Friday, October 17, 2014

A Review of The Elizabethan Session

I’d written here once before when I first started the blog on whether Queen Elizabeth I should be considered a feminist icon (though I think it should be more aptly titled “The Dichotomous Image of Queen Elizabeth I”). She never really leaves us, her reign having such a cultural, geographical and political impact on the Western world. Recently, a group of eight European folk singers stayed for five nights at the Connington House in Hatfield, where Elizabeth Tudor had been raised. Inspired by their location, they wrote songs about Elizabeth, her reign and the time period. Recurring themes include her ruthlessness and gender discourse. Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Jim Moray, Bella Hardy, John Smith, Emily Askew, Hannah James and Rachel Newton together create a new folk supergroup to rival The Full English, in which Sam Sweeney and Nancy Kerr also partake.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review of Call Me Crazy: A Five Film

Call Me Crazy: A Five Film is more of what the world needs. It's an outlet for women to be given the chance to direct when they would never be given the time of day in mainstream movies.

Bryce Dallas Howard's segment "Lucy" hits close to home for me, as a family member struggles with Schizophrenia. Lucy, played by Brittany Snow, is sent to an asylum after her mind is relinquished to the voices when she ceases taking her medicine. Though her illness takes power over her at the beginning of the story, she realizes that she can still function relatively normal, unlike others. Her counselor (Octavia Spencer), her new love interest Bruce (Jason Ritter), and a fellow Schizophrenic help her see that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rain: A Fan Film About Storm

The delightful Maya Glick, like so many others, believes that a female superhero could carry her own movie. Her ideal character that could is the X-Man Storm. What's different about the X-Men from other superheroes is that they aren't really superheroes. They were born with a mutated gene; they are supposedly the next evolutionary step. Other heroes are aliens or turned into superheroes from freak accidents. Mutants must learn to control their powers from puberty. Their call for heroism comes from the defense of their own safety as well as protecting others from mutants would would see harm to humans, or "flatscans". Storm is the epitome of the dream that humans and mutants can work together.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Ladies Lead Pompeii

Browning as Cassia and Moss as Aurelia
Yes, I watched Pompeii finally.  When I first saw the trailer, I immediately sent it to my friend.  We both instantly knew we wanted to watch it but also make fun of it.  When we tried to watch it with others, we couldn't get past the first five minutes.  I got past those first five minutes a few weeks later, and I'm glad I did.  I enjoyed the movie.  It wasn't great, or even good; but it provided strong female characters.  Really, the women are the stars of the show, as the men are lackluster.


Monday, May 26, 2014

When Women Play the Game: The Martells, Pt 2 (Sand Snakes)

The Sand Snakes by Joe Harty
The Sand Snakes--Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, Sarella, Elia, and the rest of Ellaria's children--are of a certain mentality, taught by their father to be cautious with their lives, yet find adventure and joy within them.  They have their mothers' teachings and blood, yet they are very much their fathers' daughters.  As Hotah points out, they all have different colored eyes, yet they are all the Red Viper's.  And they are just as dangerous.  Will that danger and hubris be their downfall?  Let's hope not!  I'm hopeful for the increase in women's power in the series, and House Martell is large part of that. 
Sand Snakes by eskatoad

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When Women Play the Game: The Martells, Pt 1

The Martells, like the Tyrells, are adored by their people.  They know and play the game of thrones well.  The Martells are, however, later in the main gameplay than the rest.  Their plans have been brewing for years, though, and are now forced to fruition by Oberyn’s death, Viserys Targaryen’s death, and Arianne’s race to crown Myrcella over Tommen.  The Martells, especially the Sand Snakes, are prone to anger and violence.  But like Oberyn, they must patiently await the game to unfold in their favor after knowing that Oberyn and Doran are in cahoots to turn the tides to their advantage. 

After Elia Martell Targaryen was raped and murdered and her children slaughtered at the hands of Gregor Cleagane, Oberyn was hellbent on revenge, his venom building within him for years.  He has not forgotten this slight against him by Tywin Lannister.  With this vengeance and anger he raised his daughters.  They, too, are passionate, sensual, martial, and quick to anger.  All with the Red Viper's intense and piercing eyes, each one takes a piece of Oberyn and intensifies it: Obara is vicious and quick-tempered; Nymeria is swift and noble; Tyene is quiet, deceptive, and knowledgeable of poisons; and Sarella is intellectual and curious.  Jealous of how the Sand Snakes were raised, Arianne was expected to marry a man of her father's choosing, as a proper princess would, while Oberyn advises his daughters: "If you would wed, wed. [...] If not, take your pleasure where you find it.  There's little enough of it in this world.  Choose well, though.  If you saddle yourself with a fool or a brute, don't look to me to rid you of him.  I gave you the tools to do that for yourself" (Chapter 40, “The Princess in the Tower”, A Feast for Crows).  It's best not to even marry a Sand Snake unless he's completely worthy of her, and no one has been yet.  Bastards are accepted in Dorne and even loved, unlike in most of Westeros.  Could this passion lead the Martell clan to rise in the ranks of power or get themselves killed like their family before them?


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

25 Reasons Why We Need Feminism in the Media

I originally wrote this feature for Brilliant Bias.

The media hurts women and prevent society from accepting women as valuable, contributing, equal members of society.  It’s not just from photoshopped ads to show ideal (and unattainable) looks and sizes; it’s everywhere.  Below are 25 examples in music, movies, television, novels, and comic books.

1. “Blurred Lines” exists and actually became a chart topper, a song supporting rape and the blurred lines of consensual and nonconsensual sex.  Singer Charlotte Church discussed pornographic sexuality and the exploitation of women in her speech at BBC 6 Music’s annual John Peel Lecture.  I believe in free speech, but smartly, schools all across the world have banned it.  There’s no point in supporting a song that promotes the idea of rape.  The video is even worse, depicting topless women with nude-colored thongs traipsing around in front of the camera with ridiculous props like they don’t know they look like complete idiots, while Pharrell, T.I., and Robin Thicke look on with lustful eyes and all their clothes on.   

Monday, March 31, 2014

When Women Play the Game: Cersei Lannister Baratheon

Cersei Lannister by Elia Fernández
Cersei Lannister models the Targaryens and could quite possibly be a descendent, as the Targaryens had many bastard offspring.  It’s never directly stated, but it’s perhaps hinted at throughout the books that Cersei is a descendant of the Targaryens, which explains a lot about her.  Cersei is someone we love to hate, but secretly love to sympathize with.  She is on the surface a terrible person, but the more we find out about her, the more we come to realize how insanely broken she is, mostly because of societal and paternal expectations.  First, I’ll delve into that aspect; then I’ll go into her actions derived from her self-harming personality.


Friday, March 28, 2014

New York is a Broad City

While I love the perfect images of feminism like Leslie Knope (let’s face it: she’s all our heroes), Broad City (coincidentally produced by Amy Poehler) provides us a couple women who are post-feminist in that they are interchangeable with men.  Usually stoners and idiots in comedies are men in all entertainment mediums with no problem at all, but Broad City excels in using these pot-smoking Jewish hippies with little-to-no common sense.  Where have Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer been all my life?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

When Women Play the Game: Lysa Tully

Lysa Tully by Elia Fernández

Lysa Tully Arryn has been controlled her entire life, whether she knew it or not, first by her father and then by Petyr Baelish.  Seemingly, she had never been controlled by her husband Lord Jon Arryn.  They had never been taken to each other.  Lysa never wanted to be his wife and wallowed in her own pity, building her childish revenge her entire life.  While her want of her own life to choose for her own happiness is admirable, she suffers great grief and fights her arranged life.  Lord Hoster Tully married off his daughters for a larger army, even if they want a different life, like Lysa did.  Catelyn was arranged to an honorable, yet stubborn, family.  She admits the length it took her to warm to the North and the Starks, but she built a love with Ned and their family. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When Women Play the Game: The She-Bears

Dacey Mormont by Elia Fernández
While women in A Song of Ice and Fire often tend to be defined by motherhood, widowhood, grief, masculinity, vengeance, or power hunger, the Mormont women combine elements of all the women, save for the vindictive sides.  They tend to be elegant, powerful, smart, cunning, martial, bold, and resourceful.  Commander Mormont tells Jon that Maege “is a hoary old snark, stubborn, short-tempered, and willful” ("Jon", A Game of Thrones, Chapter 70).  As likely the only (at least noble) women in Robb’s company, Maege and Dacey understood and probably even sympathized with Catelyn’s plight in releasing Jaime in returning her daughters.  They were women after all, and they seemed to show self-worth but also exude worth to others.  


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Expanding an Empire

Anything You Can Do is expanding into the world of tumblr!  I know I'm really late on that boat, but I don't update enough on here, since it's more of an analytical blog than it is a news source.  On the new tumblr, you'll find fun posts like gifs of our favorite shows and comic art from female creators.  Go on!  Check it out and follow!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Amazons of Black Sparta by Stanley B. Alpern

I apparently wanted Stanley B. Alpern's Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey so much that I bought it twice on the same Amazon order.  Oops.  I'm glad to support such tireless efforts as Alpern's, though, due to his continual search more more research on the "Amazons" of Dahomey.  While his extensive research and thorough delivery of others' findings, the book is not as well-written as one might find with the likes of Antonia Frasier.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When Women Play the Game: Lady Olenna Redwyne and Margaery Tyrell

Olenna by by Elia Fernández
Lady Olenna is feared and known as a spidery woman, full of secrets and wickedness, despite her small stature and pleasant, sophisticated demeanor.  Her grandson Loras tells Sansa after she asks if the Queen of Thorns  is her name: “It is. You'd best not use that name in her presence, though, or you're like to get pricked” (A Storm of Swords, Chapter 6).  Even to the reader, she may be deceiving to the point that she acts more decrepit and handicapped than she is.  She firmly believes that to fear someone is to do what they say.  She had wanted to beat her son more often so that he might heed her words.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

When Women Play the Game: Arya Stark

Not Today by Zhang Ke
Often told she looked like a boy, Arya Stark acted the part, too.  Catelyn describes her younger daughter:
“And Arya, well... Ned’s visitors would oft mistake her for a stableboy if they rode into the yard unannounced. Arya was a trial, it must be said. Half a boy and half a wolf pup. Forbid her anything and it became her heart’s desire. She had Ned’s long face, and brown hair that always looked as though a bird had been nesting in it. I despaired of ever making a lady of her. She collected scabs as other girls collect dolls, and would say anything that came into her head. I think she must be dead too.” When she said that, it felt as though a giant hand were squeezing her chest. “I want them all dead, Brienne. Theon Greyjoy first, then Jaime Lannister and Cersei and the Imp, every one, every one.” (A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Women Play the Game: Catelyn Stark

Note: I previously wrote on Catelyn Stark over at Nerdy Pop, but I thought I'd post a more detailed analysis of her character here at Anything You Can Do.

Catelyn and Sansa by Martina Cecilia
In the TV series especially, Catelyn Stark is seen as a shrew in the beginning.  As the show progresses, she becomes more like her character in the book.  While she never felt like Winterfell was her home during her marriage to Ned Stark, she longs for it after her Ned had died.  To her, family is everything, and she will fight with her all until they are all together again.  Her family is her life.  She tells Brienne in A Clash of Kings: “As hard as birth can be, Brienne, what comes after is even harder. At times I feel as though I am being torn apart. Would that there were five of me, one for each child, so I might keep them all safe” (Chapter 45).