Category Archives: Feminism

Thoughts On the Recent Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. However, that does not mean that I as an individual citizen has to agree with every ruling.

Though it is not written in stone, it is a tradition that all Presidents release copies of their tax returns and/or financial statements. Since you know who won the election nearly four years ago, he has come up with every excuse in the book as to why the paperwork has not been made public. Today, SCOTUS ruled that the tax returns have to be released to prosecutors in regards to the cases building against him in New York.

On the surface, the decision by SCOTUS (including you know who’s choices to join the court) seem like a 100% victory. It’s not, the fine print says that much. But it is a giant step in the right direction. The big baby is not immune from prosecution and must conform to the laws like anyone else.

The other ruling concerns the constant determination by the right (and the current administration by extension) to deny a woman her right to contraception. Instead of directly denying a female employee access to birth control, they are leaving it up to the prerogative of her employer.

If you can, imagine the following scenario: a pregnant woman goes to her doctor for a routine checkup. She is told that there has been a change to the fetus. It is no longer medically viable. She could carry the pregnancy to term, but there are risks in doing so. She could also end the pregnancy, but her employer does not believe in abortion. If she chooses an abortion, she will have to pay a potentially outrageous sum out of pocket because of her employer’s beliefs.

Does that sound right to you? It doesn’t sound right to me. From my perspective, the only thing my bosses should be worrying about is my ability to do my job. My personal life (medical decisions included) are frankly, none of their dam business.

Happy Thursday.

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The Baby-Sitters Club Review

One of the things I have noticed that as I get older, certain childhood memories come back as if it was yesterday.

The Baby-Sitters Club premiered on Netflix last night. Based on the beloved books by Ann M. Martin, the series is updated to 2020 while remaining true it’s literary predecessor.

Bringing the main characters to the screen are Sophie Grace (Kristy Thomas), Momona Tamada (Claudia Kishi), Malia Baker (Mary Anne Spier), Shay Rudolph (Stacey McGill), Xochitl Gomez (Dawn Schafer), Vivian Watson (Mallory Pike), and Anais Lee (Jessi Ramsey).

I started watching initially for the nostalgia factor and was immediately sucked in. Though I was watching with adult eyes and adult experiences, my former thirteen year old self was watching it with me. It was still the BSC I knew and loved, but with a modern sensibility. I think what makes it feel like BSC with a 2020 twist was the casting. Choosing non-white actors for the roles of Mary Anne and Dawn was a brilliant decision. It was also a brilliant decision to cast Alicia Silverstone as Liz Thomas-Brewer, which made me feel very old.

I absolutely recommend it.

The Baby-Sitters Club is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, Netflix, Television, TV Review

New Amsterdam Character Review: Ella

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead 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.

Human beings were not meant to be alone. The need to be around others is built into the DNA of our species. We need each other if we are going to not just survive, but thrive.

On New Amsterdam, Ella (Dierdre Friel) is in a jam.

After briefly dating Rohan Kapoor (Vandit Bhatt), Ella has discovered that she is pregnant, but the father of her child is nowhere to be found. What makes her situation more complicated is that Rohan’s father is Vijay Kapoor (Anupam Kher). Ella and Vijay almost did the will they/wont they dance, but that ended when Ella started seeing Rohan.

Unable to support herself, Ella is about to leave New York. Knowing that if this happens, he may never see his grandchild, Vijay proposes that Ella move in with him. Though it takes sometime for them to work out the kinks in their unorthodox relationship, Ella and Vijay eventually meet in the middle. Which comes in handy when Ella reveals that she has OCD and Vijay is the one to help her relax.

To sum it up: As much as we may pretend that we can do it alone, the truth is that we can’t. In Ella’s situation, it would be easy to put up a wall and pretend that she does not need help. In accepting Vijay’s offer, she is not only willing to bring her guard down, she recognizes that their need for support and connection is mutual.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Mental Health, New York City, Television

Thoughts On the SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

For a millennia, men have controlled everything about women, our bodies included. It is only in the past century or so that we have fought to take back the control of our bodies that was ours in the first place.

Yesterday, SCOTUS ruled in favor of blocking an anti-abortion law in Louisiana. In a nutshell, the law said that doctors were prohibited from performing the procedure unless they had admitting privileges at a local hospital.

On the surface, the law does not sound all that bad. It sounds almost preventative, waiting for the day when something goes wrong and an ambulance would have to be called. But, looking at the fine print tells another story. It closes all but one of the remaining abortion clinics on a technicality, putting the lives of the female residents of Louisiana at risk.

What is interesting is that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal members of the court. In doing so, it is my perspective that he is looking to the future of this country. It is a future that true equality exists between the sexes and women are finally seen as fully-fledged human beings.

It is only a small step. But when small steps come together, they can lead to major change.

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Gloria, A Life Play Review

Great women do not become great overnight. It takes years or even decades to be worthy of the title of greatness.

On Friday, Great Performances aired Gloria, A Life. Starring Christine Lahti, the play tells the life story of legendary second wave feminist Gloria Steinem. Via a small cast made up entirely of female performers, the audience is introduced to the real woman behind the icon.

I’m thrilled that this show was filmed for television. I didn’t see the play while it was open, though looking back, I wish I had. I loved it. It was educating, enthralling, and entertaining. If nothing else, the play is a reminder that the issue of women’s right is just a prevalent today as it was fifty years ago.

I absolutely recommend it.

Gloria, A Life can be streamed on the Great Performances website.

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Feminism, History, Television

Joe Biden’s VP Pick & the Political Mistake That Was Sarah Palin

When it comes a Presidential election, the choice of Vice President can make or break one’s campaign.

Back in 2008, the late Senator John McCain chose former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate for that year’s Presidential election. While we may never know if it was that decision that cost him the Presidency, we do know that this woman became a political joke.

Saturday Night Live had a field day that year. Tina Fey playing Palin was comedy gold.

As this year’s Presidential election comes closer with every day, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is under pressure to choose his running mate. After promising to choose a woman, there has been speculation about who his VP will be.

I would love to say that race does not play a role in his choice. The choice should be based on experience, who is the best person for the job, and professional chemistry. But race, unfortunately, does play a role.

For me, as a voter, I would not be surprised if he chose Kamala Harris or Stacey Abrams. If he wants to be President as badly as he says he does, he needs to prove that his administration and policies will be inclusive and respectful.

The last thing he or the Democratic party needs is a reboot of the political mistake that was Sarah Palin.

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New Amsterdam Character Review: Evie Garrison

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead 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.

It was not so long ago that women had to choose between career and marriage. There was no such thing as being able to have both. Though times have thankfully changed, the pressure to hold down a job and maintain a marriage/romantic relationship can be overwhelming.

On New Amsterdam, Evie Garrison (Margot Bingham) is introduced to Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims) by Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery). It looks like this relationship is headed for the long haul, but there is one hitch. Evie takes a job in California, while Floyd stays in New York. They try to make their long distance relationship work, but it becomes clear that a choice must be made. In the end, Floyd joins Evie in California, finding the work/life balance that many of us wish we could have.

*Note: There would normally be a video here, but I can’t find one.

To sum it up: The things we want in life take work. Evie and Floyd are willing to do the work to make their relationship and marriage last. But that means making a sacrifice. That sacrifice is moving away from New York. The audience remembers Evie because she is ready, willing, and able to keep her marriage to Floyd afloat while having a satisfying career.

That is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Television

Flashback Friday: Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009)

Sometimes, history is made when we least expect it.

For audiences of a certain generation, The Goldbergs (not to be confused with the present sitcom of the same name), was worth the wait every week for a new episode. But for younger generations, the ground breaking series and it’s creator/star, Gertrude Berg is an unknown.

That is where Aviva Kempner‘s 2009 documentary comes into play. Entitled Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, the film tells the story of the series and it’s iconic namesake.

As a younger viewer who was decades away from being born when the series was originally on the air, I appreciate this documentary. Gertrude Berg was a woman ahead of her time. Without her, we would not have the modern sitcom as we know it to be today. She was also upfront about the antisemitism that existed back then, which is a topic that 70 years later, is still sadly relevant.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Feminism, Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies, Television

New Amsterdam Character Review: Georgia Goodwin

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead 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.

If we lived in an ideal world, we would all live to see old age, surrounded by those who love us. But we don’t live in an ideal world. Life is short, regardless of whether we live into our golden years or die before our time. On New Amsterdam, Georgia Goodwin (Lisa O’Hare) appears to be on track to live a long and healthy life. She is a dancer who is taking time off from work to prepare for the birth of her first child. Georgia and her husband, Max, (Ryan Eggold) are eager to meet their daughter.

But that eagerness is diminished. Between Max’s new job as New Amsterdam’s new Medical Director and his cancer diagnosis, Georgia is concerned about her husband. When they finally hash it out, Georgia stands by her man, even if her concerns are not quite alleviated.

Things get hairy towards of the end of her pregnancy. Her placenta ruptures. She begins to bleed out and loses consciousness. Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery) is in the area. Called to help by Max who is unable to choose between saving Georgia’s life or saving their baby, Lauren makes the choice for him. She does an emergency C-section, bringing Max and Georgia’s daughter safely in the world.

Sadly, Georgia does not live to meet her child. The ambulance they are riding in crashes on the way to the hospital. She dies in the hospital, leaving her husband emotionally broken and forced to raise their daughter alone.

To sum it up: We know that we should make the most of our time on this planet while we can. But sometimes, we caught up in the business of our days and forget that life is precious. Georgia’s unexpected death, for both the characters and the audience was heartbreaking. If nothing else, it is a reminder that instead of taking life for granted, we should be taking advantage of the opportunities while we can.

That is why she is a memorable character.

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Thoughts On the 25th Anniversary of Jagged Little Pill

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was a teenager, I felt a little lost. I wanted and needed someone who spoke to me and for me. I found that someone in Alanis Morissette and her breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill. Produced by and co-written with Glen Ballard, it became an instant classic the moment it was released.

Yesterday was Jagged Little Pill‘s 25th anniversary.

As an artist, Alanis gave her listeners the permission and room to feel. Some of the lyrics are not pretty or easy to hear. They are difficult, challenging, and speak of the hard truths in life that we all have to face at some point. As a woman in the music business, she faced the same prejudices that female artists still face today. In writing how she saw the world, she became a trailblazer, an icon, and a hero for women.

I have loved this album for the last 25 years and I hope to love it for another 25 years.

Happy Anniversary, Jagged Little Pill.

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