The following excerpt is from the Carleton Newroom story by Joseph Mathieu. The full story, entitled “Carleton Screens Film on 1970s Push for Equality on Campus,” can be found online.
“This documentary was very much a labour of love,” says Carleton interdisciplinary studies librarian and historian, Martha Attridge Bufton.
The 22-minute documentary is based on her master’s thesis, which won the 2014 Eugene A. Forsey Prize from the Canadian Historical Association for the best thesis on labour history. The film is the Department of History‘s 75th anniversary project.
Attridge Bufton co-produced and directed the film with History Prof. David Dean, co-director of the Carleton Centre for Public History. Tai Zimmer, Carleton’s video editor/multimedia specialist in the Media Production Centre, is the film’s senior film editor.
It opens with the 1971 hit “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy—a feminist anthem at protests and marches around the world in the 1970s—and contains interviews with the five organizers interspersed with black and white photos of social movements and campus life of the era.
Many new academics, librarians and support staff arriving at Carleton in the 1970s were women who recognized that their working conditions were often different than those of their male colleagues.
For example, female support staff had fewer benefits than men, their work was devalued as “less complex,” and they were regularly asked to take on extra responsibilities without compensation.