This playlist is full of inspiring songs that have helped me in my life when I’m at a low point. Helping you with break ups, hardship, loneliness, friends, jobs…
01. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac// 02. Be Alright - Ariana Grande // 03. Beautiful - Christina Aguilera // 04. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks // 05. Break Free - Ariana Grande // 06. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor // 07.Don’t Dream It Over - Crowded House // 08. Happy - Marina & The Diamonds // 09. I’m Not A Girl Not Yet A Woman - Britney Spears // 10. You Gotta Be - Des’ree // 11. Wake Up - Arcade Fire// 12. Sissy That Walk - Rupaul // 13. Landslide - Dixie Chicks // 14. Nightmare - Miley Cyrus // 15. I Wanna Get Better - Bleachers // 16. I’m Coming Out - Diana Ross // 17. Flawless - Beyonce & Nicki Minaj // 18. Work Bitch - Britney Spears // 19. We Don’t Talk Anymore - Selena Gomez & Charlie Puth // 20. Really Don’t Care - Demi Lovato // 21. The Queen - Lady Gaga //
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Women’s History at the Academy Library: From Suffragettes to Sanger
Although the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library is dedicated primarily to the study of motion pictures, cinema can serve as a cultural touchstone that encompasses all aspects of life, and our Special Collections holdings include many items documenting political and social movements over the years.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we present some highlights that illuminate the women’s rights movement in a unique way.
As these release fliers from the William Selig papers demonstrate, some films from the early 1910s reflect the zeitgeist of the time as the movement for women’s suffrage was gaining traction.
In the 1912 Selig Polyscope Company production When Helen Was Elected, a married couple, Beacher and Helen Summers, are preparing for his campaign for mayor. Trouble arises in the form of Helen’s aunt Frances who, according to the film’s release flier, is a “violent advocate of woman’s rights” who “pulls her husband…around by the nose.”
Frances convinces Helen to run for mayor herself even though she “knows nothing and cares less about politics.” Helen is elected but, too “worn out” by the campaign, tries to cede her place to her husband. Her efforts to abdicate fail until it’s realized that she is “not yet of legal age.”
Another 1912 film, When Women Rule, advertised as “A Screaming Farce on the coming of Equal Suffrage,” also involves a woman running for political office. “The quiet and peaceful home of John O’Connell has been invaded by the growing spirit of the suffragette, and what was once a happy fireside now finds O’Connell doing the family washing, and Mrs. O’Connell a candidate for Mayor.”
She wins the race and once she and her followers (dubbed the O’Connellites) are in office, they “demonstrate, at least to their own satisfaction, that no city Government is complete without them.”
A 1913 Marshall Stedman production, The Suffragette, or The Trials of a Tenderfoot, is another satirical look at the social movement of the day.
The release flier tells us that our heroine, Samantha Roundtree, is visiting a western town “to lecture on Votes for Women” when some local cowboys decide to have some fun at her expense. They disguise themselves in “wigs and Indian Costumes” and kidnap her. The leader of the pack then sneaks away, slips off his costume, bursts back onto the scene and “empties blank cartridges at the crowd with such effect that he decimates the Indians and rescues Samantha,” who is “more than grateful to her hero” and “clings” to him like a “leach [sic].” Once back in town, “having gotten a man,” she “forgets all about votes for women.”
These films’ misogynistic humor perhaps echoed some citizens’ reactions to the growing women’s movement.
For an opposing – and more serious – view of women’s suffrage, the Katharine Hepburn papers offer other highlights. Hepburn’s mother, Katharine Houghton Hepburn, was a leader of the suffrage movement in the United States. She also co-founded, along with Margaret Sanger, the American Birth Control League, which would evolve into the organization we know today as Planned Parenthood.
Two photos illustrate the Hepburn family’s social activism. In the photo above, we see Katharine Houghton Hepburn at a rally in front of the Hartford Times building in Hartford, Connecticut, in the spring of 1912.
Another photo shows a young Kate Hepburn (pictured, below), circa 1914, dressed in a suffragette costume.
A final standout is a 1951 letter from Sanger to the actress in which the activist writes, “I’ve always loved the directness & clarity of thinking your mother expressed. I love to think of our work together in Washington.”
The influence of Katharine Houghton Hepburn on her daughter’s life and career is undeniable. Self-assured from the very start, Hepburn demanded – and won – a high salary for her first role, in the 1932 George Cukor film A Bill of Divorcement. She became a famously independent woman in her own right, wearing pants at a time when it was simply not done, and, more importantly, eschewing the Hollywood publicity machine in an effort to protect her privacy – another bold move, especially at the height of the Studio Era, when the studios could make or break a star’s reputation.
These intriguing items from our collection are just a few examples of the library’s holdings related to women’s history. They serve as a reminder of how current events can permeate popular culture, a phenomenon that continues today.