Archive for June, 2009

June 30, 2009

New Poetry from Krista Mitchell

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Check out the latest poem in LIES from Krista Mitchell.

 

GEORGIA RAIN

 

Like a nurse, nurturing God’s orchids,
Nourishing my sorrow and pain,
Supporting my addiction to sadness,
This Georgia Rain.

Read on for more.

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June 29, 2009

Supporting Women

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I discovered this little quote on another blog recently:

 

    “until a woman has given herself permission to be fabulous, she will not find herself with partners who promote her ability to be so.” ~marianne williams

 

I remember reading an article once that profiled a woman writer. Unfortunately, I don’t recall anything about the article except one thing the writer said. She commented on how she often receives negative feedback from others who just can’t believe she would be selfish enough to write all day while her husband tends to the house, picks up the kids from school, and cooks dinner. Her response? No one says anything when a woman supports her male partner’s writing in this way, because it’s expected. She ended by emphasizing, especially for women, the unexpected.

 

I think that’s what Marianne Williams was hinting at when she stated the above. Women aren’t expected to give ourselves permission to do or be anything and we bury ourselves in duties to others before putting ourselves–our dreams, passions, and desires–first. We fall into relationships with others who take advantage of our selflessness, who don’t see us for who we really are and who we long to be, so they take and take and take until we’re gone.

 

Without being too touchy-feely about it, I think today is a good day to do what you want to. Give yourself permission. You more than deserve it.

June 28, 2009

Playing Mommy

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“I’m not the only 36-year-old woman who doesn’t have children,” Cameron Diaz says in USA Today. “In all aspects of my life, most of my friends don’t have kids. It’s not uncommon.” Sorry Cameron, you do have kids now, or did you forget that you’re playing a mother in your two new films?

 

Cameron Diaz, with Sofia Vassilieva, plays a mother for the first time on screen.

Cameron Diaz, with Sofia Vassilieva, plays a mother for the first time on screen.

By now, you’ve definitely heard about Cameron Diaz’s latest film, “My Sister’s Keeper,” which opened this weekend to mediocre reviews. You’ve also probably heard that the 36-year-old Diaz is — wait for it — playing a mom.

 

Yes, the same Diaz who gelled her hair with Ben Stiller’s spunk in “There’s Something About Mary”, or who played a kick-ass blonde heroine in “Charlie’s Angels” and voiced Princess Fiona in the “Shrek” franchise. The skinny, blonde, party-girl Diaz who has dated the likes of Jared Leto, Matt Dillon, and Justin Timberlake. And now she’s a movie mommy.

 

Because of course, in Hollywood, being 36 is almost like being dead. One of “Hollywood’s most delectable pop tarts” has aged out of the realm of youthful beauty (despite the fact that she’s still young) and therefore out of

Im not 25 anymore, Diaz told USA Today. Sure, but does that mean shes no longer sexy?

"I'm not 25 anymore," Diaz told USA Today. Sure, but does that mean she's no longer sexy?

the realm of delectability for directors casting sexier, more sensuous roles. Audiences have moved on from Diaz as the pop starlet of her earlier days (much like Farrah Fawcett’s biggest moments were her days tossing her hair suggestively) and onto the new brightest young barely legal things. After you’re no longer hot but still want to be employed as an actress, what’s left? According to USA Today, Diaz wasn’t even looking specifically for maternal roles but, big surprise, she was handed one now that she’s over-the-hill in Hollywoodland. Not incidentally, she’ll play a mother in another film, “The Box,” set for release this October.

 

In Hollywood, much like the rest of white American culture, mothers aren’t sexy unless they’re divorced or humiliating themselves sexually. Bonus points for the director of a film whose female lead is a woman-of-a-certain age who humiliates herself with a much younger man because her marriage is on the rocks.

 

Culturally, motherhood robs a woman of her sexuality and throws her into the caregiver role. Woman of childbearing age see their sex appeal wither as the expectations of bearing children become the prime cultural concern. Diaz has stated that interviewers often ask her when she’ll settle down and start raising a family, as if her place as a Hollywood star has served as a mere placeholder for the real work of her life. Women are seen as either sexy or motherly. That’s it. Woe to she who fails to conform to this binary, even though women do it all the time.

 

For Diaz, the shift from comedic roles to one of motherhood is underscored further by her Hollywood identity as a blonde bombshell, a category whose shelf-life is notoriously short. She’s had moments in dramatic films, such as “Vanilla Sky” and “Being John Malkovich” but, overall, she’s not known for her “serious” roles. Critics applaud her efforts in “My Sister’s Keeper” because she’s “careworn” and “not wearing any make-up.” By the time she’s forty, Diaz will be playing a grandmother on her death bed, comforted by the cutest blonde twenty-year old that is probably a lot like Diaz’s former self.

 

Check out the movie trailer for “My Sister’s Keeper” below.

 

June 25, 2009

Going for the big interview?

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Before you go in for that big interview, Krista Mitchell has some tips for you.

 

ACING A JOB INTERVIEW
by Krista Mitchell

Preparing for a job interview can make or break you as a candidate. In addition to impressing your interviewers, you will feel more at ease when you actually begin the interview. How do you prepare? There are several key aspects to preparing…. Read more.

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June 25, 2009

Female Force – kind of…

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Bluewater Productions, a graphic novel and comic book production company, announced the addition of two new titles to their “Female Force” series: Barbara Walters (due in October) and Caroline Kennedy (out this week). Female Force is a line of biographical comic books “featuring some of the most influential women of our time” and includes issues about Hilary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Obama.

 

I haven’t read anything in the Female Force series so I can’t comment on the actual quality of the illustrations or writing, though I have a sinking feeling they’re probably a lot like those biographical illustrated books about dead presidents I was forced to write book reports about in 3rd grade. The type where adults tried–and actually believed–they could win the hearts and minds of children with a few snappy drawings and we wouldn’t think we were learning.

 

The graphic novel and the comic book world is notoriously male-centric and, aside from a few willful educators, I’m not sure who is the intended audience for “Female Force.” While Bluewater does get props for choosing living icons, so far the women selected for “Female Force” mostly represent a white, affluent class of women (Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey excepted) who are already visible role models to the graphic novel fans even remotely likely to pick up the bio-comics.

 

The comics are aimed at age 13 and up, according to the Bluewater website, and I’m curious: Are they merely an illustrated laundry list of all the ways Caroline Kennedy is a “strong female role model” (as Bluewater states is the purpose behind the line)? Or is an attempt made to examine the constraints individual women face as they challenge the gender paradigm? Is the controversy behind Palin’s pick as veep contender, in attempt to draw Hilary voters away from Barack, discussed at all? Or does each woman exist in her own bubble of female awesomeness? Where’s the larger community here? The movement that propelled all these women forward?

 

“It’s not necessarily about wielding political power,” Bluewater president Darren Davis said in the press release for Kennedy’s book. “But rather through the sum [of] their influence they shape the debate.” That’s assuming Female Force acknowledges a debate at all.

June 24, 2009

Books We’d Love to Read

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Usually summer is a slow publishing season for books, with fall reserved as the prime time to push new and exciting texts. Maybe that’s why so many great books by and about women and feminism have come out recently–publishers would rather save the fall slots for other types of books.

Here are some books we’d love to read — and if you’d love to read them too, send us a review!

  • Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown by Jennifer Scalon (Oxford University Press, 288 pages, $29.95)

    Helen Gurley Brown has been a controversial figure in feminism. She revamped Cosmo by bring sex to the forefront of the magazine. Feminist trailblazer? Or controversy-loving sell-out? Can a woman be both a feminist and a fashionista?

    A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-First Century by Cristina Nehring (Harper, 336 pages, $24.99)

    A review in the Wall Street Journal Online states the Nehring, a columnist for Harper’s and The Atlantic Monthly, believes that feminism has corroded the nature of romantic love by tying it up with endless self-checks and dampened eroticism. Has feminism eroded eroticism in love?

    June 20, 2009

    Sexy Ducky, You’re the One….

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    Growing up, my grandparents would watch my little brother and I after school and on the occasional weekend. A hallmark of going to Grandpa and Grandma’s house was watching The 700 Club while munching on jam and butter toast.

    I, thankfully, haven’t watched Pat Robertson’s rants and muddled commentary since I was eight years old. Perhaps if I had, I would have heard this Robertson-gem regarding the hate crimes bill that passed the U.S. House in April:

      “You’ve got somebody, he’s really weird. And his sexual orientation, if he likes to have sex with ducks, is he protected under hate crimes?”

    Sorry Pat. Since the bill is slated for discussion in the Senate this Thursday, I don’t know what the outcome will be for that really weird guy who likes to have sex with ducks. But I’ll tell you what – here’s a great video from Garfunkel and Oates about my new favorite, feathery pastime.

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    June 17, 2009

    Accepting Submissions

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    this is currently open for submissions.

    We are looking for work by women writers in the following categories:
    –essays
    –opinions/editorials
    –creative non-fiction
    –fiction
    –poetry
    –photographs/artwork
    –erotica
    –book, film, or music reviews

    Submissions do not have to be about women per se, but we are looking for strong writing from a women’s point of view and we expect that our writers will tailor their work with this in mind.

    For more specific details on how to get your work included in this, read our submission guidelines.

    For answers to all your questions, read our FAQ.

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