"I learn that black people don't have blue eyes. I learn that I am black. I have blue eyes. I put all these new facts into the new girl."
Even though the tone of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky reads like a young adult novel, told simply from the point of view of the characters--a young boy fascinated by birds, an immigrant mother, Rachel, the young protagonist--the book itself is drenched in disturbing realities and complex subjects, including race and identity.
The emergency contraceptive pill is now mandatorily available at US military bases worldwide. I would think there are a lot of us out there who assumed - as government employees in a situation detrimental to their health in a whole range of ways - that all US soldiers would have access to the best of health care and any prescription drugs they wanted.
Musician, activist, and all-around cool lady Kathleen Hanna was interviewed by Laura Flanders for GRITtv last week. While the interview covered a range of topics (from endorsing Willie Mae Rock Camp's own Awkward Turtles to reflecting on the "arrogance of youth"), Hanna's most interesting comments regarded the complicated and sometimes problematic sides of building feminist leaders, archiving riot grrrl history, and comparing blogs to zines.
Recently, I was writing with a former-chef friend about her own organic crop cultivation. When comparing her own organic heirloom varieties to the pathetically pale tomatoes for sale in her Canadian market, she said the following: "Tomato production is a truly shocking field. Have you ever been to southern Spain? Huge strips of land under black tarps to quick-grow tomatoes that taste like water are sprayed with pesticides and leave behind nothing but wasteland when the tarp is removed and the plants die off, and all heavily subsidized by the EU. Ugh."
2010 has been pretty good to Drew Barrymore thus far. The birthday girl (yesterday was the big 35) has a major ad campaign as one of the faces of Cover Girl and she won both a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens. She also rekindled her relationship with actor Justin Long and just recently found out she would be awarded the Vanguard Award by GLAAD at an upcoming ceremony.
The Vanguard Award goes to "media professionals who have increased the visibility and understanding of the LGBT community." GLAAD notes that Drew has done so by starring in Boys on the Side, from openly gay filmmaker Don Roos, producing He's Just Not That Into You "in which she played a straight reporter at a LGBT newspaper who desperately seeks dating advice from her gay best friends" and playing the lesbian daughter of Robert de Niro in 2009's Everybody's Fine.
Just when you though you might not want another reality show about making it big in the fashion world, along comes Boss Ladies. Billed as "an exciting hybrid of 'The Real Housewives' and 'Project Runway'" (yay?) viewers follow five transgendered women from Atlanta to Los Angeles as they try to launch a clothing line and open a boutique.
Yes, Liz Lemon's evoking of the name Anna Howard Shaw made for some big laughs on the most recent episode of 30 Rock. But did you know that in addition to being funny (at least by association, and probably in real life as well), Shaw was also the first woman ordained by the Methodist church, a medical doctor, a published author, a decorated member of the National Council of Defense, a social justice activist, and a pioneer for women's suffrage? It's true!
Celine Dion stares at us from the front page of People this week. 'My Private Hell' the headline shouts, without a hint of irony. There's been nothing private about Celine Dion's IVF treatments in pursuit of a second child. 'Daily injections, painful tests' - we can know it all, if we want to. Looking at this cover, I wonder, 'How does this make women going through IVF treatment themselves feel?'