Tag: feminist

Britney Spears wearing angel wings performing on stage at Planet Hollywood, LV

Britney Spears Developing Feminist Fairytale Musical!

Britney’s coming to Broadway! In this article for the BBC Britney Spears revealed she will be developing a new musical featuring a feminist spin on old fairytales. The title of the play will be A One More Time, centering on a book club attended by various fairy tale princesses. Their lives are turned upside down when a rogue fairy godmother brings them a copy of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan and makes them question their decidedly un-feminist roles.

 

Britney Spears dressed in a white, winged costume, standing on stage singing to an audience
Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock (4705528u)

The musical will be set to numerous pieces of music from Britney Spears, including Baby One More Time, Toxic, and Oops I Did It Again. The piece is described as a ‘feminist jukebox musical’ and Spears said she’s very excited to bring it to the stage. The show will make its debut in Chicago later this year, before moving to New York in 2020.

 

Featured Image Via BBC

Marsha P. Johnson

17 Quotes from LGBTQ+ Trailblazers

It’s Pride month!

 

Now is the time for freedom, celebration, liberation, and love! The LGBTQ+ community has fought hard (and is still fighting) against societal and systemic oppression every single day (especially the Transgender community; here’s a list of all the lives that have been lost in 2018 alone).

 

This month is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come, to acknowledge the oppressions and inequalities that are still so prevalent, and to keep marching toward and fighting for the revolution we need.

 

It is also a time to recognize and remember the activists who got us here. We wouldn’t have rights, Pride, or any of the freedoms we get to experience day-by-day if it weren’t for their bravery, selflessness, and perseverance. 

 

Here are seventeen quotes from incredible activists who paved the way!

 

Marsha P. Johnson:

Now they got two little nice statues in Chariot Park to remember the gay movement. How many people have died for these two little statues to be put in the park for them to recognize gay people? How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race? I mean how many years does it take people to see that? We’re all in this rat race together!

 

Harvey Milk:

If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.

 

Laverne Cox:

It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.

 

James Baldwin:

Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.

 

Barbara Smith:

Remember, goals are stars to steer by, not sticks with which to beat ourselves.

 

Audre Lorde:

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

 

Bayard Rustin:

When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.

 

Andrea Gibson:

It is untrue that bravery can be measured by a lack of fear. It takes guts to tremble. It takes tremble to love.

 

Barbara Gittings:

As a teenager, I had to struggle alone to learn about myself and what it meant to be gay. Now for [48] years I’ve had the satisfaction of working with other gay people all across the country to get the bigots off our backs, to oil the closet door hinges, to change prejudiced hearts and minds, and to show that gay love is good for us and for the rest of the world too. It’s hard work—but it’s vital, and it’s gratifying, and it’s often fun!

 

Jennicet Gutiérrez:

Immigrant trans women are 12 times more likely to face discrimination because of our gender identity. If we add our immigration status to the equation, the discrimination increases. Transgender immigrants make up one out of every 500 people in detention, but we account for one out of five confirmed sexual abuse cases in ICE custody. The violence my trans sisters face in detention centers is one of torture and abuse. The torture and abuse come from ICE officials and other detainees in these detention centers. I have spoken with my trans immigrant sisters who were recently released from detention centers. With a lot of emotional pain and heavy tears in their eyes, they opened up about the horrendous treatment they all experienced. Often seeking asylum to escape threats of violence because of their gender identity and sexuality, this is how they’re greeted in this country. At times misgendered, exposed to assault, and put in detention centers with men.

 

Frida Kahlo:

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.

 

Sylvia Rivera:

I was a radical, a revolutionist. I am still a revolutionist…I am glad I was in the Stonewall riot. I remember when someone threw a Molotov cocktail, I thought, “My god, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!

 

Martina Navratilova:

I never felt I had anything to hide. I never felt being gay was anything to be ashamed of, so I never felt apologetic. I didn’t have issues with it, didn’t grow up with any religion, so I didn’t have any religious, you know, issues to deal with as far as homosexuality is concerned. So, I accepted it very easily. For me, it wasn’t that big a deal.

 

Mabel Hampton:

I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for 82 years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people.

 

Christine Jorgenson:

Everyone is both sexes in varying degrees. I am more of a woman than a man.

 

Brenda Howard:

Bi, Poly, Switch—I’m not greedy, I know what I want.

 

Janet Mock:

Self-definition and self-determination is about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves…It’s okay if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

via GIPHY

 

 

Featured Image Via Famous Biographies

Cat yawn

‘Cat Person’ Author Speaks out About Real-Life Inspiration for the Viral Short Story

This past December, a 4,000-word short story took the internet by storm when it was published in The New Yorker. The story is titled Cat Person, and details the trials of twenty-year-old college student Margot as she meets and briefly dates thirty-four-year-old Robert.

 

The all-too-realistic piece of fiction showcases Margot throughout the many quick-changing stages of a blooming, new relationship: the excitement, the giddiness, the butterflies of a growing new crush, the fantasies about everything this relationship could possibly grow into, all the way through unto the grounding realization that this person is not at all who you’d hoped they were.

 

*** SPOILERS AHEAD***

 

The rose colored glasses always begin to fade, and, when they do, Margot realizes Robert is not someone she wants to see. And, by the time everything’s progressed to their first (and only) sexual encounter, Margot’s already realized that she’s not at all attracted to this stranger of a man. She feels repulsion towards him, but doesn’t know how to stop, seeing as sex has already been initiated and they are well in the midst of it all. Margot allows her mind to drift off so she can “just get it over with” while Robert does what he wants until he’s finished:

 

…she felt like a doll again, as she had outside the 7-Eleven, though not a precious one now—a doll made of rubber, flexible and resilient, a prop for the movie that was playing in his head.

 

She ends their relationship shortly after, telling Robert she’s not interested and asking him to stop texting her. The story ends months down the line when Robert gets drunk at Margot’s go-to bar, then spends the remainder of night verbally harassing her via text messages, starting with:

 

“Hi Margot, I saw you out at the bar tonight. I know you said not to text you but I just wanted to say you looked really pretty. I hope you’re doing well!”

“I know I shouldnt say this but I really miss you”

 

And quickly escalating to and ending with:

 

“Answer me”

“Whore.”

 

This story spoke to millions of women of all ages who couldn’t help but see themselves in Margot. The societal expectations placed upon women and girls to always be appeasing, to never come across as difficult, and to never anger or upset the man you are in bed with are an unmanageable weight to bear. This story spread to such immense popularity because it worked to shine a light on the ways in which we are taught that consent always looks like x, y, or z. And that, if you agreed to the encounter initially, there’s no backing out; we are taught to believe that you cannot revoke your yes.

 

I don’t think I, personally, know any women (myself, included) who haven’t been in this exact situation multiple times over the years. Nights that end this way always feel like they’re surrounded by this foggy cloud of discomfort, fear, disappointment, dissociation, and disgust (both with them and with yourself). It’s scary to be alone with someone you don’t know very well, and feel just completely stuck inside their house with no real way out. You never want to be rude by asking to leave, and you also don’t want to anger them for fear of how they might react.

 

It’s the sort of situation where your heart races and your palms sweat and you feel yourself quickly weighing out all of your options until you, eventually, decide that, well, it’s already pretty late and, if you just stick it out until morning, you can go home and shower and pretend it never happened. This way, you avoid any awkward or scary confrontations, and ensure they’re feelings remain unhurt while you just mime your way through the rest of the evening; letting your thoughts wander somewhere else, to some far-off place until it’s all, finally, over. (It doesn’t even have to be a stranger from some Tinder date; we can all-too-often find ourselves ignoring uncomfortable or coercive behavior from people we are already in committed relationships with, allowing them to do what they want under the guise of being in love and being too afraid to rock the boat.)

 

This situation is such a commonality within the dating-sphere, it’s no surprise that author Kristen Roupenian drew from her own personal, real-life experiences to create this story. Roupenian spoke to The Times earlier this week, opening up about her own Cat Person for the very first time.

 

It all started when Roupenian, who had spent many years in a long-term committed relationship, found herself single at thirty-five for the first time since she was in her twenties:

 

When I was 26 and dating, I was such a mess and everything was terrible. I thought now I would be a mature adult and wouldn’t screw up and would understand when people are garbage right away. But instead I felt just as smacked by it and just as confused…I went on a date, it went poorly, and we got in a fight. And that’s alright, but I thought, ‘I’m 35, how did I make this mistake? How did I misread someone so completely?

 

The story grew to success seemingly overnight, and resulted in Roupenian landing a two-book deal with Scout Press, including a collection of short-stories set to release in 2019 and a currently untitled novel.

 

The success was by no accident, however. The story resonated, and still resonates, with people across the board.

 

Dating is never as easy as any of us hope it’s going to be. And, it can be difficult when you’re meeting all of these people to not feel tired of it all, and just ready to settle down with the next semi-charming, borderline-compatible adult human you stumble across. But, once you’ve already begun to force a connection with someone and convince yourself of it’s sustainability, it can be nearly impossible to come to terms with how you genuinely feel, walk out, and leave the situation behind you.

 

Roupenian went on to tell the Times about her own views surrounding the dating culture our society has built:

 

I think that young women in particular feel they have to manage and control and soothe and charm and weave this magic around men…The truth is, most people are not the right person for you, and the person who is the right person for you will still not be a perfect human being.

 

Since the Cat Person publication, Roupenian has learned she was never really alone in this thinking. Women all over have shared their own stories of uncomfortable dates that have ended in aggression, shame, and coercion.

 

I only hope that, now that a light has been shone on the aspects of dating and consent that before we had only ever been told to deal with and ignore, we can finally begin to see a shift in what we do and do not consider normal, healthy, and okay. 

 

In the meantime, we can continue sharing our stories. We can acknowledge and find comfort in the autonomy of our own bodies, and the fact that no one, no matter what their previous relationship to us may be, is allowed to steal that from us. We can refuse to accept the things that feel uncomfortable, scary, or harmful, and not feel any embarrassment, guilt, or shame in vocalizing that. We can understand and accept our own imperfect humanness, and work on erasing both our desire to mold and shift others’ views of us and our impossible desire to never disappoint.

 

We can keep standing up and speaking out. 

 

 

 

Featured Image via Sykesville Veterinary Clinic

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett’s New Single Is an Ode to Margaret Atwood

Courtney Barnett is an Australian singer/songwriter widely known for her bold, blunt lyrics and easy, conversational style of singing. Her music blurs the line between spoken word and indie rock, and NPR has deemed her, “the best lyricist in rock music today.

 

Barnett hit the world by storm with the 2015 release of her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Still, despite the excitement many felt from seeing a new, insanely lovable artist with such a refreshing, honest, witty style, Barnett was never fully safe from the hate-filled trolls of the interweb. 

 

Shortly after her initial album release, Barnett received the strangely-simple-yet-weirdly-aggressive message, “I could eat alphabet soup and spit out better lyrics than you.”

 

So, she took the remark and used it to fuel the lyrics of her latest single Nameless, Faceless.

 

“He said “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup
And spit out better words than you”
But you didn’t
Man, you’re kidding yourself if you think
The world revolves around you
You know you got lots to give
And so many options
I’m real sorry
‘Bout whatever happened to you”

 

Barnett used the line to take a critical look at gender roles and as a broader take down of the patriarchal society built upon expectations and beliefs that harm both men and women. A society that raises women to believe they must be submissive, weak, malleable, and never make a fuss. A society that teaches men that, in order to keep their masculinity intact, they must never let their softness show and always remain angry, aggressive, and on-top.

 

She flows into the chorus with the famed Margaret Atwood quote:

 

“Men are scared that women will laugh at them / Women are scared that men will kill them”

 

This line is used as a basis to describe her own experiences of walking home alone from pubs late at night with her keys between her knuckles, ready to defend herself should anyone try to grab her or do her harm. 

 

This song is relatable in all the ways it shouldn’t be in today’s world. I know I, personally, have used this defense (along with pepper spray, tasers, and keeping a close friend on the phone with me should I need someone to call for help), and I know many (if not all) of my female friends have, as well. 

 

Safety is a big issue within gender inequality. Women are taught from a young age that we should learn the best ways to protect ourselves—take self-defense classes, make sure we are never out at night alone, always let someone know once you’ve made it home okay. (I’ve even gone as far as indefinitely sharing my iPhone location with friends when I’ve been out on dates.) 

 

It’s refreshing to see an artist speak out about something that sounds so commonplace and mundane, yet shouldn’t be. Noticing a stranger’s presence as he begins to follow you down an empty street at night, forcing yourself to ignore the intense stare of a man sitting across from you on the train so you don’t accidentally make eye contact, always feeling obligated to react and reject advances politely when being hit-on so as not to become one of the thousands of women murdered a year for saying “no”, can somehow always manage to shake you down to the core, leave your anxiety at it’s peak, and really start to wear you down. Witnessing someone in the spotlight use their artwork to loudly say “hey, I’ve been there, too. I get it, it sucks, and I’m tired.” feels redeeming and hopeful.

 

Barnett’s take is raw, gritty, and honest, all while still remaining energizing and fun, with her Atwood references adding a literary twist! 

 

Check it out now!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Mixdown Mag

Katerina reading 10 Things I Hate About You

Monday Motivation: The Three Books You Need to Read This Week

There are so many wonderful books in the world and with more published every week it can be hard to know where to start, especially on Mondays when everything is ten times harder than it usually is. So let us do the work for you. Here are the three books you need to be reading this week. You’re welcome. 

 

What:

 

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolizter

 

Image Via Publishers Weekly

Image Via Publishers Weekly

 

Synopsis: 

 

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer- madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place- feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined. (Via Amazon

 

Why?

 

Despite this being her twelfth book for adults, The Female Persuasion has prompted speculation that Wolitzer’s moment has finally come. She took on sexism in the publishing industry in her essay for the New York Times Book Review, “The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women,” and many articles have, since the publication of The Female Persuasion, noted that Wolitzer isn’t just as good as quintessential American novelists like Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides, she is, in fact, better. Nicole Kidman is set to star as Faith in the adaptation of the book, so get reading before it hits cinemas! The adaptation will be produced by Kidman’s production company Blossom Films, which also produces Big Little Lies. According to Entertainment Weekly, Kidman hinted last week at developing the project and posted on Instagram that she “didn’t need to be persuaded” to adapt the novel.

 

What:

 

The Power by Naomi Alderman

 

Image Via SheThePeople

Image Via SheThePeople

 

Synopsis: 

 

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power–they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

The Power is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways. (Via Amazon)

 

Why?

 

With the film adaptation of Alderman’s novel Disobedience, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachael McAdams, coming out in the US this week, plus a TV show of The Power in the works, Alderman, winner of the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction among other accolades, is already enjoying a fair amount of success. She was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013, and was mentored by none other than The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood. She’s definitely one to read before these two adaptations hit the screens! (Also I saw a woman reading The Power on my train this morning and she looked pretty engrossed.)

 

What:

 

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

 

Image Via Electric Literature

Image Via Electric Literature

 

Synopsis: 

 

Newly arrived in New York City, twenty-two-year-old Tess lands a job working front of house at a celebrated downtown restaurant. What follows is her education: in champagne and cocaine, love and lust, dive bars and fine dining rooms, as she learns to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing life she has chosen. The story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the glitzy, grimy backdrop of New York’s most elite restaurants, in Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and high-adrenaline world of the food industry and evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, and the fragility and brutality of being young and adrift. (Via Amazon)

 

Why?

 

Ads for the STARZ TV adaptation of Danler’s first novel are plastered on billboards and buses all over New York right now, and the young author is only set to get bigger so you better read Sweetbitter before it’s spoiled for you, because it will be spoiled for you. People are already digging this book in a big way, and they are going to go nuts for the TV show. Danler’s novel is written based on her own experiences working in the high end service industry in New York, and she even landed her agent when she served him in the restaurant where she worked! Danler adapted the screenplay herself for Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company. 

 

Featured Image Via Tumblr.