Feb 19, 2015
When it was announced that Jon Stewart was leaving his post at The Daily Show, chatter of who would become his replacement became instant and rampant. Still one name was on the tip of tongues and minds on who should be his worthy successor, and that name was none other than the show's whip smart correspondent, Jessica Williams.
While it's a bit of brilliant fantasy casting, Williams had other thoughts as she pretty much held up her hands and said, 'thanks but no thanks', opting to disclose that she felt she wasn't qualified for the position, and truly had no interest in it. That should have been the end of that, but people got way too deep into their feelings via Twitter, jumped the gun, and began to literally badger Williams for a choice that really was well, her own. Things got screwy when one blogger even went as far to 'diagnose' Williams with 'Impostor Syndrome', attempting at vigorous lengths to bend their argument like Beckham in order to shame Williams for her personal choice, and literally forcing her to 'lean in' and 'man up'.
So much for feminism, right?
Feb 13, 2015
|Marilyn Monroe, photographed by Sam Shaw (1954)|
Being a singular soul is nothing new for me, after all, I am an only child. Contrary to some lopsided belief, only children grow accustomed to entertaining and relying on themselves. We know what it's like to look to the left and right of us, and see nobody there, and we're sort of forced to be content with that.
Some have pitied me for a lack of siblings, pitied my mother for her "paltry" breeding, others have believed I was a tan-colored Veruca Salt, constantly begging my poor father for golden tickets, a bean feast, and an Oompa Loompa to take home with me. Either way, my fate to be the focal point, my aloneness, my singularity, has bothered people.
When my body became a series of parenthesis and I became of "marrying age", all of a sudden it became oh so crucial for me to lock hands with another.
Relationship-bound friends, and even some overzealous family members, tried (and woefully failed) to set me up on dates with the men they thought I'd be compatible with (A common line was: "He's alone, you're alone, it's perrrfect!" No no, it's not). Strangers have asked me outright if I'm married and have kids, and their eyebrows raise, fall and then they fumble to further conversation when they find out otherwise (Just because I wear jeggings I'm a Mom? Just because I'm not a Mom you can't talk to me?). It's also assumed that I am a lesbian simply because insane logic says that if you're single by my age (late-late 20s) you absolutely must be into the same sex because gayness equates that you're playing a woeful hand of solitaire.
My eyes...they roll right out of their sockets.
Jan 21, 2015
We all have things against us. Minuscule and major. We cry, moan, and FML about them, and then we either let those things make us feel like sh*t, or we turn the sh*t into shiitake mushrooms and make a delicious pasta meal out of them. Maysoon Zayid chooses the latter. Like us all, she has her own "strikes" against her. She's Palestinian. She's a Muslim. She's a woman, and...oh, yeah she's from New Jersey. Yeppers, she's got it rough alright. She's also just so happens to have cerebral palsy, and a set-back it is not, as Maysoon Zayid is a comedian and actress who is embracing her so-called flaws in the best ways possible.
Jan 15, 2015
17 years ago the Spice Girls were featured on the front cover of "the fashion Bible" in support of their campy-fun flick, Spice World, and upcoming world tour, and it was all around stylish n' spicy.
Black nail polish on short nails, highlights, and a grumpy looking Posh are things that will always give me the warm and fuzzies about the late '90s, and it's all on this one cover. Oh, and smiles, natural smiles and looks! People didn't go overboard with the photoshopping back then, and it's why the ladies Spice are glowing and looking like your best gal pals on this cover. They just look approachable, their looks look achievable...if that makes any sense.
To burst the bubble some, Vogue editor Anna Wintour regretted doing this cover because the Spice Girls are like plastic feminism blah blah blah. Still, I wonder will the ol' helmet head grouse about the much lambasted Kim Kardashian and Kanye West cover 15 years from now, or look back and wonder why the vanilla blandness of Blake Lively and Kate Bosworth were so cover-worthy....
Jan 14, 2015
When I heard about Comedy Central's show, Broad City, the first thought I had was: "Not another show about girls in New York City". No offense to those who live and bite into the Big Apple, but it seems that if you're not from the greater New York City area, and are in your twenties or thirties, single and struggling, you just don't exist, and your story is just not worth telling. It's always a narrow storyline whittled down to one city and often one racial demographic, and yep, it bugs me.
Still I was curious....
Comedians and real life best buds, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer created the show from their web seires, and you know I'm ALL for sistas doin' it for themselves. Amy Poehler producing the show was also some catnip, plus the multiple reviews that I came across that were waving hands in the air to exasperatedly say it was better and much more relatable than the unbalanced act that is HBO's Girls. Okay. Okay. Fiiiiine. You got me.
So I watched the premiere episode via the web, and was...a little 'meh' about it. Yet, because it's a comedy show about women in their twenties, and since I don't bail on shows until I've given them the 'three episodes or you're out' test, I decided to give it another go. So when the full season popped up on Amazon Prime, I dove into it again, and was happy to find that the rest of the season flowed so much better! I fell hard in love with how feminist funny, cringe inducing, and quote-worthy each episode was as they all unfolded like a Gen Y's nod to the zany madcap adventures of Absolutely Fabulous (just substitute the booze with blunts and you're good to go). Plus the show features a rainbow of characters without being forceful or pandering to a demographic ("see look we included you!!"), and that is a huge plus in my book.
Still what captured me more was how even in the swell of crazy, Broad City mirrors some aspects of my roaring and wandering 20s. While it's always difficult to find a show that speaks to you on some selfish level, I feel that Abbi and Ilana are my people, as not an episode goes by without me nodding my head and closing my eyes going, "Yep, I've been there...".
So how does Broad City hit (almost) everything on the nail about my twenties? Allow me to count the six ways...
Jan 13, 2015
Selma is an outstanding and powerful movie.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, Selma with lucid intimacy has you walk right alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he fights for equal rights, combating all the social and political obstacles and bloodshed that come his way, all while still upholding a sense of self. These attempts in the end lead up to the historic 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery that ultimately led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Selma first and foremost roars with violence and hardship that is astoundingly effective, but it's brilliant how the film begins with a tranquil and regarded interaction between King (played excellently by David Oyelowo) and his wife, Coretta Scott-King (played by Carmen Ejogo) moments before King accepts the Noble Peace Prize that honors his efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. This somewhat sterile, docile moment is the calm before the typhoon, as peace and the nobility to uphold morality are contested in the soon-to-be unfolding months as King and countless of loyal supporters and activists work tirelessly towards equality that is still not yet obtained.
"I Would Rather Be A Bad Feminist, Than No Feminist At All": On 'Bad Feminist', Its Contradictions And Its Triumphs
Jan 6, 2015
In the case of feminism, we far too often argue and worry about who is doing feminism the right way, or who's setting women back thousands of years. The definitions of feminism are too vast and laborious for all that boxing in, as it's seasoned with a mélange of thoughts and experiences to where every woman (and man --- because men can be feminist too!) possesses their own unique definition to what it means and how it applies to their lives. This is why I always find it silly that feminism gets tacked with such petty criteria, that people have the actual gall to formulate rules on how to do feminism the "correct" way, when it truly isn't a one-size-fits-all deal.
In the same spirit as as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's pocket-sized essay, "We Should All Be Feminists", Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist stance has recently given some balance to an opinion crammed conversation like feminism.
With her first collected work of essays, the Internet darling and former Rumpus curator opens up a window and ushers out all the funk and stifling expectation heat that has become stagnated in the the recent declarations of feminism. Gay actively celebrates the 'flawed feminist', the person who may dispel or even embrace the limp stereotypes that come with feminism, and shines a light towards rejecting such pressure on how to act as a feminist, as a woman, as a human being.