The Force Awakens… with Diversity?!

By Theia. 

I don’t consider myself a Star Wars fan, especially since there are some crazy fans out there. But the trailer IS SO GOOD! It’s so good, even the people who acted in the film freaked out about it. The music is great, the shots are great, the costumes and design are great etc, but why is my feminist side SO PUMPED ABOUT THE STAR WARS EPISODE VII?

ONE MAIN CHARACTER IS A WOMAN, THE OTHER IS A BLACK MAN.

Adjusted to inflation, the Star Wars is the third highest grossing film of all time. Could the highest grossing film of this year, and possibly EVER have a woman and black male main characters?

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How to Get a Rise out of a Young Feminist at a Fundamentalist Religious Convention

Written by guest blogger Amara

The past week has been an interesting one for me.

I’ve been at the SDA General Conference in San Antonio, after my parents generously decided to block out a whole 10 days from my already fleeting, quickly moving summer. But I guess I’ll forgive them for that eventually.

If you aren’t familiar, the Seventh Day Adventist church is based on these three boiled down notions:

  • Church happens on Saturday, not Sunday — from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
  • Life is to be lived naturally + as straightedge as possible — many are vegetarian, no drinks or drugs.
  • Jesus is coming back to save those who have earned (enter sideeye here) it. And soon so like, get your shit together.

It seems simple because for the most part, it is. The Adventist life is a surefire way to live simply. This whole week is evidence of that, as I’ve been surrounded by people young and old, hetero families of all sizes with smiles on their faces. Adventists aren’t a flashy people, in fact most Adventists I have met are unassuming and well-intentioned.  Adventists are content.

And that’s where trouble starts for me.

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On Growing Up: ‘childhood’ is a better word than ‘girlhood’

By Grace O’Malley. 

pink-baby-shoes-blue-baby-shoes

In a conversation with my uncle last week, I mentioned off-handedly that I had heard about “gender-neutral” preschools in Sweden. At these preschools, the staff avoid using the pronouns “he” and “she” and instead use “friend” to address and refer to all preschoolers. With the goal of freeing children from societal expectations based on gender, they try to avoid books and toys that present or reinforce traditional gender roles. It was pretty cool, huh? I said. My uncle scoffed at the idea, and at me.

“That seems so unnecessary. Unless you have some sort of gender identity disorder, I just don’t see the point of that,” he remarked.

His comment shocked me on many levels. First of all, his understanding was that there were only a few, and a very rare few, strange cases of individuals who do not fit the categories of Male and Female. Now I’m wasn’t qualified to argue biology with him, but he missed the part about the social expectations and traditional roles that are attached to the Male/Female binary and taught to children at a very young age. I was also shocked because he overlooked the fact that I had grown up hardly knowing I was a girl.

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Offense vs. Defense

By Theia. 

soccer-goalie-clipart-soccer

This theory is a lot like watching Dr. Phil or Comso’s sex tips: a guilty pleasure. It’s trying to tell you how this socially constructed world works even though there’s no rhyme or reason to how ANYTHING works, but that doesn’t make it any less fun for humanity to rationalize, categorize, and quantify the constant phenomena around us. So with that disclaimer, enjoy the unfounded theory of how guys and gals function. Also remember my positionality is a straight white upper-middleclass girl trying to figure out how straight, mostly white, mostly upper-middle class men work.

The Offense and Defense Theory

Men are on the offense and women are on the defense. Traditionally speaking, men are more likely or more pressured to make the first move. They’re the one that’s supposed to ask the girl to prom, they’re the ones that should be buying the girl a drink, they’re the ones expected to go down on one knee. Traditionally speaking, women are on the defense, they’re the ones that get to say yes or no to the prom, drink, and proposal. For the metaphor, think of the man as the offensive player shooting into the goal, and the girl is guarding the goal. The men, especially the beginners in the sport of Flirt, miss the goal, or it gets deflected. In other words men get rejected. A lot. They put themselves out there with the risk of being completely denied. So when they get rejected, why would they do it again? If they treat like a game, it means it’s ok to lose, it’s ok to fail, it’s not personal it’s just part of the game of Flirt. It’s not who falls down but who gets back up.

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Gender Equal Road Trip?

By Theia. 

RoadTrip

I was just recently on a road trip, and Eric’s car was a manual. “I can drive stick! Please let me drive your car.” Out of the five people in the station wagon, only Eric, Chris, and I knew how to drive manual. Chris got to drive Eric’s car and I didn’t. Instead I got to sit in the worst spot possible. Yes, that middle seat that is shaped like a camel’s hump with no leg room. But I sit there because I have the shortest legs, so since my legs are 10% shorter than the tallest person’s legs, it’s 10% less painful for me to sit bitch for eight hours.

Once again, a woman’s body was valued over her skill.

Only once have I been on a road trip with just women. We rotated drivers every four hours, and we rotated seats so no one had to sit in the seat-that-should-not-be-a-seat the entire ride. This already makes this the best road trip I have ever been on, and that does not even add to the fact that we talked about hook-ups, first kisses, and so much more entertaining topics than what was on ESPN two weeks ago. Plus, the music was superb. This made me realize that in my experience women are more willing to share the spot of driving than men are. They are also more empathetic and offer to sit bitch (Eric and Chris never sat in the middle back seat, even though all the women did). Women not only trust other women to drive their car, but they trust other men as well (even though adolescent males have the highest car insurance rates). To me, that’s equality.

How the Catholic Church Lost, and Continues to Lose

“A Smaller and More Ardent Church”

That the Catholic Church continues to shrink should come as a surprise to no one.  But I can’t help but think, didn’t they see this coming?

In 1971, Catholic theologian and self-proclaimed “radical lesbian feminist” Mary Daly stated, somewhat prophetically, that,

“The women’s movement will present a growing threat to patriarchal religion less by attacking than by simply leaving it behind.”

Although she was fired from her teaching position at Boston College due to her politics and her refusal to let men into her classes, and although she is still considered by many Catholic academics to be a radical, forty-four years later it kind of seems like she hit the nail on the head. As society has changed for women, and changed in general, the Catholic Church has not budged. Instead of staying in it and fighting for change, many have simply left it behind. The Catholic Church has lost the position it once had in the lives of Americans.

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Maybe this is What Men Feel Like When They Watch the NFL

USA Fans in Chicago

The day before Super Bowl Sunday, I asked my brother, in my mind an expert and authority on most sports, to give me a thirty second run down on the game. Which teams were playing, who were their best players, interesting stories about players, etc.

When he started explaining to me, it became very apparent very quickly that not only did I know nothing, but I couldn’t care less about professional football. My brother looked at me quizzically, and said, “You know, it surprises me, that you don’t get into sports more. You are so competitive and you love sports. But you never watch professional sports.”

I lulled that one over for a moment, just as perplexed as he was.

“Hmm, I guess you’re right,” I told him.

I’d spend my whole life running around and playing all kinds of sports, and I loved going to any sporting event at my high school or college was playing in. But why didn’t I care about the ones on TV?

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Girl Genius: Where is She?

I was pumped when Big Hero 6 came out because the main character was like me: half-white and half-Asian. The movie is about a 14 year old genius who teams up with friends to create a super hero force to combat the mysterious villain in San Frantokyo. Like any good Disney animation film, the movie is filled with laugher, tears, suspense, and lessons about family. “The only thing that would make this my favorite movie ever,” I thought, “was if the protagonist was a half Asian girl” This thought made me realize that beyond the lack of half-Asian protagonists in mainstream Hollywood movies, there is a major lack in the girl genius archetype.

BigHero6

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Confessions of a Women’s Soccer Fan: Four Years Ago I Wasn’t Crazy About Abby Wambach

Brazil+v+USA+FIFA+Women+World+Cup+2011+Quarter+2jy0ZaugzZWl

Abby Wambach celebrates after a goal

Even as I sat on the edge of my chair, screaming as she nailed an insane, bullet-like header into the back of the net to tie the game up in the quarter finals against Brazil in 2011, even as I jumped up to cheer when she did it again in the final against Japan, even as I watched her break Mia Hamm’s scoring record, then discussed her incredible athleticism, marveled at her speed, her precision, and strength, even as I nicknamed my talented teammates after her, I didn’t love Abby Wambach.

But why?

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