Starring Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike, and Bob Hoskins
We all know what 1960s America looked like for white-collar professional women like the ones on “Mad Men.” While Joan and Peggy were fighting off handsy account men in New York’s office towers, women in working-class towns like Dagenham, England, were doing hand-to-hand combat as well — only against the entire Ford Motor Company. “Made In Dagenham” is based on the true story of 187 women who sewed car seat upholstery for a Ford plant in Britain and what happens when they banded together to fight exploitation by their bosses. Their classification as “unskilled” laborers and the fact that they earned a fraction of the male employees’ paychecks led these strong, brave ladies to launch a history-making 1968 strike. Keep reading »
I am absolutely fascinated by people’s reasons for holding onto stiffly defined gender roles. For that reason, this weekend’s New York Times Magazine article, “Housewives of God,” was an absolute treat. Journalist Molly Worthen profiled Priscilla Shirer, an evangelical Bible teacher who has published numerous religious books and workbooks and accepts 20 out of 300 speaking engagements per year. She is also the mother of three young boys and depends on her husband, Jerry, to pick the kids up from school, do laundry and prepare dinner. As journalist Worthen put it, “Priscilla Shirer’s marriage appears to be just the sort of enlightened partnership that would make feminists cheer.”
But Jerry Shirer is the head of the Shirer household. All phone calls regarding Priscilla’s career and decisions — including what to name the couple’s youngest baby — go through him. Priscilla also sees herself not as a rah-rah-independent woman, but as a “complementarian”: She and her hubby both have separate, defined roles from their gender and are “complementary” to each other. Keep reading »
Uh oh. We’ve heard this story before. Amy-Erin Blakely of Orlando, Florida, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit claiming she was fired from her job at The Devereux Foundation for complaining that managers made comments about her big breasts. Blakely also said she was told that her co-workers couldn’t concentrate in meetings because her boobs were such a distraction and that someone in management “talked about how large her breasts were and that she needed to ‘hide them,’” said her lawyer, Gloria Allred. Worst of all, she alleged that she was told by a manager she would not be promoted above her position as assistant executive director because she was “too sensual”! Keep reading »
Even those of us who proudly call ourselves feminists can admit that sometimes other feminists can be a wee bit extreme. That’s why “Vag Magazine,” a new webisode series about a cabal of young feminist hipsters who buy out fashion magazine Gemma with proceeds of their Etsy shop and replace it with uber-P.C. mag Vag, had me peeing my pants laughing. (Pants, of course, being what I wear, as skirts and dresses are tools of the patriarchy.) Staff members Sylvie, Fennell, Bethany, Heavy Flo, and Reba have big dreams for Vag, but Meghan, the lone holdover from Gemma, is increasingly terrified at how little sense these ladies make.
I watched five episodes of “Vag Magazine” — you can watch a couple more after the jump — and I knew I just had to talk to its creators, Upright Citizens Brigade alums/comediennes Caitlin Tegart and Leila Cohan-Miccio. After the jump, read my chat with Caitlin and Leila about third-wave feminists, their hilarious cast of improv stars-to-be, the MarieClaire.com piece about “fatties,” and what it’s like for ladies in comedy. Oh, I’m sorry, womyn in comedy. Keep reading »