Some time in the past eight years the word "liberal" became a pejorative — but at least that meant "feminist" had a little company down there in the scrap heap of words that once defined ideals but were now used only to smear someone's character. So what happened to feminism, anyway? A driving engine of cultural change in the '70s, feminists haven't really gone away — but the movement as Movement has definitely changed. Filmmaker Therese Shechter, who was a devout feminist in those go-go '70s, went in search of modern feminists for her irreverent documentary, I Was a Teenage Feminist. Interviewing people such as Gloria Steinem, Jennifer Baumgartner (who co-authored Manifesta) and the editors of Bust magazine, Shechter asks the big questions: Who can be a feminist? What is feminism? Did feminism accomplish any of its goals? From stay-at-home moms to riot grrls to stay-at-home moms again — and including a quick visit with Vinnie, the tampon-accessory entrepreneur — Shechter looks for the answer to a question that maybe doesn't have an answer. After all, the movement was never about a feminist, it was about feminists. I Was a Teenager Feminist screens at 7 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). Admission is free, and a conversation about the topic at hand follows the film. Please be advised that the film contains some frank language.
Thu., March 19, 2009