It would be easy to think that those who we elect to speak for our needs in the halls of power are doing their jobs. A deeper dive reveals a lust for power, the need for influence to fill one own pocket, and the lack of care/responsibility to those who put them in office.
What we need right now are two things: hope and a kick in the behind. These books provide both. By writing laymen’s terms, both Pfeiffer and Mystal are giving the average citizens the tools we need to fight against the growing threats of theocracy and fascism.
Do I recommend them both? Absolutely.
Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America and Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution are available wherever books are sold.
No social movement that aims to create a better world is without its internal struggle. While the men are at the forefront, it is often the women who do the work. But few are given the spotlight and the respect they deserve.
Balancing work, marriage, and motherhood, Baker Motley smashed both Jim Crow to bits and created a large crack in the glass ceiling. Her career contained a lot of the firsts: the first African-American woman who was a state Senator in NY and the federal judiciary, and the first woman elected as Manhattan Borough President.
As a product of the American education system, I am utterly dismayed that she is not a household name. She was not just a groundbreaker, but a rule breaker. These days, it is perfectly normal for a woman to have the figurative balls of her job, her marriage, and her children in the air at the same time. But not back then. In fighting for the rights of both women and Black Americans, she paved the way for equality that has become the norm and unfortunately, still has to be fought for.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality is available wherever books are sold.
Change, whether on a personal level or societal level, is hard. It requires work, the ability to open our eyes, and most importantly, the want to change.
The 2019 Netflixdocumentary, This Changes Everything, examines sexism in Hollywood and its impact on the careers of female creators, filmmakers, and performers. Speaking to noted names such as Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Shonda Rhimes, and Reese Witherspoon, the film looks at the ways in which women are inhibited from reaching the peak of their careers. Female filmmakers are not given the same opportunities as their male counterparts. If they have one successful film, it is a fluke. If a male filmmaker receives positive notices from critics and audiences, the door opens more work and a bigger budget. In the same vein, female actresses are often boxed into certain roles and are limited in screen time compared to their male co-stars. Very often, they are over-sexualized or forced into playing traditional female parts.
I got angry watching this film. Women are 50% of the population, yet on screen, we are at best minimized and at worst, forced into the background. What is worse is that we learn early that we need to fit a certain physical and sexual mold to not only be happy but also thrive. The one moment that really pissed me off was a conversation with actress Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie, 2013). At the young age of 16, a directive came down from the studios that she needed to amphliphy her bosom. What kind of adult tells a young girl that this is necessary to keep her job?
It is the kick in the but we need. Women are just as creative and capable as men. But we have not been given the opportunities to show what we can do. Those opportunities can only come when we break down the doors and demand our rights.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
This Changes Everything is avaliable for streaming on Netflix.
We are all born with talent, ambition, and the desire to succeed. The problem is that while some of us are allowed to see that success come to fruition, others are denied simply based on the fact that we are born with certain skin colors or sex organs.
Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo, was published last December. In the book, Ms. Oluo looks at how white and male supremacy is bringing us all down. Using examples from history, pop culture, sports, politics, and other aspects of our culture, she tells the story of how we are all being dragged down by the idea of who is superior and who is inferior.
I loved this book. The author is able to talk about these very delicate topics in a way that is provocative and eye opening without getting her soapbox. Sometimes, all it takes is one conversation to change the world. This book is the conversation starter we desperately need right now.
Watching HGTV, the impression one gets is that home building and renovation industry is a gendered one. The man handle the construction and the women are in charge of the decor.
Good Bones premiered on the channel in 2016 and has been a regular part of the schedule ever since. The redheaded mother-daughter duo Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, co-owners of Two Chicks and a Hammer, renovate and restore houses in their home town of Indianapolis. As is expected, there are issues along the way. But the hope is that once the home is done, it will be sold for a nice profit.
What I like about this show is the unique mother/daughter relationship. Mina is the levelheaded one while Karen is more creative. I also love that it disputes the myth that women are only able to and/or not interested in the construction aspect of home building and renovation.
In 2020, what should good for the goose should also be good for the gander. Unfortunately, sexism is still alive and well, stating that there are one set of rules for men and another for women.
Last Friday, Joseph Epstein, a writer with the Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed suggesting that Dr. Jill Bidendrop the Dr. from her name.
This is a textbook definition of sexism. If she was a man, the suggestion would never be considered. But because she is a woman and married to the President-Elect, she has to (according to Epstein) choose between her career and her marriage. If that was not enough to make my blood boil, he referred to her as “kiddo”.
Anyone who has earned any sort of degree can attest to how much work and effort is needed to claim it as your own. To have earned the title of Dr. (regardless of whether one practices medicine or not) requires multiple years of commitment. Not only is the question demeaning to Dr. Biden, it is demeaning to the millions of women around the world who have earned advanced degrees and can call themselves Dr.
Dr. Biden is not the first political wife to have to choose between her marriage and her career. Decades ago, Hillary Clinton changed both her name and her image to ensure that her husband could keep his job.
What it comes down to, for me at least, is that feminism is a movement that is still needed. We just needed a kick in the literal pants to be reminded of that.
The book starts out when they are both students at Yale Law School in the 1970’s. Finding a nearly ideal partner in one another, their romantic relationship is on fire. After graduation, Hillary follows Bill back to Arkansas. But instead of marrying him, she ends the relationship.
Over the decades, Bill and Hillary will cross paths as she builds a career in politics and grapples with the same sexism that existed in her youth.
This book is brilliant. Balancing both the known facts and the what if question, Sittenfeld creates a narrative that feels completely organic. I was immediately sucked in and taken through an alternative history that could have happened, had things gone differently.
There are two ways to apologize. There is the sincere apology in which one truly feels contrite for what their actions or their words. Then there is the forced apology in which the words are said, but the speaker feels none of the emotion.
Earlier this week, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), had an apparent run in with Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL). According to news reports, he called her a b*tch, among other things. When he was publicly called out by her on the House floor, his apology included the following statement:
“Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language”.
His “apology” if you want to call it that, was bullshit.
Aside from the bullying and sexist aspect of his chosen phrasing, I would like to call out two important aspects of his “apology”.
That word is a female slur, equivalent to other racial, religious, and sexual orientation slurs that I will not repeat. I would love to see the Representative’s reaction if his wife or one of his daughters was called that name. I doubt he would be so callous in his response.
If AOC was Caucasian, older and agreed with the Representative’s political views, I doubt he would have chosen that particular phrasing.
The fact is that over the millennia, men have become too comfortable in the power that has been theirs from birth. Now that women are speaking up, stepping up and taking that power, some men can’t handle it.
Women are not going to scurry quietly back to the neat little boxes that we have been forced into for far too long. We are going to take what is rightfully ours. It’s about dam time that we did.