Wednesday 5: ‘Nashville,’ Movies Starring Bookstores, and Ellen DeGeneres on the Abercrombie & Fitch Controversy
In this week’s Wednesday 5: Is “Nashville” the most feminist show on TV?; a fabulous list of movies starring bookstores; women using the language of motherhood to protest war and violence; how the future of women and girls is tied to water; and Ellen DeGeneres weighs in on the size 10 controversy involving Abercrombie & Fitch.
Is “Nashville” the most feminist show on TV?
It might be one of the most feminist shows on television right now. Are you watching Nashville? The ABC drama (that’s not Scandal) stars Connie Britton (46, above left) as Rayna James and Hayden Panettiere (23) as Juliette Barnes. It was created by Callie Khouri, who wrote 1991’s Thelma & Louise, which won the Academy Award for best original screenplay (typically a heavily male-dominated category). The show explores the separate and intertwined lives of two country music superstar women who are navigating what at times can be the very gendered terrain of country music. And while feminism and country music don’t often go together (when most think of women and country music, Tammy Wynette, and her biggest hit, 1968’s “Stand By Your Man,” often come to mind), Claire Miye Stanford writes in Salon:
“As characters, Rayna and Juliette are strong women, still rare on television, but not impossible to find. As a show, though, Nashville—in its unapologetically pure focus on female characters, its self-aware examination of the struggles of female artists, and its critique of male-dominated industries—is one of the most feminist television shows on television.”
So, if you’re not watching Nashville yet, now might be a good time to start. Read more on Is “Nashville” the most feminist show on TV? at Salon.
Movies Starring Bookstores
We love books. See our New & Notable series. So, we were piqued to see this list from Book Riot that has bookstores as starring roles. Favorited are the expected films like Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, and Before Sunset. We were happy to see these classics on the list as well: Funny Face, The Big Sleep, and Manhattan. (But where is 84, Charing Cross Road?) Check out the full list here. And do tell us what’s missing from the list. What are some of your favorite movies starring a bookstore?
Women and the Language of Peace Protest
The people most impacted by war are often women and children. And yet, when it comes to having a seat at the table about conversations on war, women are usually absent. In her new book, The World Split Open, author Ruth Rosen takes the argument further and looks at how women have historically leveraged their roles as mothers and grandmothers to protest against war and violence. Using these very gendered roles (usually regarded as weak and feminine), women have mobilized oppositions to militarism, nuclear war, both world wars, etc., by “using the language of motherhood tactically, believing that as mothers, rather than as feminists, they had greater legitimacy,” writes Rosen. But “the truth is,” she says, “no matter what discourse they employ, the very act of fighting against war and violence turns women into political actors, which inevitably expands their traditional role in their families and society.”
Read more on “Women and the Language of Peace Protest” at 50.50.
The Future of Women and Girls Is Tied to Water
While many of us are aware of the daunting data on how many people around the world (800 million) lack access to clean or fresh water, many of us are unaware of how this issue directly impacts the survival and future of women and girls. Carla Koppel of USAID tells us, “In much of the world, women and children are primarily responsible for water in their households. Some two-thirds of the households that lack easy access rely on women and girls to get the family’s water. Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys their age to be the family member responsible for fetching water.”
What does those hours spent foraging for water mean for the survival of girls? Consider these points: Girls could be spending these hours in school; women could be earning a living. And these are hours where women’s and girl’s health and safety are threatened, increasing their risk of violence and sexual assault.
Read more here about how women and girls can be included in the decision-making about making water more accessible. (Image by WorldFish via Flickr)
The Size-10 Squabble
Abercrombie & Fitch is in the middle of a firestorm after CEO Mike Jeffries announced that the A & F will no longer be carrying women’s sizes larger than a size 10 in its stores. His defense: The company wants only “cool, good-looking people” to wear the brand. In this week’s dose of “Make it plain,” we turn to Ellen DeGeneres, who had some very simple words for the company and its new policy.