Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fascinating Women

Sally Ride died last week. She was an astronaut, physicist, teacher, tennis player.

But she wouldn't have counted as fascinating in Helen's book.

Sarah Palin, conservative doctrinaire, has taken it upon herself to remain a warning voice in American politics.

Also not fascinating.

Hillary Clinton...  I don't even have to finish that thought, do I?

Maya Angelou, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Toni Morrison, Nancy Pelosi, Oprah Winfrey, Madeleine Albright, Rachel Carson, Marie Curie, Indira Ghandi, Golda Meir, Angela Merkel, Condoleeza Rice, Sandra Day O'Connor, Rosa Parks, Martha Stewart, Margaret Thatcher. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Parran.

None of these women rate very high for Helen. They are powerful, competent, articulate, successful women, whether or not we agree with their politics. Helen says often in her book that women's first calling is to be a wife and a mother. She repeats on her website that feminists have ruined our economy and upended our American values system. At one point, she even quotes Rush Limbaugh, saying that women have "screwed up America."

And she advises that if single ladies must work, they should try not to be more successful than the men around them. It's more important to be feminine and well-liked than proficient and accidentally insult a co-worker's masculinity.

Yet, Helen still has an incredible following on the web and in print. The latest edition of Fascinating Womanhood went to press in 2007. Her message appeals to many women, perhaps because they feel like their choices to raise children are denigrated by today's society. This is what our documentary hopes to explore.