I’m just going to say it: a 10-year-old girl making an abstinence pledge to her dying father on his hospital bed is all kinds of emotionally manipulative.
I thought this YouTube video would be a touching, if extremely sad, occasion for Johnny, a gravely ill father, and his 10-year-old daughter, Nakeol. Gathered by family, they shared an approximation of the little girl’s wedding day that Johnny will not live to see; according to the YouTube description of the video, he is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nakeol felt “sad knowing he would never be there to walk her down the aisle when she gets married one day.” So the family arranged a small ceremony at the father’s hospital bed. Sweet, right? Grab the tissues.
But then it got uncomfortable on multiple levels. Nakeol’s father didn’t just give her away; the 10-year-old Nakeol promised her dying father in his hospital bed that she will won’t have sex until marriage. Keep reading »
“I was raised by a feminist mother. And yes, she said never be frightened about using the ‘F’ word. So I’m not. She believes in the sisterhood, and so do I. And she planted the seed in me early to speak out against the fact that women are so often treated differently than men. … No matter how long I devote my time to this I still cannot comprehend that one in three girls in their lifetime will be beaten, abused, or raped. It’s just an unbelievable statistic.”
Here’s Nicole Kidman speaking at Variety‘s Women and Power luncheon on Friday afternoon revealing she’s totally OK using the “F” word — feminist, that is. I never got a huge activist vibe from Nicole before, I suppose because she’s fairly private. But she has played writer Virginia Woolf and photographer Diane Arbus on film and both of those women are instrumental to women’s history. It’s important to have people in the streets fighting for women’s rights, it’s also important to bring complex, important female characters to life on film. Welcome to the club, Nicole! [USA Today] [Image via Fame/Flynet]
“I have to say that I’m disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualized performances and videos. You know the ones I’m talking about. It seems obvious that certain record companies are peddling highly styled pornography with musical accompaniment. As if the tidal wave of sexualized imagery wasn’t already bombarding impressionable young girls enough. I believe in freedom of speech and expression, but the market forces don’t give a toss about the notion of boundaries. As long as there’s booty to make money out of, it will be bought and sold. It’s depressing to see how these performers are so eager to push this new level of low.Their assumption seems to be that misogyny — utilized and displayed through oneself is totally fine, as long as you are the one creating it. As if it’s all justified by how many millions of dollars and YouTube hits you get from behaving like pimp and prostitute at the same time. It’s a glorified and monetized form of self harm.”
’80s British singer Annie Lennox from The Eurythmics wrote a post on Facebook this Saturday clearly directed at Miley Cyrus (“You know the ones I’m talking about”). A skeptical Lennox hopped aboard the same bandwagon as Sinead O’Connor, who last week alleged that Cyrus is being exploited by the record industry and needs to have better handlers. Cyrus was rudely dismissive of O’Connor’s open letter last week, comparing the singer who has struggled with mental illness to Amanda Bynes.
It was classy of Lennox to write these comments without calling out the twerking singer directly — but nevertheless, she found herself adding more commentary on Sunday:
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Warsan Shire, 24, has just become London’s first ever Young Poet Laureate. The Kenyan-born Somali poet writes about both English and African culture, exploring war, sex, culture, love, and everything in between with a great depth and sensitivity. She expresses her worldview with an honest vulnerability that most would shy away from. Her first book of poems, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, was published in 2011. She has a BA in creative writing and even teaches workshops on using poetry to heal trauma – and she’s not even halfway through her 20s yet. Warsan was chosen from six young finalists, and she will now undertake a residency at the Houses of Parliament and spend the next year creating work that reflects on London. Carol Ann Duffy, London’s current poet laureate, announced Warsan as the winner as part of National Poetry Day. Her willingness to be candid and speak her truth in her work is something we could all stand to learn from. ”It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district,” said chief executive Dennis Hone, “and Warsan as the first Young Poet Laureate for London will play a key part in that transformation.” Congratulations! [BBC; Well & Often; Warsan Shire]