Saturday, September 01, 2007

Watch "Made in L.A."

Made in L.A. is a documentary about three immigrant women's struggles as garment workers in Los Angeles. I think the rights of garment workers is a feminist issue in several ways. Obviously, the majority of garment workers all around the world are women. They often work in sweatshops in deplorable conditions all day for little or no pay. Then, the clothing is sold in a variety of stores, from Banana Republic to Wal-Mart. Women and girls are pressured to wear the latest trends, so we rush to the mall to spend $100 on a pair of ultra low-rise jeans that was made by a young woman who can't even read because her parents didn't let her go to school. If we're poor and/or have to by clothes for the whole family, we go to Wal-Mart where the clothes are cheap and the labor is cheaper. Furthermore, women make up the majority of the minimum-wage workforce, and many of these women work as sales associates for trendy clothing stores owned by millionaires. It's hard for women not to endorse sweatshop labor across the world in one way or another.

Made in L.A. premieres on Tuesday, September 4 at 10 p.m. on PBS.

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