Suffrage and the Challenges Ahead – Ms. Magazine

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Ms. is a proud media sponsor and partner of the League of Women Voters Los Angeles and UCLA Film and Television Archive’s Women to the Polls: Suffrage Film Festival. In this dedicated series, we’ll be syndicating the program in time with each day of screenings.

Bruno C. Becker’s Her First Flame (1920) predicted a future where the fight for equality had advanced far beyond the present. Gender is flipped upside-down throughout the silent film, with women depicted as romantic aggressors, breadwinners and gutsy heroes while men are seen cooking and cleaning at home. The sociopolitical landscape in this fictional 1950 is even one in which two women—Lizzie Hap (Gale Henry) and Minnie Fish (Milburn Morante)—are competing at the ballot box to be elected Chief of an all-woman Fire Department. 

Although women have certainly made strides toward equality since then, the…

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