Daily Archives: May 25, 2020

Mrs. America Review

In theory, feminism is an easy concept to understand and an even easier cause to get involved in. But for any number of reasons, some women see feminism as the enemy.

The new series, Mrs. America premiered last month on Hulu. Set in the 1970’s, it follows the battle for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). It seems that ratification is on the horizon. Writer/activist Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), Representatives Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale) and Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), and journalist Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne) are four of the women who are the faces of the feminist movement. Their goal is to see the ERA enshrined as constitutional law. Standing in their way is Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett), a conservative activist and lawyer who will move political h*ll and high water to prevent the ERA from being ratified.

I’ve seen eight of the nine released episodes and I am hooked. The main thing that strikes me is that the issues that these women were fighting for fifty years ago are the same issues we are fighting for now. If nothing else, this series reminds me how far we have come and how far we need to go before American women are truly equal.

It also humanizes the characters, especially the ones that are based on real women. We see them as giants and icons, not as human beings who were as fallible as anyone walking down the street. That humanization also stretches to the women who were against the ERA.

From the liberal perspective, it would be easy to label them as right wing nut jobs who are siding with the patriarchy. But in this series, they are portrayed as women who are scared. From the time they were born, they were told that the ideal life is to marry, have children and maintain a home. When the second wave of feminism began to affect the culture in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it felt like the rug was pulled out from beneath their feet. I absolutely do not agree with their political or cultural perspective. However, I understand the feeling of not knowing what to do when you are told that everything you know and love is wrong.

I absolutely recommend it. I would also not be surprised if this series did very well come award season.

The final episode of Mrs. America premieres Wednesday on Hulu.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Hulu

Thoughts on Memorial Day and Covid-19

Memorial Day is normally about barbecues, getting together and remembering those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that Americans hold dear.

But as we all know, this is not the normal Memorial Day.

I feel like today is more poignant and emotionally heavy than previous Memorial Day. Covid-19 has taken the lives of nearly 100,000 Americans, some who are serving or have served in the military. It reminds us of the risk that these men and women take on, not knowing what fate has in store for them.

May the memories of those gave their lives for this country over the centuries never be forgotten.

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Filed under History, Music, National News, Thoughts On....

Vic DiBietto Speaks Truth to Mitch McConnell

These days, one would have to be living under a rock to not see the heavily partisan politics that exist within the United States. Add in Covid-19 to the mix and the partisan politics creates a crisis of it’s own.

Last month, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following statement in regards to the state and federal financial issues that Covid-19 has created.

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route. It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available. My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”

Though he did not refer to any specific states in this initial statement, the subtle message is clear. He would rather let certain East Coast and West Coast states who normally vote blue (my home state of New York included) go bankrupt rather than provide badly needed financial support. Comedian Vic DiBitetto has a few things to say on this subject.

*Warning: the video below contains language that might be offensive to some viewers.

In an ideal world, politics would be about compromise and doing what is best for the nation. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world in which some politicians look out for number one and/or only look out for their base. They don’t give two sh*ts about the rest of the country.

What Senator McConnell chooses to conveniently forget is that we are in a national crisis. If we are to stop Covid-19 and return to some semblance of normalcy, we need to work together. But we cannot work together if those in the halls of power choose partisan politics over the welfare of the nation.

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Filed under National News, Politics