These are both particularly sore spots for me - one being that the current government in Canada has itself in a tizzy deciding whether or not contraception and abortion should be part of Canada's all of a sudden, magical "important stance" on maternal child health in the upcoming G8 summit (and for those of you who know anything about the Conservative government and party in Canada know that for the most part they don't really give a shit about vaginas). Hillary said that maternal child health SHOULD include contraception and abortion. So thank you Hillary for that.
But while she was in Canada she did interviews on The Hour and elsewhere talking about "fighting terrorists" and how Canada's 2500 troops should remain in Afghanistan after their commitment to pulling out in 2011, among other pro-military highlights and ignorant commentary about women in Islam.
Marlee Matlin, best known for her Oscar-winning performance on Children of a Lesser God and her role as Jodi on The L Word, is now behind the camera on a new reality show, My Deaf Family. "Deaf and hard of hearing people make up one of the largest minority groups, and yet there has never been a show, a reality documentary series that features what life is like for them," Matlin said in an LA Times post. Although only on YouTube for now, the pilot proves the show definitely will have staying power.
Smart Girls at the Party fans, prepare for a disappointment of the douche kind. In order to increase viewers for their second season, the SGATP team (whose first season focused on young girls kicking major ass – check it out if you haven't seen it) is joining forces with Joe Francis (the owner of Mantra Films and the jerkstore behind the Girls Gone Wild franchise) and his band of douchenozzles to create a Girls Gone Wild-type show for tweens. That's right – now, instead of watching tween girls talk about their awesome bands or cool art projects, on Smart Girls at the Party Season Two we can see them flounce around in teeny bikinis holding wet t-shirt contests and seeing who can tie a knot in a cherry stem the fastest. W.T.F.?
"Why are there no bad guys in our neighborhood?" Ivan asked me recently, after emerging from a movie theater. The previews had presented a full line-up of villains – in 3-D, no less.
Ivan had been trying hard to find some real-life miscreants, wondering daily about the boisterous youth on our block, who do a lot of shoving and yelling: "Are those bad guys?" I'd been assuring him that while these young men could be more polite, they're not bad guys. Real bad guys are very rare, I always say, but a lot of people do make bad decisions. We can all try harder to be good.
Today I say, "There are a lot more bad guys in the movies than in real life."
"Why?" he wants to know.
"Because," I explain, "the people who make the movies think that bad guys make movies more exciting."
International Day of Transgender Visibility was started just last year as a much-needed counterpart to the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which focused more on memorializing those lost rather than celebrating everything the trans community is doing today. Ironically, a recent controversy over the Tribeca Film Festival features problematic representations of trans women, and the ensuing discussion only further marginalized the trans community. And it all started with a little cis-directed flick called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. Yeah, you read that right.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks deserves every ounce of praise that has been heaped on it. Rebecca Skloot has one heck of a story to tell, a story that actually belongs to another woman: Henrietta Lacks.
The book is partially a retelling of Henrietta's life and her death, but also a thorough chronicle of the history of HeLa cells (so named by taking the first and last two letters of the donor's name), which were developed after Henrietta's death. These cells (pictured above) revolutionized science in so many ways it hardly seems believable that we don't have a national holiday honoring the woman. HeLa cells were invaluable in developing the polio vaccine, they were the clue to unlocking the number of chromosomes in human DNA, they were shot into space, exposed to radiation and mixed with plant cells, mice cells, cloned and still contribute every year to the development of new cancer medicine and treatment methods.
I've been craving more Sarah Haskins ever since Target Women ended, and now her new short film "DILF" (mentioned in her January interview with Jezebel) is finally online! Haskins co-wrote and co-stars in "DILF", which is exactly what you think it is about. Warring roomies, sexy parents, network drama parodies and Rashomon-style storytelling abound - watch the movie here!