Dr. Rebecca Gomperts is a physician, artist, human rights activist, and founder of organizations Women on Waves and Women on Web, which are featured in the documentary “Vessel.” The organizations provide safe abortion options to women living in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Gomperts launched the Women on Waves, which sails a mobile abortion clinic to international waters to provide legal procedures, after witnessing too many patients suffering from the often fatal effects of botched illegal abortions.
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Lingerie brand Secrets In Lace turns back the clock to a time when lingerie was beautifully made to last. The brand is the world’s largest seller of 100% nylon stockings, which are manufactured on the same machines once used to make the high-quality stockings of the 1950′s. Secrets In Lace also sells garter belts, bullet bras, and countless other vintage-inspired pieces (including designs inspired by Bettie Page and Dita von Teese) that are made with functionality in mind – just like they were in the 50′s and 60′s. I love the idea of spending my days toiling through the modern world in a modern dress with a classic garter belt underneath that nobody knows about but me. It’s definitely a refreshing trade-up from today’s trendy, poorly made tights that I so frequently fall victim to at the mall. The company’s first store opened in Virginia 1984 and expanded to a mail order operation in 1995, which launched it into a worldwide legend. There is something so undeniably elegant about this type of lingerie and it’s amazing to see such an important a piece of sartorial history preserved in a world that tends to favor the next big (and cheaply made) thing. Daniel Whitsett, president and co-founder of Secrets In Lace, answered a few of our burning questions about the brand’s curvy models, what makes nylons stockings so special, and how to choose quality lingerie. Keep reading »
We’ve all seen wizards playing quidditch on broomsticks in the “Harry Potter” films, but these days, quidditch is a very real sport on college campuses across the world. The new documentary “Mudbloods” explores the root of the sport’s growth from a fantasy on a book page to a real-life hobby with its own World Cup. In the film, we meet quidditch heroes like Alex Benepe, commissioner of the International Quidditch Association, Tom Marks, the lovable captain of the UCLA quidditch team, and Katie Aiani, a “Harry Potter” super fan. As viewers follow the UCLA team on their journey to the World Cup, we learn that quidditch is about so much more than athletics. Quidditch has created an earnest, inclusive community that encourages fans of all stripes to join in on the fun – the kind of people that we all wish we could be friends with. Whether you’re an epic “Harry Potter” fan or just love a good underdog story, you’ll fall in love with these big-hearted players. After the jump, my discussion with director Farzad Sangari and Ali Cottong, one of the UCLA quidditch players featured in the film.
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The phrase “family values” tends to conjure up images old white dudes with traditional nuclear families imploring us to “think of the children” despite actively ignoring the plight of thousands of American kids growing up in poverty or with a poor shot at education – essentially, people who are not concerned with the wellbeing of families or children at all. In her new book The Radical Housewife, Shannon Drury reclaims the real meaning of “family values” as she advocates for a world and a government that actually puts children first. Through her experiences as president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization for Women, her wildly popular blog of the same name, and contributions to various other publications (including Avital Norman Nathman’s The Good Mother Myth), she’s waded through topics like abortion rights, classism, depression, and raising thoughtful kids - all with an equal dose of urgency and humor.
Drury’s self-awareness is what makes her such a fascinating read. She has in-depth knowledge to share on heavy topics, but she does so in such a relatable way, never afraid to reveal her own personal struggles and changes of heart in the process. Her clear explanations of the endless ways the system is stacked against the many millions of Americans who are not rich white men is the long-awaited answer for anyone who’s ever wondered why we still need feminism (spoiler alert: we need it, and bad). After the jump, Shannon’s chat with me about her new book, fostering modern feminism, and parenting in today’s not-so-equal world: Keep reading »
Most recent grads can agree that no matter how prepared we try to be, the world is pretty tough to make sense of after leaving the cozy confines of campus. When best friends Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale graduated from Brown University, they had no idea what to expect from post-college life, and on their last night on campus before setting off for opposite sides of the world, the two made a pact to send each other honest weekly accounts of whatever adventures came next. Their emails zigzagged between New York, Paris, Beijing and Melbourne as Jess and Rachel faced the thrill and confusion of life in the “real world.” Among the ups and downs of new jobs, relationships and time zones, the one thing that remained consistent was their weekly letters.
Now, the two have compiled those letters into Graduates In Wonderland, an addictive and wildly relatable memoir of the roller coaster that is life in your early twenties. From the very first page, it was hard not to wonder whether Jess and Rachel had taken a peak inside my own mind. In between their fast-paced adventures and mishaps, they share quiet doubts and questions with the kind of honesty that only exists between close friends. Not only does this book serve as a reminder that none of us are alone in feeling lost every now and then, it’s also a gentle nudge to stop what you’re doing and give your best friend a call. Jess and Rachel spoke with me about some of their thoughts on living abroad, youthful idealism, true love, and the importance of quality friendships.
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I guess, in our post-”Harry Potter” world, a lot of people would be really excited when a new movie comes out starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Alas, I am not one of those people.
When I heard about the cast for the new rom-com “What If,” I was more excited about Zoe Kazan. The Yale graduate does things like tweet about Criterion films and how “Boyhood” reminded her of Truffaut’s Doinel stories. She a star of stage and screen, appearing in shows like “The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie,” and films like “It’s Complicated,” “Revolutionary Road” and ”Ruby Sparks.” In fact, it’s “Ruby Sparks,” which she wrote herself, that made me a Zoe Kazan fan — there’s something very badass about writing yourself a lead role in a movie.
In “What If,” Kazan is a leading lady once again, playing Chantry, a young woman with a boyfriend (Rafe Spall) who befriends her cousin’s aimless pal, Wallace (Radcliffe). As their friendship gets closer and closer, Chantry and Wallace both start to wonder whether it’s possible to remain friends when you’ve got romantic feelings. It’s super emotionally realistic in a way most rom-coms usually aren’t.
Earlier this spring, I met up with a bubbly Kazan to chat about “What If,” rom-coms, feminism, and femininity. Our conversation is after the jump:
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