Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 28 of Feminist Joys: Celebrating Failure

I was a bad entrepreneur. But there was no way I could have known that if I hadn't tried.

It's a privilege to be able to take a risk like that. It was both stupid and brave. But it pushed me out of the stagnation I felt I was growing into, and in spite of many difficult moments, I am glad of having done it.

I wrote here about what it was like to shut down, to admit we failed. And here, I wrote that it's alright to call it failure. 'Failure' is a fact, not a judgement. We failed at this. It doesn't make it less important that we tried.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 27 of Feminist Joys: The Success of the Mockingjay Movie

It's a relief when a movie I love (and I love very few movies) does well at the box office. It's a wonder when a movie about a tough young woman in a dystopic world makes a lot of money (at least in the US).

It’s an anomaly that the  No. 1-grossing film two years in a row features a female lead.
Most importantly:
In fact:
If you want to find a No. 1 movie with a woman as the clear, unambiguous lead, you’ve got to go back to 1968’s Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand as groundbreaking comedienne Fanny Brice.
The odds aren't in our favor, are they? 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Why I Love Bombay Reason #34

I was talking to an old friend from Assam, and we both agreed how important it was for us to go gaze at a body of water once in a while. Growing up as we did with ponds and rivers and lakes and swamps within reach, living in arid cities makes us long for the trees and water. I am lucky now: I can go look at the sea. And even though behind me is all busy city with dense crowds and tall buildings: ahead is a vast stretch of water with nothing to block the view. Dirty water -- and sea water, not fresh -- but water nonetheless, and with it, some measure of peace and calm.

Day 26 of Feminist Joys: Same Sex Love in History

Read about the secret history of same-sex marriage (in the west).
In the 1680s, Cornelia Gerritse van Breugel disguised herself as a man in order to wed her long-time lover, Elisabeth Boleyn, in an Amsterdam church. They were only found out years later, when Cornelia tired of wearing men’s clothes... 
In the early 1730s, when both were in their late teens, Mary East and her girlfriend decided to move to London and make a life together as husband and wife. Mary put on male clothes and turned herself into “James How”. The two of them became successful publicans and pillars of their East End community. Everyone presumed they were married. Over the years, James was elected to almost every parish office: s/he served as the foreman of juries, on the night watch, as overseer of the poor. For more than three decades, they kept their secret, and lived as a married couple.
Though that makes me wonder whether James How was a trans man and not a gay woman.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 25 of Feminist Joys: Not "Girls' Work"

I have nothing to add.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 24 of Feminist Joys: Girls Who Play Sports

I've never played sports -- I don't have enough body coordination -- and I have less than no interest in watching it. But I think this girls' basketball team is awesome.

“We’d walk in, and all the boys would be like, ‘We’re playing girls?’ ” said Anne Rupnik, a point guard. “Then we’d beat them. Some of them cried.” 
We practice hard,” said Meghan Wegner, a 10-year-old guard known to her teammates as Megatron. “I think some of the boys are scared of us.” 
When Mr. Toran started coaching the Xpress two years ago, he viewed it as an opportunity to get involved with his daughter’s athletic development. At the time, he said, he was an assistant coach with a semipro men’s team and was eager to escape what he described as the “whining and complaining” of players who were resistant to coaching. 
In search of a more mature audience, he turned to a group of 9-year-old girls.
Pictures here (and I love the title).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 23 of Feminist Joys: Things Are Getting Better

It can be difficult to believe that, with so much bad news around. But I believe bad news reaches us better now, and some of it (like sexual violence) is amplified and outraged at instead of being hushed, which is a good thing.

The Slate says we've never lived in such peaceful times.

Rates of rape or sexual assault and of violence against intimate partners have been sinking for decades, and are now a quarter or less of their peaks in the past. Far too many of these horrendous crimes still take place, but we should be encouraged by the fact that a heightened concern about violence against women is not futile moralizing but has brought about measurable progress—and that continuing this concern can lead to greater progress still.

This is for the US, but the article posits that the trend should be similar in most countries. And it provides similar information for other kinds of violence, including genocide and violence against children. Go read, and let's feel relieved at the progress.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 22 of Feminist Joys: Working in a Feminist Organization

This is a borrowed joy.
On the other hand, many of my women colleagues who are married don't wear any signifiers of their relationship status, so I'd like to think they would react similarly. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 21 of Feminist Joys: Women Make Better Teams


Read the New York Times article, though that's the really fun bit.

Of course, I knew this already, since I am currently in an all-women team at work and it's awesome. Working with women (both within my team and outside) is great: they are usually more polite, they are rarely competitive or inappropriate (which is the same thing as being polite, but still...), and most of them are very good at their jobs. (Fine, I work with some awesome men too, but still.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 20 of Feminist Joys: The Toast's Women in Art History Series

If you're not already reading, you're wasting your life. I was wasting mine till a few months ago; now I regularly worship at the altar of Mallory and Nicole and all the other gods.

And if going through the posts in their 'Women in Art History' series isn't a joy, I don't know what is.

Hard to say which is the most precious gem of all these precious gems, but Women Rejecting Marriage Proposals might just be it.
no im totally listening 
this is my listening guitar 
im playing my listening song
Women Listening to Men Play Music is also excellent.
 Mummy there’s men at the door that want to play music at us 
you might as well let them in, darling 
it’s time you learned that when men want to play music at you 
there’s simply no stopping them 
and the sooner you get it over with the sooner they leave 
Also also, Women Having a Terrible Time at Parties.

Also also also, Women Listening to Men.

Read all of them, that's what I'm saying.