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Growing Up Female

by Jim Klein, Julia Reichert

Women talk about their socialization

Growing Up Female is the very first film of the modern women's movement. Produced in 1971, it caused controversy and exhilaration. It was widely used by consciousness-raising groups to generate interest and help explain feminism to a skeptical society. The film looks at female socialization through a personal look into the lives of six women, age 4 to 35, and the forces that shape them--teachers, counselors, advertising, music and the institution of marriage. It offers us a chance to see how much has changed--and how much remains the same. Purchased by more than 400 universities and libraries.

quoteOne of those painful experiences that's good for you. The film shows how females are brainwashed into passivity, mental sluggishness and self contempt. I wish every high school kid in America could see this film.
Susan Sontag

quoteA true and piercing look at American womanhood.
Gloria Steinem

quote"The first major documentary about the experience of being a woman in America. Asking women to bear witness to the quality of their lives and to their options for self-definition, the film derives much of its painful authenticity from its structure - a series of encounters with six females. The filmmakers have wisely allowed us to meet real women, not merely cases in point. Strong, sometimes harrowing in its picture of self contempt, the film outlines new terrain."
Janet Sternberg
Film Library Quarterly

quote"An articulate, frightening study of how in the process of growing up, girls are continually kept prisoners of oppressive social structures."

quote"I was much moved by this film and its genuine picture of ordinary American women. In its unadorned truthfulness there is a sad and simple poetry, and a lesson about the lives of all of us."
Elizabeth Hardwick

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  • National Special, PBS Television Network
Growing Up Female

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