Daily Archives: May 28, 2018

Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging Book Review

Alex Wagner is the face of modern America. European on her father’s side and Burmese (modern-day Myanmar) on her mother’s side, Ms. Wagner went on a journey to not only discover her family’s past, but also discover who she is as individual.

Her experience is detailed in the memoir, Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging. Inspired by a family member’s off-hand remark, Ms. Wagner decided to look into her familial history. In the process of exploring her mother’s family history in Myanmar and her father’s family history in Ireland and Luxembourg, the author learned a few things about herself in the process.

This book is a fascinating read. Not just from the genealogy angle, but from the angle of what it is to American, especially if the reader is mixed race.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History

Thought On The Irish Abortion Referendum

When one thinks of Ireland, forward thinking and progressive is not usually the description that comes to mind.

Last week, the Irish government placed a referendum in front of the citizens. Should the current abortion laws, which only allowed for the procedure when the mother’s life was at risk be overturned or kept as is?

66% of the voting public voted for the law to be overturned.

The fact that 2/3rds of the Irish voters voted for the measure gives me hope. It gives me hope that one day, US voters will do the same. They will trust American women, the spouses/partners and their doctors to make a decision that is at its core a personal one.

From my perspective, those who want to ban or limit abortions do so because they have yet to see women as full-fledged human beings who have the capacity to make their own decisions. While faith and religious observance play a part in on how one might feel about abortion, when it comes down to it, in 2018, are women viewed as intelligent, rational creatures who have the ability to make decisions about their future or are they still viewed as second class citizens who need a man’s guiding hand on all decisions?

 

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Filed under Feminism, International News, Politics, Thoughts On...., World News

Disobedience Movie Review

Disobedience is defined as failure or refusal to obey rules or someone in authority.

It is also the title of the novel by Naomi Alderman and the movie of the same time. Ronit (Rachel Weisz), Esti (Rachel McAdams) and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) all grew up together in the same Orthodox Jewish community in North London. But Ronit left the community some years ago and has since found a new life in New York as a photographer.  Then her father, who was a respected Rabbi dies and Ronit is forced to return home.

When they were teenagers, Ronit and Esti were together, but their relationship was not exactly welcomed by their friends and neighbors. While Ronit was living in New York, Dovid and Esti married. Their marriage appears to be solid, but when Ronit walks back into their lives, all three main characters must grapple with questions of not just sexuality, but also faith.

Disobedience is one of the best films of 2018, at least for the first half of 2018. The acting is solid and the narrative is perfect. In other films, with other screenwriters, Dovid would be the mustache twirling villain keeping  the lovers apart. Ronit would be the hero who saves the day and the Esti would be “damsel in distress” caught between her marriage vows to Dovid and her love for Ronit. But in this film, all three characters are so real that I felt sympathy for all of them as they went on this journey.

I recommend it.

Disobedience is currently in theaters. 

 

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Filed under Books, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

Add Another One To The List XI: Morgan Freeman

Sometimes it takes public shaming for things to finally change. The list of powerful or famous men accused of unwanted sexual assault has grown again. Morgan Freeman is the newest name on this dishonorable list.

Sixteen people have accused him of either sexual assault or inappropriate behavior. Four of those who have made such accusations are journalists whom Mr. Freeman has been interviewed by during press junkets. They have accused him of making inappropriate remarks during their interviews. Chloe Melas, who is the co-author of the CNN article linked to above, stated that Mr. Freeman acted inappropriately towards her while promoting his 2017 film, Going in Style.

Based on the evidence presented, I don’t think that Mr. Freeman went as far as Harvey Weinstein did, however, that does not exonerate him. Mr. Freeman’s actions and words are a symptom of a much larger cultural perspective that still views women as sexual objects, regardless of whether actions follow the words spoken.

As much as I respect Mr. Freeman for his career, sometimes we must make public examples of bad behavior to make it clear that such words or actions are unacceptable.  Unfortunately, the public example that must be made in this case is Morgan Freeman, whose lapse in judgement reminds us all that inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and those who still act in such a manner will be punished appropriately.

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Filed under Feminism, Movies