1/29: Minimum Wage, duPont Awards, The Underground Girls of Kabul, Don’t Look Down on Me

In his State of the State address this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made raising the hourly minimum wage in both New York City and New York state a major legislative goal for his second term. Stephanie Luce, professor of labor studies at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies, joins MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman to compare the proposed new rates to other states and analyze minimum versus so-called “living” wages.

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award is one of broadcast journalism’s highest honors, celebrating documentaries, news reporting and investigate journalism. In a Listening In segment, MetroFocus features excerpts from the acceptance speech for the PBS program The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. which was one of this year’s winners.

While on assignment in Afghanistan in 2009, journalist Jenny Nordberg discovered the “bacha posh” – daughters who are temporarily raised as sons and presented to the world as boys. Nordberg shares her experiences reporting on this hidden practice, the subject of her new book The Underground Girls of Kabul which was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014 and finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award, Nonfiction.

And filmmaker Jonathan Novick is changing the way we look at disabilities through his short video documentary Don’t Look Down on Me, which has accumulated over 2.5 million views on YouTube and illuminates his daily experience living as a little person in New York City. The video was produced as part of a program at the Downtown Community Television Center.

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

> FROM THE WORLD'S LEADING CENTER FOR FINANCE, THE ARTS PUBLISHING, SCIENCE, RESEARCH, MEDIA, INNOVATION, AND MUC MORE, THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WIT RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

TONIGHT, GOVERNOR CUOMO ARGUES FOR A BIGGER RAISE FO MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS IN NEW YORK STATE AND NEW YORK CITY.

IF YOU WORK FULL TIME, YO SHOULD BE ABLE TO PAY THE RENT AND PAY FOR FOOD AND NOT LIVE IN POVERTY.

HOW A REPORTER DISCOVERED THE UNDERGROUND GIRLS OF KABUL

YOU CAN'T JUST WALK IN AN SAY I NOT THAT YOUR SON IS ACTUALLY A GIRL AND NOW TELL M WITH IT.

> AND THE VIDEO THAT WEN NEW PERSPECTIVE.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING -- CORPORATE FUNDING FO 'METROFOCUS' IS PROVIDED B YOU'LL OF AMERICA, YOU RETIREMENT COMPANY

THE MINIMUM WAGE CONTINUES TO RISE IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY.

IT'S ALREADY WELL ABOVE TH FEDERALLY MANDATED $7.25 AN HOUR IN 29 STATES AND WASHINGTON, D.C.

NOW GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO IS CALLING FOR A BIGGER RAISE I BOTH NEW YORK STATE AND IN NEW YORK CITY WHERE THE COST O LIVING IS THE HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY.

WE BELIEVE WE SHOULD RAIS THE MINIMUM WAGE WE RAISED IT ONCE.

[ APPLAUSE ]

WE BELIEVE THE GAP CONTINUE TO GET WORSE WE WILL RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $10.50 STATEWIDE, AND IN NE YORK CITY WHERE -- WHICH IS HIGH-COST AREA, TO $11.50.

[ APPLAUSE ]

MINIMUM WAGE IS VERY SIMPLE WE BELIEVE IF YOU WORK FUL TIME, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO PA THE RENT AND PAY FOR FOOD AN NOT LIVE IN POVERTY.

THAT'S THE BASIC PROMISE O EMPLOYMENT AND WE'RE NOT THERE YET.

[ APPLAUSE ]

JOINING US FOR ANALYSIS O THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSED MINIMU WAGE INCREASE IS STEPHANIE LUCE, PROFESSOR OF LABOR STUDIES A THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK'S SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONA STUDIES.

PROFESSOR, WELCOME

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

NOW PROFESSOR, AS RECENTLY AS 2013, ALBANY PASSED A MINIMU WAGE INCREASE.

AND AS WE SEE IN THE GRAPHIC, IT WENT FROM $7.25 IN 2013 TO $8 IN 2014 TO $ .75 THIS YEAR, AND I GOING -- $8.75 THIS YEAR, AND IS SCHEDULED TO GO TO $9 NEXT YEAR.

WHY THIS OVERLAPPING NEW PROPOSAL

AS KWOEM A SAID IN THE CLIP -- CUOMO SAID IN THE CLIP, W NEED TO FIND A WAY FOR WORKERS TO GET OUT OF POVERTY.

UNFORTUNATELY, $9 ISN'T ENOUGH TO GET OUT OF POVERTY.

THERE'S A BIG PUSH TO GET HIM TO RAISE IT FURTHER HIS PROPOSAL'S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

UNFORTUNATELY, IT'S NOT GOIN FAR ENOUGH

WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT LET'S TALK ABOUT THE TWO-TIERE SYSTEM IS THAT UNPRECEDENTED IN NEW YORK STATE DOES IT EXIST IN OTHER PARS OF THE COUNTRY?

THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED I TERMS OF A GOVERNOR SETTING RATE FOR A CITY.

WE HAVE A LOT OF STATES, PARTICULARLY ON THE WEST COAST WHERE CITIES SET THEIR OWN MINIMUM WAGE, BUT THOSE AR CITIES THAT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DO SO SO CITIES SUCH AS SAN FRANCISC HAVE SET THEIR OWN WAGE THAT I HIGHER THAN THE STATE.

CUOMO'S PROPOSAL I UNPRECEDENTED IN THAT HE'S PROPOSING A TWO-TIER SYSTEM SE BY THE STATE

AND IN FACT, PRESIDENT OBAM WAS ENCOURAGING.

I MEAN -- TO INCREASE TH MINIMUM WAGE, IS THAT RIGHT?

YES WE HAVE LOTS OF DATA SHOWING THAT MUNICIPALITIES CAN DO IT.

18 CITIES HAVE SETS MINIMU WAGES IN THE LAST TWO YEARS.

WE KNOW THE COST OF LIVING I GENERALLY HIGHER IN CITIES, AN IT MAKES SENSE FOR THERE TO BE A HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE.

YOU KNOW, MAYOR De BLASIO WANTED FOR NEW YORK CITY TO HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO INCREASE IT OWN MINIMUM WAGE WHICH IT DOES NOT HAVE NOW AND THE GOVERNOR SAID, NO, THA WOULD CREATE CHAOS SO OTHER CITIES THAT ARE DOING IT, OTHER STATES -- WHAT'S THEIR EXPERIENCE IS IT CHAOTIC IN THOSE PLACES?

YEAH, THE ARGUMENT DOESN' MAKE SENSE WE ALREADY HAVE DIFFERENT TA RATES BY COUNTY AND STATE.

WE EVEN HAVE DIFFERENT LAWS -- RIGHT TO TURN ON RED IF DRIVERS CAN BE TRUSTED WITH DIFFERENT LAWS BY CITY, THEN I THINK WE CAN ON WAGES.

THE EVIDENCE FROM OTHER CITIES SHOWS IT'S NO PROBLEM.

SAN FRANCISCO'S HAD ITS OW MINIMUM WAGE FOR OVER A DECADE CERTAINLY NO CHAOS I CALIFORNIA

SO YOU SAY $11.50 FOR NEW YORK CITY.

NOT QUITE ENOUGH BUT -- BUT HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO BUSINESSES IN THE CITY PARTICULARLY SMALL BUSINESSE WITH SMALL PROFIT MARGINS WH WILL TELL YOU, WHO MIGHT TEL YOU WE CAN'T AFFORD THIS WE'LL HAVE TO CUT JOBS, LA PEOPLE OFF TO CUT HOURS.

ACTUALLY, WE FIND A LOT O SMALL BUSINESSES SUPPORT A INCREASE IN THE MINIMUM WAGE THEY ALREADY PAY HIGHER.

THEY WANT TO HAVE A STABLE WOR FORCE, LONG-TERM EMPLOYEES THEY KNOW THEY NEED TO PAY HIGHER TO GET WORKERS TO BE ABLE TO STICK AROUND.

SO A LOT OF SMALL BUSINESSES SUPPORT THE HIGHER WAGE.

AND OUR EVIDENCE OF RESEARCH SHOWS NO NEGATIVE IMPACT O SMALL BUSINESSES

RESEARCHERS -- THERE' RESEARCH ON BOTH SIDES THERE'S STUDIES ON BOTH SIDES.

SOME SAY THERE ARE IT SEEMS LIKE CONSISTENT FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON THAT IF YOU INCREASE THE PRICE OF COMMODITY INCLUDING LABOR, THERE'S GOING TO BE LESS DEMAND.

THE PRICE GOES UP, YOU'RE GOIN TO BUY LESS.

ISN'T THAT ECONOMICS 101

IT IS WHAT I LEARNED IN M ECONOMICS CLASSES, IT'S WHAT THEY TEACH IN THE TEXTBOOKS.

BUT THAT'S BEEN CHANGING INCREASINGLY RESEARCH SHOWS IT'S NOT THE CASE WHEN YOU RAISE THE WAGE, YOU GET HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY, LOWER TURNOVER YOU ALSO HAVE A LOT MORE WORKERS WHO CAN BUY IN THE ECONOMY INCREASING AGGREGATE DEMAND.

WE ALSO FIND THAT WORKERS AR LESS RELIANT ON PUBLIC SUBSIDIES.

IN FACT, MINIMUM WAGE CAN HELP THE ECONOMY, AND IT DOESN'T LEAD TO UNEMPLOYMENT.

SO IF IT DOESN'T LEAD T UNEMPLOYMENT, THEN WHY LIMIT I AT ALL WHY NOT HAVE A $20 O $25-AN-HOUR MINIMUM WAGE I INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY

YEAH.

IN FACT, BECAUSE OUR DATA SHOW THAT A REAL LIVING WAGE IN NEW YORK CITY WOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE $22 TO $26 AN HOUR, THA PROBABLY SUN REALISTIC FOR NOW THERE'S PROBABLY -

WHY IS IT UNREALISTIC FOR POLITICAL REASONS OR ECONOMIC REASONS

PROBABLY FOR POLITICA REASONS.

BUT ECONOMICALLY, WE WOULD WAN TO TRANSITION IN THERE MAY BE A TIPPING POINT I WHICH WE SEE NEGATIVE IMPACT WAS A HIGHER WAGE.

WE'RE FAR FROM THAT.

WE KNOW WE COULD GO TO $15 WITHOUT A NEGATIVE IMPACT.

WE DON'T HAVE THE RESEARCH T SHOW YET CAN WE GO TO $25 FOR MINIMUM WAGE

YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE IS THE LIVING WAGE.

WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEE MINIMUM WAGE AND A LIVIN SFWHAJ

YEAH.

MANY COUNTRY AROUND THE WORL TRY AND ESTABLISH A FORMULA FO A LIVING WAGE.

THAT WOULD BE THE AMOUNT NEEDE TO COVER YOUR BASIC COST O LIVING AND I THINK ADVOCACY IN TH UNITED STATES FEEL THE MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD APPROACH A LIVIN WACHBLG AS SID, THE LIVING WAG IN NEW YORK CITY IS PRETTY HIGH, 22 TO 26 I THINK ANY MOVEMENT THA DIRECTION WOULD BE HELPFUL WHEN WORKER CAN COVER THEI BASIC EXPENSES, IT HELPS NOT ONLY THEM, IT HELPS THE ECONOM IN GENERAL

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

THANK YOU, TOO.

> ONE OF BROADCAST JOURNALISM'S HIGHEST HONOR I THE ALFRED I. duPONT-COLUMBI UNIVERSITY AWARD THIS YEAR, 14 WINNERS FROM LOCAL AND NATIONAL TV, RADIO, AN ONLINE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS TOOK HOME SILVER BATON AWARDS AS PART OF OUR SERIES 'LISTENING IN,' WE HAVE EXCERPTS FROM ONE OF THE SERIES HONORED, 'TH AFRICAN-AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS' WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WNET

OUR FIRSTDUPONT WINNER HA MADE 25 YEARS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY COM ALIVE IN A SWEEPING SERIES THA AIRED ON PBS NOTABLY, MOST OF THOSE YEARS WERE BEFORE THE EXISTENCE OF MOVING VIDEO OR EVEN PHOTOGRAPHS.

PRESENTED BY RENOWN HARVAR SCHOLAR, DR. HENRY LEWIS GATES JR., THIS BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTE SERIES EXPLORES THE EVOLUTION OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE, HOW THEY FORGED THEIR OWN HISTORY, CULTURE, AND SOCIETY, OFTE AGAINST UNIMAGINABLE ODDS.

WITH SUPERB ANIMATION, CAMER WORK, AND WRITING, THE SERIE 'THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN: MAN RIVERS TO CROSS WITH HENRY LEWIS GATES, JR.,' OVER NE INTERPRETATIONS OF OUR COUNTRY'S HISTORY, ENCOURAGING US TO REFLECT ON WHO WE ARE TO

THE HIGH COST OF MUCHING EVEN A SINGLE SLAVE MEANT THAT MOST MASTERS TRIED -- PURCHASING EVEN A SINGLE SLAVE MEANT THAT MOST MASTERS TRIED TO BREED THEIR OWN LABOR FORCE.

SOME WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS T MAKE IT HAPPEN FROM FORCED PAIRINGS OF SLAV COUPLES TO RAPE.

OF ALL THE MAJOR SLAVE SOCIETIES IN THE NEW WORLD, ONLY IN TH UNITED STATES DID THE SLAV POPULATION NATURALLY INCREAS OVER TIME.

THE 400,000 PEOPLE THA IMPORTED FROM AFRICA HAD BECOM NEARLY FOUR MILLION PIE TH OUTBREAK OF THE CIVIL WAR.

THE NUMBERS ARE STAGGERING SO WAS THE VIOLENCE REQUIREDED TO KEEP THEM ALL UNDER CONTROL [ APPLAUSE ]

HERE TO ACCEPT OUR FIRS DUPONT SILVER BATON, PLEAS PUBLIC AUTHOR, JOURNALIST, FILMMAKER, HARVARD PROFESSOR DR. HENRY LEWIS GATES JR [ APPLAUSE ]

THANK YOU THANK YOU, CYNTHIA THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

YOU KNOW, I SAT ON THE BOARD O PULITZER PRIZES FOR NINE YEARS DURING THAT ENTIRE TIME, NEVER ONCE OCCURRED TO ME THAT I COULD BE PART OF A TEAM THAT WOULD WIN ITS COUSIN FOR BROADCAST JOURNALISM THE KEENLY COMPETITIVE ALFREDISM DUPONT COLUMBIA AWARD.

A TEACHER, AS CYNTHIA SAID IN MY DAY JOB, NEEDS TOOLS IN TH CLASSROOM.

NOTHING IS AS EFFECTIVE OR IMMEDIATE AS BEING ABLE TO TEACH THROUGH A POWERFUL DOCUMENTARY FILM WE SET OUT TO DOING THAT NO ON HAD DONE BEFORE -- TO TELL THE HISTORY OF PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT IN THIS COUNTRY, NOT SINCE JAMESTOWN, BUT THE WHOLE SWEEP OF THE BLACK PRESENCE HERE STARTING 500 YEARS AGO WHEN TH FIRST BLACK MAN WHO INCREDIBLY OF NOT EVEN A SLAVE, A FRE BLACK MAN WHO WAS CONQUISTADOR, AMAZINGLY ENOUGH SET FOOT IN FLORIDA IN THE FIRST DECADE OF THE 16th CENTURY AND WEENED WITH THE RE-ELECTIO OF BARACK OBAMA.

♪♪

> IN AFGHANISTAN, THE SOCIET RULED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY BY MEN, THE BIRTH OF A SON IS CAUSE FO CELEBRATION, WHILE THE BIRTH O A DAUGHTER IS OFTEN CONSIDERED A FAILURE.

THE CONSEQUENCE, NOT UNCOMMO FOR MANY AFGHANI FAMILIES TO OPT FOR A THIRD KIND OF CHILD WHOM THEY CALL A BACHA POSH A GIRL TEMPORARILY RAISED AS A BOY AND PRESENTED TO THE WORLD AS A SON JOURNALIST JENNY NORDBERG WROT THE STORY OF THE BACHA POSH FO 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' IN 2010 SHE RETURNED TO AFGHANISTAN TO WIDEN HER RESEARCH, AND TH RESULT IS HER NEW BOOK 'TH UNDERGROUND GIRLS OF KABUL: IN SEARCH OF A HIDDEN RESISTANCE IN AFGHANISTAN.

JENNY NORDBERG JOINS ME NOW.

THANK YOU

THIS IS A FASCINATING STORY REALLY FASCINATING HOW DID YOU FIRST LEARN OF THE BACHA POSH

I WAS IN AFGHANISTAN TO DO AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT STORY ABOUT WOMEN.

AND I HAPPENED TO BE TALKING T TWO TWIN GIRLS, THEY WERE 10 YEARS OLD.

AND THEIR MOTHER WAS A PARLIAMENTAN I WAS TALKING TO THEM AND ON SAID, YOU KNOW, OUR BROTHER IS REALLY A GIRL.

AND I WAS LIKE, UH-HUH YEAH THEN THE OTHER SAID, NO, NO, REALLY HE'S OUR SISTER.

SO AT THIS POINT, I HAD NO IDE -- AND I THOUGHT THAT MAYBE HI JUST MISSED SOMETHING ON M HOMEWORK, THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THEY DID IN AFGHANISTAN OR THA WE HAD A MISCOMMUNICATION OF SOME SORT.

I DIDN'T THINK MUCH OF IT.

THEN I WAS AFRAID TO BRING IT UP WITH THEIR MOTHER FOR A WHIL BECAUSE I THOUGHT IF IT IS TRUE, MAYBE I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW ABOUT IT AND THIS IS A FAMIL SECRET

SO PART OF THE STORY IS INTIMATE INTERVIEWS WITH THE FAMILIES, EXCLUSIVE INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS LOU DID YOU GAIN THEIR -- HO DID YOU GAIN THEIR CONFIDENCE TO TALK ABOUT THE STORY

IT TAKES TIME THE FIRST THING IS TO FIND THEM.

IT'S HARD TO BE INTRODUCED T FAMILIES -- EVERY AFGHAN WIL KNOW SOMEONE OR HAVE HEARD O SOMEONE, AND THEN SLOWLY THROUGH A CHAIN OF INTRODUCTIONS, YO MIGHT, YOU KNOW, BE ABLE T VISIT A FAMILY FINALLY AND THEN YOU TAKE IT SLOW.

YOU'RE VERY CAREFUL, VER RESPECTFUL SOMETIMES THEY WANT TO -- WANTED TO INTERVIEW ME BEFORE I COULD SPEAK TO THEM.

THIS IS EACH FAMILY'S PRIVATE -- PRIVATE MATTER, AND YOU DON' USUALLY GET INVOLVE IN OTHER FAMILIES' BUSINESSES THERE SO YOU CAN'T JUST WALK IN AN SAY, YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR SON IS ACTUALLY A GIRL, AND NOW TELL ME ABOUT IT IT TAKES A WHILE AND BUILDING OF TRUST AND MANY CUPS OF TEA AND PATIENCE

IS THIS PHENOMENON, DOES IT CUT ACROSS ALL ECONOMIC CLASSES, OR IS IT MAINLY POOR AFGHANI THAT DO THIS

NO.

MY RESEARCH SHOWS THIS CUT ACROSS GEOGRAPHICAL LINES, ETHNICITY, LEVEL OF EDUCATION, INCOME, EVER FAMILY HAS DIFFERENT REASON FOR DOING THIS.

BUT WHAT THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON IS THE NEED FOR A SON.

THE LACK OF A SON MOST OFTEN BUT ALSO IT COULD BE THE NEE FOR A SECOND SON OR A THIRD SO IN THE FAMILY.

IS THERE AN INTENTION T DECEIVE WITH THIS PRACTICE DO THE FAMILIES REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE OUTSIDE WORLD WIL THINK THE DAUGHTER IS A SON?

OR IS IT SOMETHING THAT' UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED?

WELL, THIS IS WHY I THINK O THEM AS THE UNDERGROUND GIRLS.

THEY'RE IN FRONT OF US JUS UNDER THE SURFACE.

I THINK THE POINT IS MORE TO DISAPPEAR IN A CROWD A FORM OF SHARED DECEIT IN AFGHAN SOCIETY EVERYONE WILL KNOW ABOUT THIS.

IT'S A DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL TYPE OF THING.

NOW, THIS IS A BIG CHANGE WHEN A GIRL BECOMES A BOY IN A SOCIETY THAT THE U.N. CALLS TH MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY FOR WOMEN.

HOW DO THEY TAKE IT?

HOW DO THEY -- DO THEY ACCEP IT, WELCOME IT BY AND LARGE?

MANY TIMES IT'S A PARENT' DECISION, MOST OF TIME AND IT'S THEIR CHILDREN -- THE DON'T HAVE A CHOICE.

THEY'RE NURTURED AS BOYS, AS SONS, AND WILL HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH OTHER GIRLS THEY WILL BE, YOU KNOW, SEEN MORE OF SKY BEING OUT, RIDIN BIKES, FLYING KITES, MOVIN AROUND, JUMPING AND RUNNING TH WAY LITTLE GIRLS DON'T DO.

SHOW TO IS A NATURE VERSUS NURTURE EXPERIMENT IF YOU WILL SO THEY WON'T KNOW MUCH ELSE THE HARD PART COMES LATER WHEN THEY'RE, YOU KNOW, PRESUMED AN EXPECTED TO BECOME GIRLS AGAIN

SO WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

THE TRANSFORMATION BACK TO GIRLS AFTER THEY LIVED AS BOYS -- TH SUBJECT THAT YOU COVERED, HO DID THEY RESPOND TO IT

THAT'S WHERE THE RESISTANCE COMES IN, TOO.

MOST OF THOSE, MOST COMMONLY THEY'RE TURNED BACK TO GIRLS BEFORE PUBERTY BECAUSE THE THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE THE TRADITIONAL TRAJECTORY OF AFGHAN WOMEN TO GET MARRIED AND HAV CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN.

SOME GIRLS TRY TO PUSH IT TO STAY LONGER AS BOYS AND YOUN MEN BECAUSE THEY SEE HOW GIRLS ARE TREATED, AND THEY DON'T UPON TO GO THERE.

THEY DON'T WANT THAT THEY, FRANKLY, KNOW OF NOTHING ELSE SO WHY WOULD THEY WANT -- TH WORLD TO SHUT DOWN AGAIN

THE SUBTITLE OF THE BOOK IS 'THE IN SEARCH OF A HIDDEN RESISTANCE.'

THE IN AFGHANISTAN, IS THI PRACTICE AS SUBVERSIVE OF TH PATRIARCH CAL SOCIETY?

DOES IT CHALLENGE OR ENABLE IT

BOTH.

I THINK THERE'S AN ELEMENT O THAT THERE'S AN ALMOST OF RESISTANC TO THIS.

THERE ARE PRACTICAL REASON MOSTLY SOMETIMES THEY'RE SUPERSTITIOUS.

SOMETIMES IT WILL ENABLE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT OR FOR GIRLS TO GO TO SCHOOL.

SO YOU, SAY IT'S A CONCESSIO CERTAINLY TO AN IMPOSSIBLE SOCIETY THAT DOESN'T VALUE GIRLS AND WOMEN.

BUT ALSO AT THE SAME TIME LIKE MY MAIN CHARACTER SAID TO ME THE FIRST TIME I MET HER, SHE SAID I WANTED TO SHOW MY YOUNGEST WHAT LIFE IS LIKE ON THE OTHER SIDE THERE'S CERTAINLY AN ALMOST OF RESISTANCE TO THAT, I THINK.

-- AN ALMOST OF RESISTANCE T THAT, I THINK.

HOW HAS WOMENS RIGHTS CHANGED SINCE YOU WERE THERE IN 2010

WHEN I FIRST WROTE THE YEAR BEFORE, THERE WAS DEALT A SENS OF HOPE IN KABUL THERE HAD BEEN ALMOST A DECADE OF IMPROVEMENT IN URBAN AREA MOSTLY FOR WOMEN GIRLS GOING SCHOOL, WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT, PROFESSIONAL WOMEN WORKING.

SINCE THEN FOR EVERY YEAR THAT I'VE BEEN BACK, FOR FIVE YEARS THERE'S A HEIGHTENED SENSE O INSECURITY, OF WORRY THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING T HAPPEN IT'S A CRISIS.

THEY'VE STUDIED THE WHOLE THING, THERE HAVE BEEN MODEST IMPROVEMENTS FOR WOMEN OVERALL BUT THAT THEY ARE MODEST AND THEY'RE EASILY REVERSIBLE IS HOW THEY FRAME IT.

NOW WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT' GOING TO HAPPEN.

IN A SITUATION OF INSECURITY MORE WOMEN ARE THE FIRST ONES TO BE PULLED BACK

TROUBLING NEWS.

WELL, JENNY, THANK YOU VER MUCH

> WHEN FILMMAKER JONATHA NOVICK WANTED TO TO DOCUMENT HIS DAILY EXPERIENCE AS A LITTLE PERSON NAVIGATING THE CITY, HE PUT ON A HIDDEN CAMERA AND RECORDED HIS INTERACTIONS WITH FELLOW NEW YORKERS AND TOURISTS.

THE RESULT WAS DON'T LOOK DOWN ON ME, THE SIX-MINUTE VIDE WHICH HAVEN'T VIRAL WITH OVE 2.-- WHICH WENT VIRAL WITH OVE 2.5 MILLION HITS ♪♪

YEAH!

♪♪

I DON'T THINK THERE IS CERTAIN POINT IN ANYONE'S LIFE WHERE THEY GROW UP I THINK THAT WE'RE GROWING U ALL THE TIME, AND WE ALWAYS WILL BE MY NAME IS JOHN NOVICK I'M 22 YEARS OLD, AND I'M DWARF.

I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO USE THIS CAMERA, WHICH IS ACTUALLY KNOWN AS A BUTTO CAMERA BECAUSE THE LENS I' USING IS SO TINY, IT HAS A BUTTON COVER-UP THAT I'LL BE SLIPPING THROUGH A SHIRT THA WILL BE UNNOTICEABLE WE'RE PACKED UP, CAMERA'S READ AND GOING.

I'M GOING TO TURN IT ON NOW.

IT'S ROLLING WE'RE GOING TO SEE WHAT WE CAN CAPTURE.

LET'S HEAD OUT ♪♪

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU LOO LIKE

WHO

YOU HEAR OF THE SHOW 'LITTL PEOPLE, BIG WORLD'

YEAH.

YOU SEE A LOT OF LITTLE PEOPLE

I'M FROM OKLAHOMA

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

WOW

I HOPE I DIDN'T OFFEND YOU.

NO, NO, IT'S OKAY I APPRECIATE THAT.

IT'S FINE.

CAN GOOD NIGHT -- CAN I GET A PICTURE?

NO.

YOU LOOK LIKE -

JONATHAN NOVICK JOINS ME.

JOHN, WELCOME.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU FO HAVING ME.

JOHN, WHAT DROVE YOU TO MAK THIS FILM?

WAS IT GENERAL FRUSTRATION ABOUT HOW PEOPLE WERE TREATING YOU, OR ONE PARTICULAR INCIDENT?

I'D SAY IT'S A COMBINATION.

WHEN I MOVED HERE, I STARTED T EXPERIENCE MORE FREQUENT NEGATIVE ENKOURNS.

LIKE GROWING -- ENKOURNS LIKE GROWING UP, I DID EXPERIENCE NEGATIVE PUBLIC ENCOUNTERS PEOPLE LAUGHING, ET CETERA I GREW UP IN A SMALL TOWN CALL FISH -- CALLED FISHKILL, NEW YORK I DID EXPERIENCE THIS GROWIN UP, BUT BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED POPULATION I EXPERIENCED MOR AND MORE AND BECAME MORE AND MORE AWARE THAT I WAS DIFFERENT.

I'D WALK OUTSIDE, I'D WALK T THE SUBWAY, WALK TO WORK, GO T SCHOOL I JUST BECAME INCREDIBLY AWARE EITHER LIKE FROM PEOPLE STARIN OR PEOPLE TAKING PICTURES WITH THEIR CAMERAS OR -- I DON' KNOW, A COMBINATION OF THING HAPPENING THAT IS SEEN ON TH FILM IT JUST BECAME INCREDIBL FRUSTRATING.

IT ALL KIND OF WAS SIMMERING UNTIL ONE DAY I WAS COMING OUT OF WORK, AND SOMEONE JUMPED OVER ME WHILE A CROWD OF PEOPLE WATCHED.

I JUST LOST IT LIKE I WANTED TO SCREAM.

I WANTED TO YELL I WANTED TO THROW THINGS YOU KNOW, THERE WAS NOTHING COULD IMMEDIATELY DO THAT'S WHEN I STARTED TO THINK LIKE I NEED TO DO SOMETHING.

AFTER A FEW DAYS, I STARTED TO THINK I'VE GOT THE TO MAKE THI FILM

WHAT'S THE BIGGEST ISSUE FO YOU?

THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS CAMERAS, CELL PHONE THIS IS ONE PARTICULAR INSTANC WHERE I WAS OUT WITH FRIENDS AND I WAS JUST DANCING IN THIS LOCATION AND A RANDOM PERSON CAME UP IN MY FACE, TOOK A PICTURE OF M WHILE I WAS DANCING, FLASH WEN OFF AND EVERYTHING, AND WALKED AWAY AS THEY WALK AWAY, I SAW THE TICKING OFF NAMES FOR SNAPCHAT SAYING THEY WERE GOING TO SEND PEOPLE MY IMAGE AND THING.

IT MAKES ME INCREDIBLY PARANOI OF LIKE I WAS JUST -- MY ENTIR LIFE WAS LITERALLY MADE A JOKE OUT OF, THAT SOMEONE CAN LAUGH AT FOR FIVE, TEN SECOND.

THIS AFFECTED ME THE ENTIR NIGHT.

IT'S CONSTANTLY MOVING AND I'M NOT.

LIKE EVEN JUST SIGHING A CEL -- JUST SEEING A CELL PHONE, SUBCONSCIOUSLY MY ATTENTION IS ON THIS.

SHOULD I GET OVER HERE, SWITCH CARS HAVING THAT PARANOIA COUPLED WITH THE OTHER THING GOING ON.

NOW, YOU DID THE FILM WITH OR THROUGH THE MEDIA-ENABLE MUSKETEERS, A PROJECT OF DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV, RIGHT

YES

WHO ARE THE MEDIA ENABLED MUSKETEERS

WHO ARE THE MEDIA ENABLED MUSKETEERS IT IS INTERNATIONAL IN TERMS O ITS -- A PROGRAM HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, SPECIFICALL CENTERED AROUND DCTV, LOCATE DOWNTOWN LIKE CHINATOWN AREA AND A NEWS STATION IN RUSSIA THERE WERE TWO GROUPS OF FILMMAKERS, RUSSIANS AND AMERICANS, WHO WERE PASSIONATE ABOUT DISABILITY ISSUES AND WERE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEL THEIR OWN PERSONAL STORIES AND THE STORIES OF OTHERS.

I'M ONE EXAMPLE.

I GOT FRUSTRATED ABOUT SOMETHING, CAME TO THE IDEA, AND WAS FORTUNATELY ABLE TO HAVE THIS OUTLET TO GIVE ME THE RESOURCE AND SUPPORT I NEEDEDE TO TELL MY OWN STORY THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE OF TH PROGRAM IS, YOU KNOW, LIKE ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL.

YOU KNOW, THERE ARE MILLIONS O PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN TH WORLD, AND THERE'S LOTS OF ISSUES THAT AREN'T UP TOED O NECESSARILY FROM THE FIRSTHAND PERSPECTIVE.

AND WHAT IS DOWNTOW COMMUNITY TV

DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY TV IS AN OREGON THAT THEY PUT OUT FILMS OF THEIR OWN, BUT THEY'RE ALSO A RESOURCE FOR INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS KIND OF RALLYING BEHIND THE IDEA OF PEOPLE TELLING STORIES.

THEY HAVE WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHING EDITING PROGRAMS, THEY HAV RENTALS, THEY HAVE SCREENINGS IN LOCATIONS AND THINGS LIKE THAT JUST A GENERAL RESOURCE FOR TH COMMUNITY TO BE A PART O FILMMAKING THEY EVEN HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM WHERE THEY KIND OF CREATE AN INTERNSHIP FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN FILM I BELIEVE TOWARD THE THEIR SENIOR YEAR, THEY'RE PAID TO CONTINUE BEING THERE FOR A YEAR.

AS I SAID, SO MANY PEOPLE KNOW WERE WATCHING, YOUR FIL WENT VIRAL WHAT'S THE FEEDBACK ON THE FILM?

I TOUCHED ON IT BEFORE.

THE MAJORITY SEEMS OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE WHICH IS AMAZING.

THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING THANK YOU FOR SHARING TH PERSPECTIVE, I NEVER KNOW.

THIS HAS HELPED ME BE MORE MINEFUL WHICH IS TOUCHING AND -- MINDFUL, WHICH IS TOUCHING AND GREAT.

I TOUCHED ON THIS BEFORE, BUT -- THE BIGGEST THING THAT STAND OUT TO ME THAT'S BEEN TH RESPONSE IS THAT THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY WITH THIS FILM THAT REACH OUT TO ME AN EXPLAIN LIKE THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS LIKE THIS GIVES ME THE -- THIS GIVES ME THE ABILITY TO SHOW THIS FILM, LIKE THIS IS WHAT I GO THROUGH ALSO.

THIS IS WHAT I GO THROUGH.

YOU KNOW, A KIND OF SIMILA EXPERIENCE JUST BEING ABLE TO IDENTIFY WITH THAT AND KIND OF HELP SPREAD THE WORD THAT'S BEEN A GREAT IMPACT, AS WELL

JOHN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE TALKING T YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME ♪♪

THAT'S IT FOR THIS EDITION OF 'METROFOCUS.

JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK FO NEWS, CONVERSATIONS, AND IN-DEPTH REPORTING FROM NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY PUBLI TELEVISION I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

♪♪

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WA PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING -- CORPORATE FUNDING FO 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY FEW YOU ACTUALLY OF AMERICA, YOU RETIREMENT COMPANY -- MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY ♪♪

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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