Tag Archives: feminism

Shuri, The New Disney Princess

When one tends to think of a princess, the image is of a passive, beautifully dressed girl wearing some sort of crown and waiting for her prince charming.

Thankfully, times are changing and so are the images young girls are seeing on the big and small screen.

Black Panther hit movie theaters this weekend akin to the same way an asteroid hits a planet.  The mark this film left on the audience will not be forgotten anytime soon.

The title character is surrounded by strong, capable women. None more so that his younger sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright.

A princess by birth, Shuri breaks stereotypes on multiple levels. Not only is she a woman of color, but she is a fierce warrior, a bad ass in her own right. She is also a technology wiz whose inventions help her brother to win the battles he needs to win to protect their people and their kingdom. And, of course, like any little sister, she knows how to add in a some good-natured ribbing of her brother to the conversation.

I don’t know if the people at Disney know this, but they have a new princess on their hands. If they don’t, then they are loosing out on a character whose reach goes beyond the standard princess imagery.

Welcome to the world of Disney Princesses, Shuri.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Feminism, Movies

Jennifer Aniston Is Single Again. And The Problem Is…..

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.

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What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know Book Review

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.

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Brave Book Review

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.

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Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto Book Review

For a social movement to succeed, it must be able to change as the needs of the movement and the movement’s member’s change.

Writer Jessa Crispin accuses the modern feminist movement of complacency and resting on their laurels in her 2017 book, Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto. Pulling no punches, Ms. Crispin basically calls out the movement and it’s leaders for not fighting hard enough for women’s rights.

I’ve read many books about both the historical and modern feminist movement. This book is one of the most shocking that I have read in a long time. I will warn that Ms. Crispin is a very direct writer and is not afraid to rock the boat. As much as I disagreed with some of her ideas, I could not disagree with the point she is making. Modern feminism needs a punch to the literal gut, we need a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do and many more battles to fight.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Carrie Fisher-Gone A Year Today

 

A year ago today, Carrie Fisher passed away.

Writer, actress, mental health activist, mother, daughter, sister, feminist, Fisher was an icon to many for many reasons. Playing Leia Organa in the Star Wars film franchise, Fisher helped to change the way women are portrayed in film, especially in science fiction and fantasy films. Leia was not just the heart and the brains of the rebellion, she was whip smart and in charge.

Leia grabbing the blaster from Luke’s hands and shooting at the storm troopers was a small moment in A New Hope, but a big moment in the history of women on-screen.

After Star Wars and in between her other roles, Fisher became one hell of a writer, publishing her own work in addition to gaining the envious title of one of the most in demand script doctors in Hollywood.  She was not afraid to speak openly about her addiction and mental illness issues when others were still in the closet about their addiction and mental illness issues.

The thing that will always stand out for me, is that she was herself, warts and all. Unapologetic, unafraid and upfront. We should all be so brave to be ourselves and not give a sh*t what someone else thinks of us.

For that, she will always be my hero.

RIP Carrie. A year still seems like yesterday.

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Thoughts On The 200th Anniversary Of Persuasion

No one goes through life without making mistakes or having regrets. It is part of being human.

200 years after, Jane Austen‘s final completed book, Persuasion, was published posthumously with Northanger Abbey, the first novel she completed.

It’s been nearly a decade since Anne Elliot saw Frederick Wentworth, her former fiance. At the time, Anne was 19 and living with her sisters and her emotionally bankrupt, but spendthrift aristocratic father. Frederick was a penniless sailor, not exactly an appropriate match for a daughter of the aristocracy.  Lady Russell, who was a close friend to Anne’s late mother and acts as a mother figure to Anne and her sisters, convinces Anne to break off the engagement. Anne does as advised.

Cut to the present time. Anne’s father has bankrupted the family and they must leave their ancestral home, Kellynch Hall, for more financially feasible lodgings in Bath. Before going to Bath with her father and sister, Anne spends some time with her married younger sister, Mary. Among the visitors to Mary’s home are the Admiral and Mrs. Croft, who have signed the lease on Kellynch Hall. Frederick Wentworth is Mrs. Croft’s brother, he too is welcomed into Mary’s home. The tension between Anne and Fredrick is palpable. Can their relationship be repaired and move forward or will they both be stuck in the past?

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. Not just because of the maturity of Austen’s voice as a writer, but also because the narrative contains a maturity that did not exist in her previous novels.  Their breakup weights heavily on the mind of both lead characters and colors how they see themselves and their world for most of the novel. That breakup and that unspoken anger/grief feels very modern, even though the book was published 200 years ago.  Austen was writing this novel at the very end of her life. It almost feels like she was using this novel as a way of exploring her own regrets, especially when it came to the question of how her life had turned out, had she made a different set of decisions.

Persuasion is beautiful, heartbreaking, romantic and simply one of the best books ever written. If you have not read this book, do yourself a favor and read it. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

 

 

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Add Another One To The List Part 2: Charlie Rose

When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October, the nasty truth of our society and how women are treated was brought into the harsh light.

The newest member of this quickly growing list is respected journalist Charlie Rose.

Eight women have accused Mr. Rose of making unwanted sexual advances toward them.

As painful as the newest revelation is, I  believe that is absolutely necessary.  This is an evil in our society that must be confronted.  This is not simply about the power imbalance, but it is also about how women are seen and treated. The first step in resolving a problem is admitting that there is a problem. Now that we have been forced to admit that there is a problem, we must resolve the problem. Unfortunately, it will be easier said than done.

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Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America Book Review

America woke up on November 9th, 2016. When Donald Trump won the Presidential election, it was a shock to us all. It was a reminder that freedom and democracy must be fought for. We cannot sit back and hope we will wake up tomorrow with the same rights as we did today.

The new book Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America, edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding  is a collection of essays by prominent female journalists and activists who are using their voices and their podiums to speak of the wrongs that Trump is doing to America and her citizens. The list of contributors the book include Rebecca Solnit, Cheryl Strayed and Nicole Chung.

I loved this book. The contributors all write about a variety of experiences, but their message is the same. We have to resist, there is no other choice in matter. If we don’t, our children and grandchildren will ask us questions we will be able to answer.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Tracee Ellis Ross On Being A Single Woman

It’s hard to be a single woman, even in 2017. Though our accomplishments are astounding, two questions always come up: when are you getting married and when are you having children?

Actor Tracee Ellis Ross, star of the sitcom Black-ish and daughter of music legend Diana Ross is a single woman. At the age of 45, she has neither a husband or a child. Recently, she spoke at the Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit about being a single woman.

Her speech is nothing short of amazing and inspiring.  The truth is that for most of human history, from the time a girl was born, she was told in every way possible that how she is viewed depends on whether or not she has a man. Being single is a fate worse than death.

In Emma, Jane Austen made the following comment about single women:

“Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.”

The fact is that doors that were unquestionably open to men in regards to education, career and opportunities to go beyond the boundaries of hearth and home have only recently been kicked open by women.  But there is still one more door to kick down: the idea that a woman’s worth, despite who she is and what she has accomplished, is strictly based upon if she has a ring on her finger and a child at her feet.  A man’s worth is not judged by these factors, why must be women be judged by these factors?

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Filed under Books, Emma, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Music, Television