Recently, a crowd of 40 people gathered at North Island College to view the new documentary film Status Quo? The unfinished business of feminism in Canada by the National Film Board.
“There is no less need for feminism and a women’s movement now than there was in the 1960s when the Royal Commission on the Status of Women made recommendations to the federal government,” said Richelle Gardiner-Hynds, instructor in Women’s Studies at the college, and chair of the event.
A panel discussion following the film included Savannah McKenzie, a student at North Island College; Marie Skinner, a retired teacher and chair-elect of Senior Peer Counselling in the Comox Valley; Wendy Morin of the John Howard Society and the Comox Valley Transition Society; and Tammy Collard with the Ministry of Social Development.
Savannah’s initial reaction to the film was that, “We can see the strong women who came before us. Our past successes are vulnerable, however, and we must continue to be vigilant in order to keep moving forward on women’ issues.”
The audience also got involved. One audience member commented, “I think it’s great that there are young women out there to continue the fight. My God, girls! Go for it!”
Another noted that feminism is not radical, “Radical means rooted, not ‘far out.’ ”
Yet another encouraged women to go into politics “to be lawmakers and not just law changers.”
The film is being screened in cities across Canada through a partnership between the National Film Board and the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW). You can catch ‘Status Quo?’ on the National Film Board website (nfb.ca/iwd) from March 8 through March 10.
The film zeroes in on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare, asking how much progress we have truly made on these issues. It uncovers answers that are provocative and at times shocking.
Rich with archival material and startling contemporary stories, Status Quo? is crucial viewing for every Canadian, especially those unfamiliar with the vital achievements of the feminist movement. This striking, in-depth documentary pays homage to Canada’s feminist forerunners and raises important questions about where and how we should move on from here.
You can view a trailer for the film at nfb.ca/iwd.
— Canadian Federation of University Women