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The Progression of Womens Rights in Film In 1848 the worlds first womens rights convention was held in Seneca Falls New York It took over 70 years for women to be granted the right to vote with the nineteenth amendment During the late 1930s Eleanor Roosevelt revitalized the Womens Rights Movement and from then on women have made continual and progressive steps towards equality The cause of this increased advocating of womens rights over the past sixty years is difficult to pinpoint It can not be attributed to one person group or event however one influential arena during this time period was the Hollywood film scene A connection can be made between the changing image of women in Hollywood and the progression of the Womens Rights Movement This correlation will be examined in selected Hollywood films dating from 1935 to 1985 From 1920 when suffrage was granted to women until World War II there was little activity concerning womens rights The right to vote was one of the few equalities women could lay claim to during this time period One of the most popular films of the 1930s was the musical Top Hat 1935 starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers The two main female roles in this film Dale Tremont Ginger Rogers and Madge Hardwick Helen Broderick are glamorous fashion models Although they live a luxurious lifestyle their line of work is not very skilled and does not require very much independence Dale is very dependent upon her dress designer Alberto Beddini Erik Rhodes who essentially coordinates her everyday schedule Also there were no other female characters in the film that held jobs All of the employees of both hotels shown in the picture were male This film conveys the image that women were unskilled and that men constituted nearly the entirety of the workforce This was the case during the 1930s as less than 20 of all women earned wages Another popular
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