The Seven Best Books on Feminism, President Trump Threw Starburst Candies at Markel, and More

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  • At the cusp of the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp, Gena-mour Barrett of BBC.co.uk asks the prescient question, is Marvel feminism real? The 2015 Sony email leak revealed Marvel Entertainment CEO was not bullish on female superhero movies. Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, with all the sangfroid of a toad, called them "female movies." Indiewire rightly took Perlmutter to school on this. “Oh No They Didn’t, correctly points out, a list of ‘Male Movies’ that did poorly at the box office could just as easily be compiled — ‘Green Lantern,’ ‘The Lone Ranger,’ ‘Superman IV,’ and ‘Daredevil,’ to name a few,” wrote Laura Berger. “These movies were based on very popular male characters and failed spectacularly, yet no mention of them is being made, and we’ve certainly never heard anyone attribute their lack of success to the fact that they focused on male characters.” Charmed, I'm sure!

 

  • Barrett concludes the lack of female representation in film is not particularly a Marvel issue. “Of the top 100 US domestic grossing films, women accounted for only 16% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers,” she notes. “In those same films, 24% of protagonists were women and only 32% of all female characters were BAME - black, Asian and minority.” That having been said, the number of women in front of and behind the cameras in Marvel films are increasing, however slowly.

 

  • The Week just published The Seven Best Books on Feminism. Among the interesting choices: 2014’s Bad Feminist, The Handmaiden’s Tale, Audrey Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and Leila Ahmed’s Women and Gender in Islam. Of A Room of One’s Own, The Week notes, “through the fictionalized character of Mary, (Virginia) Woolf argues that both literature and history is a male construct, built to marginalize women.” It continues: “she explores the ideas of the erasure and silence of women throughout time, and how poverty and sexual constraint affects female creativity.” Finally, it concludes of the 1929 essay, which is still infinitely relevant today, “in writing this, she rejects the notion that women are inferior writers and instead proves the existence of a space for women in both literature and history.”

 

  • This week, President Trump attacked Senator Elizabeth Warren crudely. This is a significant development as Warren is the leading 2020 contender, and we are moving deep into midterm elections. "While speaking in Montana, Trump encouraged people to vote in the November mid-terms, and said he won't apologize for referring to Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas’ — a flattening, offensive racial slur based on her Native American identity,” writes Vrinda Jagota in Paper. “Trump went on to mock her ‘great tribal heritage’ and outlined how he would ask her to take a DNA test if he was ever debating her on stage.” Warren shot back in a Tweet: “Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids, because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying.” And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is how you handle a misogynist.

 

  • Dan Balz of the Washington Post writes about the vast disconnect between the President of the United States and women, who comprise 50.5% of the population. Will this affect the midterms, where a record number of women are running as Democrats (and, thus far, over-performing)? “A man accused by multiple women of sexual misbehavior, he seems to take special delight in denigrating women, especially House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi; Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton,” Balz writes. “In one comment at a rally in Montana last Thursday, he mocked both Warren and the #MeToo movement and also went after Waters.” Balz continues, damning, bringing up the contentious relationships he also has with German Chancellor Angela Merkel – who he actually threw Starburst candies at -- and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

 

  • Soon-to-be Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a force of nature, appearing, seemingly, on every late night and cable talk show, furthering her agenda before she even reaches Capitol Hill. The New York Times – which completely and embarrassingly missed the story of her path breaking road to victory – was retrospectively conciliatory in the form of a glowing profile. The lovingly-written morning after piece showed how Ocasio-Cortez is highlighting other women progressives hoping to flip the House of Representatives. “As she stood atop a table in a packed Bronx billiards hall to deliver her victory speech, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — who by morning would be one of the most talked-about names in American politics — reeled off a list of other progressive candidates she said needed to be sent to Congress: Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts, for example, or Cori Bush in Missouri,” they wrote. “By morning, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had also trumpeted Ms. Bush and Ms. Pressley to her fast-growing Twitter following.” By May, up to 40 percent of Democrats running in the midterms were women, including Rashida Tlaib, running in Michigan’s 13th District, hoping to become America’s first elected Muslim woman Congressperson.

 

Cover photo via The Week