One Vote Can Make All the Difference

November 5, 2018 7:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


Versión en español.

One Vote Has Infinite Value

One of the common reasons people give for not voting is that their vote couldn’t possibly matter. How could one vote make any difference when there are over 235 million eligible voters in the US? When the Ancient Greeks invented democracy in the fifth century BCE, their population was significantly smaller, and the right to vote was limited to citizen men. Women, slaves, and foreigners were excluded from voting. Each city in Greece had between 1,000 and 1,500 eligible voters. It can seem like we’ve stretched a system that was developed for a much smaller population into something that can’t work for our populous societies. And yet our one vote does matter. Democrat Marcus Morton became the Massachusetts governor by one vote in 1839. In 2017, Democrat Shelly Simonds won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates after a recount showed a one-vote victory but then lost it when a single ballot was discarded and the election was decided by drawing numbers from a stoneware bowl, a drawing she lost. The one vote difference is, of course, extremely rare, but in the midterms when fewer people vote, the difference between winning and losing sides can be astonishingly small. Even for presidential elections, the difference can be minuscule. George W. Bush won against Al Gore by taking Florida with a 537-vote margin. We’re fortunate not to live in a society where only one group of people can vote. Let’s honor the activists who dedicated their lives to expanding the right to vote beyond land-owning white men as the US Constitution originally designated. Election Day is November 6. If you’re an American and registered to vote, don’t forget to transform the future by making your voice heard at the ballot. You may just be the one vote that decides an election.

Our Associate Producer’s Film La Familia Becomes the Official Nomination from Venezuela for the Oscars and the Goya Prize

In making The Weeping Season, we have been fortunate to bring into our team associate producer Natalia Machado and editor Cristina Carrasco. Natalia produced La Familia, a 2017 film directed by her husband Gustavo Rondón Córdova. Cristina was one of the film’s editors. La Familia was the first Venezuelan feature film ever to screen at the Semaine de la Critique in the Cannes Film Festival, and it has screened at 45 international film festivals and won multiple prestigious awards. The film was selected by Venezuela as its official nomination for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category and for the Goya Prize. Getting to be one of the four films that end up with a Best Foreign Film nomination requires an elaborate media and advertising campaign, accompanied by appearances by the filmmakers at various events during Oscar season. Usually the cost of this campaign is covered by the country nominating the film, but because Venezuela is undergoing a crippling economic crisis, it is up to the filmmakers to gather the necessary funds to get this vital story nominated. As part of their fundraising effort, they have set up a GoFundMe campaign. Any donation you can provide, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. Please do NOT share the campaign on social media, as it could hurt the film’s chances. Thank you for getting La Familia closer to the Oscars and the Goyas!

Unearthed Photo of the Month

I spent many a magical childhood weekend at my grandmother Olga’s house. Grandmother had a terrace where she’d serve fruit and bread to Caracas’s tropical birds and where she’d invite me and my cousin Yotana to sip jasmine tea as the sun went down and the birds regaled us with their cacophonous chorus. She would tell us to pretend that we were English ladies having our afternoon tea and to tell her stories about what these ladies did with their days.

While Yotana and I struggled to get into character, Grandmother was brilliant at it. It wasn’t until I inherited two binders full of her press clippings that I realized Grandmother wasn’t really playing make-believe, but rather revisiting her past. She always told me stories about her time as a writer and activist during the Spanish Republic and how she published a popular book about Venezuela in the US during World War II. She was less interested in telling me about the decade she spent as a Washington socialite, married to a wealthy surgeon and hosting tea parties and benefits. And yet she kept dozens of newspaper articles and photos from those days. In this one, she seems to be the center of attention in her Red Cross Volunteer uniform. There is no article to help tell the story, only a few photographs of intense, elegant women. Do they know that the second wave of feminism is about to upend the way women look at the world and how we look at ourselves? How did their lives change after a revived feminism questioned many of the values visible in this photo? That would have been a perfect topic for an afternoon tea with Grandma.

I was sponsored by Women and Hollywood and Amazon Studios to attend TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Nov 1-2 this year. It was an incredible experience that taught me a number of strategies for fostering gender equality in the media industry, the political arena, and our personal lives. You can check out what I learned in this agnès films article about the event.

Cámara Retórica Reviewed on Present Tense

Alejandra Ramírez wrote an excellent and thoughtful review of my video book Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition for Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society. In her review, she provides helpful ideas on how to incorporate the video book into the classroom.

Teta to Screen During the Opening Night at the Herstory Cinephilia Festival in Nashville

We are immensely honored that our short documentary Teta: a nursing mother tells her story will be screened during the opening night of the Herstory Cinephilia Festival on Friday, November 16 at 7:30pm at the Nashville Watkins Theater located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. We hope some of you can attend this festival that calls the work they feature “unapologetically female.”

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Versión en español.
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This post was written by Alexandra Hidalgo

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