Dispatches From the Right: Kari Lake on Feminism, Louisiana Woman Denied Abortion, and Texas Mother Rips Book Bans

The nature of the American democracy is made up of two different political parties who at the end of the day, can hopefully come to a compromise. These days “hopefully” is wishful thinking and “compromise” is a dirty word, depending on who you speak to.

Last week, Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake made the following statement:

“Women are not equal to men. We don’t want to be equal to them”.

I have a problem with this statement. If women are not equal to men, then we are inferior. Therefore Ms. Lake hasn’t got a chance in you know where to win her election. The person who becomes Arizona’s next Governor will automatically be a male. This type of thinking drives me insane. The women take advantage of feminist achievements when it suits them, but they also bash it when it suits them. They can’t have it both ways. We are equal to our male counterparts, or we are meant to be barefoot and pregnant without any rights.

Last week, in Louisiana, Nancy Davis was denied an abortion. As of when the news hit the press, she was 15 weeks pregnant and told that her fetus was nonviable. Due to the draconian and far too vague anti-abortion law, she will have to travel out of state to have the procedure. I can only imagine that being told that the fetus is nonviable is hard enough. The last thing I would wish on anyone in that position is to be told that they have to carry a pregnancy to term because of legislation crafted by non-medical professionals who may be forcing their religious beliefs on others.

And finally, in Texas, Adrienne Quinn Martin stood in front of her local school board and basically told them to shove their book-banning ideas where the sun doesn’t shine.

My favorite part of her speech is as follows:

“Your personal religious beliefs, people in this room and on this board, should not have an effect on my child’s education either. Our school are not to be used for personal political agendas and our children are here for education, not religious indoctrination,” she told the room as she looked various board members and attendees directly in the eye.

“I implore the board to put an end to attempts to appease these extremists. Focus on retaining staff, providing excellent public education and a safe and welcoming learning space for all students. The speakers speaking about what great Christians they are? Great. Go tell your pastor. Our schools are not your church.

Am I a taxpayer whose taxes help to fund public schools? Yes. But I am not a parent or a teacher. Nor do I have a degree in education. Therefore, I will let those who interact with students on a constant basis make the decisions that are best for our children’s education.

This is the state of our political system these days. We have two choices: let the extremists on the right change this nation or fight for everything we hold dear.

How Many More Anti-Jewish Crimes Will be Committed Before Something is Done?

Antisemitism is a very real thing. Nearly a century after the Holocaust, the same lies and hatred that killed 6 million Jews have once more found new life.

On August 20th, Eyal Haddad, a French Jew of Tunisian descent, was murdered with an axe by a Muslim neighbor. His body was burned and mutilated. Just like Sarah Halimi in 2017, the only reason why he was killed was that he was a member of the Jewish faith.

Yesterday, an Orthodox Jewish man in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn was hit over a parking spot. The young man who hit him threatened to find his victim again and repeat his actions.

I find both events to be extremely frustrating. In regards to the murder of Mr. Haddad, the authorities are already stating that he was not killed because of his faith. It does not take a brainiac to figure out why Mr. Haddad is no longer alive. When it came to the assault in Brooklyn today, no one stood up to this punk kid. They just stood around and let it happen. The person who was behind the camera I find especially culpable. They decided that it was more important to keep filming.

What I am bothered by is the double standard. When Israel (and the Jews by extension) defends herself against verbal and physical attacks from her neighbors, the accusations are fast and brutal. But when we try to call out the antisemitic lies, no one listens.

Light & Magic Documentary Review

When we think of films or TV shows, we often think of the boldface names at the top of the credits: the director, the actors, the producers, the screenwriter(s), etc. For every name that is in large letters, there are many others whose work is important, but unknown by the audience.

Light & Magic is a new six-part documentary about the creation of Industrial Light & Magic, otherwise known as ILM. Started by George Lucas, the company started out as a way to create special effects for Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. In the beginning, they were a bunch of young rebels living off of dreams, hard work, and a limited budget.

Over the decades, ILM would not just become the pioneer for special effects. The company would also be behind the success of some of the biggest movies of our era, creating visual imagery that has caused multiple generations of fans to ask “how did they do that?”.

I enjoyed this documentary. It proves that determination, creativity, diligence, and coloring outside the box can change the world.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Light & Magic is available for streaming on Disneyplus.

Thoughts On the Call Jane Trailer

Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following about our laws:

One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Any law that uplifts human personality is just.

The trailer for the new movie, Call Jane, is the story of Joy (Elizabeth Banks), a woman who just found out that she is pregnant in the days before Roe v. Wade. Told by her doctor that the pregnancy is a danger to her life, she first goes through the “proper” channels to receive medical care. Unable to get the abortion, she discovers an underground network. Known as “Jane” Joy gets help from a number of women. Among them is Virginia (Sigourney Weaver).

I have seen the trailer twice and I am so ready to see the full movie. It is extremely timely and a reminder of how important it is for women to have full control of their own bodies and futures. What I am liking about the film (based on the trailer) is that it points out that some things remain the same, even after fifty-plus years.

Call Jane will be in theaters in the US on October 28. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Halloween than a scary story of my rights being taken away.

All Creatures Great and Small Character Review: Helen Alderson

The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television show All Creatures Great and Small. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

There are two ways to get through life: complain endlessly or just get through it. Though complaining has its place, it takes much less time and energy to just deal with the cards that life has dealt you.

In the PBS/Masterpiece television series, All Creatures Great and Small (based on the book series of the same name), Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) comes from a long line of Yorkshire farmers. Since the death of her mother, Helen has both taken the duties of farming and being the surrogate mother to her much younger sister Jenny (Imogene Clawson). Born and raised in this world, she is practical, intelligent, and just does what needs to be done. She is more than capable of getting behind the wheel of a tractor or rangling an unruly animal.

That does not mean that Helen is a tomboy who despises wearing dresses and putting on makeup. When the occasion arises, she is just as comfortable in a dress and heels as she is in overalls.

She is also the object of affection for two different men. When we originally meet Helen, she has been with Hugh Hulton (Matthew Lewis) for quite a few years. They have grown up together. The next natural step in their relationship is the ringing of wedding bells. Hugh comes from a wealthy family and would be able to provide for Helen and her family.

But there is someone else waiting in the wings. James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) is a newcomer to the area. He nearly instantly develops a crush on Helen and is devastated that she is spoken for. Though he respects the fact that she is in a relationship, James never wavers in his love for Helen. Eventually, Helen and Hugh go their separate ways. It takes some time, but James does eventually propose. She accepts and all appears well for their future.

But neither knows that World War II is waiting in the wings, threatening to turn their world upside down.

To sum it up: Though Helen is the romantic lead, she is not defined by the two men who want to be with her. She is her own woman who can clearly take care of herself and her family. It is that levelheadedness that allows modern women to relate to her but still keeps her grounded in the period that she lives in.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

Where the Crawdads Sing Book Review

Combining genres is never easy. It takes a skilled writer to effortlessly blend each genre while making sure that the narrative is cohesive and easily understood by the reader.

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens, was published in 2018. Coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s, Kya Clark had to raise herself. Reviled by her neighbors in the small southern town she calls home, she is called the “marsh girl” and learned early on that the only thing she can rely on is nature.

In late 1969, local boy Chase Andrews is found dead. Many suspect that Kya is behind the murder. Like many rumors that are not based on fact, these people have no idea who the real Kya is. Though she has been independent since she was a child, the now adult Kya is ready for the possibility of romance. Two young men enter her life. They both make promises of love and devotion. What she does not know is that she will learn some hard lessons and be accused of taking one of their lives in the process.

Part murder mystery, part coming-of-age tale, and part ode to the natural world, this book is amazing. Kya is one of the best female protagonists that I have come across in a long time. She is intelligent, sensitive, strong, and fearless. Her bravery in light of the lies told about her and the accusations by law enforcement is mindblowing.

One thing I really liked was Owens highlighting how destructive racism and prejudice was and still is. This is represented by the only black characters, Mabel and Jumpin. They own the local general store and are one of the few people in town who are in Kya’s corner. Like Kya, they know what it is like to be ostracized and hated. Unfortunately, this small, but important narrative thread is left out of the film.

What got me was the ending. It made me question if I really knew Kya and if the jury perhaps made the wrong decision.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Where the Crawdads Sing is available wherever books are sold.

The Reaction of the Men to the Simulated Period Pain is Priceless

When a woman is in a certain mood or not the easiest to deal with, the joke the men often make is asking if it is our time of the month. Though they may think that it is an innocuous statement, they have no idea what we go through.

Lux Perry, CEO, and founder of the company Somedays is challenging this idea. The videos below speak volumes.

The best part starts at 5:59

Though it is easy to laugh at their experiences, the truth is that it is not funny.

“The average person with a period misses nine days of work a year, and up to 80 per cent of people with a period say that even if they’re at work, they’re not able to be as productive or engaged,” Perry said, explaining that stigma compels some to lie about why they’re missing work, for example.

Those with endometriosis are also often forgotten, Perry says, as many who are diagnosed with this disease that affects the uterus can experience chronic pain that is often mistaken for period pain. According to the Endometriosis Network Canada, in their lifetime 1 in 10 women and girls, as well as an unmeasured numbers of transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals, will be diagnosed with endometriosis.

“Endometriosis is one of the most painful diseases in the world and is regularly mistaken for period pain; so what that says to us is that a lot of people are experiencing extreme period pain,” Perry said.

When those days come, I would love to lie on my couch in the fetal position with a cup of water and a bottle of aspirin nearby. But I can’t. I have to go to work, I have to take care of my errands, etc.

Until you walk in another person’s shoes, you cannot understand what they go through and therefore, cannot make a change for the better. My hope is that with this perspective, the men around us (specifically political and business leaders) will do their part to make our lives just a bit easier.

Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell Book Review

One of the earliest lessons we are taught when we are young is right vs. wrong. That does mean, that later on in life, we adhere to those lessons.

Tim Miller is a former Republican operative and strategist. For years, he proudly towed the party line and spread what he believed to be the truth. Then he came out and he was forced to reckon with his past decisions.

His story is told in the new political memoir Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. Published in June, Miller is upfront and honest about the half-truths, outright lies, and the games they were played by himself and his colleagues at the time. He also confronts the fact that he is a gay man and was working in a world that was and still is openly homophobic.

It reminds me of Michael Cohen‘s memoir. At the time, both Cohen and Miller believed that they were doing the right thing. It is only with time did they realize that the decisions they were making were at least morally, speaking, not on the up and up.

What I like about this book is that he does not end it with suggestions on how to bring the nation back to some sort of pre-2016 “normality”. In doing so, he is challenging the readers to take a look at themselves and figure out what they can do to restore our democracy and its former reputation.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell is available wherever books are sold.

Cry Those Crocodile Tears, Bella Hadid

We are all entitled to our beliefs. But when those beliefs cross the line and encourage murder and destruction of other people because they are different, that is no longer acceptable.

For some time now, real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and his daughters, Bella and Gigi have been using social media to spread lies against Israel and inflame the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Earlier this week, Bella has been complaining that she has lost jobs and friends.

Of course, there are those who would come to her defense. But I will not give them oxygen on this blog. I will only say that their true antisemitic and anti-Israel colors are showing. If the only way to make them see the errors of their ways is to lose friends and job opportunities, so be it.

Cry those crocodile tears, Bella Hadid. They mean nothing to me.

Sad Cry Me A River GIF by The Bachelor - Find & Share on GIPHY

Flashback Friday: Toy Story 3 (2010)

When we are very young, we play with a certain group of toys. When we grow up, our toys change dramatically.

Toy Story 3 is the third film within the Toy Story franchise. Andy (voiced by John Norris) is just about to leave for college. The toys he once considered to be beloved friends are supposed to be taken to the attic. But instead, they are donated to a daycare center.

The treatment they receive from the children at the daycare is a complete 180 from how Andy loved and treasured them. Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), and co are now being handled by sticky-fingered toddlers who lack the respect of Woody and Buzz’s former owner.

If they are to get home, they must convince the disillusioned Lotso (voiced by Ned Beatty) that they were all once loved. Helping the boys in their quest is Barbie (Jodie Benson), who is working with her counterpart Ken (Michael Keaton) to free them all.

This movie is adorable, funny, and fits well into the overall story within the franchise. It also speaks of the fact that we all grow up eventually. What we once loved will eventually be consigned to the past and will be replaced by something entirely different.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Sad Toy Story GIF by Disney Pixar - Find & Share on GIPHY
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