Monday, March 25, 2013

Movie Torture

Be careful what you ask for. I've written about women in film and the need for more. Linked below are a few blog posts about women in film. Filmmaking is a man's world, although it didn't start out that way, and needn't continue that way. Women have made some progress, and then that progress was squashed. It's uncommon to have a woman screenwriter, director, producer. Katherine Bigelow has directed two box office hits recently. Both involve war. The latest film riled people about torture as a means to an end.  I was looking forward to seeing Olympus Has Fallen. I like action adventure, hero journey epics, rescue operation movies. The reviews I read this morning changed my mind. I will not be seeing the movie. Torture is featured again. And a woman screenwriter is involved. Is this now what it takes for a woman to get a job in Hollywood? Some whacked version of traumatic bonding/Stockholm syndrome? WTF? And how do we fix this? Fairy Tale Princesses, Boomer Anxiety About Aging?!  Women and Film 2011: Sexual Violence. The Throwaway Woman Plot Device.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lean In, Push Back, and Then Get You Some

The last Christmas my mother had, she gave me a pair of purple gloves. I didn't figure out the entirety of her message until 10 years later. She was giving me a nod to run my stick along the public railings, and learn to spit as in Warning by Jenny Joseph. Over the years I've dropped many of the behaviors that make up the sobriety of youth. I swear in public and I've worn slippers in the rain. I do not always set a good example for children. I call managers out of their back offices to solve my problem. And I'm not waiting to be an old woman to do what suits me, and not do what doesn't. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg is the flavor of the month. Women may take a seat at the table. Then raise a hand. Then say something. So 60s. Push back, writes Maria Shriver. So 80s. This is the second decade of the 21st century. Women are fighting the same bloomin' fights we fought for all of the last century. Fights I fought in the last century. Michigan's most invasive species is our legislature. Many states are harboring the same invaders. Why? Because women lost our voices again. And the women voices we're hearing are disturbingly reactionary. We have a 21st century woman COO telling us: ladies, it's okay to raise your hand. We have a 21st century woman CEO's edict that employees may not work at home. What is this? The 50s? These woman head up Facebook and Yahoo, monstrously cloudy social networks. And this is their schtick? I feel aprons and pearls making a fast fashion comeback. As if Mad Men wasn't enough. So, I walk by the TV and some egocentric politician is spouting for the cameras, and I casually say "he must clank when he walks." I have been known to say "he's got the balls of an ox." I do not remember if it was in mixed company, or through which decades. I accidentally said it in front of my father once, but that's another post. A couple weeks ago, talking with a friend about the latest male directed preferential ass-kicking, I said what we need to do, what we must do, is get some balls. Big balls. I said this again later to another friend. And so on. From the dim outback of my memory, I looked for a glass necklace I thought was in the jewelry supply storage bin, found it, took it apart. Big balls. Big shiny glass balls. Earbobs. One friend wants brass. Another suggested color - blue balls anyone? The message is self-directed. And it makes me laugh, laugh, laugh. Yes, by all means, sit at the table, raise your hand, use your voice, push back. Then get you some balls. Own some. Sit at that table pushing back, with your big balls on. I can testify that once you have the image planted in your brain, you've already changed. You might even learn to spit.