Category Archives: feminism

I Marched

 

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Today I marched. I marched in my local city.

It was cathartic. And it was so encouraging to see thousands of other people there in a deep red part of my deep red state. There were sister marches all over in neighboring cities, several only 30 minutes to an hour away, and this march was organized in under a week, but still they estimated about 6,000 to 8,000 people were there.

This is not the end. Everyone there knew it was the beginning. And already people on the marches Facebook group are acknowledging that we need to form a permanent advocacy group for the area.

But today, I don’t feel so alone in my red state.

Channeling General Leia Organa

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As wretched as 2016 was, I am not looking forward to 2017 and Trump’s rise to power.A lot of people are going to be hurt, and there is going to be a lot of suffering. And I’ve simply been overwhelmed by the smack down the feminist movement received and feelings of powerlessness that trying to fight seems insurmountable.

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Women Who Roar

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My little girl was born screaming. I was nearly two weeks post due and desperate to get her out when my water finally started to trickle. Six hours later she finally arrived, and she was not happy about it. She screamed and looked at me with her large, expressive eyes that seemed to ask, “why did you evict me!? I was happy where I was!”

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A Woman’s Right to Be Safe Are Not a “Distraction”

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In a video released about his demeaning statements toward women, Trump called this issue a “distraction” from real issues facing our country. Right now, I have a feeling on November 8th women are going to rise up and say our right to live a life free from assault and to be seen as human beings are not a “distraction.” Because me and a lot of other woman I know are sick and tired of men like Trump objectifying us. Warnings below for discussions of sexual harassment, rape and assault.

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Your Religious Beliefs Do Not Give You A License to Police My Actions or Health

And in a story where the message women receive is we are a burden and danger to men who are traveling just by virtue of being a woman, United Airlines changed the seat of a woman so two men who said sitting next to a woman was against their religion wouldn’t be inconvenienced.

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Internalized Misogyny

Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Face Off In First Presidential Debate At Hofstra University

HEMPSTEAD, NY – SEPTEMBER 26: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

I’m a liberal feminist in Texas, so I hear a lot of sexist crap. And I expect it from conservatives. It needs to be challenged and fought against, however, it’s not surprising or disappointing when conservatives engage in sexist behavior. But when self proclaimed liberals or feminists do? It aggravates me a hecuva lot more because we should be better than that.

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It’s About Damn Time, Star Wars

Today Andy and I saw “The Force Awakens.” Below are some non-spoilery thoughts on Episode VII. When I was a teenager I was a huge “Star Wars” fan. “Empire Strikes Back” was my favorite. I adored Princess Leia. I read the novels by Timothy Zahn, Kevin J. Anderson, A.C. Crispin and many others. I loved the X-Wing series. I even read the comic books, and I’m not terribly big on comics.

My room was plastered with “Star Wars” posters, and it was my first fandom. The internet was just becoming a thing when I was 13, and my sister and I found a “Star Wars” chat room called Irresistible Force that we spent a lot of time on, chatting with other geeks.

And, I want to add, other female geeks. In fact, the person who introduced me to the Star Wars novels was a female friend from junior high. My sister’s best friend was also a “Star Wars” fan and we would role play together. The problem being that there really weren’t a lot of female characters in the “Star Wars” universe to chose from. I was the oldest, so I had dibs on Leia. My sister would often role play as Jaina, Leia’s daughter in the expanded universe or Mara Jade. And then we had a host of female characters that we made up.

My sister and I even decided we were going to write our own stories that would be similar to “Star Wars,” but with more female characters.

And we weren’t alone in wanting this. The other girls I talked to in the chatroom, our friends at school, my mom who is a geek in her own right, and the women who wrote novels set in the expanded universe, all wanted to see more female characters. We were given one amazing female character. And we wanted more. We wanted to see female x-wing pilots and Jedi Knights and mentors and villains. And we were vocal about it.

When we heard that the prequels were being made, we were convinced we would have that. I had assumed that the reason there weren’t more female characters in the original series was because of the sexism at the time. It was even known that originally Luke was supposed to have been a woman, but George Lucas changed Luke’s gender when he realized the movie wouldn’t get made with a female protagonist. So I was expecting to see female Jedi Knights and pilots and teachers, etc.

“The Phantom Menace” came out when I was 18. And we had Amidala and Anakin’s mother and a brief shot of a female x-wing pilot. Yeah. Disappointed. But surely in the next two films we would get more female pilots and Jedi Knights. I was stupidly optimistic.

I went to college and got into anime, where I finally found shows that included more than one female character in the cast. When Episode II came out I somehow didn’t get to see it in the theaters. I think it came out when I was out of state for a class and didn’t have transportation and a group of friends to take me, and when I got back, as everyone else had already seen it and I just never got around to it until it came out on video.

And I was horrified by Anakin and Padmae’s relationship. I lost any sort of respect for Padmae I might have had. Sure, she could use a blaster, but she was also a victim of domestic violence. I saw Episode III in the theaters with my parents and future husband, and let’s just say my mom and I could not stop venting about how sexist Padmae losing the will to live was, or how long we’d waited to see one female Jedi knight in action and she was killed in two minutes, or how we STILL did not have the female characters we desperately wanted, while Andy and my dad wisely stayed quiet.

Yes, I was ranting about this with my mom, who was at a “Star Trek” convention when she saw her first “Star Wars” preview and how she and her female friends were so excited about Leia. Finally, a woman who could take care of herself! Like me, she also had high hopes for the prequels. Hopes that were cruelly dashed.

I fell out of love with “Star Wars.”

When I heard they were doing episode VII I wasn’t overly optimistic. Not even with J.J. Abrams handling it. While I do love the “Star Trek” reboots, I’m not overly wowed with the female characters in them.

But Abrams did an amazing job promoting them, and I started to get excited about them despite myself. Especially as the list of women joining the cast grew. I could feel comfortable knowing that, if my sister and I decided to role play with episode VII characters, we would have plenty of women to chose from!

When the interview with J.J. Abrams came out stating that he wanted women to see this with their daughters, I felt both encouraged AND frustrated.

Women have enjoyed “Star Wars” since there’s been a “Star Wars!” And I first watched the movies with my mom and dad. Women have already been watching these movies with their daughters! The female fan base for “Star Wars” has been present, large and vocal, we’ve just been ignored!

Having seen “The Force Awakens,” I was satisfied to finally see lots of women on the screen. There was even a female stormtrooper. Pretty much every shot with extras in it had women in flight suits, in armor or other uniforms. Finally, women are present en masse in the “Star Wars” universe.

And we finally get a female character leading the films in Rei. On my first watch I have no criticisms on the way that women are portrayed in the movie. Plotwise, it was “A New Hope” redressed and extremely formulaic. Nothing really surprised me. It was enjoyable, funny, and it did it’s job of passing the torch on to the next generation while keeping us abreast on what Han, Luke and Leia have been up to in the past 30 years. It was good, but not stellar. And I’m hoping Episode VIII shakes things up a bit.

But I will finally have a “Star Wars” movie that I can look forward to watching with my daughter in a few years. One that shows her many different ways to be strong and female. And it’s about damn time.