When Hollywood was in its infancy, it was common for women to be in position of power and influence. During the silent film era, women were at the forefront of the industry. In fact, more independent production companies were owned by women than men.

In the 1920’s America’s screen sweetheart was Mary Pickford, which gave her an unusual amount of power over her career. She was able to oversee all aspects of her films, from hiring and script development to marketing and promotion. In 1919 she partnered with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks (who she would later marry), and director D.W. Griffith to form United Artists, Hollywood’s first true independent distribution studio.

Throughout the 1930’s Mae West could call the shots, even though she was considered too provocative at the time. But because of the success of her films, which she wrote, West is credited with saving studios from collapse. When money talks, women are heard.

Woman have not had their voices, especially in the last 75 years in Hollywood. They’ve had to work five times as hard to get their due and most simply found another outlet for their creativity. Now the pendulum has swung with more force and intention. Women in powerful positions, with money to back them, are telling women’s stories.

Hear them roar!
Who have epitomized your ideal women?

Uppity Women of the 20th Century

One thought on “Uppity Women of the 20th Century

  • January 5, 2018 at 9:41 pm

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