No study of human society, human thought, and the history of consciousness can be complete or even valid without considering the outlook, contributions, and struggles of half of humanity, the women of all classes, nationalities, and historical periods. Here is where we will highlight those achievements and deepen our understanding and ability to make more significant changes in the future.

Simone de Beauvoir’s Contributions & Controversies on Feminism

Simone de Beauvoir, author of ‘The Second Sex,’ was a French philosopher and activist who spent her life advocating for women’s rights as equals in society and her existentialist theories. This site surveys and provides links to much of her work.

Rosie: Stories from the Home Front

Women who worked during WWII as part of the war effort, or Rosie the Riveters as they became known, recount stories and talk about their experiences. These women took on jobs traditionally reserved for men out of necessity and, in the process, challenged gender roles that ultimately changed the mores of the United States. The video interviews women who were there. Access Here

Lise Vogel: Marxism and the Oppression of Women

Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward a Unitary Theory, was first published in 1983, and then reissued in 2013 in the revised form. The original book was conceived as an intervention into heated discussions among socialist feminists of the time. There were two opposing theoretical approaches dealing with the oppression of women: the first one, dubbed a “dual systems theory, “popular among socialist feminists, advocated for the perception of gender and class as distinctive (or at least autonomous) systems. The second, which I named “social reproduction theory, “tried to place female oppression more directly within the Marxist understanding of capital functioning. One-hour video lecture. Access Here

Ella Baker Inspires the Student Movement

75-minute lecture on the Black woman who organized and trained a new generation of civil rights activists. Access Here

How It Began: Betty Friedan and the Modern Women’s Movement

90-Minute video lecture by Muriel Fox of the National Organization for Women (NOW),  discussing her collaboration with feminist activist Betty FriedanAccess Here

A deeper look at Betty Friedan:  Her roots in labor radicalism Also, an excellent summary by Linda Gordon of the rise of ‘2nd Wave Feminism’ can be downloaded HERE.

Shopgirls and the Emergence of Women Wage Workers
Dr Pamela Cox presents this three-part BBC series following the journey of the shopgirl from an almost invisible figure in stark Victorian stores, to being the beating heart of modern shops. With retail the biggest private sector employer in the UK today, this series charts how shopgirls have been central to Britain’s retail revolution and at the cutting edge of social change. ACCESS HERE

36 Courses on Women and Gender

Class outlines, syllabus, notes, lectures, articles and videos from MIT’s ‘Open Courseware’ Project. Access Here

The Suffrage Movement: From Beginning to End

90-Minute Documentary of Women’s Fight for the BallotAccess Here

500 Years of Chicana History

A three-part video interview with Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez. Her latest book, 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History was just published (2008) in a bilingual, paperback edition w/more than 800 photos and illustrations. Acclaimed bilingual volume 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, which became the basis for a video she co-directed. Access Here

Selma James: Sex, Race and Class – the Perspective of Winning.

A 55 Minute Video. On March 28, 2012, Uprising Radio host Sonali Kolhatkar spoke with Selma James, author of Sex, Race & Class: The Perspective of Winning — a Selection of Writings from 1952-2011. James is the founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign and International coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike. ACCESS HERE

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Margaret Atwood’s Classic Novel on Film.

A dystopian future showing the fate of women under the theocratic rule of the far right. Starring Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall. This is the full version, but to get it in one piece free, you must put up with German subtitles, which is only a minor problem. Great to start a discussion of women, religion, and fascism. The SparkNotes version HERE will give you PDF plot outlines, summaries, and study questions.

Emma Goldman, ‘Extremely Dangerous Woman’

A feature-length documentary in English with Spanish subtitles (80 minutes) on the life of the famous anarchist and feminist thinker and organizer.  Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire (present-day Kaunas, Lithuania), Goldman emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement in 1889.  Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women’s rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands.  She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Although Frick survived the attempt on his life, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the following years for “inciting to riot” and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. She was later deported to Russia but died in Canada.

‘Marxism and Feminism: Revisiting and Extending the Dialogue ‘

Looking Back to See Ahead: Marx, Gender and What it Means to be Free. Part of the Historical Materialism Conference at York University, Toronto, 11-13 May 2012.

50 FEMINIST FILMS. A list with short descriptions of each, many of which you may find on Netflix or other collections.