Best Movies of 2022

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: After the death of Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), the questions on how the IP would continue without its leading man seemed endless. Black Panther‘s sequel is both the perfect memorial to Boseman and a continuation of the narrative.
  2. Avatar: The Way of Water: The 13-year wait for the follow-up to Avatar was worth it. The themes of climate change are just as relevant now as they were in 2009.
  3. She Said: Based on the book of the same name, it tells the heart-pounding story to uncover the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. NY Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) take on Weinstein and the Hollywood machine in a way that is jaw-dropping.
  4. Elvis: Austin Butler transforms himself into Elvis Presley, adding new layers to the music icon.
  5. Call Jane: Elizabeth Banks plays a housewife whose pregnancy is not going well in the days before Roe v. Wade. Denied an abortion by the local hospital, she finds an underground group and soon joins them in their mission to help women.
  6. Hocus Pocus 2: After 29 years, the Sanderson sisters are back. It has enough of its predecessor while holding its own in the best way possible.
  7. Mr. Malcolm’s List: Based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Allain, Mr. Malcolm is the most coveted bachelor in this Jane Austen-inspired narrative. In order to fend off marriageable young ladies and their match-making mamas, he creates a list of qualities that his wife should have. Little does he know that it will soon be moot.
  8. Downton Abbey: A New Era: This second film in the franchise opens the door to new stories while closing old ones in perfect fashion.
  9. Cyrano: This musical adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac starring Peter Dinklage adds new flavors to the well-known tale.
  10. The Tragedy of Macbeth: Shot in stark black and white, Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star as the power-hungry and bloodthirsty Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Amy Poehler Popcorn GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Advertisement

Women Talking Book Review

In a world in which one is a minority or deemed second-class, the hardest thing to do is to stand up for yourself. Though it may seem insurmountable, it has the possibility to change the world for the better.

Women Talking, by Miriam Toews, was published in 2020. The narrative is based on a true story. On a quiet evening, eight Mennonite women meet in secret. They cannot read, write, or speak any other language than the one spoken in their community. The world outside is a complete mystery.

For the last couple of years, young girls have reported that otherworldly creatures have come to them at night as a punishment for their sins. In daylight, their visitors reveal themselves as their fathers, brothers, cousins, and neighbors. The girls were drugged and raped.

While the men are in town trying to bail out the rapists, the women discuss two possible options. They can stay in the world they know or escape and protect their daughters.

This book has been compared to The Handmaid’s Tale, and for good reason. The themes and story are way too close for comfort. That being said, the novel drags. Obviously, the subject is not an easy one to digest. I just wish that I was able to get into the book faster than I did.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The Taliban Has Banned Women’s Education and Employment at NGOs

The late and legendary first-wave feminist Alice Paul once said the following:

“There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.”

There are some in this world who prefer to live in the past. Specifically, where women are at best second-class citizens and at worst, chattel.

Last week, the Taliban announced that girls can no longer attend school past grade 6. Earlier today, another announcement was made. All NGOs (non-governmental organizations), both local and international, must fire their female staff.

The statistics are clear. When a woman is educated beyond the basics, she is better prepared for the future. She is able to get a better job, lift her family out of poverty, and help her own children climb the economic ladder themselves. Female legislators also step up to the plate in reducing climate change and its various after effects.

This is straight of out The Handmaid’s Tale. It is nothing more than the fragile male ego and the archaic idea that a female will always be lower than a male.

If these men want to run their country into the ground, so be it. They will soon find out the power and the voice of the female sex.

Happy I Love You GIF by Rebecca Hendin - Find & Share on GIPHY

Our Red Book: Intimate Histories of Periods Growing, & Changing Book Review

A woman’s time of the month is completely natural and normal. Without it, we are unable to have children and further our species. The problem is that it is seen as a mark of evil, unnatural or g d forbid, a sign of sexual activity.

Our Red Book: Intimate Histories of Periods, Growing & Changing was published last month. Edited by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, the book contains a series of essays about a woman’s period. The writers come from all backgrounds and parts of the world and range in age from young to old. Each tells her story of growing up and the moment she knew that her life was about to change.

Girl Woman GIF by Fundacja Teraz Wy - Find & Share on GIPHY

I enjoyed this book. It spoke to the universality of this small, but momentous event. One of the highlights was the inclusion of transgender women. In including them, the editor is making the case that we are all female. Despite some surface differences, we are the same inside. We all have our monthly visit from Aunt Flo and deal with it as previous generations have for centuries.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Our Red Book: Intimate Histories of Periods, Growing & Changing is available wherever books are sold.

Iran Was Finally Expelled From the UN Commission on Women

In an ideal world, everyone would be equal. We would not need special interest groups to ensure that marginalized groups have the same rights and protections as the dominant group.

Last week, Iran was finally expelled from the UN Commission on Women.

Frankly, I don’t know why they were invited to join in the first place. Given the country’s treatment of women (and the recent murder of Mahsa Amini), I have to question the sanity of those who suggested the idea in the first place. It’s akin to letting the fox into the hen house and letting it go wild.

As much as I appreciate the UN, it reminds me of the organization’s flaws. Instead of living up to the doctrines that were set down by its founders, it feels as if the idea of democracy, equality, and respect for all nations and peoples is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Protest Iran GIF by GIPHY News - Find & Share on GIPHY

Enola Holmes 2 Movie Review

Representation is a powerful thing. If we can see it, even if it is only in fiction, then we can strive toward being it in real life.

The new Netflix film, Enola Holmes 2, was released last weekend. This sequel to Enola Holmes takes place right after its predecessor ends. Our title character, the eponymous Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) has just opened her own detective agency. But being young and female does exactly bring in a tidal wave of clients.

The one person who does walk through the door is Bessie Chapman (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss). Her older sister Sarah (Hannah Dodd) is missing. Enola follows the trail to the Bryant & May Match Factory. The majority of their employees are women and young girls from the lower classes who are mistreated and underpaid.

With the help of her elder brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill), her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), and possible boyfriend Tewksbury (Louis Partridge), Enola must uncover the mystery of Sarah’s disappearance.

I like this movie more than I did the first one. Bringing together fact and fiction, the true story of the strike adds another dimension to the tale. I also enjoyed the slow-burning romance between Enola and Tewksbury. The “will they or won’t they” question is representative of Enola’s growth, but it is a secondary narrative to her investigation.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Enola Holmes 2 is available for streaming on Netflix.

My Moment: 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves

We all know that we live in a world that is not exactly kind to those of us of the female sex. In order to get what we want, we need to speak up.

My Moment: 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves was published earlier this year. Co-written by Chely Wright, Linda Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, Lauren Blitzer, and Kathy Najimy, the book contains stories of women standing up for themselves. They run the gamut from famous to unknown, young and old, and come from across the world.

Starts at 3:02

I loved this book. Though the subjects are all different, they have one thing in common: they were faced with a moment in which a decision had to be made. They could either use their voice or stand down. They chose to stand up for themselves. In doing so, they changed their lives and inspired others to do the same.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

My Moment: 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves is available wherever books are sold.

I Will Do This Women Empowerment GIF by Billions - Find & Share on GIPHY

Republican Fuckery Part IV: Ted Cruz in NYC and Lauren Boebert’s Thoughts on Women

Part of the game of politics is working with someone who likely has a different opinion or perspective. That being said, it is impossible to work with another whose views are so extreme that they are on another planet (figuratively speaking).

Last weekend, Lauren Boebert referred to women as “lesser vessels” compared to men.

Her rationale is the following:

“We are created equal, we’re not the same. Women are the lesser vessel and we need masculinity in our lives to balance that, that so-called weakness. Just us being more frail and needing that strength in our lives.”

I have two questions for the Congresswoman: if she is “lesser” than her male opponents, what gave her the idea that she had even a slim chance of winning her election? And then, where did she get the idea that she would be respected by her male colleagues and staffers?

What Boebert does not realize is that she is undermining feminism while taking advantage of the opportunities that the movement created. She can’t have it both ways. Either use it or don’t. Simple as that.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz was in NYC earlier this week to promote his new book (which shall remain nameless on this blog). The highlights of his trip were an appearance on The View and going to a Yankees game.

Upon entering Yankee Stadium, New Yorkers told Cruz exactly what we think of him. If you shit on us, we shit on you right back.

Warning: this video contains language that might be offensive to some viewers.

Just another day of Republican fuckery and another reason to vote them out on November 8th.

P.S. Did you see how Biden reamed out Cruz, MTG, and others on the right for taking PPP loans while deriding his plan to help out with student loan debt? It was beautiful.

I Attended the Women’s March on Saturday

The ability to publicly demonstrate and tell our elected leaders what is on our minds is baked into the very concept of democracy.

Last Saturday was the Women’s March in New York City. Held at Foley Square in lower Manhattan, attendees were there to make sure that our voices were heard.

Though the main topic was abortion, it was about the fact that in the United States, women and girls are still second-class citizens.

Before the speakers began, there was a recognition of Mahsa Amini and the figurehead that she has become. Not just in Iran, but all over the world.

The fact is that this has been an ongoing struggle for a very long time. While I was there, I could feel my foremothers standing behind me. Those of us who are alive today both stand on their giant shoulders and walk on the path they started.

Reasons to Fight For Democracy: The Mass Graves in Ukraine and the Murder of Mahsa Amini

It’s easy to get discouraged about the state of democracy these days. But what we have to remember is that it is worth fighting for.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been going on since the winter. In the liberated city of Izium, mass graves were discovered. So far, the number of bodies is over 400. Many of those killed were civilians and children.

Warning: the images may be distressing.

If this discovery is not enough to the world that Putin must be stopped and forced to stand trial, I don’t know what is. Unless we make it clear that this type of action is unacceptable, it will happen again.

In Iran, Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, was killed by the morality police. Her crime was supposedly an issue with her headscarf. Since 1979, it has been compulsatory. As a result, protests have broken out. Many women have cut their hair and refused to wear the hijab in response to Amini’s death.

Religion of any kind is all well and good. But when the majority forces their beliefs on the minority and believes that one gender is superior or inferior to another, that is a problem we cannot ignore. If we do, it is at our own peril.

May Mahsa Amini’s memory and the memories of those murdered by Russia since the beginning of the war be a blessing. Z”L.

%d bloggers like this: