Some Inspiring and Some Maddening Documentaries to See

There are some excellent documentaries available. Here are a few, including “Seeing Allred” (about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred), Equal Means Equal (unequal rights for women and girls in the U.S.), RBG (Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), Trapped (about TRAP laws limiting or stopping access to abortion clinics), and more.

1. Seeing Allred, About Women’s Rights Attorney Gloria Allred.

Seeing Allred” is a 2018 documentary about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred. It shows what one woman can do. The film intertwines the stories of Ms. Allred’s life with her persistence in going after actor Bill Cosby with what ended up being 50 women willing to speak out about what he did to them.

This film may really change your perception about who Ms Allred is, but also about how telling stories can heal, and what one woman’s persistence can do.

Gloria Allred and the directors of the documentary about her at the 2018 National NOW Conference in San Jose, CA.
Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

The film was screened at the national NOW conference in San Jose in July, 2018. Here is a picture of Ms. Allred on stage (with microphone) and the directors of the film, Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain.

This film is available through Netflix.

2. Equal Means Equal

This is a must-see! Pulls you in right away. Do you remember these terrible quotes? “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down!” Recent past, people. See the trailer here!

Do you know the only right guaranteed to women in the constitution is the right to vote? And although women got that right in 1920, many women were blocked from exercising that right.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) didn’t pass in 1972, or in 1982, and it hasn’t become law yet. However, the need for ERA has never been more clear so there is a more urgent push from many women (and allies) to pass it. Women remain an unprotected class of citizen. And as we’re seeing, it’s dangerous to be excluded from your own Constitution. With every passing day, the extremism of our NC legislature– not to mention the president– demonstrates why. Our hard-earned legislative and judicial victories are being attacked and reversed.

The Equal Means Equal documentary shows what it means for women rights (besides voting) not to be included in the constitution.

See more about the film and the status of the ERA in the United States at This film, and someone to run questions afterward to help people process it, is available through your local NOW chapter and ERA-NC Alliance. Other women’s organizations may also have it, like BPW-NC, AAUW-NC and more. If you are going to show it, please share the screening with

Trigger warning. Graphic film. And the status of women in America may surprise you. A lot.

3. RBG Documentary

“An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers explore how her early legal battles changed the world for women.”

RBG Documentary Trailer

Ginsburg is the second female United States Supreme Court Justice (after Sandra Day O’Connor). This documentary was made when RBG was 84 years old! Every time Justice Ginsburg would write a dissent, the internet would explode. And so she became Notorious RBG. 

Release date: 5/4/18

Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “What makes it memorable is its portrait of a woman with an exceptional intellect, to be sure, but also a lifelong capacity for staggering amounts of minutely detailed, unswervingly purposeful work. ” More at ‘RBG’ Review: Courting Progress.

4. On the Basis Of Sex – film

Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg is so popular, a drama came out about her the same year as the documentary! “On the Basis of Sex is a 2018 American biographical legal drama film based on the life and early cases of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” according to Wikipedia.

Vanity Fair writes about a screening of the film with an audience that also held Hillary Clinton, and Gloria Steinem, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself. Wish I had been there! Read about what RBG and the writer had to say here.

5. Trapped

Trapped documents the dangerous effects TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) have on people seeking an abortion and the medically unnecessary restrictions they place on abortion providers.

6. The Mask You Live In

The film explores how our culture’s narrow definition of masculinity is harming our boys, men and society at large – and by extension, women – and unveils what we can do about it. More at


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