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."

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 6, 2015

"Meadowland" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "Meadowland" and DVDs "To Take a Wife"  and "Tim's Vermeer." The Book of the Week is "Fat Girl Walking (If you have body image issues, you need to read this book!).I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project" with the classic "In the Realm of the Senses"]


A couple's marriage unravels after experiencing an unimaginable loss.

More and more, movies are being distributed in unique ways, ways that accommodate those who don't want to get up and go out to the movies.  A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed "Beasts of No Nation," a Netflix film that opened in theatres and was available to stream on Netflix simultaneously.

That's a similar case with "Meadowland," which opened in limited theatres last week and was available On Demand on the same day.

Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson star as parents Sarah and Phil.  She is a teacher and he is a cop, and the movie begins as they take a road trip with their young son, Jesse.  They stop at a gas station and Jesse goes to use the restroom.  After he is in there for a long time, they become worried and ask the attendant to unlock the door and they discover that there was another entrance to the restroom and their son is missing.  After a frantic search around the area, they must face the inevitable.  Jesse is gone.

Fade to black and fast forward a year since the disappearance, and we learn what Sarah's and Phil's lives have been like since Jesse's disappearance.  Sarah is on lithium and drinking and walks the streets at night looking for Jesse.  She wakes up in the middle of the night with ideas where Jesse might be and checks under the seat of the car to find remnants of him.  She is consumed by loss. Her husband is just shut down and handles his grief by looking at pictures of his son on the computer and attending a support group. But never once do they share their mutual grief.  There is a scene where Sarah is sleeping and Phil, watching her, reaches out to touch her, something he can't seem to do either physically or spiritually, when she is awake.

(I couldn't help but note: finally a movie set in New York where middle class people live in the only kind of apartment middle class people can afford - a crappy one). 

By day Sarah is a teacher. There is an unsettling scene when, Adam (Ty Simpkins), another young boy, is introduced.  He is being harangued by the school librarian who is, what else?  A shrew. (Does the negative librarian stereotype never end?  Why couldn't the person haranguing the kid be the janitor or the gym teacher)?

Anyway, Sarah takes an interest in the boy when she looks up his records and discovers he is a foster child with Asberger's with an uncaring foster Mom.  She sees the mother bringing him his lunch and follows her to a gas station, where it looks like she is meeting men in the gas station bathroom for sex.  A very strange role for Elizabeth Moss.  Sarah, herself, starts indulging in unhealthy behavior.  When she discovers one of her students is cutting herself, she tries it too.  She also listens to death metal and does drugs with her brother-in-law. She is trying to do whatever she can to dull her mental anguish.

Sarah also follows Adam's foster father to a bar and they talk about Adam.  And then they have sex.  And then the film lost me a bit.  But who am I to judge what someone might do when mourning the loss of a child?

The couple go about their lives while the investigation into Jesse's disappearance continues and the issue of child porn raises its ugly head.  Sara won't even entertain that thought.  Instead, she has decided that Jesse was kidnapped by another family and is being cared for by them. Each tries to connect but each time it's the wrong time for the other.  He chooses counseling; she unravels.  And then the cops find Jesse's shirt.

There is a reason why the loss of a child breaks up marriages more than it brings married couples closer.  Because humans tend to work things out alone in their own way and when something tragic occurs, it drives a wedge between partners.  And then blame sets in.

Luke is a cop and goes on a noise call where he encounters Juno Temple, a major actress in a tiny, seemingly irrelevant role, and at the support group Luke meets Pete played by John Leguizamo.  Luke talks about "Meadowland," his childhood growing up world and share that he keeps seeing Jesse there.  He has created a happy place to think of his son in, just as Sarah chooses to think he is being cared for by a family. 

In addition to Wilson and Wilde, there is an all-star cast, all in very small roles:  in addition to Elizabeth Moss, John Leguizamo and Juno Temple, we also have Giovanni Ribisi, Phil's drug-addicted pseudo-intellectual brother.

Which brings me to a bit of a rant.

There is a trend these days to see small films populated with big name stars playing bit or small supporting parts.  One wonders the reason. Why would actors who have starred or had large roles in films choose to be in a movie where their screen time is only a few minutes? Is it to work with that particular director or star?  A favor for a friend making the film?  Not very many acting jobs these days?  Not sure, but I find it distracting sometimes.  I mean Elizabeth Moss as a slutty, prostitute mother having random sex in dirty gas station restrooms?  Juno Temple in a part that actually has no relevance to the film and she says about five lines?  The same thing happened in "The Martian" and "Everest" with many A-list actors in small roles, such as Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal respectively.  But then as I think back, Judy Dench won a Best Supporting Academy Award for about five minutes in "Shakespeare in Love," so go figure.  But I still find it distracting.

Luke Wilson is excellent here, as is Olivia.  Funny how Luke's brother Owen has become such a big star, but superstardom has eluded Luke.  Owen mostly went the comedy route (he bombed in his recent attempt at drama in "No Escape" so probably a good thing) whereas Luke has gone the dramatic route in small indie films and is actually the more sensitive (and should I add, handsome?) of the two.  Olivia was excellent here too and joins Charlize and Halle as a beautiful actress who shunned makeup so we would take her acting more seriously.  No need, Olivia. You are a wonderful actress with or without makeup. Your performance here is subtle and heartbreaking.  It's only a matter of time before you break out as a major star.

Directed by cinematographer Reed Morano in her directorial debut with a script by Chris Rossi, this is Olivia Wilde's baby as she is one of the producers. Morano and Rossi avoid the platitudes and clichés of the grief such a tragic event would evoke and likewise the actors do too.  Morano also does the cinematography and some scenes have light and colors that resemble Maxfield Parrish paintings, moments of beauty and respite from the pain and grief.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a small, moving and unsparing film about loss that needs to be seen.

Some Movies You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

***Now Out on DVD***

To Take a Wife  (2004)
A woman living in Haifa in 1979 tries to free herself from the confines of her marriage.

I absolutely adored the film "Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem," and when I found out it was part of a trilogy by the amazing writers and filmmakers Ronit Elkabetz and her brother Shlomi, I had to see the others.  Unfortunatly I was not able to find the second in the trilogy, but this is the first one (and note:  It is not necessary to see both to enjoy either of them).

The character is the same as in "Gett."  Viviane, played by Ronit, is trying to raise three children, work from home and keep the strict Jewish Moroccan traditions her husband insists on.  But she really wants out.

The film begins with Viviane being harangued and upbraided by her brothers to stay in the marriage.  "If only you knew how other people live, you’d kneel down every day and kiss his hands and feet." They tell her this because her husband does not beat her or cheat.  But Viviane no longer loves her husband and wants to leave.  Unfortunately, for devout Jewish households in Israel, falling out of love is not grounds for a divorce and to leave her husband without a sanctioned divorce would be tantamount to living as a wanton woman.

"You must learn how to give up," they tell her. She is eventually beaten down and she and her husband, Eliahou (Simon Abkarian), go back to an uneasy relationship where he is critical of her and there is simmering hostility between them.  It also doesn't help that they live with his mother.

There is a scene that beautifully illustrates their marriage:  They are sleeping.  Music comes on the radio.  He gets up and turns it off.  She stays in bed and turns it back on.  He turns it off again.  When he comes back into the bedroom to say goodbye, the music is back on.  Once again he turns it off.

In flashbacks we see that Viviane has an admirer, Albert, someone who appreciates her and who she was going to run off with.  But he flaked on her though he is still hovering in the wings, a symbol of her desire to escape her current life.  Albert and Viviane had a 12-year affair and in the flashbacks of their meetings, she is shown radiant and beautiful and smiling. In her life with Eliahou, she is sad, plain and frowning.  “Just go and look at yourself in the mirror. You used to be beautiful, now you are in the dumps.” 

And it's no wonder. Eliahou is a stick in the mud, entitled and spoiled.  He looks like Gene Simmons and is just as annoying. He is unrelenting about his beliefs, kosher to a "T."  He is unwavering in his sense of right and wrong, even if it means fighting with his wife and disappointing his children. Even though Viviane is unhappy, she tries to please him but he is continually critical, and likewise, his sad attempts to make contact with her are rejected. They both complain to their kids about each other and neither one of them is very understanding or considerate.  He feels disrespected and she feels overworked. This is a very unhappy household.  The marriage is over and Viviane is just biding her time until the kids leave.  But until then for Viviane, it's a slow death. She only has some small rebellions to enjoy: her bright red nails, smoking and a car that she is eventually able to get. 

The treatment of women here is evident.  Even her own son is disrespectful and acts like a little prince whereas the daughter is seen dutifully getting up and quietly getting herself ready for school.

The final film in this trilogy - "Gett" - follows Viviane as she tries to divorce Eliahou in a country that does not recognize civil marriage and divorce.  A woman cannot divorce her husband unless he has cheated or beaten her, neither of which Eliahou has done.  However, the mental abuse is more than Viviane can bear.  She eventually has a sort of breakdown.  Eliahou doesn't have a clue what to do.  He is such a self righteous, unyielding, unfeeling jerk that he makes me crazy and I'm just watching him in a movie. Imagine being married to him!  But I guess that's called great acting! 

Ronit's face is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in an actress.  It's beauty is in its expressiveness.  It tells so much.  She is just gorgeous and mesmerizing to watch. The movies that her brother and she have written and directed are wonderful and should be seen.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Don't miss this one or its followup "Gett."  Both are mesmerizing films and Ronit is an extraordinary actress. 
(In French and Hebrew with English subtitles)

Tim's Vermeer (2013)

Inventor Tim Jenison can't believe that Vermeer painted the way he did without some "help."

Tim Jenison is a rich inventor who made a bunch of money in computer graphics. He is also an engineer and art enthusiast who became obsessed with how the artist Johannes Vermeer was able to paint the images he did so photo realistically and create that light that so characterizes his paintings 150 years before the invention of photography.  Did he use a camera obscura to trace his images?

There is no documentation of Vermeer's artistic schooling so Jenison made it his mission to contact experts and travel around the world to discover if his idea was right. He believed that Vermeer painted the way a camera sees and he couldn't have done it without optics.

Artist David Hockney had the same inkling and wrote about it, so Jenison traveled to the UK to meet with Hockney and thus begins this art detective story.  How was Vermeer able to paint such photo realistic paintings in the 17th century?

Jenison believed that Vermeer created his paintings by mechanical means.

Tim was not a painter and had no real artistic talent, but he believed that HE could paint a Vermeer by using the technique he believed Vermeer used - a box camera obscura but with the addition of a mirror.

He chose Vermeer's "The Music Lesson" and constructed a room to look exactly as depicted in the painting.  He also recreated Vermeer's working conditions and only used paints that Vermeer would have used, which meant he ground his own paints.  He also traveled to Delft and immersed himself in Vermeer's world.  He learned Dutch and he set about to recreate the painting while telling his progress in his "Vermeer Project Blog."
This is the kind of thing you can do when you have loads of money

The documentary follows him through seven months of painstakingly recreating Vermeer's painting as Vermeer himself might have done it.

Written by magicians Penn and Teller, narrated by Penn and directed by Teller (hey, how could he do that?  He doesn't speak!), it's a natural fit as Penn and Teller are friends with Jenison and their illusions are about as inventive, artistic and intellectual as they get. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...whether you believe Tim actually painted a Vermeer or not, this is still a fascinating detective story for artists and scientists alike and a testament to what can happen when you have too much money and too much time.


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

273 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film? 

A story of obsessive passion - with lots and lots and lots of sex.

It's 1936 and a young prostitute, Sada (Elko Matsuda) begins an affair with Kichi (Tatsuya Fuji), the husband of the brothel madam.  They constantly have sex and play kinky sex games, often with others watching.  Eventually Sada becomes jealous of Kichi's wife and their asphyxiation games take a tragic turn.

This film was considered one of the most controversial films of all time and is still censored in its own country.  And after seeing this film (if you dare), you will understand why.  There is a fine line between erotica and pornography and this film pushes the boundaries.  Let's just say it shows EVERYTHING AND CLOSE-UP!  Lots of genitals and body parts, old guys masturbating, nudity, sex games and none of it appears to be simulated.

The 1970's was not just a time of political revolution but also a sexual revolution.  There were many more controversial films then, where sex and nudity abounded, but this one puts all others to shame.  I don't consider myself a prude by any means, but I found myself saying "Yikes" and "What the hell?"out loud many times, shaking my head and laughing because the sex scenes were so graphic and kinky. I wasn't sure what made this film any different from popular porn films like "The Devil and Miss Jones" and "Behind the Green Door," films that I actually liked.

So what is pornography?  I guess it's whatever your visual sexual limits are.  Once those limits are crossed, it's pornography.  Some would say "Playboy" was porn, some would say any film with nudity was pornography, some would say depicting the sex act would be crossing the line.  Is this NOT porn because it's a "foreign film" with a plot, beautiful cinematography and some redeeming social commentary?  It doesn't really matter.  At my age, watching people have sex is not my thing but you will have to decide -- if you dare.

"[Nagisa] Oshima's film achieves an extraordinary level of erotic intimacy for the physical frankness...But Oshima also manages to convince us that this story of crazy love...is a true manifestation of passion, taken to the ultimate extreme.  The elegance of the director's mise en scene is a cool counterpoint to the sexual frenzy of the lovers."
---"1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die"

This film was beautifully photographed despite most of the scenes being pictures of body parts doing things to other body parts, the characters were attractive and the story was strangely compelling.  I am glad I saw it, but I might still be in shock.  But this film reminded me of my youth - not the sex part, but the 70's part, when there was an openness and rebelliousness that spawned movies like this. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...In the realm of the senses?  I thought I was in the realm of The Mitchell Brothers, but with better production values.  Not for the sexually shy.
(In Japanese with English subtitles)



***Book of the Week***

Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of it by Brittany Gibbons (2015)

Brittany Gibbons, a blogger and body image advocate, shares her memories of growing up fat and how she learned to love her body (and she didn't lose weight to do that). 
Gibbons is here to set the record straight:  fat girls have sex, they find love and get married, they are not losers and they can have a sense of humor about it all.
But she didn't always think that way.
Growing up in a chaotic household with a brain-damaged hippie Dad and a mother who didn't seem to care that much about her looks, Gibbons didn't realize she was different from anyone else until she was weighed in third grade and realized she was heavier than everyone else.
From there she endured the usual fat girl jokes, disapproving looks from the popular girls, tried to be bulimic, and had sex with boys who wouldn't be seen in public with her.  She also found a niche as an actress, had a breakdown in college, married her high school sweetheart, Andy, had kids, went bankrupt and started a blog. 
And much of that might seem like a sad story, but this book is hilarious.
Gibbons started a blog in 2007 as a way to make some extra money when Andy's and her finances went into the toilet.  She fancied herself a writer anyway.  Her first blogs were about food but as she says in her book,
"There were a few problems with this plan.  The first was that the only restaurants close to my house were a McDonald's, a drive-through Subway and a seafood restaurant, and it's really hard to critique shellfish in a landlocked state.  Second, none of my recipes were healthy and 2007 was the beginning of the world domination for the vegan-gluten-palio folk.  And third, it was just a really sucky blog."
So you get the idea.  Gibbons is very self-deprecating and very, very funny.
When that blog idea went south, she decided to add some humor and started to talk about babies and marriage and suddenly she had a readership.  She touched a chord talking about how hard marriage and motherhood could be, a nice counterpoint to all of those other women online who were living flawless lives with great clothes, clean houses and beautiful children. 
"I was crude and sloppy, entwining four-letter words with detailed exploits of my sex life and my periods.  By the end of 2009 I had a monthly readership of over 100,000..."
Geez, lucky you, Brittany.  Maybe I had better up the game on my blog about my sexual exploits.  And then, again, maybe not.
But after being "outed" on the Internet as a fat girl she realized she was tired of being ashamed of being fat and launched a new website called BrittanyHerself.com where she decided:  "I was going to own my body and the words about it from that point forward."
And then she took off her clothes and posted a picture of her size 18 self in a bikini and became a media darling, eventually standing in Times Square outside of "Good Morning America" in a swimsuit, stripping down during her TEDX Talk and becoming an advocate for curvy women.

"Feeling good in your skin is 80 percent mental.  All right, I don't have the actual math on that, but 80 percent feels accurate, the other 20 percent being kick-ass shapewear and wine.  The point is, you provide the narrative for how others perceive you.  People treat me like a sexy and confident curvy woman because I act like a sexy and confident curvy woman; my behavior doesn't given them any other options."
Rosy the Reviewer says...Every woman, no matter what her size, who has had body image issues, will enjoy this book and feel like a sexy, confident woman afterwards - laughing all the way.

Thanks for Reading!


That's it for this week.


See you Tuesday for

"Why is Feminist Such a Dirty Word?"


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.

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.


Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 



Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bossy People

That's me.  Probably around five.

I am one of those bossy people. 

You can see that it started early.  We are having some kind of a tea party here, and you can see that I am clearly in charge.  I am already bossing my possible future husbands around.  I am probably saying something like, "If you don't put the tea in first, you need to go home."  (TIF and MIF - Tea in first or milk in first?  It's a touchy subject with some British folks.  I was already an Anglophile at five).

In general people don't like being called bossy and most don't think they are.  But there is bossy and then there is bossy.  You might be bossy and not even know it.

There are different kinds of bossy people.

The Passive Aggressive Bossy Person
"Well, if you aren't going to do the dishes, I guess I will have to go do them."

The Non-Confrontational Bossy Person
"I left you a list of things I need you to get done.  It's on your desk. Now I'm leaving."

The Sweet Bossy Person
"Honeeee....when you are finished with raking the leaves, the car needs to get washed and then the laundry folded. Thanks, Honeeee...."

The Sexy Bossy Person
"After you rake the leaves, wash the car, fold the laundry and walk the dog, guess what you get to do after that?" - wink, wink

The Military Bossy Person
"May I have your attention, please!  Your assignment for today is to rake the leaves, wash the dogs and do the grocery shopping, right?"

The Bored Bossy Person
"[Sigh...sigh]. I guess I will go wash the dishes...[sigh]...unless I can find someone who would get off his butt and do them so I can go do something fun.

The Shaming Bossy Person
"SOME people have things that need to get done - like washing the dishes and the dogs and the cars - instead of watching TV!

The Victim Bossy Person
(sniff) The garbage needs to go out, the cars and dogs and dishes all need washing and it's just too much.  I just can't deal with it and IT HAS TO BE DONE! (sniff)

The Know-It-All Bossy Person
You didn't know that?  Well, grab your dunce cap because I am going to give you a 20-minute tutorial!

See yourself there at all?

Being called bossy is usually not a compliment, and I notice it's usually assigned to women, not men.  A woman is called bossy when she makes a request that is interpreted as an order, but when a man does the same thing, he is considered authoritative.

Well, I am here to say that being bossy can be a good thing. 

First, if you are called bossy, you are probably the boss.  You worked hard and earned that title, even if it's in your own house.  Don't you want your boss to do her job?  Well, her job is to boss.

  • Bossy people have ideas and are not afraid to express them.
  • Bossy people create strategies to get things done.
  • Bossy people speak up and are more likely to get what they want.
  • Bossy people are strong and take the lead.

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer and "Lean In" author Sheryl Sandberg, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Beyoncé and Jennifer Garner, agree that when women and girls take the lead they are often called bossy, something they feel discourages women and girls from doing just that - leading.  So they have gotten together to start an initiative called "Ban Bossy," to help end the negative connotation of the word "bossy," which is so often what girls are called when they take charge and which discourages girls from pursuing leadership roles.

Sandberg shared in an op-ed piece for "The Wall Street Journal" that when she was young, one of her teachers told her best friend that "nobody likes a bossy girl" and that she should find a new friend who was a better influence on her.  That teacher was talking about Sandberg.  Sandberg went on to say in the piece that men are called leaders and women are called bossy.

Though I wholeheartedly agree that we need to teach our daughters to fearlessly speak up, to take charge and to lead, I don't know if I would go so far as to ban the word bossy. I just think we need to educate women and men, change how we think about it and not use it as a shaming word. 

Yes, the really negative connotation of bossy is telling people what to do without input, not caring about people's feelings and dictating.  But that's not bossy.  That's just mean and lacking in self awareness.  And if you ask me (and even if you don't ask me, I am going to say it anyway because I am bossy), men are more likely to be that kind of bossy than women.  So why do women get called bossy for taking charge just like men do?

When confronted with that mean kind of bossy person, I will put on my own "good" "bossypants" and deal with the situation instead of other strategies that non-bossy people use, such as passive aggression, eye-rolling and behind the back activities which gets them nowhere.

Because I have been a take-charge sort of woman, an idea person, a leader and a boss (and not the mean version), I have been called bossy.  But I don't mind.  No need to ban the word.

I think I will go along with Tina Fey, who said in her autobiography "Bossypants," -

"You're nobody until someone calls you bossy."

So when someone calls me bossy, I will take it as a compliment.

Thanks for Reading!

And I Better See you on Friday
(just kidding...a little bossy joke,
but I hope you will be there) 

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