Love Lessons from Edward Scissorhands

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite holiday films. Here’s a piece I wrote for the Mixtape Madness Film Series 8 years ago (!) Still relevant.

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It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us – a brief moment of time known to most of us in western culture as the season of giving. With the current economic crisis, and a heightened awareness of conservation due to our struggling environment, many Americans are preoccupied with the challenge of gifting those we love. What is often overlooked during this consumer fueled holiday is the most precious and valuable gift of all – Love. It is this gift that is the motivating force behind Tim Burton’s unexpected and unconventional holiday classic, Edward Scissorhands. So this holiday season why not take a cue from Burton’s unique protagonist? Stay away from the stores and, instead, give someone the gift of yourself. If you’re unsure of how to do that, as most of us are, take a deep breath, smile and try the following:

1. Start with…

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PopGoesAlicia LIVE! 8/14: Talking Points

PopGoesAlicia LIVE! is back for another fun-filled evening of drinks, food and hilarious dialogue about the intersections of gender, feminism and current pop-cultural events live from The High-Hat Club.

Guests this month are comic Ashley Huck, comic Mikey Manker and host of Grown Folks Stories, Cara Brigandi. Ashley and Mikey will warm us up with short sets and I’ll chat for a bit with Cara about Chicago culture and curating her long running storytelling show before all 3 launch into a fast-paced panel. Come out and join the conversation!

Here’s a preview of some of the topics we’ll be popping off at the mouth about. Click the link to read the original article.

The Vocal Fry Debate. How do we feel about well-known feminist, Naomi Wolf, criticizing girls for the way they talk? NOT COOL. But these critical responses sure are. The Frisky’s Caitlin White argues it’s not Vocal Fry but basic misogyny that is holding women back while, the always on point, Amanda Marcotte, for The Daily Dot, argues that policing the way women speak is just code for telling them to shutup. Where do you stand?

Why It’s Not Cool to Criticize a Female Musician For Not Being ‘Ladylike’” – Great article by friend of the show & Chicago Huffington Post Editor, Joe Erbentraut. The title says it all.

RONDA ROUSEY: Feminist role model or not? The Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi has some thoughts…What are yours?

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In Praise of the BFF’s on OITNB

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It’s a goal of mine this year to publish more positive & lighthearted pieces in addition to thinkpieces and feminist critiques. This one felt good to write and I’m looking forward to publishing more on The Frisky.

From the jovial opening scene of Pennsatucky driving with Bell and Maxwell, the two female guards, to the final rush of freedom among the entire group, season three covers a lot of emotional territory, most of it compelled by the unique friendships the women have forged with one another. There is a fragility and vulnerability that informs the way the characters interact with one another and it’s the tenderness, and not the ways the reproduce traditional masculine power dynamic, that make their connections all the more powerful.

Read the full article here.

The Blessing And The Curse Of Famous Male Feminists

Originally published by RoleReboot

In a culture where a woman’s worth has been constructed through the male gaze of desire, where female credibility is constantly questioned, where self-defense gets you incarcerated or worse, it’s really no surprise that women may only come to feminism on a road paved by men.

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The Internet erupted this week when a two-month-old Tumblr post by Mark Ruffalo went viral in which the Avengers star re-posted a passionate statement by blogger Libby Ann Bruce. The original post was written last year as a response to the “Not A Feminist” Internet movement, calling out the ignorance of its participants, primarily women.

When you grin with your cutesy sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”

It’s a provocative statement that has earned Ruffalo both credit and critique for being an outspoken feminist, though little has been said about the actual author. As someone who has spent her life as an outspoken feminist, this post and the responses to it have me feeling a little incensed. For one thing, Ruffalo did not write this post but, for better or worse, multiple outlets are reporting as if he had. Cosmopolitan UK cited his response as “incredible,” Huffington Post Women dedicated an entire article to identifying the actor’s most feminist moments while those in the “Not a Feminist” camp have condemned Ruffalo for mansplaining feminism and shaming their choices, an inherently anti-feminist move.

Why do we care what Mark Ruffalo has to say about feminism? Because he has the power to instigate change. This is what makes this moment so frustrating and yet so powerful.

Read the full article here.

Why ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Is A Feminist Film

Originally published by Role Reboot

Mad Max: Fury Road is not a feminist film simply because it has a female protagonist or because it passes the Bechdel test. It is a feminist film because it was consciously constructed to expose grave injustices in Hollywood and the broader culture by making non-traditional choices that resulted in feminist acts.

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Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is a giant fuck you to Hollywood from the soldiers on the front lines. There is no denying that Hollywood is a dark and twisted place where women struggle to exist within a web of gender norms and cultural myths: the myth of youth, the myth of beauty, and the myth of power. In Hollywood and throughout the world, the battle to both destroy and maintain those myths is enacted on women’s bodies. Fury Road takes down all of these myths starting with the misnomer that stories about women aren’t interesting or worthwhile.

Read the full article here