Category Archives: LadyG Responds

Hermione Granger and the Patriarchal Dress Code

I had planned a post on egalitarianism for this week, but Christina’s poignant essay on Monday gave me pause.    This is less a response than a musing along similar/related themes.

As some of you know, I worked as a semi-professional costumer/designer for several years.  After a heart-wrenching amount of internal debate I have decided not to make it my career choice, although gifs like this  make me regret the decision.   As a costume designer, as an aspiring “obscenely polished” corporette (:-P), and as a pseudo-Orthodox Jewess (I call myself shomeret mitzvoth or observant), I think about clothing and appearance roughly 870,053 times a day.   More if I’m at a theatrical performance or at synagogue on the High Holidays…

The HP headline is not that relevant here.  Like every female bookworm with bushy hair in the past decade, I always assumed Hermione Granger was written about me.  During freshman year of college, the girls on my hall who Sorted everyone in my dorm decided I was Molly Weasley, which is much more accurate.  (Don’t. Mess.)   But Hermione is a fashion-awkward brown-nosing do-gooder, just like my teenage self.

Every outfit a conscious decision

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Meet Charlotte

LadyG is a little overwhelmed with responsibilities right now and so, like the grown-up she purports to be, she needs to take another week off from srs blogging.

In the meantime, meet Charlotte Corday, an alter-ego born of frustration with societal stupidity and general backwardness.   After all, if Christina can be Count Dohna sometimes, why can’t a Lady also be a Revolutionary?

LadyG believes in effecting change from the inside: calmly, carefully, deadly.    A Hufflepuff with Slytherin ambitions, if you will.

Charlotte believes that the inside is ROTTEN and BROKEN and WHO CARES ABOUT FIXING IT LET’S JUST DESTROY IT.   Obviously Gryffindor through-and-through.

LadyG believes in reasoning with opponents until they prove themselves unwilling to listen.  (re: the original FB argument, not the awesome WordPress discussion)

Charlotte gets all TigerBeatdown ON YOUR FACE.

LadyG carefully investigates claims of misogyny and sexism because she thinks straight white men are also done a horrible disservice by gender stereotypes.

Charlotte has this to say:

obviously someone's been reading the Feminist Hulk twitter

(Charlotte has been listening to a lot of Paramore this week, and she has no regrets.)

LadyG is working on a music video analysis involving gender performance, but she can’t promise when it will show up.   Would you like to see content from Charlotte sometimes?    Vote in the comments!

PS Donna Noble says it best.

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Surviving Sexual Abuse: A Tribute to the Quietly Amazing Victims In Our Lives

This piece was written on August 5th, 2011.   I intended to post it on Tisha B’Av, but the week before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement [and Reckoning] will have to do instead.   I have changed only a few words here and there, to clarify a few statements.   My awe and respect haven’t changed an iota.

A recent conversation with someone who is probably not reading this got me thinking about strong women, femininity, and what it takes to face abuse.

I did promise a response [to Christina] on DSK and the rape case, especially regarding the role of Judaism in France as a political AND ethnic identity, but the more I think about it, the less interested I am in writing it down.  You’ll have to catch me in person if you want to know more about my thoughts on that.

Rather than “picking a side” and accusing either DSK or his accusers, Nafissatou Diallo (New York) and Tristane Banon (France), of any crime, local or international, legal or moral, I would rather talk about what we as a society can do to support victims of sexual and domestic abuse. Now, I am not trained as a rape victim’s advocate nor do I particularly want to be.  I am an activist by passion and vocation, but fighting rape on the front lines is not what I do best, nor what I want to get better at doing as a career.   Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk about it as a feminist and as a moral human being.

Before I begin rambling:

  • The National Domestic Abuse Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

http://www.thehotline.org/

  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline

1.800.656.HOPE

https://ohl.rainn.org/online/

  • The Trevor Project

1-866-488-7386

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/dear-trevor/youth

  • National Jewish resources seem to vary state by state.  Please Google for them!

 Please, please, please call for help if you need it, or you think someone in your life does.   If you don’t know what kind of advice or support that person needs — or how to give it — call these numbers and ask.

If you take anything away from this post, please know this:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

And so many people around the world, from all backgrounds, care so much about YOU.   Yes, really.

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Never Forget

We Jews are known for our excellent memories — we haven’t let a single thing go since we became a nation.

Andy Levy and I might not agree on the morality of his employer, but at least we both agree that domestic violence is never acceptable, and that if you’re Team Breezy, you’re Team Criminal.

I will not blog about Mr. Brown here (or tag him) because he doesn’t deserve it.  If you partner with him, you are a sell-out and you have no integrity.  You will have to do some pretty serious grovelling to get my respect back.   The fact that he is talented and famous makes it all the worse.  I will blog about Rihanna in the future.

I’ll be offline until Sunday due to Rosh Hashanah.   May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life, have a happy/healthy/successful New Year, and most importantly, never be afraid to face down misogynists, abusers, and criminals, no matter how popular they are.

If you’d like an unabashedly positive video for RH, please click here or here.  😉

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Why I’m Boycotting Season 3: Confessions of an Ex-Gleek

The following post contains all of my relevant feelings about Glee.  As of September 2011, I do not anticipate blogging about this show again.  Ryan Murphy done me wrong one time too many.   I would never command anyone to stop watching a show, but I don’t think it deserves any more of my energy.   I have been known to get literally upset during in-person Glee arguments before, and it was time for me to call it quits for my own sanity.   I welcome your comments, but you are not going to change my mind. 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I must get this off my chest:

I am an ex-Gleek.

Given my unabashed love for all things Broadway, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I also love high school dramedies, goofy pop covers, and Darren Criss.   Really, it’s no wonder it took me until “Rumors”  (Season 2 Episode 19, The One Where That Blonde Guy Is Poor) to give up in a huff.  I actually haven’t even seen the return of Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) except for the “Rolling In The Deep” clip.   And I don’t even care.

Those of you who have always been feminists or annoyed by this show are no doubt wondering what took me so long.  Those of you who are obsessed with this show are no doubt wondering why I’m a humorless, self-righteous witch.   That’s fine.   I’m pretty used to straddling that divide.  :-p

The thing is, Glee had so much potential.   The first half of Season One was witty, irreverent, campy, and GOOD.  It was deliberately making fun of not just High School Musical but all the teen dramas that had come before it as well as all those Inspirational Teacher films like Freedom Writers.  (BTW, I hear that’s a decent movie, but the book was boring. Stand and Deliver is 1000 times more interesting.)   It seems pretty clear it was originally intended for adults, not high schoolers.   Back then it didn’t matter that half the cast looked 25 or there were too many people to keep track of.  Glee was like that sarcastic gay dude you skipped classes senior year with, the one who taught you how to smoke cigarettes and hold your liquor and could do a flawless Barbra impersonation at the drop of a hat.*

*My sarcastic gay friend was straightedge, and so was I.

Thing is, Glee got popular and Ryan Murphy got self-involved.   Reportedly that’s happened on his previous shows as well.   It stopped being about clever cruelty and cute covers and started being about BEING GLEE.   The writing got schizophrenic and the guest stars started rolling In.  Also, they started doing After School Specials that were neither clever nor properly moral-ed.  I maintain that the only two guest stars who were worth it are Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes and John Stamos as Emma’s Hot Dentist Husband.   And you’ll notice both of them had actual character arcs.   Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t count because she’s awful.  Actually awful.  What’s the point of singing Cee-Lo Green if you’re going to do the radio edit?

Basically, when the show started really sucking I started noticing all of the -isms going on.  They’d always been there under the surface (or maybe openly in the name of satire), but Fox is the channel that has the Simpsons and Family Guy, so for a while I accepted it as part of the package with my primetime Broadway entertainment.

Then, “Blame It On The Alcohol” (Season 2 Episode 14) happened.

It is actually surprising how long it took me to find a full version of this scene:

Fangirl Reponses

Yes, he is.

-In Which I Talk About This At Length, With Video, For The Last Time

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More Broadway Casting Love

September 2011 has been and will continue to be pretty chaotic schedule-wise for me. I suspect know this is true for Emmy and Christina is well, so if you’ve been checking on our “scheduled” days, you can stop now. Set up an RSS feed or check every day, we don’t care which. 😉

The Kreayshawn update will come ASAP, but I won’t put a date to it now. Have another amuse-bouche courtesy of The Great White Way, everyone.

 

Continue reading on my tumblr!

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Thank You

I need a little more time for Ke$ha this week, so I thought I’d take a moment to thank you all.

This blog was launched two months ago on Sunday.  It now has over 3200 views and over 240 comments.  The three of us have a lot of fun generating provocative content, sure, but who wants to blog in a vacuum?   You all rock.   Thank you to everyone who has read part of this blog, even just one section, even if you haven’t commented.  We love you and your ideas.  I know I can’t wait to see what will come next.

Here, have  a slightly-cheesy-but-still-powerful-inspirational-quote!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   — Margaret Mead.

We’ll keep blogging as long as you keep reading, guys.   Thank you!

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OMG The VMAS: Rock It, Beyonce

SO MANY FEELINGS.

  • BEYONCE IS BOTH FABULOUS AND PREGNANT.
  • Nicki Minaj needs a new stylist but the same damn management team 4 LYFE.
  • Kreayshawn is doing exactly what she ought to do for her career/image.
  • I haven’t seen the performance videos yet.

If you care remotely about style, you need to read Tom & Lorenzo.   If you care remotely about funny things or the artists listed you need to read their VMA style recaps.   Sample quotes:

  • Kreayshawn: “The look could have been cute and quirky, but since she looks like Lovey Howell from the neck up, the effect has been downgraded to “mental patient with a Gold Card.””
  • Some Blonde Chick:  “She looks like Tinkerbell out on the town, looking to get laid.”
  • Miley Cyrus: “Why does this chick only have two settings: Trailer Park Party Girl and Lifetime Achievement Award?”
  • But THE BEST comment is regarding the Biebs.  They deserve ALL the hits for the line, so go read it.   (Runner Up: comment on Slimy Jonas.)

ETA: Joe Calderone, if you quit smoking I might commit to raising all your babies, no matter who the momma(s) is/are.  A++++

ETA2:  Emmy rightfully pointed out many things about the Joe Calderone performance that are problematic.  I wrote the above comment not having seen “Joe’s” harassment of Britney, so I am no longer interested in raising “his” babies.   I still really enjoyed the musical number though.

Pls comment if you want to hear all of my feelings; otherwise I’ll keep them to myself.   yes, this is a threat/demand for attention.

ahhhhhhhhh

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Fighting the Important Fights: “Feminazi” is a hate term, bro.

 On Sunday, someone tagged Christina in this image on Facebook.  She then tagged me and Emmy. I’d seen it before and had in fact planned to blog about it, but when my computer(s) were stolen, I lost my copy of this image.   Glad to have it back again.   I would have simply stored it for the time being and continued procrastinating, but one of Christina’s FB friends made a comment or two that I felt the need to publicly (and non-anonymously) disagree with.

The person I have labelled as ‘John Doe’ is someone I am not FB friends with and know nothing about except what he presents to the public/friends of friends.   From my limited profile access, I gathered the following information:

–his Facebook name includes a first name commonly given to white men in the US; his last name reads as “non-ethnic” but not particularly WASPy.

–his profile picture is of a white male, over 18 and under 30 (i am bad at ages)

–he is affiliated with the most prestigious public university in our state

–he is affiliated with the secular student alliance (or something similarly named) at said university.

I don’t expect Christina to make excuses for him or for her friendship with him.  I don’t ask her to remove him from her friends list either, because that’s not my place.   If it were me and we hadn’t had any significant Facebook interaction in the past year or so, I would severely limit his access to my profile or consider removing him entirely.   But anyone who has met Christina in real life knows she likes to surround herself with the opposition.  😉

John Doe appears educated and articulate, and is more respectful than 90% of internet commenters who would publicly hold his stance.  There might even be a few issues on which we agree.  On this subject, however, he is completely wrong.

Click here for the excerpted argument

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