Staff Pick: Growing up Female at the Wex

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From the May 31, 2012 edition

Fun fact: Some high schools used to require all female students to take a six-week course on the subject of marriage. Curriculum included lesson plans on matters of menial housework — always the woman’s responsibility — and major decision-making — a man’s job.

Yeah, this was only 40 years ago.

“Growing up Female” is regarded as the first feature film of the modern women’s rights movement. Yellow Springs-based filmmakers Julia Reichert and Jim Klein made the movie in 1971. It follows the lives of 12 girls and women living in southwest Ohio. The movie documents institutionalized sexism and the suffocating socialization of gender roles du jour. This was groundbreaking subject matter, and it helped explain feminism to the general public.

Reichert and Klein will be at this screening to introduce “Growing up Female” and two other short films about women’s lib. The fact that the filmmakers are still around to present something like this is a) awesome and b) another reminder that we’ve come a long, long way, baby.