Tag Archives: Women

Scenes from the Resistance: the Women’s March in NYC

I’m so incredibly awed, inspired, and humbled to have been a tiny part of this upwelling of decency, defiance, righteous anger, kindness, and courage — not just here in New York but all around the world. Humanity at its best. Dark forces are abroad, and who knows if they’ll prevail; but let today make it absolutely clear that we who stand against the darkness are many. The future is not yet written, and we have many hands with which to write it.

Here are a few photos I took in the march today. (Feel free to contact me if you want to reuse an image. If you or your sign are in a photo, I’m happy to include more information, or take it down at your request.)

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Yoko Ono in the house!

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The next generation, doing us proud:

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The spirit of Carrie Fisher presided over the march, through many signs like this one:

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Love the message on the pink sign below. The other, of course, is a lyric from Hamilton, a show that inspired many signs — including Hercules Mulligan’s “You knock me down, I get the fuck back up again” and, my favorite, “My dog speaks more eloquently than thee.”

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So many people.

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I absolutely love the detail and craftsmanship on this sign. And the message.

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And this, a moving quote from the Captain America comic (later reused for the movie Civil War):  “This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world: No, YOU move.”

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Lots of encouragement from the crowd on the overpass at Grand Central.

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And here’s the flip side of the “Queers Without Borders” sign:

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Excellent advice for everyone, as we brace ourselves for the long struggle ahead.

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“Where Are The Women” in movies? A feminist Kickstarter project needs your help

If you’re one of the few folks still checking in on this blog:

1. Thank you. I know I haven’t been updating regularly (I always mean to write more, and have to figure out how to stop getting in my own way) but I appreciate the interest and support. Or even just the curiosity.

2. I’d like to bring this very worthy Kickstarter project, “Where Are the Women,” to your attention. MaryAnn Johanson of Flickfilosopher.com has been writing about movies for over 17 years and needs your support on an ambitious project to thoroughly examine how women are represented on film — movie by movie, on a granular level that’s much more in-depth than the Bechdel Test. (You can see her proposed evaluation method here, and an interview with her about the nitty-gritty of the project here.)

I’ve been reading MaryAnn for many years and am a big fan of her wit and snark and wisdom, and I think her perspective on how Hollywood depicts women — in both good ways and bad — will be absolutely worthwhile. But she needs time and effort and resources to make it happen. Here’s how you can help.

Thanks again.

(Image via Forge Today)

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Badass female rock n’ roll, cont’d: Listening to Halestorm and Hunter Valentine

Oh yeah.

And here’s Lzzy Hale and Halestorm rocking out on an original:

Here’s Canadian band Hunter Valentine squeezing every ounce of goodness from my favorite descending chord progression:

Another Hunter Valentine track, with possibly the best power choruses this side of Hedwig:

And speaking of Hedwig, it’s fantastic to see that Lena Hall — whom I gushed over in an earlier post — is rising through the ranks on Broadway: now she’s playing Yitzhak alongside Neil Patrick Harris’ titular transsexual in the revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, taking on a role made essential by Miriam Shor’s indelible vocals. Here’s hoping this leads to Hall getting much-deserved recognition on her own terms.

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“A new definition of manhood”

Colin Stokes of Citizen Schools gets it absolutely right:

(via TED)

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The stakes, cont’d

Another must-read from Bob Cesca:

This is the marquee election for the anti-choice movement. Anyone who can count and anyone who can look up the status of the Supreme Court justices knows full well that the next president will decide the fate of abortion rights and an entire array of issues.

Justice Scalia is 76 years old, Justice Breyer is 74 and Justice Ginsburg, well, she’s a 79-year-old cancer survivor. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the next president will appoint a justice to replace at least Ginsburg, if not both Ginsburg and Scalia. Reasonably speaking, Ginsburg is almost certain. If she retires or passes, and Mitt Romney appoints her successor, the ideological balance of the Bench will shift to five conservatives, one swing vote (Kennedy) and three liberals — more than enough to decide conservatively on a variety of critical issues. Even if Kennedy were to magically swing left on every decision, it still wouldn’t matter. Conservatives would win the day for an entire generation.

However, if President Obama is re-elected and he appoints Ginsburg’s successor, the balance remains the same as it is now: four conservatives, one swing vote and four liberals (presumably, Obama would appoint a justice with a liberal record). Better yet, if the president is re-elected and replaces both Ginsburg and Scalia, the Bench would be tipped to five liberals, one swing and three conservatives — for a generation.

So this isn’t just about replacing a justice or two. This is about replacing a justice or two and defining the ideological composition of the Court for the next 10-20 years.

[…] I sometimes wonder if everyone else, including many of us who follow these issues closely, is aware of the potential human cost amid the ongoing horserace drama of the political campaign. These are our daughters, mothers, wives, sweethearts, partners and business associates, and I worry that too many voters are unaware that more than half of all Americans are being slowly and deliberately suffocated of their rights and physically targeted by their leadership simply because they have two X chromosomes. This election is the hinge upon which those rights hang in the balance. It might be the most important election of our lives so far, and not because of some relatively disassociated issue thousands of miles away, but because it will determine whether women — American women — will retain purview over their own bodies.

Cesca makes many more salient points and the whole piece is worth reading here.

(Photo via Associated Press)

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“Dreaming is hard. It requires risks. It requires you to own the fact that you are capable of something great.”

If you’ve got a spare 35 minutes, this fantastic talk by astrophysicist Pamela Gay is absolutely worth your time. Delivered at the annual Amazing Meeting, the speech touches on many things — the future of American crewed spaceflight (Gay is more optimistic about this than Neil deGrasse Tyson is), some cool Citizen Science projects, and the importance of standing up against sexist bullshit, at professional conferences and everywhere else. But underlying it all, Gay lays out a powerfully compelling case for optimism as a stance toward society’s problems — optimism not just as idle wishful thinking, but (as “No Impact Man” Colin Beavan and Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim have explained) as a basis for courage and action.

From the transcript:

It’s a lot easier to do nothing… easier to lose hope that anything can even be done. And there are people out there who would encourage despair.

If, like me, you’re a child of the 80s, you may remember a movie called “Neverending Story”. It came out when I was a dorky little kid. This movie contained a certain giant wolf who totally understands trolls and their effect of creating their own great nothing in the world. (link) When asked why he is helping the great nothing destroy their world, this wolf responds, “It’s like a despair, destroying this world. … people who have no hopes are easy to control.”

Looking around the internets, I see a lot of people sitting around trolling, and a lot people experiencing despair. There are YouTube videos of people complaining, and blog posts of people expressing their hurt, and in many cases there are legitimate reasons for people to be upset. There are people dying because we’ve lost herd immunity (link). There are lesbian teens in texas being killed for falling in love (link). There are so many cases of abuse that it hurts to read the news. There are lots of real reasons to be frustrated about the world we live in and it is easy to complain… and it is easy to lose hope.

It is dreaming that is hard.

The Neverending story, in its childhood tale of morality, addresses this too. Through the voice of the Childlike Empress, the boy outside the story is asked, “Why don’t you do what you dream, Bastian?” Bastian replies the way I think so many of us reply when when asked why we don’t follow our wildest dreams, “But I can’t, I have to keep my feet on the ground!” (link)

Dreaming is hard. It requires risks. It requires you to own the fact that you are capable of something great.

A few years ago, I came across a powerful quote that was attributed to anonymous.

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ” (link to old blog post on this quote)

I’d challenge you to let your feet fly off the ground and I’d challenge you to dream big and let your light push away the darkness of dispair in the world.

I challenge you to change the world.

There’s much more, and you can read the entire thing here.

More reasons for optimism here.

(via Bad Astronomy)

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Nora Ephron versus Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can women have it all?

Anne-Marie Slaughter says women still can’t have it all. Nora Ephron would have disagreed:

This is the season when a clutch of successful women — who have it all — give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can’t have it all. Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind.

Read the rest of her very funny and inspirational speech here.

Or perhaps Ephron and Slaughter wouldn’t have disagreed at all; read Slaughter’s full article for her very thorough and nuanced take on what it means to structure society so that women (and men) get to lead full, and fulfilling, lives.

(via Brain Pickings)

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