When I was in middle school, I was required to create a diorama illustrating a hypothetical synagogue sanctuary (as you do, at Jewish day school). All I remember about my project is that I glued a picture of Gene Siskel to one of the walls. My teacher rightly called this out for being inappropriately idolatrous, but in the moment, I’d thought that I’d been paying appropriate reverence to an important man. After all, Siskel was Jewish, he had just recently passed away, and, until his death, I watched him and Roger Ebert weekly on television. I loved movies and knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, so I valued the words of Siskel and Ebert as highly as any of the words I was reading in school. These men cultivated my already-growing passion for cinema, and I’m certain that their enthusiasm was a contributing factor in my eventual interest in writing and film criticism.
In the years that followed, I’ve paid attention to Ebert’s ever-expanding body of work, and though I knew of his illness, I was shocked and saddened by his passing last week. I’ve now read plenty of articles praising him for his accomplishments and successes, and I can’t disagree with anything that’s been said. His writing was prolific, his persona was friendly, and he made the general public give a damn about film criticism. His absence will be felt by all who love movies.
Where I begin to disagree with the accolades, however, is the claim that Ebert was a feminist. Keep reading »
“I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman… I do believe in equality and that we have a way to go and it’s something that’s pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept. … I feel like Mrs. Carter is who I am, but more bold and more fearless than I’ve ever been. It comes from knowing my purpose and really meeting myself once I saw my child. I was like, ‘OK, this is what you were born to do’. The purpose of my body became completely different.”
– In a world of starlets and singers reluctant to use the “F-Word,” Beyoncé is a friggin’ breath of fresh air. She’s our kind of feminist: a smart, successful woman who also loves her family life. We love you, Bey! [Jezebel]
“All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights the world will be a better place.”
–John Legend totally gets it. We can’t expect real social change if we don’t also encourage men to participate in the process. Chrissy Teigen is one lucky lady. [Celebitchy]
Happy 79th birthday, Gloria Steinem! Journalist, feminist icon, and one of the founding members of Ms. magazine, Steinem is the woman I wanted to be when I was 17 … and, who am I kidding, who I still want to be today.
If you’re not familiar with Gloria Steinem’s place in Second Wave feminism — that is, the movement in the 1960s and 1970s that fought sexism in the workforce, legalized abortion, invented the birth control pill, criminalized domestic violence, and a whole host of other gains we take for granted today — then you’d best read up. Because if you’re not down with Gloria, we can’t be friends.
Keep reading »