The Wednesday Five

In this week’s Wednesday Five: “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” on Bravo is the best show you’re probably not watching, the theories on why women compete with each other, Shonda Rhimes and her fabulous “Year of Yes,”  Zainab Salbi’s new challenge is a talk show about women of the Arab world, and a beautiful video features people of all ages who offer words of wisdom to their younger counterparts on aging gracefully.




The Best Show You’re (Probably) Not Watching

Lately, Bravo has become synonymous with the Real Housewives franchise — and well, we’re not sure if that’s ever a first choice for binge watching on a rainy weekend. However, after a successful first season, a lovely thing will be happening on Bravo – its second season of its scripted show “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.” Yes, no real housewives or reality shows involved. Despite the silly title, the show is actually quite heavy-hitting when it comes the real stories of going through a divorce and post-divorce life. So heavy-hitting that The Wall Street Journal gave season one a thumbs up, theorizing that the show is as much about the pull of marriage as the cost of splitting up.

“The Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” (inspired by the “Girlfriends’ Guide” book series) is about a lot more than divorce. It is, along with the raunch, the flinty outlook, the “War of the Roses” echoes, and the fun, also about the pull of marriage. Thanks to the aforementioned fine performances, it’s a guide that entices.

If you’re in the mood for a Netflix day, Season 1 of the show is streaming now. Season 2 premieres December 1. And for more on divorce, see Dr. Ford’s latest column, “Choosing Happiness: It’s Never Too Late to Exit a Bad Marriage.”



Why Women Compete With Each Other

Emily V. Gordon unpacks this question/theory/fallacy/truth/absurdity/reality/ in a recent  New York Times op-ed. She starts with her own story of how young girls transition into this tearing-down culture from their early days on the playground. Gordon then expands on the known theories of “why” this competition occurs. 

  1. Evolutionary Psychology — the theory that “women need to protect themselves (read: their wombs) from physical harm, so indirect aggression keeps us safe while lowering the stock of other women.”
  2. Feminist Psychology — an internalizing of  patriarchy, in other words: “When our value is tied to the people who can impregnate us, we turn on each other.”

But, it’s the third theory that Gordon posits that is the most intriguing:

“We aren’t competing with other women, ultimately, but with ourselves — with how we think of ourselves. For many of us, we look at other women and see, instead, a version of ourselves that is better, prettier, smarter, something more. We don’t see the other woman at all.”

Read the full Op-Ed here, including the comments!



Year of Yes — A Memoir by Shonda Rhimes

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Usually, when we talk about diversity in Hollywood we talk about the people in front of the screen. Recently however, as Megan Garber notes in The Atlantic, “The role of writers—the people who create new worlds, and in the process a new world—has been elevated.” At the helm of that shift is probably none other than Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit shows like Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Talking about her new memoir, Year of Yes, with NPR, Rhimes shares the one-year mission she gave herself:

“I never go anywhere. I never do anything. All I did was go to work and come home. . . My life had gotten really small. Once I sort of realized that she was right, I was going to say yes to all the things that scared me, that made me nervous, that freaked me out, that made me think I’m going to look foolish doing it. Anything that took me out of my comfort zone I was going to do it, if asked to do it.”

Listen to the full NPR interview here.





Stories from Women of the Arab World


For the past 20 years, activist Zainab Salbi has helped women in war and conflict zones with Women for Women International. Now she’s hosting a talk show, The Nida’a Show, on the Discovery Channel that will feature guests ranging from an Egyptian mother fighting against female genital mutilation to a niqab-wearing Saudi Arabian stand-up comedian. The goal is to confront taboo subjects, show the people at the heart of these stories, and ultimately, uplift Arab women. Simply incredible.

“We need an alternative answer [to Isis] – we need to show there is a possibility of change, and one within the narrative of our religion. This is a Muslim crisis and must be solved by Muslims,” says Salbi.

Read her profile in The Guardian.



On Aging Gracefully

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you the farewell video from CBC’s show Wiretap featuring people of all ages who offer words of wisdom to their younger counterparts on aging gracefully.



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  • Anonymous November 11, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Lovely. Made a rainy day shine.