In the new movie, Battle Of The Sexes, Emma Stone plays Billie Jean King and Steve Carell plays Bobbie Riggs. At the start of the film, Billie Jean King is the women’s tennis champion and Bobby Riggs is the former men’s champion who now earns his living by working for his father-in-law. When Billie Jean and the rest of the women discover that prize money for the women’s tournament is far less than the men’s tournament, they revolt.
While this is happening, both Billie Jean and Bobby are dealing with personal problems. Bobby has a gambling addiction that could threaten his marriage. Billie Jean is married, but she is attracted to women and one woman in particular, Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough). The question is, who will win the Battle Of The Sexes?
I really liked this movie. I liked it on several levels. I like it a) because it is an entertaining movie b) the match itself is a historical moment that truly changed the world and c) it feels appropriate for what is happening in this country right now. I especially appreciated that both main characters were not slated into the typical hero/villain role. Riggs could have easily been shown as the big bad chauvinistic wolf (which he certainly was to certain degree) who is trying to blow King and the feminist house down. I also appreciated that Billie Jean King paved the way for only women in general to achieve whatever they want to achieve, but also in her own small way, paved the way for the modern LGBTQ movement.
When Donald Trump announced that he was running for President last year, many of us thought it was either an elaborate hoax or a joke. When he started to win the primaries and actually won the election, it was a nightmare that we hoped would never become reality, but did.
In One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, written by Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein and E.J. Dionne Jr., the authors are basically consoling the voter who feels angry and disheartened that a billionaire braggadocio reality show star businessman is in the White House and could potentially run this country into the ground like one of his former companies. They start off the book with asking how and why this man got as far as he did and ends with how ordinary Americans can stand up to ensure that our democracy continues in spite of the man sitting in the Oval Office.
If I took nothing else away from reading this book, I realized how fragile our democracy truly is and how important it is to communicate to those in Washington DC that they are our employees and not the other way around.
While feminism has created opportunities and advancements for some women in some parts of the world, other women are still fighting for their basic rights.
Manal Al-Sharif’s memoir, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, is much more than her want to be able to get behind the wheel. It is her story and how driving became symbolic for her need to recognized and respected as a human being.
I really liked this book. While I felt like the buildup to her epiphany about driving and feminism was a little slow, the end was totally worth it.
I recommend it for all women, especially women in the first world. We need to remember that while feminism has given us opportunities that our grandmothers could dream of, women living in some third world countries are still seen as second class citizens and chattel to their male relations.