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Originally posted to my blog ReelGirl on May 14th.
Why write fiction?
I’ve always loved to, but I also felt like it didn’t matter as much. Writing about politics and culture is important. If you write about ‘issues,’ you can use your writing to change the world. Or try to. Making up stories might be fun but what’s the point?
Then I had three kids. Of course, I read my daughters stories, watch movies with them, and also, TV shows. I witness how the stories they listen to shape their imaginary play, how they dress, who their heroes are, canadian pharmacy technician exam the language they repeat,
the art they make, and their own creative writing.
In her best-selling book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein writes extensively about children’s brain development, how babies don’t come into the world with fully formed minds that we, parents, are just supposed to observe and discover. Their brains are constantly being formed, rapidly growing and changing as they take in language, pictures, adult reactions, and all kinds of stimuli. Neurons fire in reaction, neural pathways are formed, http://onlinepharmacy-kamagra.com/cheap-generic-soft-pack.html and connections are created, assimilating the outside world to create the internal one.
So I’ve got to wonder: How might kids’ brains (and then, of course, adult brains) be different if the stories they were exposed to weren’t so dramatically and predominantly shaped by men?
…Why We Need Black and Women’s History Months
by Beverly Wettenstein
Originally posted to The Huffington Post on April 11th.
Whoopi Goldberg ended an episode on The View confiding, “I just want to tell you that I’ve sat here all day and my dress was on inside out.” The same could describe her emotions. When she chooses to go public about issues and people important to her, she wears her heart on her sleeve and speaks her mind. As she told Oprah Winfrey on The Color Purple reunion show, “I don’t hide my stuff.”
Blacklash to New York Times “Hollywood’s Whiteout” — Black Swan Was The Only Black Oscar Nominee
Most recently, Goldberg gave a heartfelt personal reaction to a New York Times story, “Hollywood’s Whiteout,” that did not include her name among the African-American Oscar winners cited. The premise of the Times narrative was that there were no African-American acting nominees at this year’s Oscars. I applaud the Times film critics and editors for recognizing the lack of diversity in films and this year’s Oscar nominations. However, only 13 African-American actors and actresses have ever won an Oscar in 83 years, usually a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. By dedicating more than 2,000 words on a full inside page and lead placement on the Sunday Arts front page, the “newspaper of record” could have avoided misconception and simply listed all 13 honorees, to support their premise and document complete historic data. The masthead reads “All the news that’s fit to print.”
By Lisa Hix, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to Collectors Weekly on March 8th.
Today, in 1911, German activist Clara Zetkin launched the first ever International Women’s Day, to honor the political, economic, and social achievements of women worldwide. Certainly over this past century, life has improved for women by leaps and bounds—perhaps at a rate menfolk sometimes found alarming.
But what happens when you put fear of women and fear of technology into the same sci-fi stew? You get “fembots,” or often-deadly robots designed to evoke the appearance and mannerisms of beautiful women.
Over at Show & Tell, electobacco posted this 12-inch cool Fembot action figure (made by Kenner, which also produced the original Star Wars action figures). Not—as some young ‘uns might guess—from the “Austin Powers” film series, but from the late 1970s TV show, “The Bionic Woman,” the female-centered cyborg spin-off of “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
Journalist Barbara Victor reflects on the current situation in Libya and on Qaddafi with KGO Radio News.
Woodhull Fellow Tiffany Shlain premiered her new feature documentary “Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology” at the Sundance Film Festival. The reaction to the film was overwhleming! Connected won the Women In Film Award (by National Geographic All Roads Film Grant), and received high praise from reviewers (including Al Gore).
Find out more about the film at connectedthefilm.com
Read reviews after the jump! –>
Originally posted to ReelGirl on February 9th.
The grassroots women’s literary group VIDA just released some frightening statistics about gender bias in publishing.
The New York Review of Books has 462 male bylines to 79 female, about a 6-to-1 ratio.
The New Republic has 32 women to 160 men.
The Atlantic published 154 male bylines and 55 female.
The New Yorker reviewed 36 books by men and 9 by women.
Harper’s reviewed more than twice as many books by men as by women.
The New York Times Book Review had 1.5 men to 1 woman (438 compared to 295) and an authors-reviewed ratio of 1.9 to 1 (524 compared to 283).
VIDA’s report has ignited the blogosphere with many commentators wondering, as Patricia Cohen does in the New York Times: Why? “What the numbers don’t explain is whether men write more books (and book proposals) than women or whether they more frequently and aggressively ask magazine editors for assignments.”
But this isn’t an either/ or situation; women face challenges at both ends: publishers and editors are biased to think that men’s stories are the best and most important ones, deserving of publication and reviews; and, women writers, socialized to those same beliefs, agree and don’t try hard or often enough to get published.
This double-challenge doesn’t only affect women writers; it muzzles women’s voices across all media.
Last week I finally got around to seeing “The Social Network” which my campus was screening at no cost to students. I sat down, one of two people in the small room, excited to be alone and seeing a movie I had been excited about for so long. Midway through I started to be irked by what I was seeing. Trying to brush it aside I focused on what was going on. But the more I tried to ignore the representation of women in the movie the more the problem rose to the surface. Why wasn’t I seeing a single positive portrayal? According to the movie women are strange, on the sideline, and/or psycho. Many scenes showcased the “stupid slut” archetype sometimes combining it with underage. Others showed females in a more positive light, if you consider barely present and barely paid attention to positive.