While the basic definition of feminism is equality for women, it is much more than that. It represents an ideal that all human beings, regardless of sex, are judged for who they are and not for their sexual organs.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen, is an anthology comprised of essays, stories, lists, letters and art about the topic of feminism. Contributors include writers Roxane Gay, Malinda Lo, actor/activist Amandla Stenberg and actor/comedian/writer Mindy Kaling. They write about everything from finding self-love, navigating relationships and body image.
What I loved and appreciated about the book was that it was based on the real life and the real experiences of the contributors. I also liked that instead of just including essays and stories, the book also included art, letters and lists. The book could have read like a boring academic text, there was a life to the book. I don’t know about any other readers, but this book has certainly re-light the fire under my behind to continue to fight for my rights.
I absolutely recommend it.
Feminism is not just a cause to be embraced by Western women. It is a cause to be embraced by women from every corner of the world.
Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie published her book, We Should All Be Feminists in 2012. She addresses feminism as it must be addressed in our modern era. Writing directly from her own personal experience, she shines a light on the topics that this generation of feminists must address to allow our daughters and granddaughters to make even greater leaps and bounds.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Though it is super small, Ms. Adichie speaks directly to what is a universal experience of being a woman and what battles we still need to fight to achieve true equality.
I recommend it.
Feminism, like any social justice movement is never static. It must be dynamic not only to meet the goals, both large and small of the movement, but also to adapt to the changing society.
Writer Rebecca Solnit published her 2nd book, The Mother Of All Questions, earlier this year. In this slim volume, Ms. Solnit writes about women who have stood up to the outdated and double standard rules of the patriarchy, the rise of rape jokes and other topics.
I appreciated this book because Ms. Solnit is unafraid to breach certain subjects in a very raw and real manner that hits the reader straight in the face. It it is a reminder that despite the enormous leaps and bounds that women have made, we still have a long way to go.
I absolutely recommend it.
200 years ago today, Jane Austen breathed her last breath. No one could have predicted that her immortal afterlife has long outlasted her short 41 years on Earth.
Jane Austen is and will forever be a genius. Her writing is full of human characters who still resonate with readers and audiences 200 years after they were introduced to the Regency era reading public.
Sense And Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are adored the world over. Reading her books is like visiting an old friend, the experience never gets old or dull.
As a woman, a writer and a feminist, I look to Jane for comfort, for solace and for strength. She lived in an era when a woman’s only choice was marriage. Marriage in her time was more about income and status than love, companionship and mutual interests. She could have easily given into the pressure and married to keep a roof over her head and food on her plate. But she chose to not marry and instead, she created her own path. 200 years later, we still walk on the path that she created and we still admire her for being strong enough to create that path.
Thank you, Jane, for your strength, your courage, your wit, your intelligence and your amazing ability to craft a story. My world would not be the same without you.
In 2017, it’s easy for modern women to appreciate the rights and accomplishments that we can call our own. But, at the same time, we don’t have to travel that far to go back to a time when a woman’s sphere was limited to that of a wife, mother and homemaker.
Today I finished re-reading A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s by Stephanie Coontz. In the book, Ms. Coontz examines now only the impact of Betty Friedan’s world-changing book, The Feminine Mystique, but also the criticism that was lobbied at the book and Ms. Friedan.
I re-read A Strange Stirring for two reasons: 1) how far women have come in a short span of 2-3 generations and 2) I needed reminder of how complex the feminist movement is. It is more than the right to vote or to own property or to receive an education. It is our continued fight to be seen and appreciated as the complex and complicated human beings that we are.
I also recommend it, in case anyone has not read it.
Next Tuesday is a momentous day in American politics. November 8th, 2016 is the day that we finally go to the polls and determine who will next occupy the oval office for the next four years.
Regardless of who we vote for, we need to vote. Here are the reasons why:
- Voting is both a privilege and a responsibility:
- There are far too many countries in this world of ours where voting simply does not happen. The right to have a say in how a government runs a country is still a dream for far too many.
- Don’t complain if you don’t like the decisions that our next President may or may not make.
- There is always that one person who doesn’t vote because they don’t like either of the candidates of they feel like their voice is not heard. I can’t force anyone to vote next Tuesday, but I will say this: don’t complain about the direction this country is taking. Just saying.
- For American women, this election is the most important election in our country’s history. There is no reason why any woman should sit back and rest on their laurels next Tuesday.
- With a certain misogynistic, fake tan wearing Republican candidate running,
Donald Trump, running for office, we need to send a message that a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be. Not just in the bedroom or the kitchen or the playroom with the children. There are no boundaries to what a woman can accomplish.
- Crossing fingers, America will have her first female President in the form of Hillary Clinton. As a woman reared by the second generation of feminism, hearing the words Madame President is music to my ears and represents the work of many women for more than 100 years.
- It was not that long ago that American women were fighting for the right to vote. In four years, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Next Tuesday, we have an honor, a right, a privilege and a responsibility to step into the voting booth and determine how our future will be. I am proud to be an American and I am proud that my voice will be heard.
I hope to see you all at the voting booth.
The glass ceiling is cracking. Every crack, regardless of its size is important.
Three weeks ago, NBC introduced audiences to a new television show and a new heroine. The new series Timeless, is a science fiction/history mashup about a group of unlikely heroes who must go back in time to prevent history from being altered.
Lucy Preston, played by Abigail Spencer is the female lead. Lucy is the academic and the historian of the group. Her job is to make sure that the history, as we know it today remains as such.
Lucy is a new kind of heroine. She is smart, capable and is not treated differently by her male colleagues because she is a woman. She represents how far women have come, not just in television, but in our overall culture.
While there are still more fully developed male characters than fully developed female characters on both the big and small screen, it’s nice to see that characters like Lucy are being created and presented to audiences. We need more characters like her.
Timeless is my new favorite show of the fall season and I absolutely recommend it.
Timeless airs Monday nights at 10PM on NBC.
Phyllis Schlafly passed away today.
I normally don’t say this about someone who has just died, but good riddance.
During the height of the second wave of the feminist movement in the 1970’s Mrs. Schlafly fought against feminism and the equal rights amendment. It has yet to be passed to this day. For every right and achievement that American women have made since the 1970’s, we have setbacks. This is partially due to Mrs. Schlafly and her ilk.
Women should not be fighting against one another. When one woman wins the right to true and complete equality, we all win. When we deny the rights of our fellow women, we all lose. It’s time to stop fighting each other.
Good riddance, Phyllis Schlafly.
A sequel or a reboot of a beloved classic is a hard film to make. Keeping the balance between respecting and referring to the original film and creating a new narrative with new characters is tricky. Especially when that movie is part of your childhood.
Ghostbusters hit theaters last weekend. A reboot of one of the best-loved movies of the 1980’s, there was a controversy and a concern surrounding this film. Can it live up to the status of the original or is it doomed to be another clunker of a reboot?
New York City is haunted. Someone is opening a gateway for the dead to return to the land of the living. It is up to the Ghostbusters to stop them. Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) are the only ones who can save New York from the dead. Assisting The Ghostbusters is the handsome but dumb Kevin (Chris Hemsworth).
I can understand the trepidation from audience members, especially from my fellow 80’s babies. Your fears are unfounded. Not only does this film pay the perfect homage to the original film (complete with cameos from the original surviving cast and a bust of Harold Ramis), but it stands on it’s own two feet. As director and co-writer of the screenplay, Paul Feig strikes the perfect balance between comedy and horror. Utilizing a combination of practical effects and CGI, the special affects add to the already perfect screenplay. And of course, the four actresses in the lead roles are smart, funny, strong and completely human.
I absolutely recommend it.
I also recommend staying for the initial credits, it will be worth the wait.
Ghostbusters is presently in theaters.