There are two things in life that will always happen, regardless of what ever else we experience: death and taxes.
Loosing a loved one is difficult. It is especially difficult when a young person kills themselves because they feel like their family has turned their back on them.
Leelah Alcorn was born Joshua Alcorn. But something did not feel right. He might have been born into a male body, but something inside of him said he was meant to be in a female body. When Joshua came out of the closet as transgender, her parents refused to accept the truth about their child. Feeling unloved by the people who should love her the most, Leelah walked into oncoming traffic and killed herself.
I don’t have any children and I understand that it is sometimes difficult when your child goes against societal or religious norms. But I’ve always believed that a good parent loved and supported their child, even if they did not agree 100% with everything that their child said and did.
Sadly, the tragedy of Leelah’s death is not new. Many young people, unable to cope with an identity that goes against what they have been taught to think and feel will end up in the grave long before they reach old age.
Leelah’s death is just one more loss that marks a long line of losses that the LGBTQ community will endure. It’s just a dam shame that a teenager had to kill themselves to make the world stand up and pay attention.
Let’s face it, being a teenage girl is not easy. But sometimes it’s a little bit easier if we can see ourselves reflected on screen.
In 1979, a new television show premiered centered on the lives of young women living in a boarding school in upstate New York. The Facts Of Life introduced television audiences to four new female characters. Natalie (Mindy Cohn), Blair (Lisa Whelchel), Tootie (Kim Fields) and Jo (Nancy McKeon) are led by housemother Mrs. Garrett (Charlotte Rae).
This show is 36 years old and it still holds up, despite the sometimes what were they thinking 1980’s fashion. There is something timeless about being a teenage girl and going through the changes that we all go through during that stage of life.
I recommend it.
Sometimes, in life, you have to make a choice about surviving. Even if that choice means going against respectable society and being labelled an outcast for that choice.
In Bad Girls (1994), four women must make their own choices. Cody (Madeleine Stowe), Anita (Mary Stuart Masterson), Eileen (Andie MacDowell) and Lily (Drew Barrymore) are forced to make their living via the world’s oldest profession. When Cody saved Eileen from an abusive customer, all four women must run for Texas. Anita is a widow who hopes to pull out money from late husband’s bank account to start a new life in Oregon, but with the Pinkertons and Cody’s old partner thrown into the mix, it will not be an easy journey.
It’s not the best movie, or the best Western. However it’s nice to see strong women who defy the standards of what it means to be a respectable woman.
Do I recommend this movie? Why not.
Ah, sisters. She can either be your best friend, your worst enemy or something in between.
In In Her Shoes (2005), Rose (Toni Collette) and Maggie (Cameron Diaz) don’t have the best relationship. Rose is the responsible straight laced lawyer, while Maggie is the wild child who has yet to get her act together. The relationship is nearly severed when Maggie sleeps with Rose’s boyfriend. It takes the discovery of their unknown grandmother Ella (Shirley MacLaine) to bring the sisters back together and heal decades old family wounds.
I like this movie. Based on the book of the same name by Jennifer Weiner, the relationship between Maggie and Rose feels very real. The story really starts to move forward when we meet Ella and we learn about Ella’s late daughter (Rose and Maggie’s mother), who had issues that nearly destroyed her family.
I recommend it.
World War II was a game changer in the United States, especially for the Women’s Movement. While the men were away fighting, women stepped into the professional roles that had previously held by the soldiers fighting overseas.
Denise Kiernan’s new book, The Girls Of Atomic City: The Untold Story Of The Women Who Helped Win World War II, is about a small group of women who worked in the then secret community that would build the atom bomb. These women were all very different. Some were refugees from Europe who held advanced degrees and had worked in science labs before the war. Others had their bachelors degrees and were eager to put their experience to work, a third were young women from local communities who saw the opportunities that this project could provide to them.
The book can be a little slow at points. It did not completely wow me, but it was a very interesting read. What these women did not realize is that they, even in a very small way, were laying the groundwork for modern feminism.
Do I recommend it? Possibly.
Happy 2015. This will be my first Throwback Thursday blog post of the New Year.
The 1950’s can often be seen through rose colored glasses, especially when viewed through the family sitcoms of the era. Television programs like Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show presented the audience with a perfect Caucasian suburban family whose problems were easily solved within a 30 minute time span.
Flash forward to the 1990’s where television story lines and characters were complex and problems were so easily solved within 30 minutes.
In 1998, Pleasantville, two 1990’s teens into the world of the perfect 1950’s family sitcom. David, who has little to no social life (Tobey Maguire) is obsessed with the 1950’s television program Pleasantville. His sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) has a very active social life and looks down on her brother’s obsession. A strange looking remote transports them into the television program. As they spend more time in Pleasantville, things begin to change and the boat begins to rock.
I like this movie. What I like about this movie is that it brings color to a world that is black and white, literally and figuratively. The special effects are also a nice touch. They add to the movie as needed, without drawing attention away from the plot or the characters.
I recommend it.