One of the upsides of feminism over the last few decades is that it has allowed women to be open about their ambitions. But while we are told to be ambitious, there is limit to how ambitious women can be without crossing the line.
Editor Robin Romm has compiled a series of essays by a diverse group of women about ambition. The list of contributors to the anthology Double Bind: Women on Ambition, includes writer Roxane Gay, singer/actress Molly Ringwald and playwright/TV show-runner Theresa Rebeck.
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because it shows that even with a diverse group of women, the overall experience is the same. At the end of the day, the book reminds of not only the battles that we as women have won, but also the battles that we still need to fight.
I recommend it.
There is something about being a teenager that is immortal. The hormones, the questions, the sometimes difficult social hierarchy that is high school.
In the 1980’s John Hughes immortalized the teenage experience in Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985).
In Sixteen Candles, Samantha (Molly Ringwald) is having what must seem like the worst sixteenth birthday in the history of world. Her sister’s wedding is coming up quick (meaning that her birthday has been completely forgotten about by her family), the boy she likes doesn’t know she exists and the biggest nerd in school is quite open that has a crush on her. Add into this achingly horrible day is her grandparents who seem to have a sadistic interest in embarrassing her and a foreign exchange student, Long Duc Dong and we have what may be the craziest start to adulthood ever.
Other than the very awkward stereotype of Asians represented by the character of Long Duc Dong, this movie is excellent. The chaos that this one girl goes through on her sixteenth birthday is so representative of the chaos she will ultimately experience as an adult.
A year later, The Breakfast Club premiered.
They were five students with nothing in common, except for the fact that they are spending their Saturday in school and in detention. They were described by different labels. The Brain (Anthony Michael Hall), The Athlete (Emilio Estevez), The Basket Case (Ally Sheedy), The Princess (Molly Ringwald) and The Criminal (Judd Nelson). What they will discover over the course of the day is that they have more in common than they would ever have imagined.
What I like about this movie, is that it shows that once we get past the labels and the fronts that many of us put up, we have more in common than we think.
I recommend both.