Category Archives: Feminism

Lynzy Lab Hits The Nail On The Head

After the circus that was the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, you know who made the following comments:

“It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of,”

I could lecture from here to eternity about the reality of the world we live in when it comes to who has the power in this world and who does not have the power. But instead of getting on my soapbox, I will let Lynzy Lab sing about it instead.

The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one. We have a problem in our culture. Women are undervalued and often seen as sexual objects without brains, ambitions or abilities. This brilliant song  shines a light on the problem and allows all of us to start on the difficult journey of fixing the problem.

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Love, Gilda Movie Review

Gilda Radner is one of the great comics/actors of our era. Though she passed away from cancer in 1989, her legacy, especially when opening the doors to future generations of female performers will live on forever.

The new documentary Love, Gilda, tells the story of the Ms. Radner in her own words. Using audio tapes, diaries, handwritten letters, interviews, archival footage and home movies, the documentary is a love letter to a woman who will never be forgotten.

I adored this movie. I’ve been a fan of Gilda since I discovered her in the late 90’s. What I loved about this movie is that the movie told the story of her entire life, not just the years she spent on Saturday Night Live. Like any of us, she had flaws and insecurities, but was still able to live a full life, especially when cancer took over her body.

I recommend it.

Love, Gilda is presently in theaters. 

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Colette Movie Review

It has been said that behind every great man is great woman. But what happens when that woman decides to take the spotlight on her own?

In the new movie, Colette, Colette (Keira Knightley) is a young lady from the countryside who married the much older Willy (Dominic West) around the turn of the 20th century. Willy earns his living as a writer, but does not do the writing himself. He has a team of writers who work under him. Soon after taking their vows, Colette join her husband’s writing team. Her books become the most popular fiction of the day. But while Willy gets the acclaim, Colette remains in the shadows. That is, until she decides to not only publicize the truth of the authorship of the book and while doing so, flouts gender norms.

Based on the true story of Colette, whose full name was Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, this movie is not the typical BPD (British Period Drama). It resonates with modern audiences because it still speaks to us today. Questions in regards to gender norms, gender identities, sexual identities, a woman fighting for her voice to be heard are still being asked in 2018.

I recommend it.

Colette is currently in theaters. 

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Writing

Shame On You, Susan Collins

There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women, especially when it comes to allegations of sexual assault.

Senator Susan Collins voted to proceed with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court. The result is that her opponent has received a tidy sum from voters in donations.

The message coming from the Senate is clear. The voice of the American woman does not matter. Her experience does not matter, especially when it comes to rape and/or sexual assault. While the woman has to live for the rest of her life with the emotional trauma that comes with sexual assault, the man is free and clear to move on with his life as if nothing happened.

The law of the land is innocent until proven guilty, as Mitch McConnell pointed out. However, the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh are severe enough to create questions of his ability to be impartial and non-partisan.

I started writing this post yesterday. As of this morning, Judge Kavanaugh is the newest member of the Supreme Court.

What is done cannot be undone. However, the midterms are coming. American voters will have their say when it comes to who will representing them in Washington.  While only time will tell how the makeup of the Senate will change, I have a feeling that some Senators may find themselves out of a job.

 

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The Miniaturist Book Review

First impressions are often deceiving.

The 2014 novel, The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton, is set in 17th century Amsterdam. Petronella Oortman or Nella as she is referred to, is a young woman from the countryside who is newly married to Johannes Brandt, an older and wealthy merchant. Leaving her widowed mother and younger siblings, Nella travels to Amsterdam to live with her new husband. She discovers that while the house itself is beautiful, it feels emotionally cold. While Johannes does not mistreat Nella, he does not act as newlywed is expected to act. Johannes’s unmarried sister, Marin, runs the household. Deeply religious and not afraid to speak her mind, Marin treats Nella with as much warmth as her brother does.

Johannes gives Nella a doll house as a wedding present. Made to look like  a miniature of the real thing, Nella starts to order objects to fill up the dollhouse. Then things get weird as unexpected additions to the doll house are added that reveal truths that some would like to keep buried.

I loved this book. Nella is the eyes and ears for the reader. As she grows and discovers the truth about her new family, so does the reader.  I very much appreciated that despite her initial shyness, Nella is a bright, inquisitive and empathetic character who is stronger than she appears to be. I also appreciated that Johannes, Marin and the other characters were brilliantly written and full of everything that makes a great character.

I recommend it.

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This Is Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault

There are numerous reasons as to why women do not go to the police after being raped or experiencing sexual assault.

Last night, you know who publicly mocked Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both in high school. This is after he stated that he believed Dr. Ford to be a credible witness.

Am I surprised? No. This type of speech from him has unfortunately become part and parcel of his Presidency.

The problem is that his speech only reinforces why victims of rape/sexual assault, especially women, are afraid to come forward. At best, they are mocked. At worst, they are accused of lying and ruining the life of the man or men they have accused.

While it is true that there are some accusations of rape/sexual assault are false, the majority are not. When some say that the man’s life is ruined by the accusation, what about the woman’s life? What about the life long emotional trauma, the PTSD, the shame, the anger, etc?

When someone says that as a child, they were sexually abused by a member of the clergy, I would hope that they are believed. It is the same thing with women who are brave enough to go to the police when they are raped or sexually assaulted.

The only way to end the stigma is to report rape and/or sexual assault. The problem is that the shame of the act permeates our culture, especially on the part of the female accuser. His speech last night helped to make the problem worse.

P.S. Did anyone else find Judge Kavanaugh’s emotional reaction during his hearing to be bothersome? A judge, especially a member of SCOTUS, must the calm, mature and most of all, above partisan politics. His accusations, to me at least, felt like a ten-year old who was caught doing something and took a temper tantrum instead of admitting what he did wrong.

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History Is In Our Hands

Ghandi once said the following:

A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

While any potential confirmation to the Supreme Court is potentially history making, the potential confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh will forever mark America for generations to come.

Will we be a country that recognizes the accomplishments and humanity of women, and finally put to bed once and for all the idea that women are somehow beneath men? Will we live up to the progressive ideals that is part and parcel of our image as a country that not only respects it’s citizens (regardless of sex), but also gives them opportunities to thrive?

Or, will be go back to the days when women were second class citizens, deprived of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially if that goes against what is considered “proper” for a female?

History is in our hands. We have the opportunity (and the vote next month) to confirm if we are willing to do the hard work to move forward, or if we are content to live in the past?

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The Sisters of the Winter Wood Book Review

For many, fairy tales form the basis of our literary knowledge. The question is, can the fairy tale speak to us or is just magical rubbish?

The new book, The Sisters of the Winter Wood, by Rena Rossner is the story of two teenage sisters, Liba and Laya. The sisters live with their parents in an isolated village in Eastern Europe around the turn of the 20th century.

Like many a teenage girl, Laya gets involved with a mysterious group of men whom her mother has warned her against. In addition to these mysterious men, the woods beyond their home adds another level of danger. As the evil around them draws closer, Liba and Laya uncover a generations old family secret that could save not just their family, but their village.

I appreciate a fairy tale that goes beyond the basics of the narrative. I also appreciate when the writer is able to incorporate real life historical events and the everyday lives of the real people who lived in the period that the story is based in. In addition, I appreciated the relationship between the sisters, which was the love story in the book.  However, I did not like this book.

I struggled with it from the beginning and even when I got into it, I still had trouble with both the narrative and the characters. I was not able to get as hooked into the story as I hoped I would be.

Do I recommend  it? Not really.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Fairy Tales, Feminism, History

Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire: A Third Woman Comes Forward

In the latest news regarding the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, a third woman has come forward.

Julie Swetnick stated that when Judge Kavanaugh was in high school, he and several others boys purposefully spiked the drinks of girls attending local parties to ensure that they would be sexually compliant.

With the previous two accusers, one could have argued that this was the act of an underage boy who drank too much and acted stupidly because he drank too much.

The argument is out the window, especially with the new turn of events.

If the accusations are true and Judge Kavanaugh acted maliciously with the intent of gang rape, he should not be confirmed. If the Republicans still push Judge Kavanaugh through, in spite of the new allegations, then they had better pray that they can keep their majority come November. There are too many women in this country who have been raped or sexually assaulted who have the power to vote and have the power to send a men to those in Washington who think that they hold the cards.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

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The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke Book Review

Sometimes, when we are desperate, we take a chance that we would not have taken if we were not desperate.

Tessa Dare’s new novel, The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke, was published this year.

Alexandra Mountbatten is desperate. She needs an income, fast. Enter Chase Reynaud, the heir to a dukedom who is saddled with the care of two rebellious young girls. Chase’s reputation in society is less than stellar, especially when it comes to his romantic life.

He offers her a job as a governess, hoping that she will have the magic touch.

It’s nearly love at first sight for Alexandra, but she has to keep her emotions in check as she tries to deny her attraction to Chase.

From Chase’s perspective, his love life has been strictly physical. Then Alexandra comes into his life. She tries to reform him, but he responds by teaching her the art of love. He thinks that trying to deny the attraction on his end will be just as easy. But Alexandra is one tough cookie and Chase will discover that pushing her away will not be so easy.

I’m not usually a fan of this genre, but Tessa Dare is an excellent writer. Her characters are alive, human, flawed and kept me asking if Chase and Alexandra would have their happy ending.  I especially appreciated that Alexandra had a brain, a will of iron and had interests beyond marriage.

I recommend it.

 

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