Realistic marriages have little real estate on television, and feminist marriages even less. “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos” were studies of estrangement; “Breaking Bad” of spousal abuse. On “Friends,” marriage meant banishment forever on to the suburbs.
Imagine my excitement, then, on chipping my way into the first DVD set of “Borgen” — the so-called ‘Danish West Wing’ — and finding a perfectly preserved companion marriage. The show centers on Denmark’s first female prime minister, the charismatic Birgitte Nyborg Christensen, flanked on one side by her supportive husband Philip (Mikael Birkkjær) and children, and on the other by a fickle coalition government. Keep reading »
Of course I’d rather look like Kate Moss than look like myself. I wish I didn’t feel like that, and I think the reason we feel like that is because of the imagery we’re fed all the time. Women are still expected, in some weird way, to kind of … sit there and look pretty. And not talk.
Lily Allen delivers another dose of realness in Elle UK, expounding on the same themes in her song “Hard Out Here.” She’s had an at-times problematic history with her depiction of women of color, particularly in the music video for that song. However, she’s also been one of the most vocal female pop stars to speak out about all the pressure on women’s looks and how body policing contributed to her own eating disorder. Plus, she is delightfully sex positive! Thank you, Lily, from the bottom of my heart for not just sitting there and looking pretty. [Elle UK]
Many Frisky readers are too young to remember the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas, then a federal circuit judge. One name you might recall is Anita Hill. She was the Black woman who came forward to publicly testify that Thomas, her boss at the Department of Education and the EEOC, had sexually harassed her in a gross, relentless manner. The accusations against Thomas were a powderkeg, taking on a life of its own and igniting racial, sexual and political tensions. Anita Hill herself became the one put on trial in the court of public opinion. For a lot of women, how her behavior was picked apart and the violent threats she endured were a chilling reminder of what could happen to any woman who speaks out against sexual harassment at the hands of powerful men. (Thomas was confirmed and remains on the Supreme Court to this day.) “ANITA” looks like an absolutely gripping documentary and a must-see for all working women. It will be released across America in March 2014. [YouTube]
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be … [Democrats] think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”
This is former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, finding new and creative ways to insult women. Uncle Sam as sugar daddy? Women who use birth control can’t keep their legs together? What about women impregnated by rape***? I guess us ladies should be controlling our reproductive systems with our God-loving minds and the power of prayer, not with contraception and medicine and SCIENCE. Just keep talking, old white Republican men! Keep talking all the way up until the 2016 election. (***They’re probably sluts who were asking for it.) [Talking Points Memo]
Just two months after being released from a Russian penal colony, members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot are coming to America. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will appear at an Amnesty International event called Bringing Human Rights Home, taking place in Brooklyn on February 5th. Keep reading »