Archive for category Women/ feminism
Women on Men by Liza Donnelly. Publisher: Narrative Library (November 2013).
Witty and thoughtful, this savvy collection of comics examines how women perceive men. Whether it’s dating, long-term relationships, sex or work, Liza Donnelly cleverly satirizes and provides social commentary on gender differences through her comics. Her work reflects women’s increasingly changing roles, growing political and executive power and decreased expectations that a woman be the domestic center to a marriage or relationship. Donnelly uses political and cultural references to keep her work fresh and supercharged. Readers will recognize scenes that we all find ourselves in at one time or another. Or wish we would. Or maybe hope we never do. Those cocktail party moments. The bad date rehashing with a girlfriend. Lamenting a divorce over drinks. Wishing you’d said just the right thing to that arrogant guy. Donnelly’s got you covered in this brilliant book that’s perfect for a gift, for the coffee-table or as a bedside read.
Donnelly divides the book into various sections including:
There’s a cartoon with a couple on a date: “I love the idea of you. But not you.”
One woman says to another: “I’ve dated eleven enigmas. I want an open book.”
Men’s Body Parts
A woman to a muscle-bound guy: “It appears you have worked on just about everything, except your personality.”
A woman tells another while her guy grills: “His body is fifty, his mind is thirty, and his penis is thirteen.”
Standing by his Liverwurst
Donnelly explains: “But even in a long-term relationship (and I would characterize marriage that way), you sometimes have to put up with all kinds of shit you wish you didn’t. There are levels of shit that can be tolerated, and levels that cannot.”
A woman sits at the computer and says: “You know that I love you, even though I don’t retweet you, right?”
Blame the Economy
Donnelly writes: “It’s true, we women are wired differently. Men think about sex all the time, and women think about it when it starts happening. Men undress women, women redress men.”
A couple sits at dinner: “I can’t decide if I love you for what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, or what you possibly will do.”
Donnelly explains: “Everyone knows that when you combine ego, politics and power, put them in a man, and shake you get a potentially toxic cocktail. These men start mixing sex into the cocktail and inevitably their genitals become the stirrer. Okay, a stupid metaphor but you know it’s true.”
A couple is shown in bed: “I don’t see this lasting much longer than a news cycle.”
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the publisher.
available at Amazon for Kindle: Women on Men
The Thalia Zedek Band
Shepherdess Great Scott Sunday, December 1
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling Davis
Square Theatre, Somerville Friday, December 6. The Boston
female-fronted duo [led by Sophia Cacciola] brings theatrical
elements and a haunting, compelling gorgeousness to its music. from
the new album By Hook or By Crook: Z*L Plough and Stars,
Cambridge Saturday, December 7 former Vera-Go-Go singer/bassist is
now in Z*L along with Ian Adams (vocals and guitar) and Jack
“Knife” Guilderson (drums). Loud, muddled.
“My lesbian roommate has taken on a lover. So now, I’m officially classified as a lesbian third wheel. In this new role I find myself engaging in a series of girl-on-girl activities. On the agenda this past weekend, hiking with our dogs while wearing Crocs.”
“V is for victory. Double V is for vaginal victory.”
“I’m perhaps alone amongst my colleagues because I like talking about women’s issues in film, and feminism. I think a lot of women don’t like to do that. It’s usually, “Can we please turn the conversation back to my work?” For me, it’s an important part of who I am. I feel like so much of the reaction to my work and to me is connected to the fact that I’m a woman, so I can’t avoid that conversation. A part of my career is that I am a woman and I’ve committed myself to writing roles for women. I cannot separate myself from that and say, “Oh, can we please just talk about my work?” That is my work.”
–Film School Rejects, October 19, 2013
When the police officers arrived at my door a few days prior I’d been given the option for lock-up or to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. I’d gotten quite angry with my neighbor and taken a shovel and knocked out the lights at the bottom of my driveway. I’d also spray painted “Hate the PO PO” on my garage door. As a bonus, I ended up losing five pounds while at the psychiatric facility. There wasn’t much she could offer me at this time. I’d been seeing the same therapist for about seven years and I’d always had a psychiatrist whether they’d been all that useful to me or not.
I’d been prone to angry outbursts at times and believed they were just part of my outspoken nature or my attitude toward completing work tasks I’d felt were beneath me or unnecessary to the goals for the particular organization. I’ve been fired, walked out on jobs, yelled and cried and remained in bed for long spurts of time. I truly believed this was all a manifestation of my clinical depression. Nothing more.
My male friend of a decade told me he planned to start dating. We’d dated for two years and remained friends for eight years. And not just call-you-up-for-a -drink kind of friends. My mom used to say we were like an old married couple. From an outsider’s perspective it looked as if we were still dating. We’d go out to expensive dinners, see plays and concerts and spent five consecutive New Year’s Eves in a lovely room at Boston Harbor hotel to watch the fireworks. We weren’t having sex even though I slept in his bed many nights.
This guy verbally abused me, controlled and manipulated me but I was insecure and he’d be mean and cruel and then nice so I wasn’t confident enough to just walk away. He once told me “I’m not letting you go” but then another time told me “reading is a waste of time” or “your liberal arts degree’s worthless.” I’d been dating various guys for the past eight years. Nothing stuck. So when he admitted he was actually exclusive with a woman, I freaked out. I knew, despite his claims, I’d lost him. Even though I spent a lot of time with him, I spent a lot of time independently of him. I’m a music journalist and went to shows alone. I went to films alone. I did my own thing. He didn’t like everything I liked and lived in Boston while he lived way out in the suburbs. Looking back now, I am glad he’s out of my life and regret I allowed any man to belittle me, control me, abuse me and take away my 30s from me. Luckily I’m in therapy and am working on that.
This BFF [I no longer believe in such a concept] told me we’d remain friends yet he started ignoring me. We weren’t friends anymore. Sure, if I had some computer issue or mechanical problem this engineer would come over and fix it. That’s what he considered our friendship now. No more lunches, concerts, hanging out. I’d been his practice wife and now he’d found his permanent replacement. I started incessantly calling him and texting him. I just wanted to talk. I wanted an explanation why he thought it was okay to coldly shut me out and end our decade-long friendship. Being a typical engineer, he wasn’t going to give me any reason. He just planned to cut me off cold.
I flipped out and cried and lived on Klonipin and Diet Pepsi for weeks. I lost 25 pounds. I dumped my pony’s manure in his driveway with a note: “you treat me like shit then you deserve shit.” I left signs on his street about what a jerky friend he was. I created a blog about him. I’m a journalist and someone won’t speak with me, I’ll express myself through words. Nothing that salacious just a few things only I knew about him. I’d made it to get his attention, to get him to talk to me. And he did. He left me a message that if I took down the web site that he would deign to speak with me. So I did. That site was up for a few weeks at most. Of course in the meantime some work friend of his copied it and posted it to Reddit and from there a bunch of losers made it to be 300x worse than the original site which was truly for his eyes only. Now I have a libelous Google footprint that can’t be erased due to its anonymous sources. Edward Snowden like hidden sources.
So to cease communications with me the engineer took out a restraining order against me. I was devastated. He really must hate me. Did he ever care about me as he’d claimed? He’d helped me with so much even while knocking me down. Since writing wasn’t a real career to him [even though I made 50K at my last position as a Donor Relations Officer], he paid for me to get my Certified Nursing Assistant certificate and associates degree in Medical Assisting. He and paid for nursing school.
Strangely, even though I haven’t seen him since our “goodbye” dinner at Upstairs on the Square in December 2009, he’s attempted to renew the restraining order every year even though I don’t care about his new life, his family, don’t know where he lives. I do feel I wasted a decade of my life with him and there’ve been dire consequences. In a low moment, I tweeted his name a few times and a judge granted him a restraining order that I can’t tweet about him.
When I finally found myself at the Brigham and Women’s Psychiatry clinic three years ago [apparently it takes a true crisis/ hospitalization to actually secure an appointment with anyone], I was in rough shape. I’d yell at everyone. I’d cry a lot. I’d done a lot of regrettable things. I punched my hand through a window at one point. That hurt and scared me. I’d get easily enraged and would act out on that anger. I’d yell. I’d confront people. I’d swear and make a scene.
The psychiatry resident diagnosed me with a mood disorder, unspecified. This made sense to me. A mood disorder means you get low lows and some highs. My mood disorder isn’t as severe as a bipolar disorder but it’s something that needs to be managed with medication and therapy. I take Cymbalta for depression, Topamax for a mood stabilizer and Klonipin for anxiety. I take a multi-vitamin and also prescription Vit-B and Vit-D which both help with mood. I also took a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy [DBT] class and a Cognitive Behavior Therapy [CBT] class. Both DBT and CBT help you to think before you react, to reduce your stress levels and to appropriately deal with your feelings.
If I’d known that I had depression and a mood disorder I’d have done things so much differently. I don’t think I’d have ever lost my position as a Development Officer at Children’s Hospital Trust. Sure I didn’t fit in exactly but I’m an excellent writer and researcher and no one questioned my work, they questioned my attitude. And due to the mood disorder I could only improve my attitude so much.
I’m not a victim but I have an illness. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed about as it’s a chemical imbalance. It takes an entire support system of professionals and vigilance on my end so that I don’t end up on the street or locked up in a maximum psychiatric ward. I’m now calmer and better equipped to deal with stressful situations. Things still bother me. I keep a mood journal. I see my psychiatrist every few weeks. Unfortunately Brigham and Women’s Hospital no longer accepts my current insurance so that’s a new hurdle. [I’ve been seen there since the mood disorder diagnosis and I’ve been a BWH patient for 20 years.] I have constant med checks and medication changes but I feel much better than I did five years ago.
Should I be shocked by the following joke NPR’s Wait Wait hosts made about Sex and the City going off the air a decade ago?
Carl Kasell: “. . . it was a time we embraced our inner sluts.”
Peter Sagal: “It’s been 10 years since Sex and the City inspired women everywhere to move to New York, sleep around and spend their money on shoes.”
It’s a cheap joke. It’s disgusting. And with women being raked over the coals by our government lately, it’s unbelievable that an NPR program would deign to think this the slightest bit humorous. Need I remind people that Republicans currently are turning back the clock for women and taking away birth control options and abortion rights from women? Watch this awesome speech by my Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren [D, MA]. Republicans across the country have tried to reverse abortion rights in Texas, Mississippi, Ohio, North Carolina and several other states. And in many states they’ve succeeded in reducing a women’s right to choose.
Slut. A despicable word. Degrading. The word is demeaning. Men use that word to dis-empower women. This rhetoric must stop. There’s nothing amusing about it. When did someone decide that casual sex was a negative? I’m 44 and I’ve been hearing this for decades. I’ve had more than a handful of sex partners and that’s my business. I’ve lost count of the number of a man I’ve slept with and that’s my business. I’ve had threesomes along the way and that’s my business. No one needs to know how many men I’ve slept with. I know who I am and what kind of sexual experiences I want and it’s my body and it’s my decision to have sex however I want with whomever I want how often I want. I have an IUD. I use a condom. I’ve never wanted to get married nor have children. That’s also my business.
Some might call me a slut. I’ve been called a hooker for wearing red patent leather shoes. We know there’s that double standard and it’ll always be there and however loud feminists yell and yell and yell we’ll never be heard. We are not sluts. A man can have sex with 100 women and he’s cool. A woman has sex with 100 men and she’s a slut. Virgin/whore. Few people want to be with someone who has zero sexual experience. Don’t believe that fantasy.
I haven’t had sex in a year. What are you going to call me now?
Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry wrote a column in the Guardian about online misogyny. She spoke about the ease in which people feel it’s okay to write messages calling her a slut, threatening to rape her and pick her appearance and intelligence apart due to her gender.
In the piece she states:
“I should note here that I have never said that men – in the public eye or otherwise – do not receive such comments. I can, however, only speak of what I know, which is that the number of offensive messages directed towards me, “the girl singer,” compared to my bandmates is undeniably higher. I should also clarify that this has nothing to do with hating men, as some have suggested. I identify as a feminist but subscribe to the pretty basic definition of a feminist as “someone who seeks equality between the sexes”. I am now, and have always been, in bands with smart, supportive guys, and have many amazing men in my life as family and friends. For that I am incredibly grateful.
“Of my numerous personal failings (perpetual lateness; a tendency towards anxiety; a complete inability to bake anything, ever), naivety is not one. I am often cynical about aspects of the music industry and the media, and was sure from the off that this band would need to avoid doing certain things in order for us to be taken seriously as musicians – myself in particular. We have thus far been lucky enough to do things our own way and make a pretty decent job of our band without conforming to the “push the girl to the front” blueprint often relied upon by labels and management in a tragic attempt to sell records which has little to do with the music itself.”
super-feminist Natalie Portman spoke about feminism with Thor co-star Tom Hiddleston for the November issue of ELLE UK:
“I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two. I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a “feminist” story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathise with.”
I caught Waxahatchee (one of my favorite new bands) and Screaming Females at the Middle East Club in Cambridge on Friday night and it was one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. This was the first stop on their U.S. tour. Interestingly the audience was about 60% men and not a sold-out show. The Middle East holds 575. Label mates [Don Giovanni Records], the bands certainly attracted different audiences with some cross-over–Waxahatchee getting alternative and college radio buzz. Screaming Females a power-punk band from New Jersey with more of an underground following.
Waxahatchee plays higher energy and rawer live than on the album. Katie Crutchfield–the force and face of Waxahatchee [lead singer/guitarist/songwriter] has sweet vocals on “Cerulean Salt” that remind me Juliana Hatfield. Screaming Females, led by pint-sized powerhouse Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals, tore it up with jarring chords, guttural bass and super energetic songs. Amazing fun.
Monday, Sept 16—The Bowery Ballroom—New York
Tuesday, Sept 17—Black Cat—Washington, D.C.
Thursday, Sept 19—40 Watt Club—Athens, GA
Friday, Sept 20—Bottletree Café—Birmingham, AL
Saturday, Sept 21—Stone Fox—Nashville, Tenn.
Sunday, Sept 22—Russian Recording—Bloomington, Indiana
Monday, Sept 23—The Frequency—Madison, WI
Tuesday, Sept 24—Triple Rock Social Club–Minneapolis
Wednesday, Sept 25—Lincoln Hall—Chicago
Thursday, Sept 26—Ace of Cups–Columbus, Ohio
Friday, Sept 27—Pittsburgh, Penn
Saturday, Sept 28 and Sunday, Sept 29—First Unitarian Church–Philadelphia
ZOLA JESUS (with J.G. Thirlwell featuring the Mivos String Quartet) at the ICA Boston
Middle East, Cambridge
Lizard Lounge, Cambridge
The Sinclair, Cambridge
lyricist Carolyn Berk
producer/performance artist Kerby Ferris
producer/percussionist Emily Kingan
This is my favorite album of the year so far. Intriguing lyrics, intricate harmonies, unusual yet mesmerizing vocals and three strong women composing songs with electronic edginess. What could be better than that. The songs remain somewhat upbeat even if the subject matter isn’t always. The unusual, crisp compositions highlight Lovers many years’ experience as songwriters and producers. Very extraordinary musical talents combined into one band: a brilliant concept. Very danceable. Sometimes moody. Sometimes contemplative. Always self-assured and delightful.
I envy this band, adore this band and want to be an honorary member even though I don’t play any instruments or sing. They’re so cool. They’re happy in the way that you want to dance around expressing your love for your surroundings and all the people in our pathways. Portland, Ore. undoubtedly a hotspot for musical experimentation and expression. These three women sing about sexuality, female friendships and evolution in the face of the ever-changing world.
In 2002, Emily Kingan, then on tour with classic Portland feminist hardcore band The Haggard, invited Berk to join the bill. Ferris was their roadie. Years later the trio met up in South America where Berk was traveling and Ferris was living tat the time, performing in various electronic projects in Sao Paulo.
Berk said: “There’s something very cosmically powerful about choosing love over and over and over again, recommitting to people, cooperating on creative endeavors. We wanted to make an album that reflected our commitments to supporting each other’s creative processes. There is something so pure and magical about true friendship love, and we wanted to put that into this album.”
A Friend in the World
Badman Recording Co.
Release date: Sept. 24
purchase new album at Amazon: Friend in the World
Sat Sep 21–Mississippi Studios in Portland OR, Record Release show w/ Night Cadet
Sun Sep 22–Chop Suey in Seattle WA w/ Night Cadet, S, and 18 Individual Eyes
Fri Oct 18–Pittsburgh, PA @ BrilloBox (Operation Sappho)
Sat Oct 19–Buffalo, NY @ Ambush! (Duke’s Bohemian Groove Bar)
Sun Oct 20– Providence, RI @ Machine with Magnets
Mon Oct 21–Boston @ the Middle East
Tue Oct 22– Burlington VT @ Necters
Wed Oct 23–Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Fri Oct 25–Durham NC @ Pinhook
Sat Oct 26–Baltimore, MD @ TBA
Sun Oct 27– Brooklyn NY @ Glasslands