“Keep Your White Hands Off My Brown Body”

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I always had this pity for myself because I was a woman. Then, on top of it, I’d say, well, I’m Native American. I’m at the bottom of the bottom. Growing up in a society where more than one in three women will be raped during their lifetime, a number significantly higher than the statistics for […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 5: The Blood of “Carrie”


Carrie is largely about how women find their own channels of power, but also what men fear about women and women’s sexuality. Writing the book in 1973 and only three years out of college, I was fully aware of what Women’s Liberation implied for me and others of my sex. Carrie is woman feeling her […]

Healing from Historic Trauma: “12 Years a Slave”


It never looked as terrible as it was and it made her wonder if hell was a pretty place too. Fire and brimstone all right, but hidden in lacy groves. Such is the “rememory” of Sethe, the main character in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, who recalls the glorious splendor of the trees on the farm where […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 4


When the film industry finds an idea that works, they tend to use it again and again. And again. In the realm of horror, once a franchise has spawned seven or so sequels, filmmakers capitalize on name recognition by simply going back to the beginning and starting over. This Halloween season’s Carrie represents the fifth […]

The Feminist Pull of “Gravity”


*This review contains no spoilers.* The recently released, Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, is visually stunning. Its amazing cinematography gives audience members the sense of being out there in space, detached from Earth. Detachment is a key theme of the film (“Detached” is also the title of the teaser trailer released last summer). Related to […]

“It Was Rape” And One Story of Just Too Many

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It Was Rape is a documentary by Jennifer Baumgardner.  I am interviewed in the film. I was afraid when the film was shown that it would feel like being raped again. I was afraid that people would judge me. That it would still feel like my fault. That the feelings I had in the days […]

Late-Abortion Doctors Carry on “After Tiller”: A Talk with the Filmmakers

Late-term abortion doctor William Hern embraces a patient in a still from 'After Tiller.'

By now, we all know the story: While handing out bulletins in May 2009 at the Lutheran church he attended each Sunday, Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by an anti-abortion extremist. Known nationally as the “Doctor of Last Resort,” Tiller was one of the few physicians willing to do late […]

Gender Flipping in Hollywood


It’s no secret that this summer’s movies suck for women. It’s been mentioned on Vulture. NPR did a story about it. The New York Times covered it. Even Fox News ran a piece about it. Yet Jodie Foster has a leading role in the new action movie Elysium. How’d she score it? Foster makes a […]

Dystopian “Elysium” Offers Utopian Feminism


Finally! There’s a big-budget, highly attended, intelligent summer movie with good acting, strong female roles, a cast comprised of many people of color, timely and astute political analysis and fully realized characters. Plus, not one gratuitous booty shot. Not one! I had to keep pinching myself to make sure I was not dreaming as I […]

A Groundbreaking Women’s Film from Saudi Arabia

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Haifaa Al-Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first woman filmmaker. Her mesmerising new film Wadjda is the first film to be shot entirely within Saudi Arabia. A beautiful and heartwarming story, Wadjda has graced film festivals across the world, from the Venice Film Festival 2012 to the Los Angeles Film Festival 2013.  The film tells the story of a young […]