Category: Feminism


#AtoZChallenge– B


Bad Guy, Bullie, Bastard. No, not a political statement. Could be, but…

Coming up to yesterday, I looked forward to the Walking Dead season finale. Hubby stated the obvious wish, “Can’t wait to see the end of Negan!”

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From the first time I saw him on the show I’ve yelled, “Cut his ‘L’ vad wire!” Fans of Grey’s Anatomy will understand. What I just learned is: LVAD stands for Left Ventricular Assistance Device. Thank you, Google!

But I knew Negan would not be dead at the end of this show. Negan still hasn’t told us his story. How did he become so bad? How did he start his band of Negans? When in the face of such a bullie, how can the average person live positively and not become the same kind of bad? The writer in me knows that is necessary. AND who wants to lose Jeffrey Dean Morgan?

The best stories are those where we get to know characters deeply, even the bad guys.

Still, I cried at the Sasha Williams part. Sonequa Martin was amazing!!!! I will miss her.

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She is such a beauty and quite the actress!

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And she is one of the Badass Bitches of TWD!

The other two in this picture are Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) on the right and Michonne (Danai Gurira) in the middle. There are other strong fems in this show but these may be my favs.

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Sasha Badass Bitch to the end!!!!

Thank goodness for the Talking Dead that helps me heal after gruesome scenes.

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That’s Chris Hardwick. Love him @Nerdist and his mother @NerdistMom!

In case you didn’t notice, this was part of the A to Z Challenge 

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Please come and join the fun!


A Tapestry of TearsA Tapestry of Tears by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author.

Well, this was a treasure. You all know I don’t like short stories. I like getting to know characters deeply. That is why I read so many series. But Gita V. Reddy has pulled off keeping the story short while not leaving the reader empty.

If there was a theme running through these stories it would be “Love”. Though the stories are about Indian families/couples the American reader isn’t lost in cultural differences. The stray non-English word helps in keeping the story authentic but those aren’t over done.

The female dilemmas that plague many countries are merely spoken of in fact as part of the story and not the end goal. That made the stories more interesting.

I found re-reading the last couple stories from other books a little boring but if it were the first time for a reader to see them they might find these interesting.

Well-done, Gita! I do recommend that everyone read this book. It can make you see some of your own flaws to work on in love. It isn’t just for Indian women. It is for everyone!

View all my reviews


I Am Nujood, Age 10 and DivorcedI Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you, Yvensong, for suggesting this read.

I was able to pick up the Overdrive and Kindle versions from the e-library. I loved the narrator: Meera Simhan. She did a great job reading for what was supposed to be a 10-year-old.

This is a great book to open the discussion of how girls and women are treated worldwide. When we look at what this poor girl and other like her have gone through, we, here in America, think that could never happen. But we have not gone far enough here. There is so much more work to show that equality is what is needed for a better world for everyone.

Nujood Ali has written a book that is short and sweet. I do believe that it could be read by all ages, and should be read by males so they can move to better understanding.

What I loved about reading along on the Kindle as the Overdrive narrator read to me were the foreign words that were hyperlinked to definitions. Even so, there weren’t so many that one couldn’t guess by context as to what they meant. I suggest everyone read this treasure.

View all my reviews


Everything Belongs to UsEverything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

NetGalley gave me this book to read and review. Thank you.

Maybe it’s the busyness of the holidays or my usual ADD, but I found this book confusing. I must’ve read the first six chapters 5 times. Once I was understanding whose point of view I was reading, I found the story engaging enough. In fact, I wanted to know what was happening to the characters. But…

The ending was dull, the ending was cheap, and I felt like I had wasted my time. I wanted to feel that the characters had achieved at least the title of the book. But it just left me flat.

That said, taking my ADD and the holidays into consideration, maybe you will love this book. And maybe I need to read it again someday.

View all my reviews


Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the WorldTemple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to pick this up from my local library system through Overdrive. My friend, Cheryl, wrote an intriguing review that had me searching it out. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1…

I had hoped to read while listening but the ebook but it didn’t come to me in time. That was okay. It provided my background entertainment while I worked on the charity hats and dolls. The reader, Meredith Mitchell, kept me involved in the story of Temple Grandin’s life.

I have read other books about and by Ms. Grandin. Though this book is for young people, I found it more thorough than the others in covering the aspects of autism, living with it and knowing someone who has it. The author was able to bring this disorder to the understanding that a young person would need.

Something that I felt when reading this book and others about autism is that I think there are levels of this that many of us have. The sensitivities Temple had to scratchy clothing or loud noises or too many people or strong light I can relate to. The inability to connect to others, especially in a crowded room, I can understand, too. Knowing that Ms. Grandin found ways to make her disability work for her in her life gives us all inspiration to see how we can overcome our own problems.

Though this is for children, it is neither a short book nor pablum for babies. I felt there was a lot of depth to the stories told and much to learn for all of us. Please, seek it out and see how you like it.

View all my reviews


The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (The Malayan Series)The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. At first, I got mad at the ancient order of things where females were worthless and could only hope to marry well. But keep reading. The main character grows on you. By the end, I was crying for her. I’d say more but–spoilers!

I hope I can read the rest of the series.

The book is about seeing the world through another woman’s eyes as she grows through her life. I love reading about other cultures. Though we have many differences, the female experience is what we have in common. Some of that we humans need to work on, but some of it is unique to being a woman.

This version was courtesy of NetGalley. Thank you for letting me read this!

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Victoria: From the creator of the ITV television seriesVictoria: From the creator of the ITV television series by Daisy Goodwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this edition from NetGalley to read and review. It is an Uncorrected Digital Galley copy. Yet, these eyes didn’t see any mistakes.

This was very interesting. I thought at first that I wouldn’t like it. I neither like history books nor Romance novels. There is both ‘herstory’ and romance in this book. But not a lot. This is more a queen’s coming of age story. In that, I thought it well done and an interesting read.

I loved watching this young person, in her teens, deal with the angst we all have gone through with our parents and breaking out into our own lives. Except, most of us don’t have to assume the responsibilities of the throne and a whole nation while going through these growing pains.

In the acknowledgments at the end of the book, the author mentions she wrote this while making the television (I think it was) show. I will be looking it up to see it. I think it could be done well.

Though not the best book I’ve read, I think you will find this an interesting read.

View all my reviews


Catherine Dickens: Outside the Magic CircleCatherine Dickens: Outside the Magic Circle by Heera Datta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes a person needs to read something they don’t entirely enjoy. And it is for the fact that I didn’t really enjoy reading this book, that I only gave it three stars. The writing was absolutely grand. And it was good to learn about the information this book has. And it was wonderful that the author gave voice to someone who didn’t have much of a voice in our history. But it was a tough read for me.

In another life, well, that’s what it seems to me to be, at this point in my life, I got to be in the musical ‘Oliver’. I got to play Old Sally. It was a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends. But that opening scene where the workhouse Meister is asked by poor little Oliver for ‘more’, kept coming to my mind as I was reading this. That puny little voice probably was any one of his children, the Dickens you say!

‘It was the best of times it was the worst of times’ compares Mr. Dickens to Mrs. Dickens. He getting all the glory and she having a Baker’s dozen of children and then tossed aside when she wasn’t what he wanted anymore. A good thing to keep in mind when we watch all the versions of a Christmas Carol every year at that time. Now I rather hope that he is the one in chains and she is the one haunting him!

My goal in life is to read as many books by women about women or strong female characters. I don’t like reading about women from codependent pasts. I don’t much like reading about women who are put into the role of barefoot and pregnant and woefully in love. But I’m glad I read the book. It gave voice to the woman who had no voice. I hope a lot of people read this book and that we as a society can start growing when we see how bad it is for women still and not that far back in our own history English/American. Our whole language needs to change. And not just English but many languages. I’ve been taking Duolingo language classes, Spanish and German lately. Everything has a gender but human females get the lesser names. Try to do a history of your own female ancestors and you will find how hard that is to do. Females do not hold history. It is time to change that.

AND books like this one hopefully will do that.

Okay, I have talked myself out of the three-star rating. If I want others to read this I have to give it its due, rather than how enjoyable a read it was. Take that! It now has five stars! (Though I hope never to read it again. Nor will I seek out Chuck Dickens work ever again. What a TOAD!)

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Silent Women: Pioneers of CinemaSilent Women: Pioneers of Cinema by Cheryl Robson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this book by NetGalley.com for my honest review.

Are you old enough to remember the cigarette ad featuring a lady smoking with the words above/below (in magazines) or narrated (on television) “You’ve come a long way, baby.” As I was reading this book I kept picturing myself yelling at that ad, “YEAH! BACKWARDS!”

Before and during the world wars, women helped create the silent pictures (among other pioneering works around the world. The wars had all the men busy so the women had to step in and do those male jobs. And they did great jobs. When the men came back home they closed that all down and ratcheted back to the little woman, barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen where men believed women belonged. And if you aren’t screaming by the end of this book, you haven’t been paying attention.

This is a non-fiction book with footnotes and references galore. If one were reading a traditional paper-paged book, this would be quite handy to follow the strains of facts. But I found that squeezed at the ends of every chapter, they block the flow of the read. Especially, when one reads using Text-to-Speech. It is part of the reason it took me so long to read this gem of a book. I had to stop and fast forward past all the notes to get to the next chapter. I can forgive the few typos as this was an uncorrected proof.

The meat of the book was great! The author, Cheryl Robson, takes us into the lives and careers of many of the silent screen actresses, camera carriers, clip-room slicers, screen writers, and directors at the beginning of the exciting motion picture days. Back then, women were on equal footing. By the last chapter, you are reminded of these last few years of white-male-dominated Academy Awards.

If you follow my reviews, you know that in the last couple of years I have dedicated myself to reading mostly books written by women featuring strong female characters. This has been an awakening challenge for me. This challenge begat the challenge to watch similar types of TV and movies. I learned of the http://bechdeltest.com/ and started seeing how white-male the world of film is. Thank goodness for the ABC Thursday evening goddess: Shonda Rhimes. She gives me hope.

If you need to see how miraculous an evening of Shonda Rhimes is, take these facts directly from this book (Silent Women): “Women make up 51% of our populations. Minority men 18% so why are women only directing 16% of TV…while minority men are directing 18%?” “Minority women make up 19% of the US population yet direct just 2% of TV shows.” This isn’t just a problem of film. But our young girls aren’t seeing themselves in books or movies. I didn’t. It took me until I was in my 60s to see what had been missing. I only read guys adventures and sci-fis. There weren’t female books beyond the cashmere-sweatered Nancy Drew and other good-little-girls-in-their-places books. Is it any wonder I still can’t speak up for myself? Is it any wonder the populations of girls and ladies in this world still can’t show the force they own? I have said it before: We hold up more than half the sky worldwide. We need to show the world how that force works.

Thank you for letting me read this very important book. It should be required reading for everyone.

View all my reviews

Open Letter to MSNBC


 

Women hold up half the sky give or take a hundred thousand. But who’s counting?
World:
6,895,889,018   3,477,829,638   3,418,059,380
Total                           male                    female

But in the United States we hold up more:
310,383,948         153,139,563         157,244,385
Total                          male                       female
From http://www.geohive.com/earth/pop_gender.aspx

And it seems that might just be part of your target audience. It should be.
Maybe your only demographic is young (30 to 45-year-old) white males. That appears to be who you cater to. Even though I believe there are more baby boomer women around than those spoiled white boys.
I realize 66-year-old white women like me are a minority. Many my age are not computer savvy or politically independent. It is time to speak my mind. I am the parent of three of 30 to 45-year-old white males in your demographic plus a genius daughter who is 34. And they don’t get their news from you. Neither do their friends. The Internet, podcasts, etc. are their choice for news and information. One son does customarily listen to NPR. Take that however you like.
So what is my point? We’ll get there. Patience young Grasshopper.
Here are some names:
Keith Olbermann
Martin Bashir
Krystal Ball
SE Cupp
Abby Huntsman
Touré Neblett
Ari Melber
Edward Schultz
Steve Kornacki
Alex Wagner
Karen Finney
Joy Reid
Oh, and above all Melissa Harris-Perry.
What do they represent? Diversity. Independent thinking. Something I had grown to expect from MSNBC. And all have left or be minimized on what used to be my favorite political news station. And yes, I know many were fired for speaking their minds often given the boot for being exactly who they are. Really? Do you know how angry and insulted your viewers are by this? How much was MSNBC paid by FOX, Drumpf (Thank you, John Oliver, for that affectation. You know who I mean) or some other Republican money bags to lead to this moment?

Oh, I know some of them are still with you, usually only showing their faces too early on the weekend mornings or small bit parts here and there. Some even try to speak on the screaming, yelling ‘Hardball’ with Chris Matthews, who is the rudest to all his correspondents but mostly to those that don’t agree with him (which means you need to say exactly what he wants to hear or he will say it all himself). No, I don’t want him fired either. He just needs to start having manners and letting his guests speak their minds, too.

And don’t even think I want to lose Lawrence O’Donnell, even though I am offended by his constant flirting with younger female guests. I believe his heart is in the right place and his good far outweighs that rudeness. After all, he is a pacifist from California (YAY! Someone not from NY!) Oh, and a Boomer!
And, of course, leave my Rachel Maddow, who is an equal favorite of mine to MHP. And Chris Hayes who feels to me like Rachel’s younger brother must stay. They are respectful, intelligent and creative in their ways to present the news. But those in the above list were all that, too.
What do you have that I hate? ‘Morning Joe.’ It is named for the white male who has a smart woman, Mika Brzezinski, whose name isn’t in the title of the show and is treated with the least amount of respect from the white men. It should be her show or, at least, demonstrate that she is important enough to include her name in the title.
Then there is the cute guy, Thomas Roberts, with the “weather girl.” You deserve recognition that you included someone with his diversity, but still he looks like Ken to the ‘weather girl’s’ Barbie-ness. Frances Rivera. Yes, she is a woman of color. But she is also knowledgeable and deserves her own show or at least allowed at the table because she has a lot to say and her voice is astounding!
If the above is enough to raise my blood pressure to a dangerous level, what is the worst? I said his original name above. I refuse to join in your constant coverage of that name. But let me give you a rundown on how it happened that MSNBC will be blamed for the next Hitler of this country. It started with the grin. Then the secret smile. It ultimately morphed from the “Biggest Clown in the Clown Car” to becoming “Took all the oxygen out of the room.” (Seriously? You couldn’t come up with a better catchphrase than the one FOX used?)

This sensationalism has grown out of proportion, and it is due to YOUR OWN STUPIDITY! Any parent worth their salt knows that attention is attention, good or bad. And the more attention for inappropriate behavior, the more the inappropriate behavior increases.

Using that logic, MSNBC has failed miserably. In worrying about perceived insults from its own family, it lost the voices that were trying to teach about the good people that are running on the Democratic, Progressive, Independent side of this debate. I thought that was who MSNBC was supposed to stand behind. How many of Hillary’s or Bernie’s speeches have been interrupted by the Drumpf show?
Many of those in the list above could have steered the conversation back to the classroom that you should take seriously, as seriously as O’Donnell does his desks. No, this side isn’t as exciting, or funny, or sensational as the clown-car. You could have made information available for the waste of time you’ve presented lately. And we may very well have a Hitler on our hands. And Hitler wasn’t wasn’t taken seriously in the beginning, either. Can you imagine how much worse it all could have been had FOX and MSNBC been in charge in that era of history? You can’t? Well, there’s the proof I needed to show that you don’t listen to the people who used to like your station best.
You have little time but a lot of previous employees who could turn the tide. Let the verbal slights go. There is something far more important at stake. And remember there are still 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week and most everyone has DVR’s. Stop wasting our time with prisons and clowns. And know that more than half of the people that hold up the airwaves watch your station.

 

 

 

 

 

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