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'Half the Sky' Highlights International Oppression of Women: VIDEO


If you get a moment, set your DVRs tonight and tomorrow for "Half the Sky", a four-hour documentary series based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's book of the same name. The film follows Kristof and America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde to various regions around the world where women are oppressed and fighting to change their circumstances.

Writes Ed Bark in the NYT: "It’s beautifully filmed, alternately heartbreaking and inspiring — and more than a little preachy at times with a recurring collection of talking heads bridging the film’s six actress-assisted journeys. At least two of these additional advocates — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gloria Steinem — also are more famous than Mr. Kristof. No harm in that."

My friend Jeff Dupre's company Show of Force produced the series. They were also behind the recent Marina Abramovic documentary The Artist is Present and the epic documentary Carrier on PBS, both of which I've highlighted here.

Watch the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. My very first thought when I saw this listing on PBS was "I bet a "gay" man is behind it".....and surprise, surprise, I was apparently right.

    More identification with women and living vicariously through women......accompanied by villification of men and hating of men.

    Par for the course.

    Instead of embracing a male identity and changing the male culture in such a way as to make our lives better.

    The effeminate "gay" man is truly a sick, hateful creature.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 1, 2012 11:36:00 AM

  2. Oh yes, men who pour acid on women's faces or cut off their noses and ears shouldn't be vilified. They should be embraced!

    I knew the second I saw this post that JasonRick would be the first comment, and it would be an extra heaping of crazy.

    Posted by: endo | Oct 1, 2012 11:44:25 AM

  3. RICK - come on now, of course the male culture has to be changed all over the world, but a gay man (and men) can and perhaps should be approriate vectors for change among both sexes. Starting with women is proving effective in many places as the recent history of micro-loans has more than proven. Oppressed women in the world's Abomi-Nations need the most help of all and in the name of justice I particularly applaud the work of any gay man (whether or not he is such) for attempting to assist. In no way does it impact this gay man's life other than to bring me the relief of joy that good work is being done.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 1, 2012 11:54:10 AM

  4. @UFFDA The goal of the NGOs you refer to is to empower women at the expense of is the case with all feminist initiatives. The men in these countries have no opportunities either, but none of these efforts to help are directed at them.

    And this, of course, is a big part of the reason that the United States has become so hated and resented all over the world, especially in the Islamic world, but elsewhere as well. It pursues, through its NGOs, anti-male policies and it deserves the hatred and rejection it is getting as a result.

    Feminism has destroyed the fabric of American society and that is evident everywhere you look, from the breakdown of the family and all the consequences that have come from that--especially the declining academic achievement of boys, which has also been driven by programs that favor girls over boys in every aspect of education now.

    And the world sees America increasingly for the socially dysfunctional cesspool that it is becoming as a consequence of that....and wants no part of it.

    If you cannot see that the actions of "gay" men like this are driven by their hatred of men....and that the entire culture of effeminacy is driven by that hatred, then I can't help you.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 1, 2012 12:05:45 PM

  5. Good luck with changing attitudes in these backward places. Much of the world is nothing like our 'post industrial', multicultural and diversity loving country where the genders are equal [more-so actually, females have affirmative action going for them, so they're more than equal].

    I interact with folks from all over the world all the time, and am amazed by how many have an attitude regarding gender equality that is far more similar to The West circa 50 plus years ago or more [a lot more] than The West 2012. This is true even among some places that are considered highly advanced; I remember watching some female Japanese student at a prep school in Boston not long ago doing the Japanese male student's laundry and food shopping. It was just something that was culturally accepted. And of course it's FAR more abusive and archaic in other places. Then there's the rigid socioeconomic and class systems many countries and societies around the world have that would be unthinkable in modern day North America or Europe.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 1, 2012 12:13:49 PM

  6. Actually, the people behind the "Half the Sky" movement are a husband-wife team, not a gay man. As usual though, don't look facts get in the way of your rampant misogyny.

    Posted by: endo | Oct 1, 2012 12:16:32 PM

  7. Rick : To a certain extent I understand what you mean, and respect your opinion. (But this still sounds like a worthy-enough documentary, because some of us don't like women abused). Then again, Towleroad is the site where those girls in Kentucky, falsely-accused of trying to murder a lesbian, had their Facebook pages posted by Manhattan gays so others could email them threats of death and torture (cutting up their vaginas with razor blades) so.......some effeminate gay men, as well as the denizens of sites like this, despise women too.

    Posted by: Yupp | Oct 1, 2012 12:18:35 PM

  8. "Then there's the rigid socioeconomic and class systems many countries and societies around the world have that would be unthinkable in modern day North America or Europe."

    It's quite thinkable if you're a Romney supporter.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 1, 2012 12:20:28 PM

  9. (oooh...Derrick...nice shot)

    Posted by: Yupp | Oct 1, 2012 12:27:02 PM

  10. RICK - it's probably true that you can't help me because I can't imagine gay men hating men generally when so many of them both straight and gay are, in my experience, such excellent people. I love men, but not to the exclusion of women, just more. Still I thoroughly appreciate your take on things even if it is rather like a hall of mirrors with dissolving perspectives.

    Appropos of nothing in particular, I would love to hear what you think of The Fabulous Beekman Boys.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Oct 1, 2012 2:36:02 PM

  11. @UFFDA I haven't seen The Fabulous Beekman Boys although I read an article about it once, in the NY Times, I think.

    If the reason you are asking is that you want to know how I reconcile the fact that there are some long-lasting gay relationships out there, even if it is not the norm, then I will try to answer it.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 1, 2012 2:46:07 PM

  12. fun fact: the "i hate femmes!' gay males are always closeted cowards who can't stand up to be counted.

    stop being angry that other gay men have the balls to live open and honest lives and you don't.

    the day a 'femme-hating' gay man has the balls to put a face and name to his comments will be a ...oh who am i kidding? they'll never be able to do it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 1, 2012 2:55:42 PM

  13. Preach, Littlekiwi, preach!!

    Posted by: MateoM | Oct 1, 2012 7:09:52 PM

  14. I feel like RickJason is actually just some kind of manifestation of the great internet troll spirit, and his/its purpose is to make us actually think about our arguments to people like RickJason we encounter in real life. I think the internet is trying to teach us

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Oct 1, 2012 9:11:46 PM

  15. "conscious" Westerners will need to be familiar w/ the problematics of this documentary:

    Posted by: redball | Oct 13, 2012 11:50:13 PM

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