Perfect 36? Discussion (February 1996)

Perfect 36 Discussion Thread

Query: Perfect 36 ? From: Theresa Kaminski 11 Feb 1996

Has anyone seen a video called "The Perfect 36"? A student of mine gave me an ad for it. It's described as a "Beautiful hour long video chronicling the last battle to win voting rights for women in the U.S." It uses political cartoons, photographs, and "Scholarly comments." At $29.95 it is inexpensive, but I would like to know more about it. For instance how does it compare to "One Woman, One Vote"?

Response: Kriste Lindenmeyer co-editor H-WOMEN Kal6444@TNTECH.EDU

"Perfect 36" was produced and written by Candace Anderson, a Nashville singer, songwriter, actress, and producer. The title refers to the fact that Tennessee was the last state necessary for ratification of the 19th amendment(the 36th state). The video was shown during Tennessee's SHAPING A STATE symposium, October 28,1995 in Nashville,TN, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.

The "Perfect 36" focuses on the fight over ratification in Tennessee. Candace Anderson has given this documentary an unusual look and sound. She uses music (written and performed by her) in a stage presentation with actors representing the primary historical figures involved in the fight, intertwined with political cartoons, photographs, and "scholarly comment" by prominent historians. The story has humor, historical accuracy, and is "beautiful." It is an unusual documentary format and, I think, well-worth $29.95.

However, this is a very different "animal" than "One Woman, One Vote." First, it focuses on Tennessee in the suffrage fight. Second, it is not as detailed as "One Woman, One Vote"(it is less than an hour in length). I think that it is also safe to say that it is primarily directed at use by K-12 teachers, or public education. However, I plan to use it in my Am. Women's History course (esp. since I teach in Tennessee). It might even work in an American History Survey course because it emphasizes that not all women fell on either one side or the other of the suffrage debate.

Bottomline, I recommend the video, but I think that it should not be compared to the very detailed and traditional analytical format of "One Woman, One Vote."