Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest Post - 2012: The Year of the Girl

My co-writer Auddie P over at Nerdy Pop has a special guest post for us, a well-written, summary of the best things to come out of 2012 for girls.  It truly was an inspiring year and certainly looks to be progressing (but with much fight from some groups) for females with an increasing importance on women in business and film production.

In 1912 Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Girl Scouts declared this year, 2012, The Year of the Girl. As we tend to do, on the final days of the year, I've been reflecting on 2012 and have noticed that they might have been right. Women made records and impacted our country significantly this year in many ways. Below are several examples of how they've made 2012 the year of the girl.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Support The Big Feminist BUT!

Just in time for the holidays, you can buy yourself or your feminist-nerd friends a gift they'll love!  Go donate to The Big Feminist BUT graphic novel kickstarter, a collection of mini comics dedicated to the taboo of the feminist label.  The final book, which needs help going to the printers, will be 8x10 and 200 pages in black and white.  The book, if bought, will ship in February 2013.  For a list of creators, click past the jump or go to the kickstarter.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jen Kirkman's Twitter Strike

Every day, comedian Jen Kirkman is sent messages by angry people, not just men, about how she isn't funny and only pretty.  It happens to every comedian who is female, as we all know.  Sure you can ignore all the horrendous trolls on the internet, but you can stand up and say, "This is wrong!  Someone else, say something too!"  And so Jen Kirkman has declared a strike against twitter until men in comedy start supporting her and vowing that women can indeed be funny. And she's right: men in comedy often do not show support (or opposition) of social issues, like gay rights or racism.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Restless Mini-Series on Sundance

Restless cast, photo courtesy of Sundance Channel
Sure to win awards, Restless will air December 7 and 14 as a two-part mini-series on the Sundance Channel.  Charlotte Rampling plays Sally, a former British spy during WWII.  Sally worries that now 30 years after the war someone is trying to kill her, to which she warns her daughter.  Throughout the series, we will see her spy story unfold in a thrilling, dangerous, and adventurous way.  Hayley Atwell plays young Sally.  I love movies that highlight the importance of women during war and the vital roles they served.  I cannot WAIT to see this!  At least it's not the old woman technically on her death bed trope, right?  I would love to see more women like Red, where Helen Mirren plays a former spy, but still gets into the action as an older woman.  I also suggest a similar movie (and book) in Charlotte Gray, starring Cate Blanchett as a WWII spy.  See the trailer for Restless after the jump.

Martha Plimpton's "A is For"

Earlier this year Raising Hope and Broadway star Martha Plimpton began an organization for women's rights with fellow arts women Maureen Herman, Gina Loukareas, Kellie Overbey, Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, Sarah Thyre, and the wonderful Lizz Winstead.  It's called "A is For". It's a beautiful project that highlights men and women who support women's rights.  They encourage people to wear their scarlet letter with pride to show that they should not be shamed in to silence, like Hester.  Donations will support the Center for Reproductive Rights, and in exchange donators will get an A ribbon to wear.  Some of your favorite celebrities are showing their support on video for you to share!  Be sure to check out Plimpton's speech and the transcript from NYC's Unite Women rally and see Jane Lynch's video after the jump!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Older Woman As Lead Not a Major Crime

I'm alive!

In Episode 2 of its first season, Major Crimes' star Captain Sharon Raydor, played by the ever-amazing Mary McDonnell, states her displeasure with those who think her too old to run the department. Commander Taylor tells her why she hasn't proven herself leadership material and clarifies: "The job is a promotion and it's a gift, one that usually doesn't happen to people after they qualify for retirement."  Raydor retorts quickly: "So considering how many people would like to replace and how old I am, I should just take this job and be grateful, is that what you're saying?"  It is this confrontation in the show that provides the rationale of this show;s very existence.  Can a show with a female lead take off?
I think they're about to cross....and just look at all those men.  Barely enough room for the two women!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: The Steel Seraglio

Every now and then, a book comes along with a quiet power and dignity.  The Steel Seraglio is one of those books that will have gone under the radar for a majority of worldwide readers, but it shouldn't.  The book is fairly complex in its themes, characters, and even plot due to reasons soon to be expounded.  What is also striking is its ability to not acknowledge any genre boundaries.  It is written much like an ancient document, detailing the lost city of Bessa in the Middle East, but it draws from historical fiction/alternate history, as well as magical realism, all lending to an unnerving, gripping, thrilling, and unexpected page turner.  Though it's given these qualities of historical fiction and magical realism, it also brings forth the epic fantasy vibe, though not so much as journey of a fellowship of different races trying to save a world.  Rather, this is the story of the concubines a seraglio, or harem, of the fictional city of Bessa's sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari.

Al-Bokhari and his wives and legitimate children with said wives are killed by a religious extremist Hakkim, who is also a trained assassin.  He believes it his destiny to eradicate all debauchery and sin from Bessa.  The seraglio managed to persuade Hakkim to send them as a gift to a neighboring sultan through the techniques they'd always used on political figures and men to do their bidding in subtle arts.  But the women of the seraglio have a different idea: take back Bessa.  Read on for a complete review, spoiler-free but very in-depth.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Was Queen Elizabeth I a feminist icon?

Likely the most realistic of her everyday appearance
I'd like to raise a matter of debate: Was/Is Queen Elizabeth I a feminist icon?

Why should there be a debate about this?  Let me explain the circumstances revolving around Elizabeth's life, political prowess, and the period in which she was born.

Sure, queens were of no shortage in Elizabeth's day.  They happened to inherit the throne.  That didn't mean men, or even women, loved it.  It was theirs by birth or by marriage.  In a time when killing and plotting a king or queen's death was a common matter, a crown had to be safe at all times and command with a resolve that far outweighs those of the cruelest tyrants within the last century.  A fear of death and a fear of loss of power would drive a man (or in this case a woman) to overcompensate.

Young Feminist Leadership Conference

If you're not at the Young Feminist Leadership Conference in D.C. this weekend, you can watch some of the panels on ustream, live or previously recorded.  EXCITING!  I hope to go next year.

Monday, March 12, 2012

KEZ's Provides Worthy Warrior Woman

What It Takes is a webcomic, started in 2009, by Karen "KEZ" Howard.  The webcomic came to fruition by her noticing of the lack of well-rounded woman warriors. KEZ explains upon her first strip's publishing, "Welcome to my newest creation that's been on the backburner ever since I saw the horror that is every single 'female warrior' show or movie from ages past. This is the story of Colbey, a martial artist who survives the end of the world. It is rated R. There will be blood, guts, swearing, but it should for the most part, be always SFW."  The webcomic is a smart, quick read and provides a female lead worthy of a movie role. Colbey is as deadly with gun as she is with a knife, but she's hesitant to kill unless she needs to.  The sense of danger and realism in What It Takes lurks around every update with gangs, bar brawls, and the survival of the fittest.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Katrina Law on Spartacus' Mira

TV Guide recently interviewed Katrina Law on her role as Mira in Starz' Spartacus.  I get if you're not a fan, but the show is grounded in the historical realities of sensual fulfillment and brutal backstabbing (Get it?  Brutus?  Literally and figuratively backstabbing Caesar?) with rich characters, characters who also happen to be strong females.  I love the warrior women vibe the slave women always gave off, but it could never really come to fruition until now (though Ilythia always is ruthless in a different fashion).

Women Key to Election Winner

With all the controversy surrounding recent women-oriented political issues, mostly revolving around contraception, individual rights, and military involvement, female voters, as the majority, will be crucial in the coming election.  It seems that the tide has turned, and women are supporting the Democrats, despite many disliking Obama anymore.  The republicans have been saying degrading, outrageously ignorant comments about women. It seems that only the most evangelical and ignorant women are voting for the Republicans.  I'm not sure I can stomach another comment made from a dumb politician who knows nothing of female concerns nor rights and thinks that we should revert to the 50s.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Antonina Żabiński: The Zookeeper

Antonina Żabiński lived with wild animals in her own house and asked herself why "animals can sometimes subdue their predatory ways in only a few months, while humans, despite centuries of refinement, can quickly grow more savage than any beast?"  Anyone to ask this question, though in her diary, deserves a spotlight, as she treated her animal friends as humans and saw humans more beastly and barbaric than animals.

With her husband Jan, Antonina Żabiński owned and managed the Warsaw Zoo.  She had a way with animals that even when she was a child, animals calmed themselves around her.  Everyone she met said she was infectious; she knew how to read animals (though to a lesser extent people), and she knew how to keep liveliness in a time of complete disaster by playing piano, inspiring laughter, and keeping care of everyone she knew and didn't know.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

At the Paley Center

At the Paley Center's Season 2 is simply called "She's Making Media".  Each Thursday a new half-hour episode airs, with Glenn Close premiering the season last week (January 19). Repeats will air the following week, so you can catch Glenn Close on January 24. 

Tina Fey Hosts "The Hidden World of Girls"

From NPR's The Kitchen Sisters comes The Hidden World of Girls, a two-hour radio show that takes us into the lives of women and girls all around the globe.