The Docuseries

1950 woman in a period dress offering food next to a female astronaut floating

Synopsis

Stand UP, Speak OUT: The Personal Politics of Women’s Rights, an online docuseries, tells the story of the radical transformation in women’s lives over the past 50 years empowered by the mid-20th century expansion in women’s rights — and the hard-won freedom, independence, and opportunities at risk today. Its goal is to increase awareness about what has been achieved and what could be lost.

Over an intro and six episodes, the docuseries captures the stories of women who came of age in the late 1960s in relation to the legislative and social changes that propelled their lives. We highlight conversations among multiple generations of women, and intertwine the voices of early activists to explore the history of our rights from our nation’s founding to today, establishing how landmark legislation changed the course of women’s lives, even as the danger of losing those rights is increasing.

Our Goals

  • Celebrate the radical transformation in women’s lives during the past 50 years.
  • Amplify the the voices of women who came of age in the 1960s in today’s political conversation.
  • Shine a spotlight on the persistence of inequities over the past 100 years despite gains.
  • Highlight the fragility of women’s empowerment and place in society today.
  • Persuade an audience of all ages that women’s rights are critical to a free and vibrant society.
  • Empower, energize, and inspire our audience to step into the ongoing effort to sustain our rights.

Driving Change

Our docuseries is released one episode at a time, with each episode focused on a single women’s right that is in question or in jeopardy today – equal pay, voting rights, reproductive rights, affirmative action, freedom from sexual harassment, and to marry whom we love, or not at all.

By telling this story in episodes over time, we seek to influence critical political conversations as they emerge, and to amplify the voices of women of the mid-20th century generation. The release of the episodes began in 2019 with the DocuSeries Introduction and Episode 1: Equal Pay. To coincide with the November 2020 election, Episode 2: Voting Rights was released in the Fall of 2020. Episode 3: Reproductive Rights is being released in 2022-23, with more episodes to come in 2023 and beyond as funds become available.

In chorus, the six episodes of this docuseries illustrate the historically unprecedented transformation in women’s lives over the past 50 years, how critical women’s rights are to a free and vibrant society, and how important it still is to advance the rights of women. Today our hard-won rights, dignity, and autonomy are in jeopardy, yet too few who’ve come to depend on these rights recognize what we stand to lose.

Each episode features a historical overview and stories told by women spanning three generations about the effect in their personal lives of having, and the consequences of not having, the right. These short stand-alone documentaries include:

Know Your Rights: An introduction to the right featured in the episode, illustrating its history from the founding of the USA to the first feminist champions to major mid-20th century legislation and present-day vulnerabilities.

Speaking Out: Individual women illuminate how the right affected their lives and their family history. By sharing these women’s personal stories, we show what we stand to lose if new legislation or court decisions limit our legal protections.

Then and Now: Women of multiple generations talk about how far we’ve come, what’s changed, what’s still the same, and what’s at risk today. Grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and granddaughters hear each other’s stories, often for the first time.

Production Strategy

Using virtual technology, we interview women across the country, from the initial cohort of Barnard 1971 alumnae and beyond. This strategy helps us limit costs while reaching diverse women from their teens to their nineties. The production value is increased by musical scoring and archival material – photos, drawings, political cartoons, newspaper clips, film, video, audio – collected from the participants, and in the public domain. The virtual platform enables viewers to watch our docuseries any time of day or night from anywhere in the world.

Underwrite Our Next Episodes

Help us raise $95,000 for each episode.
  • To Marry Whom We Love, or Not At All
  • Affirmative Action
  • Freedom from Sexual Harassment
Docuseries Intro, Equal Pay, Voting Rights, and Reproductive Rights are fully funded.