*I have no knowledge of either the narrative and characters in the Black Panther comic book, so this review is strictly based on the movie.
Comic books, especially the ones based around superheroes have become our modern-day fairy tales. There are heroes, villains, difficult journeys and life lessons that leave a lasting imprint long after we have read the final page.
Black Panther hit theaters this weekend.
The film starts off where Captain America: Civil War has ended. T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), is stepping into the role of King of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa, after loosing his father. He is supported by his ex/best friend, Nakia, (Lupita Nyong’o), his younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), the Q to his James Bond, his widowed mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his general, Okoye (Danai Gurira), who is the head of Wakanda’s Amazon-esque army.
When Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) threaten T’Challa/Black Panther and his kingdom, our hero must fight for his thrown and his country.
I loved this movie. I loved this movie. It has heart, it has humor, it has action, it has bad ass female characters and most importantly, character and actors of color who are proudly representing their heritage.
This movie is worth every word of praise and every dollar that has been spent to see it.
Black Panther is presently in theaters.
Romantic relationships break off all time. It’s just a fact of life.
It was announced this week that Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are going their separate ways after two years of marriage.
I don’t get what the problem is with their divorce. Yes, they are actors who are in the spotlight, but they are first and foremost human beings who, for whatever reasons (which are frankly, no one’s business but theirs), decided that the marriage was not working out.
The issue that I have is that is we, as a culture, still have a problem with a woman being single. When a man is single, no one blinks an eye. But when a woman single, it’s like the world is ending. She must have something wrong with her and the only way to fix her is to find a man.
I could go on, but I think the ladies on The View says it all. Skip forward to the 2:09 on the clip below.
It’s not exactly a secret that women are given the short end of the stick when it comes to work. Despite our accomplishments, we are still seen as second class employees.
Mother and daughter team Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey understand the hurdles that women face in today’s workplace. So much so, they wrote a book about the subject, entitled What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know. Interviewing 127 women, they examine everything from pay discrepancies, the prejudice that women who have children (and who do not have children) face and what it takes to succeed in the business world as a woman.
I really appreciated this book. I appreciated it because it speaks to the reader on both a cultural level and on a personal level. I also appreciate because the writers also devote a chapter the double discrimination that women of color face because they are women and they are not Caucasian.
I recommend it.
One of my favorite quotes, famously spoken by Gloria Steinem is as follows:
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
Actress Rose McGowan is beyond pissed. She is furious at the way women are treated, especially women in Hollywood.
She recently released her new memoir, Brave. The book is a balls to the wall, complete reveal of her life up to this point and her anger at those (especially men) who abused her and took advantage of her. In the book, she describes two cults: the one was born into and the Hollywood cult that assaulted her and sold her as a marketable product.
This is one of the most mind-blowing books I’ve read in a very long time. Both a memoir and a manifesto, Ms. McGowan is not only pissed for everything she has been through, she is pissed for every woman who has been shoved aside or thought as a sex object because she is a woman.
I absolutely recommend it. I would also go as far to say that it is one of the best books of 2018 so far.
In the 1970’s, the world was changing. Women were starting to throw off the chains that kept their foremothers in literal slavery and were blazing new paths of their own making. Just as he did with his previous series, show runner Norman Lear looked to the changing culture to add to his list of hit shows.
In 1975, One Day At A Time premiered. On the air for nine years, the premise of the show centered around Anne Romano (Bonnie Franklin), a single divorced mother raising her teenage daughters by herself. Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) is the drama queen. Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli) is the tomboy. The man in their lives is Dwayne F. Schneider (Pat Harrington Jr.), their building’s super who becomes one of the family.
For it’s time, One Day At A Time was quite progressive. It was and still is very funny. It was also a show where the lead characters were mostly female and not dependent on the male characters to define who they were. Beloved by television audiences, it was one of the staples of the television schedule while it was on the air.
I recommend it.
Tony Tinderholt is a Republican member House Of Representatives from Texas.
He also wants to not only throw women in jail who have had abortions, but he wants to take away their voting rights.
This man makes my skin crawl. Not only does he want to set us back to pre Roe V. Wade days, he also wants to take us back to the 19th century.
What he forgets (and so does everyone else who is anti-abortion), is that sex, whether for pleasure or for procreation requires two people. If a couple has sex without protection, finds themselves pregnant and the woman chooses to have an abortion, why must only the woman suffer? It was the man’s sperm that met the woman’s egg, therefore he must suffer the consequences as well. While Mr. Tinderholt also proposes in the law to punish men whose partners/spouses have had abortions, he still needs to get his head out of the clouds.
Would he deny an abortion to a sixteen year old who stupidly had sex without protection and whose life will be forever changed if she chooses to become a mother? Would he really add another case to child services workload by forcing a mother who is already financially strapped and relies on government assistance to get by? Would he be so cold to force a rape or incest victim to carry her attacker’s child and raise it as if it as if the child came out a healthy, loving relationship?
This mas has no heart and needs to come back to Earth.
Imagine this, if you will. You have an infant daughter at home. You leave for work one morning, expecting her to be taken care of while you are at work. Instead you come home to find that your child, who is not even a year old, has been raped by her adult cousin.
I would love to say that this story is fiction, but the story is sadly true.
I don’t have any children, but this story makes my stomach turn. What kind of sick person rapes an eight month old? What kind of society allows not just looks the other way when it comes to rape and sexual assault, but also silently paves the way for a baby to be raped?
If this is not a sign that we need severe change in our culture, I don’t know what is.
*Warning: this post contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice. Read at your own risk if you have not read the book or watched any of the adaptations.
There are some books that continue to speak to us on a broad cultural level, regardless of the era when they were published.
Pride and Prejudice is one of these books. Written by Jane Austen and published in 1813, Pride and Prejudice continues to be one of the most popular and relevant books in our culture.
While on the surface, Pride and Prejudice is the story of the rocky courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzilliam Darcy, it is much more than that. Austen was an astute observer of her era, using her novels to subversively point out the human foibles of her characters and the social misfires that are as relevant today as they were in 1813. Whether it was the disenfranchising of women (the Bennet girls automatically disqualified from inheriting the family home because they are women), the snobbery of the upper classes (Lady Catherine de Bourgh) or the foolishness of marriage for marriage’s sake (the not so happy marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet), Austen was not afraid to use her writing to reveal some hard truths about her world.
In addition to Pride and Prejudice, Austen published five other novels in her lifetime. She died at the age of 41, not knowing that her popularity would last centuries after her death.
I am going to end this post with Thug Notes edition of Pride and Prejudice because, I can’t think of a better way to honor Pride and Prejudice.
There is a special place in h*ll for those who sexually abuse children for their own pleasure.
Larry Nassar, the former doctor for the United States women’s national gymnastics team, has been sentenced for up 175 years in prison for molesting 150 women and girl over the last twenty years. The only way he will leave prison after sentencing is in a body bag.
While I am beyond thrilled that Dr. Nassar will be getting his just desserts, I am in awe of the women who stepped forward and faced down the man who destroyed their childhoods.
What bothers me, as I am sure that it bothers a lot of other people, is why it took two decades for the truth to come into the light and for Dr. Nassar to be charged. This is not a topic, especially in a large organization that stays hidden under the rug. Someone higher up in either USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University had to have heard something. Rumors, especially of this nature, get around.
I have three hopes/wishes for this moment in history. The first hope/wish is that Dr. Nassar’s sentencing allows his victims to heal and live as full a life as they can. The second hope/wish is that this will induce legislation on the local, state and national levels to ensure that monsters like Dr. Nassar are stopped before they can ruin lives and kill the innocence in our children while they are still children. The third and final hope/wish that organizations will learn from the mistake of USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University and enact and/or enforce rules that make it clear that sexual harassment will not tolerated.
Since news broke last week that comedian and actor Aziz Ansari was accused of forcing himself on a woman, I have to be honest that this accusation is not so clear-cut for me.
By reputation, Mr. Ansari is far from the likes of Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein. He comes off as a genuine nice guy. I was honestly surprise when the woman making the accusation, known as Grace, seemed to putting him in the same category as Lauer and Weinstein.
My interpretation of the story is that it was a date gone horribly wrong. For whatever reason, Mr. Ansari believed that his accuser wanted to sleep with him, despite the verbal and non verbal cues that she allegedly says she was giving him.
The lesson I think we need to learn here is two-fold: first is that we have to stop teaching our daughters to only be caregivers. There is nothing wrong with that lesson, but we also need to teach our daughters that it is ok to speak up. Women were given voices for a reason, we need to use them. The other issue is that we need to teach our sons, especially when they get to age when they start to go on dates, on how to read the cues, both verbal and non verbal from their date. If their date is obviously uncomfortable or saying that they are not interested in having sex, our sons need to learn to read, understand and respect the wishes of their dates.
While the accusation against Mr. Ansari is not as extreme as others, it is still symptomatic of much larger cultural issue of how we treat our daughters compared to our sons and what we teach our daughters compared to our sons. To find a cure, we must diagnose the problem based on the symptoms. If the symptoms in this case are the treatment and education of our daughters compared to what their brothers are receiving, then the cure is equal treatment and respect for both sexes.