Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Make Yourself Happy

As you may know from previous blog posts, part of my morning ritual is having a nice cuppa while watching "The View," with the wine guzzling poodle on my lap.  I am not only a fan of "The View" but of Whoopi Goldberg's, who is the show's moderator.  I am also a big "Jerry Maguire" fan because of Tom Cruise and the iconic lines "You had me at hello" and "You complete me."  So it's no surprise that I would be drawn to Whoopi's new book "If Someone Says You Complete Me, Run!"

The subtitle of the book is "Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships" and in it she shares her views on how to have successful relationships, using the rationale that she has failed at three marriages so she knows whereof she speaks.  She also points out what red flags to watch out for and when you see them - RUN!

She says that humans are not meant to mate for life (she doesn't have a whole lot of good things to say about marriage) and when we do mate, we women tend to expect Prince Charming and our relationships to be like in the fairy tales.  She also blames the songs we listen to for planting the wrong expectations ("Where Would I Be Without You?" by the Supremes or "I Want To Know What Love Is...I Know You Can Show Me" by Foreigner) and then there are the movies such as "An Officer and a Gentleman," the aforementioned "Jerry Maguire" and any movie based on books by Nicholas Sparks.  She debunks the Cinderella story where women expect Prince Charming to come along and save them from a life of drudgery and tells men that "You Ain't No Prince Charming," so quit looking for your mother, learn how to do stuff on your own and when you come home, help with the kids and the housework. (I will go one step further here.  Men are not "helping" their wives with their work, they are doing their share in what is supposed to be a partnership).

But Whoopi's biggest rant is about that famous "Jerry Maguire" line  "You complete me," because she believes that if someone can complete you they can also "deconstruct" you.  She goes on to say that you need to do the work to complete yourself, to become a whole person and then, and only then, should you look for a partner.  Otherwise, you will be kissing a lot of frogs until the Prince shows up and it might be too late.  Decide what you DON'T want BEFORE you get involved with anyone.  Don't rush into anything.  And watch out for those red flags. 

Red flags, you ask?  Yes, those are those things you sense and see in your relationship or in a relationship you want to have, but either ignore or think you can fix.

Some of Whoopi's red flags are distrust, lying, the other person doesn't want children (and you do) and he or she is married...to someone else.

But hey, you just ignore the red flags.  You can fix it, right?


As Oprah said, "When people show you who they are, believe them."

So it's a funny and wise book that I recommend.  And if you think you need a soul mate to complete you, I don't just recommend this book, I STRONGLY recommend it.

But then, you know me. It got me to thinking.  And I wanted to put in my two cents!

Whoopi feels she has the experience to write about relationships because she has three failed marriages behind her.  So I thought, if she can write a book about relationships based on three failed marriages, then I can certainly write a blog post about relationships since I have been married FOUR times, the fourth lasting 31 years (so far)!  And I am going to pull the age card.  I am older, which means I have had more time than Whoopi to learn from relationships.

My son once asked me in a fit of pique, "Why do you have to have an opinion on everything?"  I just do. I can't help it.  And hopefully as long as my brain keeps working and I keep engaged, I always will.  Now that doesn't mean I have to share those opinions all of the time.  I don't.  I have learned to keep my mouth shut at critical moments.

But this isn't one of them.

So here goes
"Rosy's Big Blog Post About Relationships."

Back in September, I wrote a blog post called "Make Someone Happy," where I talked about how small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can make a  big difference in someone else's life.  I stand by that and think if you are a thoughtful kind person that will add to your own quality of life.

Being thoughtful and kind is one thing. 

But if you are unhappy, it's not easy to be thoughtful and kind.

You need to make yourself happy first and sometimes our relationships can stand in the way of our happiness.

Whoopi talked about red flags when we embark on relationships.  I have some too.

So here are my own personal red flags that will keep you from making yourself happy. 

Red Flag #1:  When you feel responsible for someone else's happiness.
I am not talking about being selfish and only thinking of yourself.  But if you spend a great deal of your time trying to keep your significant other happy, you will never be happy yourself. For example, if your significant other is not very social and at parties you feel you need to make sure your partner is OK all of the time, you won't enjoy the party yourself.  If your partner gets upset by things a lot of the time and you spend much of your energy making sure he or she is OK, you will also feel upset a lot of the time.  Your partners need to get off their butts and make themselves happy so you can spend time making yourself happy.  That is the only way you will be happy.

Red Flag #2: If your partner shuts you out when things go wrong.
When I was in college, I met a football player who told me that if he lost a football game, his girlfriend just had to understand if he didn't speak to her for a few days after. Even at a young age, I thought, "What an ass."  I still think it.  Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who won't talk to you when he or she is upset?  If you have to run around trying to find out what's wrong, do you think you will be happy yourself?

Red Flag #3:  You have to ask permission.
Again, I am not being extreme here.  I am not talking about going out and buying a Lamborgini without discussing it with your partner.  What I am talking about here is the fact that you should be able to buy a sweater without asking for permission, especially if you work outside the home and have your own money, and you should be able to go out with your friends by saying "I'm going out with my friends," not "May I?"  Basically you should not have to ask permission for anything. You are a grown ass woman (or man), as Whoopi would say. You should be allowed to live your life as you wish without having to ask for permission. If your significant other doesn't like how you are living your life, then the two of you need to have a discussion about that and make some decisions accordingly.

Red Flag #4: You walk on egg shells all of the time, because your partner's feelings get hurt and he or she is easily upset. 
Now, what fun would that be?  How could you possibly be happy with someone like that?

Red Flag #5:  You have to change to please your partner or you think you can change your partner.
Trust me, people don't change.

Red Flag #6:  He or she doesn't have a sense of humor, especially about you.
When I am at my worst, Hubby has to stifle his laughter and clear enjoyment of my pursed lips and flaring nostrils.  Good thing because when I am in a state like that, I would rip him a new one.

Red Flag #7:  Your significant other rubs your nose in your mistakes...more than once.
You screw up from time to time.  Oh well.  It's your life.

You can tell I have been on a bit of a feminist tear lately with my reviews last week on the Diane Von Furstenberg books, the Gloria Steinem Q & A and now Whoopi's book.

The main message is this:  Be your own woman.  Diane said it, Gloria said it, Whoopi said it and now I say it.  It goes for you men, too.  Be your own man.

Make yourself happy. 

You only have control over your own life, and you certainly can't make someone else happy if you aren't happy.

So I'm with Whoopi.

If you find yourself spending your life trying to be what your significant other wants you to be, you are walking on eggshells all of the time, you have to ask permission or you are feeling responsible for his or her happiness -


Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie 
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer

Friday, November 13, 2015

"The Intern" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "The Intern" and DVDs "Pitch Perfect 2" and "Z for Zachariah."  There are actually two Books of the Week this week:  A comparison of Diane Von Furstenberg's autobiography "The Woman I Want to Be" with a biography: "Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped." I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with "The Night of the Shooting Stars"]

A 70-year-old retiree decides he wants to go back to work and becomes a senior intern at a fashion business.
Ben Whittaker (Robert Deniro) is a widower and retired after 40 years as an executive at a phone book company (remember those)?  He has done all of the things retired folks are supposed to do to get the most our of retirement - travel, tai chi, meeting for coffee, volunteering.  But it's not enough.  He's bored and misses going to work each day.
So when he sees a flyer looking for senior interns at an up and coming online fashion company called "It's About the Fit," he jumps at the chance.  The company is run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), and she is your typical Type-A personality.  She is a working mother with a house husband (Anders Holm), oh, sorry, they are called "stay at home Dads" now, and an impossibly cute little girl (JoJo Kushner).  Too cute, if you ask me, but then you know how I feel about precocious children in movies. Jules is overworked and things are starting to go wrong at the company, and the investors are calling for Jules to hire a CEO to oversee operations.  She wants to do the right thing but also does not want to lose control of her company.  And sadly, with little time for her husband and little girl, things are starting to go wrong at home too.
Enter Ben with his impeccable work ethic and calm demeanor.  The company is populated mostly with young geeky guys (Zack Pearlman, Adam Devine and Jason Orley) and they get a kick out of Ben and his "old ways:"  He wears a suit and tie every day, carries a briefcase and a freshly laundered handkerchief (in case a lady needs it), is punctual, respectful and always seems to say the right thing.  Soon, they are all coming to Ben for advice.  He applies his hard-earned Baby Boomer values to the lives of the millennials and he helps them.
Ben is assigned to be Jules' intern and at first she is not happy about it.  She finds Ben "too observant," because she knows her life is falling apart.  But Ben eventually works his magic on Jules too, which, if you asked me, happened a bit too quickly.
But that's a minor detail. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers (who also wrote and directed "It's Complicated" and "Something's Gotta Give,") this film begs the questions:  Can a millennial and a septuagenarian be best friends? Should working mothers have to pay the price?  And does the older generation have something to teach the younger generation?
Robert Deniro was never an actor one would associate with comedy until he had success with the "Meet the Fokkers" movies.  Now we see him do more of these light comedies than the dramatic roles of his past.  And he is getting the hang of it. He exudes warmth and charm and his chemistry with Hathaway is the best thing about this film.  I couldn't help, though, but see a little homage to "Taxi Driver" and catch a glimpse of Travis Bickle when Ben was checking himself out in the mirror.
I am not sure why Anne Hathaway has such a bad reputation in Hollywood for being fake and too perfect.  I find her to be a luminous presence in films and she beautifully exudes pathos and warmth here.
Renee Russo, who looks like she hasn't aged a bit, provides some love interest for Ben and Linda Lavin, as Ben's hot-to-trot neighbor, wishes she could.
Other than some continuity issues and a farcical scene where Ben and a couple of the young guys he has befriended at the company break into Jules' mother's house, I liked this film and its messages.  Just because you are old doesn't mean you should be put out to pasture.  Likewise, a working mother doesn't deserve bad things to happen to her.  It's a nice old-fashioned, beautiful-to-look at little comedy that we have come to expect from Meyers.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a feel-good movie with two great messages: that working mothers should be applauded and the younger generation has much to learn from us old folks.  You can't help but enjoy it!

Some Movies You Might Have Missed

(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

***Now Out on DVD***

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

The Barden Bellas return and this time they must redeem themselves by winning an international competition no American team has ever won.

I realize I said that I was only going to review DVDs I could recommend, but I also said from time to time, I would warn you about bad high profile films that you might have been waiting to see.  I did that with "Taken 3," and I am doing that here.  Be forewarned.

Our girls are back (Anna Kendrick as Beca; Brittany Snow as Chloe; Hana Mae Lee as Lilly; Alexis Knapp as Stacy; Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy) with a new girl, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) to defend their three-time a cappella championships, but find themselves humiliated during a command performance for the President and First Lady when Fat Amy's pants split open while she is making a grand entrance hanging from some silk ropes thus exposing all of her naughty bits (she went commando). 

Because of this shame brought on the fictional Barden College, they are suspended from competing and cannot defend their National title.  However through some strange twist of fate, it is decided that if they win an International competition, they will be reinstated.  The school thinks this is a no-brainer because no American team has ever won this competition.  Naturally the girls' biggest competition is a German group called, what else, "Das Sound Machine."  Let the German stereotypes commence!

There are side plots with Beca taking an intern job at a recording studio with a lunatic boss (Keegan-Michael Key, who does lunatic like no one else); Fat Amy's and Bumper's (Adam Devine) sort-of romance; and Emily wanting to follow in her mother's (Katey Sagal) footsteps as a Barden Bella.  But it all isn't enough to save this film, which doesn't really have much to say and worse, it's not funny.
The film has its usual energy and I applaud the fact that it depicts great female friendships, but that cannot replace a dreadful script that tries to save itself with raunchy humor and way over the top antics.  Likewise the music is forgettable which is not a good thing for a movie about music.
if you have been reading my reviews, you know how I feel about sequels .  If you don't, then let me restate.  Few sequels live up to the original, and in this case, the original wasn't really that good. It was a small, energetic, feel good movie that happened to come out when "Glee" was at its peak.  That's great.  I agree it was fun.  But people, bask in the glory of a break-out one-note hit film, BUT DO NOT TRY TO REPEAT IT!  Think of "Dumb and Dumber To."  No, don't.  I can't even bear to think of it.
Anna Kendrick has had many successes since the first "Pitch Perfect" film, so one wonders why she is going backwards to be in this sequel.  I also might be in the minority, but isn't her voice really nasally?
And what happened to Hailee Steinfeld?  Why is she here?  I rest my case about really young actors being nominated for Oscars ("True Grit").  There is nowhere to go but down.
And how many times do we need to see the fat girl falling down the stairs?  Rebel Wilson needs to find a new schtick.
Elizabeth Banks directed (her first full-length feature) and returns with a small quirky part as one of the commentators during the singing competitions.  I have a lot of respect for Banks as an actress and her ability to play a wide range of characters, not to mention directing a film.  I just wish it wasn't this film.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you enjoyed the first one, I think you will be disappointed here. You have been warned.  And god help us, rumor has it that a "Pitch Perfect 3" is in the works.  Oy.

Z for Zachariah (2015)

It's the end of the world as we know it and only one woman and two men survive.  You know what they say about "Two's company..."

As the film begins, we see a person in hazmat gear rummaging around in an abandoned library stocking up on reading material.  We soon realize it is a woman (Margot Robbie), Ann, a preacher's daughter, who has managed to survive the apocalypse in her little pocket of the world and she thinks she is the only survivor.

But soon a man appears (Chiwetel Ejiofor).  He has removed the radiation suit he arrived in after having survived in an underground lab and is taking a swim in a pond fed by a waterfall, not realizing it is radioactive water.  Ann saves him, nurses him back to health, and though they are suspicious of each other, they form an uneasy alliance.  Ann, meet John.  John is a research scientist who has also managed to survive. 

Ann is living in a paradise in the midst of hell and John is happy to have found her. There is some sexual tension between them and a sort of romance ensues. Ann is hot to trot, but John uses restraint. He fears if they go further, it will change things for the worse. They are a post apocalyptic Adam and Eve, she believing that God has a reason for their situation and he, an atheist.  But despite their differences, they eke out a life together and John proposes making use of the waterfall for power by building a water-wheel.  To do that, they would need to tear down the church on the property and use the wood.  Conflict occurs as Ann is devout and it's her father's church.

But then some ominous music ensues.

Ann and John, meet Caleb (the handsome and intense Chris Pine).  And three's a crowd.

Based on the post-apocalyptic science fiction book by Robert C. O'Brien adapted by Nissar Modi and directed by Craig Zobel, the film doesn't do a very good job of explaining the title, which comes from a set of alphabet bible stories that Ann has. The first one is "A for Adam," and it calls him the first man on earth.  We are supposed to know that Ann assumes the last book, "Z for Zachariah" means that Zachariah is the last man on earth. However, Zobel, whose first film was the powerful "Compliance," once again explores the themes of power and authority and does a good job of presenting these three wonderful actors as they deal with race, religion, jealousy and passion. 

Even without makeup, Margot Robbie is gorgeous.  That's what good bone structure does.  And here she plays against the sexpot characters we have come to expect. 

Ejiofor can always be counted on to put in a great performance and this is no exception as his character comes to grips with his situation.

Pine has a James Dean quality that works well here as his intensity intensifies the emotions he and John feel as they vie for Ann's affections.  Is he the snake in Eden?

This film reminded me of an "end of the world"  "Days of Heaven," where Richard Gere, Sam Shepherd and Brooke Adams formed a tragic three-some.

Rosy the Reviewer says...an engrossing, engaging thriller that didn't get the viewers it deserved.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***


272 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

In the waning days of WW II, a group of Tuscan peasants flee in search of the soon-to-arrive American liberators just as the Nazis plan to bomb their village. 
Narrated by a mother talking to her sleeping child, she remembers when she was a six-year-old child and her village was controlled by the Nazis and Fascist collaborators. 
The film begins with a hasty marriage. It's hasty in part because the bride is pregnant but it's also hasty because the Nazis are nearby and the villagers fear for their lives.  The marriage takes place and then everyone scatters and goes back into hiding in the basement of a building where a sort of microcosm of village life has evolved. 

The Germans have ordered that everyone gather at the church as certain buildings that have been marked with a green "X" will be bombed at 3am. Anyone outside the church at night will be killed. Fearing it's a trap to kill them if they go to the church, Galvano (Omero Antonutti), a village elder, exhorts the villagers to follow him into the hills to find the American liberators. Half of the villagers stay behind, half follow Galvano.  Galvano and his band encounter other villagers, once their friends, who are now Fascist collaborators and a bloodbath ensues.  Later, the surviving villagers hear the sounds of the bombs going off in their village. 
"The Night of the Shooting Stars," also known in Italian folklore as the "Night of San Lorenzo," is the night that dreams come true, which is a cruel irony considering what the fleeing villagers go through that night.  And the lush cinematography by Franco Di Giacomo captures the gorgeous Tuscan countryside which is in sharp contrast to the atrocities of war that take place there.
Why it's a Must See:  "[This film] is the masterwork of the Taviano Brothers, Paolo and Vittorio...Notable for its ensemble cast, [it] offers indelible images to salve the etched memory of unwanted conflict.  A cathedral is bombed to kill worshipers...Friends on opposite sides of a political divide murder one another.  Two older people consummate a love affair decades in the making. Together these moments signify the gravity of World War II while remembering the dignity of everyday life."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die"
This film was voted the best film of the year in 1982 by the National Society of Film Critics.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a poetic little film that celebrates the common man (and woman) and the power of the human spirit. 
(In Italian with English subtitles)


***Books of the Week***

The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg (2015)

Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped  by Gioia Diliberto (2015)


Diane Von Furstenberg burst onto the fashion scene in the 1970's with her little wrap dress, for which she became famous. 

Before that she was a young Belgian girl whose mother had survived the holocaust.  At boarding school she was introduced to Prince Egon of Furstenberg, thus making her a princess.  They were young and beautiful and embraced by the international jet setting/Studio 54 scene. but Diane wanted more.

"The minute I knew I was about to be Egon's wife, I decided to have a career. I wanted to be someone of my own, and not just a plain little girl who got married beyond her desserts."

Since I watched Diane's show, "House of DVF (of course, I did!), where several young women vied to be a "DVF Ambassador" by passing several fashion tasks to impress Diane, I thought it would be fun to read about her as well.  By the way, in contrast to Diane's grace and presence, these girls seemed like twits.  I'm just sayin'...

Come to find out both an autobiography and a biography came out about Diane in 2015. 

One thing you can count on for most celebrity autobiographies is that most of the time, they will not be as juicy as their biography counterparts as celebrities try to show themselves in the best possible light and hide the embarrassing stuff.  So I thought it would be fun to read both of them and compare.  Will Diane share the juicy and/or embarrassing parts of her life that might be revealed in the biography?
I found Diane's autobiography, "The Woman I Want to Be," quite candid, though less than 100 pages made up the sum of her life.  But that's probably because this is her second memoir and she covered the particulars of her life up to 2009 in her first book "Diane, A Signature Life."

She reminds us of her affair with Richard Gere and the sacrifices she made to be with the men she loved and her eventual marriage to billionaire Barry Diller, the guy who was there all along. But the bulk of this second book consists of her observations about life, her philosophy of beauty, the models she has known, losing her company, her comeback and what she has learned from all of that. She is an avowed feminist and doesn't believe in fear. She believes in living a fearless life and it appears she has done just that. 

Diane gives her mother a great deal of credit for her becoming the woman she wanted to be and her motto is "Love is life is love is life."  She has used this slogan in ad campaigns and on accessories.  However, her son, Alex, who is an executive in her company asks "What the f**k does that even mean?"  But she stands by it by saying "I believe in the circle of love.  All of the generosity and love you put out in to the world over the decades comes back to you.  I'm benefiting now from being nice my whole life."
And it must be true. On the TV show, as in her memoir, she comes off as very wise, worldly, confident, warm...and nice.

As for Diliberto's biography, one wonders why this was published the same year as Von Furstenberg's second memoir.  It is not an unauthorized biography as Diane cooperated with the author, so there really isn't any juicy stuff here that Von Furstenberg hasn't already revealed about herself except perhaps a few more details on her lovers. Diliberto also acknowledges how much Diane is liked by those she has known.  But basically it's a clone of the first and second memoirs by Diane herself and reveals nothing new. 

Von Furstenberg is now 68 and has fame, fortune, a happy marriage, grandchildren, a yacht...yet she shows no signs of slowing down.  As her son Alex says in Diliberto's book, "She wants to be as big as Chanel," which in the fashion trade means "a brand with soul," a phrase that refers "to brands that transcend their products and stand for shared values with a community of consumers."

So between the two books...it just depends if you want an account of Von Furstenberg's life by a second party or if you want an account of her life from the lady herself with her advice on how to live your life fearlessly and fully thrown in (and for more details on her life, you could add the first memoir). 

If you are interested in fashion and/or the story of a successful woman who made it in an industry where "one day you are in and one day you are out," you will enjoy reading about Von Furstenberg. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...Of the two, I choose the memoir(s).


Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for

"Make Yourself Happy"


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Why is "Feminist" Such a Dirty Word?

I had the privilege of seeing Gloria Steinem at Benaroya Hall when she came to Seattle. She was interviewed by Cheryl Strayed, who you probably remember wrote "Wild," the story of her solo trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Gloria is 81, looks fantastic and is still out there working for women.

She was a journalist and has been a leader and spokesperson for the feminist movement since the early 1960's and founded Ms. Magazine.

I also saw her on "The View" recently and was struck by the question panelist Paula Faris asked when she asked Gloria what her definition of feminism was.  Gloria replied, "I don't need to define it.  It's in the dictionary."

Good for her, because I felt that question in and of itself was a challenge to Gloria to defend feminism.  Paula, why don't YOU know what the definition of feminism is?  You are a woman!

Anyway, for Paula, here it is:

Definition of feminism:  the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities (political, economic, cultural, personal and social)."

Therefore, a "feminist" is a person who believes that.

That's it.  Nothing scary.  Nothing that should be an issue in the 21st century. 

And yet...

Many American women today would not call themselves feminists and in fact feel negatively toward that word. 

When talking about women's issues, you might hear a woman say, "I'm not one of those feminists or anything, but..." And the most concerning part of that is many of those women are the younger generation.  Is it the fact that they were born with the right to vote, born with the right to work and born with reproductive rights, so they take for granted the strides women before them made and that's why they don't identify with feminism?  Do they not realize that only 50 years ago women had to get permission from their husbands to get a credit card? 

The rights many women take for granted today have come from the hard work and dedication of the women who came before them, like Gloria Steinem and even their own grandmothers and mothers.  So young women should be thanking the older generation of women for what they are able to take for granted today and proudly join them as feminists. They should embrace the word because now it is their turn.  There is more to be done.

So why are women today not wearing the name Feminist proudly?
Pro-life vs. Pro-choice always raises its ugly head in these kinds of discussions, so of course, Paula had to press Gloria about whether or not one can be Pro-life and be a feminist and Gloria responded, "Of course."  She went on to say that each woman is her own decision maker.  No one is making someone get an abortion.  However, the other side of that is, no woman can tell another woman what to do, either.

When asked what she thought of those who considered themselves "anti-feminist," Gloria laughed and replied that it's a good thing if someone actually comes out and tells you that (so you know what you are dealing with), but in general, despite the strides that have been made, we are all born into a society that is still polarized about men being the dominant sex, women the passive, and there are still underlying prejudices about the roles of women that affect our lives.  Young women need to realize that and grab the baton and continue to move the rights of women forward.

So seeing that interview on "The View" and Gloria in person last Sunday, it got my feminist juices flowing. It got me fired up!
It reminded me of my own early days of awakening to my womanhood and the inequities that existed in the 60's and 70's and those who believed women needed to stay barefoot and pregnant -- even other women. 

Back then, I joined consciousness-raising groups and participated in political activities to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (which sadly STILL has not been ratified by all of the states).  It was called "The Women's Liberation Movement" then, and, yes, we were fighting for equal pay for equal work and political rights, but because of "the pill," it also embraced sexual liberation. Let's just say I worked to be "liberated (don't tell my mother)."  But it wasn't easy.  Most men didn't want us to be liberated.  I can't tell you how many times I would voice my views and a man would say, "You ain't one of them womens libbers, are you?" (They might not have actually said "ain't" but anyone who asked me if I was a "womens libber" sounded uneducated and unenlightened to me).

I got my mother a subscription to Ms. Magazine. I wanted to include her in my journey and liberate her too from what I perceived as her middle class notions.  I clearly remember her calling me out onto the porch where she always sat each evening to read the evening newspaper.  She said, "You don't need to renew that subscription to Ms. Magazine for me."  I asked, Why?" and she replied, "Too many bad words in it."  My own mother didn't get it, though I realize now that giving her a subscription to "Ms" was probably not the best way to get her to get it. 
And sadly, today, despite much more progress and sophisticated means of getting the message out than I had to get my mother on board, many people still don't get it.  But maybe we need a new message, an educational one - with "no bad words." We of the older generation, who were in the trenches, so to speak, need to bridge that generation gap and continue to educate the young so we don't lose those rights we worked so hard for.
Young women need to know that instead of bashing declared feminists like Steinem and the activists who came before her, or worse, not caring, they should be dropping to their knees in thanks for their courage in standing up and saying "We demand equal rights." 
Otherwise we women would not be able to vote, we would still be in marriages saddled with children, living our husbands' lives, dreaming of getting out but with no options.  We would be forever in low level jobs making coffee for the male boss and passed over for jobs by the married man with children because he was the family breadwinner and needed the money more than you did.  And when we did have a good job, we wouldn't be paid the same as the men. We also had to deal with sexual harassment, lack of educational opportunities and no reproductive rights.
The feminist movement has given women the right to vote, access to education, more equitable pay, the right to get a divorce, the right to own property, access to contraception and control over our own bodies, things many of today's younger women take for granted. 

I don't know whether Paula Faris considers herself a feminist or not.  As one of the resident conservatives on "The View" panel, and because she asked Gloria that stupid question, I would think not.  Yet, conservative, progressive, liberal, whatever, I can't believe any self-respecting woman would NOT consider herself a feminist.  Who could be against equal rights for men and women?  But it seems, just as the word "librarian" evokes a particular, mostly negative, stereotype, which you know I have ranted about in the past, likewise, the word "feminist" has a stereotype and it's not a good one.
I am not particularly surprised when I hear men make derogatory comments about "feminists" and "feminism," even today.  But I am shocked when I hear it coming from women. 

The feminist stereotype seems to scare people and includes bra burning, some lesbianism, male clothing lines, man-hating, aggressiveness, humorlessness and shouting.
I have been around many years and have heard about bra burning but never seen it, I know some lesbians who are feminists, feminists who like comfortable clothes that could look like male clothing lines and women who could be considered aggressive who are feminists.  And I know feminists who like to shout and maybe some of them hate men.  But many more feminists are mothers, wives, lovers, wear uncomfortable but fashionable shoes and clothes, are shy, quiet and beautiful and they like men. 

Feminists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, nationalities, religions, temperament, clothing styles and they come from all walks of life.  The one thing we all have in common is our desire to have equal rights and opportunities.
In other words, the stereotype doesn't hold water. 
Yes, back in the day when women were trying to make a statement about the lack of equality, some statements needed to be made, some possibly outrageous acts occurred, though I think that whole bra-burning thing was blown way out of proportion and that was almost 50 years ago anyway.  The feminist stereotype is just that - a stereotype.

So here's another definition.

What's a Stereotype?  It's "a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing."  A cliché.

So, people, let's move on.  If you are for equality of the sexes, then you are a feminist.  If you believe women should be paid what men are paid for doing the same job, then you are a feminist.  If you believe women should have the freedom to make their own choices, then you are a feminist. 

"Feminist" is not a dirty word, it's a name I wear proudly.  And so should you!

And here is what a feminist looks like:
(Yes, if they believe in equality for the sexes, men are feminists too).
Yes, Millie is a feminist because she stands up for her rights in a household filled with men.
(Who said feminists are humorless)?

So ladies, wear your feminism proudly.  We have earned it!  But we also can't rest on our laurels.  There is still much to be done.

And no, Gloria never burned her bra.

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of the new movie 
"The Intern" 
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on
My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

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