The documentary powerfully depicted the catastrophic messages the media sends and the detrimental affect they have on our society - young girls and women in particular. It clearly showed the manipulative nature of advertising agencies and how beauty standards are transformed into unhealthy and unachievable ideals.
Fewer women are dying in child birth, more girls are going to school, increased numbers of women are taking on roles in public office, there are more female entrepreneurs and less poverty. But significant challenges remain, and we are still a long way from achieving universal access to reproductive and sexual health and the realisation of reproductive rights for all.
What needs to happen, as with any dysfunctional family, is more conversation, and a bit less grumpy-teenager-grunting from both sides. Those women who identify as feminists need to avoid being dismissive of those who don't. It's time to realise that a lack of engagement is often to do with your failures, not theirs.
For me, being a feminist is about respecting women's choices, whatever they may be. If a woman over the legal age requirement wants to voluntarily participate in the porn industry, that's fine. If she doesn't, that's fine as well. Young women like 'Lauren A', Duke University's freshman porn actress, are being publicly shamed for exposing their bodies on camera. It seems like the idea that a woman could have full control over her body is still shocking to some. When people accuse her of taking part in an industry that 'degrades' women, they don't realise their comments are degrading in themselves, as they refuse to acknowledge her individual voice and bodily autonomy.
For almost a decade now I have remained an unemployed/unemployable journalist; my workload stuttered and stalled as my kidney function teetered and crashed. Indeed, in the past ten years I have only had two articles published, that's a fairly low output for someone with the audacity to dish out business cards with the words 'freelance writer' emblazoned across them.
There is no doubt that many people living in our current society have, at one point or another, been or felt harassment, whether it is sexually, verbally, physically or otherwise. While the law has changed in this respect, and offers more protection to the individual than several decades ago, mentalities and social attitudes have been slower at registering this change...
There are a huge number of activities going on around the world to improve the situation for women, and there are places where men are working with women to achieve this. There's no doubt that this movement is gaining momentum and makes nonsense of the idea that men cannot see women as equals. It's an outdated way of thinking, and increasingly governments, businesses, communities and families are all coming to recognise the positive benefits to be had when women and men are working together and treating each other as equal partners. Of the numerous ways to change women's lives for the better, I've picked out five things that you can do to help make that change today: