Being a happy feminist has felt nearly impossible these days, for reasons that are obvious to anyone who keeps up with the news. And as we learn of more and more women who have suffered sexual assault by male politicians and celebrities, what’s almost just as enraging is the “Why is she just now coming forward?” bullshit that so many people — including other women — are saying in response to the allegations.
But the purpose of this post is to add a little happiness to your day, so I’ll step down from my soapbox and share with you 5 things that added a bit of joy to my week.
We women are our own worst critics—if you’re a woman, you’ve probably heard this before. And maybe this statement made you angry because you disagree. Or maybe it filled you with sorrow because you can say from first-hand experience that it’s true. When Mary Beth Gore heard this statement while watching the documentary Miss Representation, she decided to do something about it. She decided to start Her Story, a series of profiles on women with a connection to the Birmingham area.
“I want all women to know their story matters,” says Gore, a 24-year-old social worker. “It is a very empowering experience for a woman to share her story and know that it’s meaningful.”
Instead of criticizing other women Gore wants to uplift women by helping their voice be heard. She teamed up with Emily Smith to help her with Her Story, which they launched in January. Over the year Gore and Smith have shared stories of women of different age groups and different walks of life—from stories of women who have survived gunshot wounds and battled eating disorders to stories of college students and stay-at-home moms.
For my latest column for B-Metro I had a chat with Gore and Smith about the Her Story project. You can read it here.
Also on December 1 at 6 p.m. at the Christ City Center in Bessemer, Gore and Smith will host Her Story Celebration, an evening celebrating one year of stories. The evening will include dinner, time to explore vendor booths featuring women-owned businesses, and a panel discussion with some of the women featured in the Her Story project this year. Tickets are $10 in advance via EventBrite.com and $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit Grace House Ministries. You can order your tickets here.
With all the bad news popping up in my social media feeds every single day, it’s hard for a feminist to find many reasons to be happy these days. But here are five things that gave me a reason to celebrate this week.
Beyoncé will be a part of Disney’s upcoming live-action version of its beloved animated film, “The Lion King,” the company announced on Wednesday. She will be playing the character of Nala, who, as I’m sure you remember, is the love interest of the film’s protagonist, Simba.
She’ll join an all-star cast announced in February that includes Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones, who is reprising his role from the 1994 animated film as Mufasa. The film, which is directed by Jon Favreau, is set for release on July 19, 2019.
Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and Two Dope Queens’ Phoebe Robinson have partnered with fashion brand Wildfang for the YAS QUEEN YAS product line. Prices range from $10-88, and the merchandise includes anotebook,hat,jacket, t-shirt,tote bag and more. The phrase “Yas, Queen, yas!” has become a catchphrase for Broad City and has made its way into almost everyone everyday conversation. But here’s something Phoebe Robinson wants you to know: “The phrase ‘yaaas queen’ has been around looooooong before I ever heard of it,” she toldInStyle. “It started in queer drag culture,” she reminded readers. And we all know how often people of color being on the forefront of bringing something into culture only to be forgotten about when it goes mainstream. “The phrase just makes me excited and cheers me up. So fun,” Robinson says. “I just try to remember that if I’m going to engage in the fun parts of queer culture, I also have to participate in all aspects. Like giving back, raising awareness, being an ally.”
Sixty years after her death, artist Frida Kahlo is still being hailed as an icon of both fashion and feminism andthis article explains why. In the piece, Susana Martínez Vidal, the author of Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being, states “She was one of the first women to use fashion to broadcast a feminist message of independence, work and equality,”
I was the Mother of Dragons for a day.
The highlight of my week was being queen for Halloween. More specifically I was Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons!
OK, this didn’t just happen this week, but I’m still happy about it. Kristen Greenwood of GirlSpring interviewed me for GirlSpring’s Sheroctober, a series of videos featuring Birmingham area women considered “sheroes” of the city. Girlspring is a nonprofit organization and online publication based in Birmingham, Alabama, that focuses on the issues, activities, and concerns of girls and young women. The “sheroes” interviewed for this series included artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in practically every field. And so many of these women are true trailblazers. It is an honor to be included. You can see my video here (and be sure to give me a thumbs up while you’re watching. The shero with the most thumbs up will win tickets to see Janet Jackson live in concert!)
That’s the question that Kristen Greenwood of GirlSpring asked me when she interviewed me for GirlSpring’s Sheroctober, a series of videos featuring Birmingham area women considered “sheroes” of the city. Girlspring is a nonprofit organization and online publication based in Birmingham, Alabama, that focuses on the issues, activities, and concerns of girls and young women. The “sheroes” interviewed for this series included artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in practically every field. And so many of these women are true trailblazers. It is an honor to be included. You can see my video here (and be sure to give me a thumbs up while you’re watching. The shero with the most thumbs up will win tickets to see Janet Jackson live in concert!)
Birmingham-based blogger and yoga instructor Melissa Scott posted a photograph of herself practicing yoga wearing only yoga pants and a sports bra and included the hashtag #noshirtnoshoesnoshame and I had to know more about this body positive movement she was striving to forge.