Saturday, February 28, 2015

Weekend Reading

Happy Weekend! Hope it's a relaxing one, no matter where you are!

Image source: Winslow Homer, Wiki Commons.

It's been a busy week around here, what with getting the SRPS News up and running, and getting caught up on blogging and other work-related stuff. I've got a stack of interesting looking articles and blog posts all queued up for a relaxing day of reading and gardening. (Sorry folks in New England, but I figure if it's going to be unseasonably warm and dry here at least I may as well enjoy it, right?)

Here are a couple of stories I've already read and enjoyed. I hope you'll find them interesting as well. Feel free to share links to things you've written or interesting things you've read (regarding kick ass women and girls) in the comments.

Photo source: ABC/Marvel.

Did you watch Marvel's Agent Carter? What did you think? I'm totally in love with this series and really hope someone finds a way to continue the story. I think Deborah Pless at Kiss My Wonder Woman sums up my feelings perfectly in her piece What 'Agent Carter' Did and Why We Need More Of It.
Here's why that matters. Since Agent Carter is Marvel's first big female lead project, it has the impossible task of setting the tone for everything that follows. Not maybe intentionally or even consciously, but it does. That's how this always works. So in making this show, the writers and actors had to be super aware that their portrayal of Peggy's character was going to become the baseline for understanding female characters.

That's why it matters so much that we don't see a redacted version of Peggy's life. We don't see a glamorized, all espionage, all car chases version. We see a version where Peggy lies about getting her period so she can take the afternoon off work. We see the version where she spends so much time tracking cases at night that she neglects her friendships. We see the intractable sexism in the workplace because we as an audience desperately need to understand where someone like Peggy is coming from. That way we can see where she's going.

It's intentional, and it has to be. That's how we're going to get compelling, developed female heroes later on.
Yes. What I liked most about Peggy Carter is that she's really just a woman (a seriously amazing, totally kick ass woman, but still) who's trying to get her shit done -- work, friendships, etc. She is decidedly NOT a superhero. She's one of those complex, strong female characters we've been begging for.

Photo source: Matt Petit, The Hollywood Reporter.

If you're like me, you've probably wondered what happened to Mo'Nique after her Oscar win for her role in Prescious. Well... she's got a few things to say about why we haven't seen much of her lately, and not much of it is good, as we see in her interview with the Hollywood Reporter: Mo'Nique: I Was "Blackballed" After Winning My Oscar.
Whoever those people are who say, "Mo'Nique is difficult," those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they're worthless. And that's unacceptable. They're set to say, "Mo'Nique is tactless, she's tacky." That's why I have my beautiful husband, because he's so full of tact, 'cause I'm a girl from Baltimore. I come from a blue-collar town — and being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you. You don't let people mistreat you. You stand up for what's right.
Yes. But apparently that makes people nervous. It's high time Hollywood got over that, right?

Maps source: Bishopsgate Institute; Photos source: Vicky Stewart,

OK, so I don't think it's much of a secret that I'm a history nerd. I'm also a map nerd. So when I saw this interactive map showing the historic sites around the East End of London where suffragists gathered and fought, and locations where they've been memorialized, I nearly died from geeking out!

The image above shows the larger map in the top left, and the smaller, detailed map in the lower right. Number 26 on the map is for the clock memorializing Minnie Lansbury, pictured on the top right. The image in the lower left is Minnie Lansbury herself, being congratulated on her way to the town hall to be arrested.
The Minnie Lansbury Clock is at the Bow Rd near the junction with Alfred St. Minnie Lansbury was the daughter-in-law of George Lansbury, and very actively supported the campaign and was in Holloway. She died at the age of thirty-two.
As an extremely casual Ingress player, I'm already aware of the possibilities for using technology to create an augmented reality. Wouldn't it be cool to have feminist maps like this for major cities here in the US?

Photo by Lynne Graves/Sojourner Truth Memorial - Florence, CC BY-NC 2.0

Alicia Garza writes about the importance of Black women leaders, and the invaluable role they'll serve in achieving our goals as a society in Where the Leadership of Black Women Can Take Us.
Both celebrating Black history and building a women’s agenda today means not only celebrating the legacy of Black women as change makers but nurturing and making visible the experiences and contributions of Black women for the sake of our future.

It was the hard work of Black women at Domestic Workers United in New York that brought us the first-ever Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in this country. It is the dedication of Black women that will win Medicaid expansion in the South, so that thousands finally have access to affordable, quality healthcare. Black mothers and women are leading the fight to end state violence against Black families, creating a better world for us all. And it will be Black women who lead on the most pressing issues facing our society as a whole.
As we bid farewell to Black History Month, and welcome Women's History Month, let's make it a point to acknowledge there are many overlapping issues that need to be addressed. Until we can create a truly inclusive Women's History Month recognizing the contributions of women of color, and, more importantly, accept and address the harm that has been perpetuated by mainstream feminism towards women of color throughout history, we'll be holding ourselves back from true equality.

Finally, if you're not watching Qraftish by Black Girl Dangerous, you really should be!


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