Maleficent’s Mastectomy Metaphor?

The lively discussion of the film Maleficent has focused on the turn of the plot after its title character is drugged by the human she loves and stripped of her wings, her ability to fly and, he presumes, her power. Jolie told the BBC, We were very conscious, the writer and I, that [the scene in […]

When Women’s History Comes Alive

Studying, understanding and honoring women of the past, whether in America or across the globe, most commonly follows two themes. First, the rediscovery of women’s lives and contributions can be summed up in the image described at a recent Women’s History Month luncheon I attended:  We stand on the shoulders of the women who came […]

Public Memorial and a New Award for Mary Thom

The Women’s Media Center in New York, where Mary Thom worked as editor-in-chief, has announced a public memorial celebration to be held Monday, May 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center. Thom was killed in a motorcycling accident on April 26. If you’re interested in attending, […]

Mary Thom, 1944-2013

We were all shocked and saddened this weekend to learn of the passing of Mary Thom, an editor for decades at Ms. magazine, a historian of the first 30 years of Ms., and most recently editor-and-chief for the Women’s Media Center. Thom was riding her motorcycle on the Saw Mill Parkway in Yonkers, N.Y., when […]

We Heart: Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims

“I’m not sure how I find myself in this room of all rooms as one of the men who respects women the most, but as is so often the case, I see that respect for the person and personal responsibility is clearly more of a slogan than a reality,” said Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims […]

Jane Austen in Brooklyn

I have shlepped myself to Virginia Woolf’s house in Sussex, and wandered the Yorkshire moors in pursuit of the Brontes’ home (calling “Heathcliff! Heathcliff!” when no one was within hearing). But no writer has launched more trips for me than Jane Austen. I have not only visited several of her homes (the one in Lyme […]

Yom Kippur: Feminism Meets Tradition

Tonight at Kol Nidre, which marks the start of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, my husband and I will fight over prayer books, as we do at the start of every service during the Jewish High Holy Days. We own two copies of Gates of Repentance, first published by the Central Conference of […]

Seder Time: An Orange, A Tambourine … Guacamole?

This was originally posted last Passover, March 29, 2010, on the Ms. Blog. Unlike most religious events that require attendance at a synagogue, church or mosque, the Passover Seder–which was celebrated last night, and will be celebrated again tonight, by Jews around the world–remains at home, around a dinner table. That fact alone has always […]

Jane Eyre, Movie Star

It’s a sign of success, I suppose, that one can Google “feminism Jane Eyre” and find websites willing to sell you a term paper on the subject. We’ve come a long way, baby. When I was in college and graduate school, we were just discovering what it meant to read a novel–even a novel by […]