Yesterday, I teared up over a iPhone photo of my high school best friend looking stunning in a potential wedding gown. It was captioned, “This could be the one!” My watery response startled me just as much as seeing a childhood friend looking bridal.
Two days ago, I felt a genuine jolt of elation upon seeing a different, dear friend’s engagement ring. I stammered to my mom on the phone, “I’ve known her since I was four and now she’s getting married!”
If I’d been confronted with wedding artifacts even six months ago, I would have eeked out my best ecstatic voice and plastered on a fake smile. Meanwhile my insides would have balked and squirmed. The feeling of being trapped in domesticity would have spread like a rash.
Now the only unpleasant feeling that emerges after getting engagement party invitations and the word “fiancé” is the lingering aftertaste of my anxiety. In the love arena, I’m far behind two girls I grew up with. Keep reading »
Though Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, it is Tea Party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann who’s cast off into the northern country’s snowy forest in this summer’s smoldering romance tale as the inspiration for Fires of Siberia. Publisher Badlands Unlimited describes the book as:
“…an old-fashioned bodice ripper romance that brings the heat for the 2013 summer beach reading season. Presidential candidate Danielle Powers, full of firebrand pluck and red state sex appeal, has the country in a tizzy. But on an international tour to beef up her foreign policy experience, disaster ensues—her plane explodes over Siberia. Miraculously, Danielle survives, along with one other passenger—a mysterious stranger named Steadman Bass.”
Author Trey Sager confirmed Rep. Bachmman herself is the inspiration. And this, my friends, is the cover:… Keep reading »
On Monday in New York City, thousands of people marched in honor of Mark Carson, a 32-year-old man who was shot to death this weekend for being gay. Protesters, which included the openly gay City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, shouted, “We’re here. We’re queer. Homophobia has got to go!”
Yet across town, hate crime violence persisted: more men were attacked in NYC because of their sexual orientation that same evening. Keep reading »
If you are like me, this past week has been filled with anticipation for the return of “Arrested Development” on Netflix. So why not actually feed your craving for the Bluth family? No, I don’t mean gnaw off Buster’s other hand like a seal. I mean head over to the Brooklyn restaurant Three Letters for ”Final Countdown: Arrested Development Tasting Menu,” featuring all of your favorites from show: tuna plates or platters, cornballs, club sauce, and yes, even a dish inspired by Lindsay’s hot ham water. Keep reading »
So we all know that there’s a dearth of women in the movie-making business — just in case you’re not up to speed there was a whole study done about it. The best place to view this disparity is the Cannes Film Festival in France: of the 20 films competing for the top prize, the Palme d’Or, only one is by a female director. Keep reading »
Last week, I wrote about how bummed I was that the heroine of Disney’s “Brave” is undergoing a makeover before she becomes an official Disney Princess. Her unruly hair is tamed, her figure is slimmed and the Scottish Princess is a much sexier version of the character millions grew to love.
I was only one voice in the outrage over this sex-ing up. Writer and co-director of “Brave,” Brenda Chapman, who was the first woman to win an Academy Award for this animated feature film, wrote the Marin Independent Journal in an email:
“Merida was created to break that mold — to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance … They have been handed an opportunity on a silver platter to give their consumers something of more substance and quality — THAT WILL STILL SELL — and they have a total disregard for it in the name of their narrow minded view of what will make money.”
Change.org brought the issue to my attention and garnered the signatures of at least 200,000 people. When looking at Merida’s swank new Disney Princess page, which uses the original Disney-Pixar animated character, it looked as if the outraged public had won.
Alas! Not quite true … Keep reading »
It’s never really a good year for the Bechdel test. But is it possible that things are degenerating for women in film? According to a study done by USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, the answer is yes. A study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith found that over the five years that the researchers looked at — 2007 to 2012 — the most recent, 2012, was the worst for women onscreen. Annenberg’s study found that:
“Out of 4,475 speaking characters on screen, only 28.4 percent are female. This translates into a ratio of 2.51 males to every 1 female on screen. 2012 reveals the lowest percentage of on-screen females (28.4 percent) across the 5-year sample. Only 6 percent of the top-grossing films in 2012 featured a balanced cast, or females in 45-54.9 percent of all speaking roles. Just over a quarter of all narrators (27.5 percent) are female.”
Additionally, women who appear onscreen are depicted more sexualized, especially in the 13- to 20-year-old age group. Last year, over half (56.6 percent) the women in that age group was shown in “sexy attire.” Keep reading »
Gee, don’t you just love that in the battle to train men to not rape, you have the security secretary of Hong Kong, Lai Tung-kwok, stomping on all our efforts by suggesting women just drink less? I do. It’s my favorite. Having the government permit men to not taking responsibility for their actions and place the onus of avoiding sexually assaul on women is just fabulous. Especially when this was the knee-jerk reaction to a 60 percent rise in reported rapes and an 18 percent rise in reported sexual assaults. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the director of the Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centers responded, “There’s a lot of stigma that’s given to the victims. The remarks he made are proof of a culture that blames victims for doing something ‘wrong,’ like drinking.” The fear is that women won’t report abuse because they fear being blamed and shamed. Rape culture, it’s great.
[Wall Street Journal]
This past Monday night, women and quite a few men brought their most honest queries to WNYC hoping to glean some wisdom on “How to be a Grown A$$ Women.” Lindy West, of Jezebel, fielded the questions (and threw in some of her own), and the panel included the expertise of bloggers Twanna A. Hines, Jolie Kerr and Logan Sachon talking about relationships, cleanliness and money, respectively.
Prior to the event I was trying to pinpoint when I felt like a grown-up. Was it when I got my first post-college job working for a U.S. Senator? Was it when I moved into a new apartment, actually washed my dishes and cleaned my toilet? I think it was when I built my own bookshelf. I certainly felt empowered as I stared at the squat, three-shelved product of my sweat and blood.
What I do know is that since going back to school, I stopped feeling like a badass independent working woman. It slipped away when I turned in my Senate I.D., and when I moved into student housing. It has been a slow decline ever since student loans instead of paychecks populated my bank account. I joke that I’m “not a real person” anymore.
Keep reading »
Welcome to Pakistan! Home to the second largest gender gap in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report. Many women in Pakistan face violence, intimidation and sometimes death for wanting to receive an education. Sounds like a recipe for repression.
The AP reports that in 564 of 64,000 Pakistani polling districts women could not vote in the 2008 election. It is looking to be much the same for the upcoming May 11 election. Why? Because the village men deemed it so.
One of these 564 districts is the village of Mateela. There men gathered and decided that women would not be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections. Keep reading »