A couple of weeks ago I did an online interview for a local parent's group where I was asked how I would recommend extending the conversation of my book, F is for Feminist, at home. My answer was simple: TALK. F is for Feminist is a great start to the conversation but it is also a perfect jumping-off point to talk about real life. This got me thinking. I pay a lot of attention to the news and what is going on with women and girls in the world and I would like to share that with you so that you might share it with the young ones in your life. When my kids were younger (they are teenagers now) we used to play a game at the dinner table every night that we called, "Bad Day/Good Day." Perhaps you play or have played something similar with your family. I thought it would be interesting to wrap that idea around feminism and do a "Bad Week/Good Week." I always like to start with the bad and end on a positive note. So (mostly) every week on Friday I will be sharing #FeministFriday Bad Week/Good Week short stories. Here we go!
Bad news in feminism:
The Oscar nominations came out this week. Not one woman was nominated for many of the major categories including Best Director, Cinematography, Score, Editing and Visual Effects. Though there were some great options for the academy to pick from, part of the problem is that women are seriously underrepresented in all behind-the-scenes positions from Director to Boom Operator. By the way, only 5 women (Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, and Greta Gerwig) have ever received a nomination for Best Director in Oscar's 91-year history, with only one woman winning (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker). (See http://therepresentationproject.org/is-war-the-answer-to-the-academy-recognizing-female-directors for a full story.)
The Supreme Court agreed to allow President Trump's Transgender Ban in the Military to go into effect until the issue is decided by lower courts and will, undoubtedly, return to the Supreme Court down the road. I believe this is a cruel and unjust decision that undermines both our humanity and our safety as a country. (See https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/dominicholden/supreme-court-transgender-troops-terrified-ban for full story.)
Good news in feminism:
In badassery news: British runner Jasmin Paris won the grueling 268 mile Montane Spine Race in England/Scotland, crushing the previous record by an unbelievable 12 hours! And - here is the really badass part - she made multiple stops along the way to pump breast milk for her daughter! Taking pumping at work to a whole new level!
(See womenintheworld.com/2019/01/18/runner-jasmin-paris-smashes-race-record-while-expressing-breastmilk-for-her-daughter-on-the-way/ for the full story.)
There was also some good news for women from the Oscar nominations. A Best Actress nomination went to Yalitza Aparicio for her role in Roma. She is the first indigenous woman to be nominated as Best Actress, and only the 4th Latina woman ever to receive a nomination in this category. Congratulations to Yalitza Aparicio! I haven't seen the movie yet but I've heard she steals every scene.
UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi went viral with her perfect 10 gymnastic floor dance routine. It has been viewed more than 30 million times on youtube so far. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ic7RNS4Dfo). Aside from her obvious gymnastic prowess, fantastic dancing, and the sheer joy she exuded during her routine, the best part was her response. It turns out that Ohashi had been body-shamed for not fitting into the stereotypical/standard body type for a gymnast and she had, at one time, lost her love for the sport. She responded by turning away from her Olympic goals and turning toward a collegiate gymnast career. It was at UCLA where she rediscovered her love for the sport and her love for herself and her abilities. In a quote to the Washington Post, she said, "It's not the outcome. It's not me standing on the podium with medals. It's me being able to walk out with a smile on my face and truly being happy with myself." That is what it is all about. You can actually see it - happiness from head to toe! Love.
(for full story see https://www.sltrib.com/sports/2019/01/16/isnt-enough-ucla/.)
So there we have it! It is my goal to include more good news that bad news every week. Fingers crossed. I wish you many, fruitful conversations around feminism and its' importance to the world around us. I hope that #FeministFriday Bad Week/Good Week becomes something that you look forward to receiving. See you again next Friday!
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