Tag Archives: The Glass Ceiling

Why is the World Silent about Afghani Women When They Made so Much Noise about Israel?

I would love to say that in 2021, women across the world have broken the glass ceiling. The archaic rules of what is “acceptable” for the female gender is nothing but a memory. But the truth is that for every achievement and every right that is ours to claim, there are many who still believe that a woman’s place is in the home.

Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan last week, the fear of Afghani women is that they will be forced back into the extreme restrictions they were forced to live under in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Though the country’s new leadership has promised to not re-instate the old rules, it is a promise that seems to be more talk than action.

Their promises are akin the Women of the Wall “allowed” to pray in peace at the Western Wall by the Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Speaking of Israel, the world’s reaction to what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan is nothing compared to crap the Jewish state received in the spring. Where is the anger, the outrage, the articles in the press and the posts via celebrities on social media? It is crickets compared to collective noise directed at Israel in May.

The fact is that the country gets shit on no matter what it does. But when there is a life and death issue the affects another nation is facing, the racket from the rest of the world is a pittance. Meanwhile in Israel, women have been free to live their own lives for decades.

Silence speaks more than any word can.

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Throwback Thursday: The Iron Lady (2011)

Depending on who you speak to, the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is either a glass ceiling ball breaker who made history or a politician whose policies still were deeply controversial during her time in office.

The 2011 movie, The Iron Lady, explores her life and legacy. Starring Meryl Streep in the titular role, the audience relives the details of her life as she imagines conversations with her recently passed husband, Denis (Jim Broadbent). Still coping with his loss, we follow her story from her early years to her present circumstances.

I sat through about 3/4 of the film on Netflix a while back before turning it off. As a political history nerd, a feminist, and Anglophile, I should have been thoroughly engaged. But it lagged on to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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The Crown Season 4 Review

Sometimes a writer does not need to look too far back into the past for inspiration.

The 4th season of The Crown premiered yesterday on Netflix. The season follows the lives of the British royals from 1979-1989. Coming back from season 3 are Olivia Coleman (Queen Elizabeth), Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip), Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Erin Doherty (Princess Anne), Helena Bonham-Carter (Princess Margaret), and Marion Bailey (the Queen Mother). Adding new levels of drama and intrigue are Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher).

In addition to the internal family drama, there is political and economic upheaval beyond the walls of Buckingham Palace.

I binge watched a good chunk of the new season last night. It is nothing short of fantastic. I loved the new additions to the cast. Corrin brings a humanity to her role and adds to the mystique of the real woman behind the character.

If there is one actor among the main players who deserves an award for her work, it is Gillian Anderson. I am the first to admit that my knowledge of Thatcher’s work as Prime Minister is limited. But I know enough to know that then and now, she is a polarizing figure. As the character, Anderson plays a ball busting, glass ceiling shattering woman who is as formidable as the Queen.

The thing I really enjoyed so far is the complete 180 of how Charles is viewed. Last season, he was a young man trying to out who he was as a human being while dealing with burden of responsibility placed upon his shoulders. This season, he still draws empathy, but not as much as did during season 3.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Crown is available for streaming on Netlflix.

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She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World Book Review

American women have a lot to celebrate. In the nearly 100 years since the 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution, we have made leaps and bounds towards equality. But for every step we take forward, there are two steps back.

Feminist and political advisor Jennifer Palmieri published her new book last month. Entitled She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World, the book states unequivocally that women can only go so far by playing the rules of men. In order to break the glass ceiling once and for all, we have to blaze a new trail of our own making.

I really loved this book. It is short, sweet, to the point and frankly inspiring. For those of us afraid to step out of the tried and true, Ms. Palmieri gives the reader the kick in the proverbial behind needed to get out there and change the world.

I recommend it.

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Thoughts On Kirsten Gillibrand’s 2020 Presidential Election Announcement

Yesterday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced that she was throwing her hat into the ring for the 2020 Presidential election on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

I am absolutely thrilled with this announcement. Not just because she is my Senator, but because I think (and hope) that she has a shot of winning the party nomination and getting a certain person out of office. It’s about time that America caught up with the rest of the world and elected a woman to lead us. Unlike the current occupant in Washington D.C., she understands the needs of the average American. She is not just saying what we want to hear, she is saying what has to be done to move this country forward. She is a woman balancing a marriage, raising children, working and dealing with what we all deal with.

If I am being honest, I don’t believe that Elizabeth Warren would be able to win the election. I believe that Senator Gillibrand would be able to win the nomination and the election.

Next year is the centenary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. To know that Americans have elected a woman into the highest political office in the land a century after American women were given the vote would be more than a dream come true. It would finally shatter the glass ceiling and prove once and for all that women are much more than we are made out to be.

Only time will tell, but I am crossing fingers that fall, we will be able to say President Elect Gillibrand.

 

 

 

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Thoughts On The Changes To Miss America

For nearly 100 years, the Miss America competition has defined the ideal of what it is to be an American woman. That ideal is about to change.

Gretchen Carlson is the new chairwoman of the Miss America organization. The former Fox News journalist, who won the title in 1989, announced the changes to the competition this week.

The most notable change is that the bathing suit portion will be removed from future Miss America pageants.

Frankly, I think it’s about time. While the Miss America competition has the best of intentions, its a little outdated from my perspective. While I’m sure the contestants are intelligent and capable women, we have to be honest with ourselves. We are not judging these women on what they can accomplish, we are judging them on how they look (especially in a bikini).   In 2018, that should not be the message that our daughters are still receiving.

While I very much appreciate the changes that will be made to the competition, I have a feeling that the dent in the glass ceiling will not be much of a dent at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Post Movie Review

Freedom of the press is one of our core freedoms. Without that freedom, our democracy is not a democracy.

The new movie, The Post, takes place in 1971. Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), is the owner/publisher of The Washington Post. The Vietnam War is raging on and the country is split down an ideological divide that looks impossible to cross. Kay is dealing with two equally troubling the issues: the newspaper’s financial issues and the fact that she is not just one of the few women in the newsroom, but one of the few women running a newspaper. The men around her are not exactly pleased to have to deal with on a professional level. Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is her editor who is not afraid to tell the truth. After the New York Times publishes the Pentagon Papers and is called by the government for the printing, the documents get into the hands of the Washington Post. The question is, do Kay and Ben publish the papers and is freedom of the press more important than the security of the nation?

Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie is a must see for every American citizen. It is a must see because the same arguments that the real life versions of the characters were having 46 years ago, we are still having the same arguments today. Especially with you know who in the White House. It is also a must see because without knowing it, Kay Graham was one of the women who helped to break the glass ceiling.  She is still remembered today for her contributions in the arenas of both supporting the right of a free press and for the thousands of female journalists who have careers because of her.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Buffy Turns 20

“In every generation there is a chosen one… she alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.”

On Friday, Buffy The Vampire Slayer will be turning 20. Based on the 1992 movie of the same name starring Kristy Swanson, the television show is a continuation of the movie.

Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is not your average teenage girl. Yes, she had to deal with the same things that every teenage girl deals with: school, boys, friends, etc, but she is a slayer. She is the one who has the strength and the ability to fight the things that go bump in the night.

I was 16 when the show premiered, the same age as Buffy. The show ended in 2003, when I graduated from college. I grew up with Buffy, as did many of my generation.

Buffy was another link in the chain of feminism. While she looked delicate, she was clearly able to take care of herself. Every baddie she stopped was another small crack in the glass ceiling.

But the thing about the show that I will always remember is that while Buffy fought off vampires and other creatures of that ilk, she also dealt with being a teenager. High school itself is a battle, Buffy battles with the baddies on the show mirrored the experience that is high school.

Happy Birthday. Here is to another 20.

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Everyday Feminism Book Review

From a certain vantage point, one could say that while feminism, both as an ideal and a movement was needed in the past, but it is no longer needed. Women are free of the political, social and economic constraints that kept their fore-mothers in virtual slavery. We can do anything and everything that we set our minds to. We are equal to the men around us.

That is a mirage. While it is true that the glass ceiling is breaking, it is far from being completely broken.

In the book Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates (who also founded the website and the movement of the same name), Ms. Bates explores how sexism and misogyny are still rampant in our world. Using tweets, interviews, statistics and personal stories of women coming from women around the world, the book shows that despite our progress, we still have a long way to go.

She talks about everything from the ideal and unattainable image of women coming out of Hollywood and Madison Ave, to workplace discrimination, pay disparity between men and women and the scary statistics of rape and sexual assault. The women whose experiences are profiled in the book are of all ages, all income and educational levels and come from various parts of the world. But their experiences are frighteningly similar.

This book is a revelation, for both men and women. It woke me out of my doldrums. It reminded me that women are still being seen as second class homemakers/cooks/cleaners/baby-makers/sex objects who have yet to achieve the goal of complete equality. We must continue to fight for our rights and our achievements, they were hard-won and will continue to be hard-won. The chapter that stood out for me was the one that reminded me that feminism is not just a fight to be fought by women. We need our male counterparts to fight with us. Without them, our fight will be one-sided and harder to win.

I absolutely recommend this book.

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Lucy Preston, A New Heroine For Our Era

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.

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