Saturday, December 10, 2011

International Human Rights Day

December 6th marks a day that should be a celebrated holiday.  Not only did the U.N. decide it should be International Human Rights Day, but Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a historical speech that will hopefully have an impact on society.  Read on for the video and a link to the transcript.

Patty Jenkins Off Thor 2

I'm disappointed to report that Patty Jenkins will no longer be directing Thor 2.  BUT!  It was a mutual parting, which led to talks of Jenkins helming an upcoming Marvel franchise.  She's good at grit, so maybe they'll give her Cloak & Dagger?  Maybe she'll direct a Luke Cage movie?  Dr. Strange?  No.  Dr. Strange?  No.  Dazzler?!  Maybe...  Either way, another Marvel movie will at least have a decently big budget (probably not as big as Thor or Iron Man...but big).  What do you think she'll direct?  Will she direct the Jessica Jones Alias series (written by Melissa Rosenberg).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mindy Kaling's New Project

Mindy Kaling has finally revealed her project: an animated series.  She'll executive produce, write, and voice a character on the series about a high school volleyball team.  Even if it's like a bunch of mini movies of a frakked-up sports teams, it doesn't matter because Mindy Kaling makes everything better.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Avengers Ass-emble!

Because the promos for The Avengers are already showing the sole female Avenger Black Widow in the typical pose of butt and boob shot all in one for male eye candy, artist Kevin Bolk decided to turn it around and have the male Avengers do the same to show how ridiculous these poses really are.  Click "Read more" to compare.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Broomfield Hill: A Historical Analysis

When a guy bets a woman that she won't come back a virgin from visiting Broomfield Hill, what other choice does she have in this bet than to not frak that guy but frak with him while he waits for her in the bedroom, likely naked?

This is the song "Broomfield Hill"/"The Broom Wager"/"Merry Green Broom"/"The West Country Wager"/"Lord John"/"The May Blooming Field".  You can find a version by my favorite band Malinky below.  And read on after the video.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Betty White's Birthday Bash

January 17th, 2012, marks a milestone, not just in Betty White's life, but in ours too.  White has graced us with her brilliance, dity-mindedness, kindness, and grace for 90 years on that very date.  I would like to know, though, will she still be saying she's 88 1/2 or proudly owning up to her 90 years now?  NBC will air her dinner-style birthday party with celebs galore soon after the event.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Do We Change Them?

My dad just told me, "I'm glad women weren't typically in the military.  They'd be telling you what to do the entire time and make you nervous.  People would end up shot on your own side because of it."  Dear.  God.  He also said a few months ago that women would think too much on the battlefield and wouldn't be able to get the job done.  Okay, Dad, let's generalize a little bit more.  This is proof that tradition and surroundings don't make the next generation.  My beliefs are shaped by my experiences, my knowledge, and my own personality.  I swear my Dad tells em this just to get a rile out of me.  I've refuted him before, and it doesn't change anything.  Nothing changes people set in their ways.  So the question is: How do we change thoughts if they aren't open to it?  How do we open their minds?  I've provided proof of equality, I've declared my feminism, yet here we are: stagnant.  Is all this for nothing?  Is it simply to satisfy our own thoughts?  Progress is female representation in the media, politics, and work is slow-moving.  How can we get equality faster?  What can we do to step it up?

Monday, October 31, 2011

British Royal Line of Succession Changes

It's been a long time coming.  And I mean a really long time.  Britain has seen its share of queens ruling alone, some having been a sore subject on the history of their political power (Bloody Mary) and some having been inspirational figures (Boudicca), and now we just might see more in the future.  The British royal succession has officially been changed as of Friday to include the eldest female, rather than the eldest male.  Not that I exactly like the idea of a monarchy, but hey, it's a step up!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Site of the Week 10/23-29/11

Check out Rule 63 Rules, everyone!  It culls together art that switches gender in nerdy pop culture.  It makes you think...the Avengers loves their meatsticks.  Where are the ladies in that sausagefest? 
The Avengers gender switched (by Elliott Marshal)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sherrié Austin Returns

It's been a while since we've heard Sherrié Austin's voice, but others have long been channeling her words, much like Rachel Proctor.  Austin has written songs recorded by Tim McGraw, George Strait, and most recently "If I Was a Woman" by Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton.  Austin came up with the idea to write a song related to every episode of Sex and the City.  The result is the upcoming thirteen-track album, showcasing the power, strength, and sass of the modern-day woman.  Expect her trademark humor as well as her heart-breaking songs.  The independently funded and released album Circus Girl will be released on 15 November.  Austin's last single was a fun cover of "Son of a Preacher Man".

Continue reading after the jump for more news on Sherrié Austin.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fictional Icon: Penny Hartz

Casey Wilson's character Penny Hartz on ABC's Happy Endings has given me a realization about her character.  The first season gave us the impression that she was going down the path of a sad, lonely, manic, desperate woman wanting to be married and have children ASAP but isn't having any luck.  Granted, this makes for great situational comedy, especially because Wilson is such a great physical comedian.  But what makes Season 2's Penny so gosh darn respectable and feminist?  Read to find out.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Official: Patty Jenkins to Direct Thor 2!

Thank you, Marvel.  Patty Jenkins is officially signed on to direct Thor 2.  A woman directing a mainstream action movie?  Awesome!  Breaking molds!  Jenkins' previous directorial projects included the beloved Monster and an episode of Arrested Development.  It's doubtful that a woman has ever directed a movie with a budget this large.  Thor's films are experimental, after all.  Kenneth Branagh, whose experience largely lies within the Shakespearean realm, was hired for Thor, which was a large leap of faith.  I was expecting more of the Shakespearean language, but they were asked to water it down.  Obviously Jenkins has a great idea for Thor 2 that really struck a chord with Marvel's movie execs.  Hopefully she'll amp up the intelligence of Jane Foster and balance the action with romance.  Thor will surely continue to find his humanity and connection to humanity through Jane Foster.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Women, Women Everywhere!

Finally women are getting noticed by the media.

Featured in this month's Fortune is a list of the U.S.'s 50 most powerful women in business.  It also features the world's 50 most powerful women.  Another article talks about why there hasn't been a female Mark Zuckerberg, but there will be soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PBS Gets Girly

In a charge led by Geena Davis, PBS (via Independent Television Service) will air the first wave of over fifty documentaries revolving around powerful women in the next nine months.  Perhaps PBS will give birth to a change in female representation in the media?  (Get it?  Nine months?  Give birth?)  The program will last three years, starting with 11 October 2011.  That's right: Tuesday.  Read on for more detailed info and the impact the program plans on having.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Scotland's Women Song

Some of Scotland's most powerful women had come together to sing a couple songs for "From Austerity to Ambition", an event that celebrated strong women, September 13 in Edinburgh. The singing event was thrown together quite last minute, and the result ended up being a ninety-piece all-female choir, led by the incredibly talented Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Night I Cried at the Emmys

I cried.  I admit it.  I cried during the Emmys at 8:45 pm Eastern Standard Time.  When Amy Poehler quickly stood up and ran to the stage, I laughed so hard I cried (as I thought she was going to up fake accept the award).  Then she stood there, pumped, eager, as if she was waiting for the biggest moment of her life, like she was a finalist in American Idol.  And then Melissa McCarthy joined her in what then seemed to be a beauty pageant contest as the two held hands with nervous smiles, hunched.  Martha Plimpton followed, and then Edie Falco, with Tina Fey excitedly jumping up to the stage, and then lastly Laura Linney joining them to complete the final contestants on the stage.  Before the winner was announced, the crowd, led by Don Cheadle, stood and cheered wildly.  And I cried, so excited that women were getting the attention they deserved.  Every woman up there has taken funny to a new level and has broken barriers, and their talents should make them win actual beauty pageants.  I could not stop crying and smiling.
Getty Images
Read after the jump to see the video.

Miss Representation to Air on OWN

The cleverly-titled Miss Representation, directed and co-written by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, takes a closer look at the lack of females in roles of power and how females are portrayed in the media.  Rachel Maddow, Nancy Pelosi, Margaret Cho, Geena Davis, and Gloria Steinem appear for interviews.  Children, teens, and adults all have their point of view.  I, for one, am pumped for this movie.

Miss Representation will air on OWN in October.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

If Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt Had Made the World

I've mentioned my love for Piatt's poems, but I wanted to give you a sample why.  Let's examine Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt's (August 11, 1836 – December 22, 1919) brilliance and feminism through the poem "If I Had Made the World".  I ran across her poems in the 2003 Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume C.  Piatt was not included in earlier editions nor in later ones.  For some reason, our professor thought it would be a wonderful idea that we take upon ourselves the insane quest of presenting her life, her work, and criticisms of her work.  It proved incredibly difficult in 2005, as there was barely anything available on her in print or online (though I didn't look at reviews on microfilm...I avoided those at all cost).  The only thing available was a collection of her poems by Dr. Paula Bernat Bennett.  I bought it online, but it didn't come in enough time, so we made due with the conflicting statements found online and in the anthology.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Female Creators Are Heard!

A slew of television pilots ordered are from female creators, but a few really stand out for their content and creators.

Vandalia Films, Jennifer Garner and Juliana Janes' production company, will be hiring Easy A writer (!!!!!!) Bert Royal as the pilot script writer for a half-hour comedy series The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, based on the popular non-fiction book.  Producers will be Donna Roth and Susan Arnold.  The show will follow the lives of the loner, the nerd, the popular bitch, the new girl, the gamer, the weird girl, and the band geek to highlight the qualities that set them apart as young adults that later in life will be what set them apart in the working world. (Variety)

Read on for more!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Feature Film: The Whistleblower

Rachel Weisz plays Kathryn Bolkovac, an agent sent to the UN to ensure safety and enforce international laws.  She runs into a human and drug trafficking problem that is overlooked by the UN.  Why?  There's surely a fishy deal that's been made between the drug lords and the UN.  Bolkovac becomes blacklisted, and is being watched.  Everyone refuses to help her, save for two older agents Madeleine Rees (played by Vanessa Redgrave) and Peter Ward (played by Jason Straithairn).  Both are risking their lives to help Bolkovac.

Read on for why The Whistleblower is so important (and not just for its strong female roles).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Feminism Means to Me

Here's a little insight on my role as a feminist:

When you’re raised in a confederate-flag-waving, tractor-driving-to-school small town, unaware of the world around you, you don’t really understand that racism or sexism should not exist because that's what you're surrounded and raised by: racism and sexism.  I had always been interested in strong women, but I wasn’t aware of women’s place in the world throughout history until my freshman year of college at Ball State, when I had American Literature I: Native America to the Civil War.  When I look back I think that started my course on feminism, where we studied Native American matriarchal myths, the letters of John and Abigail Adams, the role of prostitutes in early America, the poems of Anne Bradstreet, and other early American women.

Female Writers Decline in Number

Seriously.  AOLTV's Mo Ryan (who is awesome) just released a report telling us that the 2006-2007 television year had 35% females in the writers' room, and now that number has decreased to 19%!  The Wrap reports that in 2009-2010, 29% were women, and in 2010-2011, 15% were women.  What's going on?  Wasn't it getting better for women in the industry?  Well, look at all the new shows being presented to us.  Many of them are revolving around sexualizing women (Playboy Club) or reinforcing what it means to be a man or woman.  Gone are the days of strong women on epic shows with a large cast of writers like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Pushing Daisies.  If you look at these shows' casts, the characters are either equal in gender or more females than males.  Likely this reflects the writers' room, too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Helen Mirren on Female Roles

Helen Mirren discusses on CBS's The Early Show the role of women in films in relation to the world.  She's incredible.  There's a reason why she, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Dame Judi Dench are my favorite actresses.

The Hangman's Tree/Streets of Derry: A Historical Analysis

In the folk tune "The Prickly Bush"/"The Prickle-Holly Bush"/"Prickle-Eye Bush"/"The Maid Freed from the Gallows"/"The Golden Ball" a woman is to be hanged.  The woman's family comes to see her hanged, but she hoped they had come to bring money to pay for her release.  They did not.  Her last resort, her lover, comes riding in with the money just before the swing of the axe.  This may be your typical damsel in distress story, but recent versions are far from it.  When the song traveled to the U.S. with the English immigrants, executing women was less common, so the story turned to a male-centric tune, where he must be saved by his love, in the more recent versions.  In those versions of "The Derry Gaol"/"The Streets of Derry"/"Hail a Brighter Day" we see the ancient Irish matriarchal society coming through, as it also celebrates the female saving the day.  Let's take a look at the transformations.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gloria: In Her Own Words (Review)

Last Monday on HBO Gloria: In Her Own Words, a documentary about Gloria Steinem's leading the way in feminism.  Luckily Gloria narrated the documentary.  This is something we don't often receive in documentaries, as many subjects of documentaries are dead.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fictional Icon: Leslie Knope

I look up to Leslie Knope--played by the lovely, talented, and hilarious Amy Poehler.  On the surface Leslie can seem...ditzy.  But she's far from it.  Not only is Leslie the most likeable female character on TV; she is the most well-rounded character, which is odd for a comedy.  She's not overly aggressive and not dumb.  She's herself and she loves everyone, except librarians...and people from Eagleton.  Let's take a look at her brilliance and feminism through the past three seasons.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little Drummer Girl: A Historical Analysis

The traditional folk song "Drummer Girl" has taken many variations, but its origins may very well be of Mary Anne Talbot and created during the last decade of the 1700s.  First brought to attention in 1965 during the folk resurgence by the Watersons with Percy Grainger, the song was taught by none other than a Yorkshire girl.  It's very fascinating that this song lasted through the times, considering its nature, but it would be very easy to teach to your daughters through the generations and gone under the radar as a lost folk tune.  So let's take a look at the possible history of the song and its transformations.


I've taken my blog posts from Nerdy Pop, branched out, and made this blog for feminist features.  You'll see anything relating to feminism throughout history to contemporary issues relating to rights of women.

My Feministy Heroes

It's no secret; I'm a feminist.  I'd actually like to think I'm more of a humanist.  There are so many people without rights or respect.  But it's high-time women gained equal rights and respect.  My dad said he'd never want a woman covering him in the battlefield.  My response: history has proved otherwise.  Women get the job done, no matter what.  I wanted to share with you some women who've made me into the passionate feminist I am today.  I'll start with the earliest living...after the jump.

Book Review: At Issue's Women in Islam

This collection of essays in Women in Islam confronts the topic of Muslim women, so Westerners can better understand points of view of women in Islam with religion, society, gender, and law.  Though some points of view oppose in certain fundamentals, like Eltahawy’s “Muslim Women Should Not Be Stereotyped” and Pollitt’s “Muslim Women Need Their Rights to Be Recognized”, they are trying to do accomplish the same feat: provoking Westerners to overcome their ignorance based on stereotypes, fed by media, history, religions, and politics.  Read on for the review.

Aung San Suu Kyi "The Lady"

"Please use your liberty to  promote ours."  -Aung San Suu Kyi

And so I will...

With the new film coming out next year, I thought it important that I bring about the awareness of all that is Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the symbol of the Democratic revolution in Burma.  Before November 13, 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi spent fifteen years under house arrest and other types of detentions.  Heroism runs in the family.  Her father Aung San was also an advocate of independence, who was killed when she was two.  She was highly educated, having graduation from Oxford.  In 1988, Burma called her back for her ill mother.  Approximately five thousand people were killed in the revolution she got caught up in on August 8.  Five thousand!  In one day!

Photo courtesy of Asian News

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Site of the week: 7/18/11-7/24/11

Not to dwell on the subject, but I found this week's and last week's at the same time...
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media pleases me in so many ways.  It gives well-researched studies on gender, leaned more towards girls, in the media, and the problems that can arise from depicting females in the media as objects of affection, downtrodden damsels in distress, or the bitchy girlfriends or nagging wives.  Davis uses her fame (or what's left of it) to promote the subject, even going as far as presenting bills to Congress.  Davis is working with the First Lady and the FCC to change the film industry as fast as possible.  We need better role models for women on screen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Site of the Week 7/11-7/17

If you're like me, you follow and analyze women's roles in today's media.  Women are no longer being resorted to objects of men's affections.  Rather they're complex individuals and main characters.  There are even female directors and writers!  Imagine that, 1990s!  Women in Hollywood breaks down critical reception of female-centric TV and film, provides breaking news in female-centric Hollywood, and analyzes female-centric film and television.  They also provide week-by-week data analyses, providing numbers and interpretation on what movies have main female roles, female writers, and female directors each week.  Check it out, feminist folks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Warehouse of Women

Warehouse 13 was surely considered female-centric in its first season, but the second season was considerably more so, and I'd say even feminist.  The addition of Helena "H.G." Wells, played by Jaime Murray, as a recurring cast member was a wonderful idea.  Her character is complex and mysterious.  Her motives for her actions were understandable and clear in the end, and I felt so bad for her.  I hope one day she'll return to the Warehouse under more trustworthy terms. H.G.'s like X-Men's Mystique: unpredictable, mysterious, sly, and dangerous but with misunderstood good intentions carried out in unfathomable and militant ways.  She must have been a hit, and the SyFy network must have loved her because she will be starring in a Warehouse 13 spin-off, revolving around her life prior to being bronzed by the Warehouse agents.  Steampunk goodness awaits!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Esquire's Sexism

Esquire Magazine recently ran a list of 75 Books Every Man Should Read.  Seventy-four of those were by males, Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find (of course) being the only female work.  (They did state, though, that their list was "utterly biased," in their defense.)  Why O'Connor and not Margaret Atwood?  Don't get me wrong: Esquire is promoting reading!  That's a good thing, right?  But I'd rather they promote gender equality as well; this is not to say have 50/50 gender split.  That in itself would be discriminating...and as retaliation Jezebel released their list for women, including three men...just as discriminating.  Good job on the war front, ladies.  All that should matter is that a book is stellar.  The author's biological makeup should contribute nothing to the quality of writing.  As fellow blogger Sally said, "I'm amazed, though, that To Kill a Mockingbird wouldn't be on there because it belongs on any Must Read List, regardless of gender."  It's true.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Legend of the Seeker's Inspiration?

I've recently read a book called Women Warriors: A History by David E. Jones, which my students at school have chuckled at because clearly they have not even been exposed to the idea of feminism, of female warriors, or of ancient matriarchal societies.  Out here, it's typical for girls to go straight to the marriage life and pop out babies and be a dutiful wife, silent and complacent and in the kitchen.  Upon reading this book, I came across certain groups or individuals that reminded me of female warriors in television, books, and movies.  Some instances remind me of Legend of the Seeker.  In relation to the TV series and the books (more so in the TV series, as the books tend to become misogynistic at times), these ancient warrior women are present in the development of the characters.

Here, Kahlan the Mother Confessor is killing the Sisters of the Dark, badassly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bridesmaids Blast

First of all, we have a Paul Feig directed comedy co-written by Kristen Wiig.  How can you go wrong?  Its brilliance solely because of their names.  But now onto the feminist points at hand.

All-female casts are becoming more common.  It's not to say they never existed before Baby Mama because they totally did (Witches of Eastwick, anyone?), but they're appealing to a broader audience now with extremely funny ladies.  I've already written on Spring Breakdown and its underrated and misunderstood nature.  (It might have actually been my first post.)  Bridesmaids succeeded in even taking mostly unknown actresses to the general public and created a sweeping greatness that I've not seen in a comedy, well, since Baby Mama.  I've never laughed so hard in my life.