Uplifting Women in January

What are you doing?

For 2021, I thought it would be fabulous for us to share the ways we're uplifting women in our communities and lives. For starters, I've been reading books almost exclusively by women lately, including those by Stacey Abrams. I'm reading her activist books now but her romance novels are also on my radar and buying those is an easy way to support the real life Captain America, as many are calling this wonderful leader! We can also give to Fair Fight to help her continue doing such phenomenal work.

I'm giving to my local Trans Umbrella Group, which runs a food pantry that is running low. When you do this be sure to share it on social media! I've been appealing to people by asking for just $5 and I've had several donate and share to this and my reparations goup. I think including a personal message is key to doing this!

How are you supporting women in your community or in general lately?

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Welcome, Cori Bush!

Missouri's First Black Woman In The U.S. House is Sworn In

Every milestone in the past few elections has been so exciting to witness, from more women, more people of color, more LGBTQ representation, more indigenous people, all elected into office. Missouri just welcomed another wonderful person to celebrate as our first Black woman in the U.S. House, Cori Bush!

I've been an admirer of Bush for years. St. Louis is my favorite city in the world. I was born there and I live just a few minutes outside the city in the house my grandparents built. I've lived in and out of the city for years, am there every day for our homeschool adventures (when it's not a Covid-19 year), and my heart aches for the violence and injustices against our Black citizens. Bush has been working to combat these injustices forever--as an activist, minister, mom and more--and it is THRILLING to see her sworn in. I cried tears of joy and I can only hope to vote for more women like her in my life.

What women are you celebrating this week? Give them some love in the chat.

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Best Women-Led Casts

Which are your favorites?

With the upcoming Gunpowder Milkshake on my mind (when? how can I see it? I need info!), I'm thinking about more women-led casts and movies that I've loved--and that I'd love to see. One of my new favorites, for example, is Fast Color, which is an incredible movie about women with supernatural abilities--but they're not superheroes. Not in the Hollywood senste, anyway. It's absolutely phenomenal.

I've also loved several casts that many don't like, such as the Ghostbusers: Answer the Call reboot, as well as movies like Kill Bill, even though I think they have plenty of problems that need solving and could maybe even do with a reboot (but with the same actresses!). I'd love to hear your favorites and see some more good ones while I bounce around waiting for Gunpowder Milkshake.

So what are your favorites? Share them in the chat. TV shows, too!

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Trans Women Are Women

It's really that simple.

The TERFS (which I think is really too nice of a term to call so-called feminists who exclude trans women; if your feminism isn't inclusive it's not really feminism now, is it?) are coming out of the woodwork this week.

I'm not sure if it's because they're staying home, on holiday or just riding the coattails of the climate of bigotry upheld by way too many racist, homophobic, ableist politicians and general citizens and feeling like it's somehow okay to hate on people. Maybe it's because of JK Rowling's weird award nomination for her own bigotry in the name of "free speech." But I've left several of my favorite spaces online because of mods refusing to address their trans-exclusionary behavior, going as far as deleting my comments/posts as well as those of other members, in communities that are supposed to welcome all women. As a cis ally all I can do is keep fighting and apologize for the behavior of people who somehow keep calling themselves feminists.

Trans women are women. There are no buts. There is, however, a huge spectrum of both sex and gender that I really encourage you to explore. You probably don't even know your own sex chromosomes, by the way. Did you know that? There really is so much to learn about gender. If you are confused about it, please do some research and learn more before speaking out to invalidate others. It is recklessly dangerous and only spreads more hate, fear and violence. My fellow cis women, please, please talk to your friends who don't get it. Send them these links. Help protect our trans children, brothers and sisters. 

Do you know of any other great research or ways to help educate people about this? Please share your links in the chat. 

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Kegels For Gamers

Check out this innovative tech!

Doing Kegels isn't always the most fun, but many people with vaginas need to do them for various reasons. Strengthening the pelvic floor really helps with issues after giving birth, incontinence and other problems, and it can improve one's sex life to boot. So someone came up with the idea of doing Kegel exercises with a game!

When I first saw the Perifit Kegel exerciser and app, I thought it was ridiculous. Play Mario or Angry Birds with your vagina? It seems really weird. But then I thought you know, Kegels could use an update in how they're done, and what better way to make it actually fun than add a bluetooth that controls your game?

Would you use a device like this? I'm still on the fence but I must admit that it's intriguing!

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UK Bans Trans Puberty Blockers

This is cruel and unusual for trans kids

Who else is incredibly exhausted from witnessing all of the politicians playing doctor lately? People without medical degrees need to stop making medical decisions for people immediately. That goes for the UK government, which just banned teens under 16 from taking puberty blockers.

Make no mistake: These blockers aren't just randomly given to children. These are kids who've been transitioning since a young age (which means cutting their hair, choosing clothes to fit their gender, etc. and not having surgery or taking drugs, by the way; those things don't happen until later) and know which gender they are. They, and only they alone, know this. Yet a UK judge just ruled that they aren't old enough to choose if they can be on blockers or not, which means that kids who've been living with blockers, or who've been living assuming they'll get them come puberty, will now go through a puberty opposite their own gender. In front of everyone.

This is exceptionally cruel. There will be depressed kids over this. There will be kids who may even try to take their own lives. It's reprehensible for a judge to make a call that should be between doctors and patients, a call that is against what's commonly accepted by psychologists and psychiatrists.

Please be vocal about your opposition to this ruling. Give to Amnesty International and Mermaids to help fight on the ground. Don't let these poor kids suffer because of one highly uninformed judge's ruling.

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Superintelligence And Other Media This Week

What have you enjoyed?

My husband and I just watched Melissa McCarthy's new movie (another with her husband, Ben Falcone), Superintelligence, and while it wasn't quite as funny as we expected, it was pretty cute.

McCarthy's sweet character was paired with the equally sweet Bobby Cannavale, which was really nice for women to see. Too often the goofball guy is paired with the hot chick, and while McCarthy is beautiful, she's not Hollywood conventionally gorgeous as so many films demand, and I loved them together. I just wish they'd had a funnier script.

The movie had a fantastic premise and the trailer treats it like a comedy, but it's more of a romance, which is confusing. I wonder if they wanted to hide that to get more people to watch it, which is sad to me. People say the rom-com is dead, but if it's done right, it can be lovely. Just look at Schitt's Creek.

What media are you enjoying this week? Have you seen Superintelligence? If so, what did you think?

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The Queen's Gambit

Another Fantastic Series in Which to Escape

After hearing a bunch of guys on Facebook complaining about Netflix's The Queen's Gambit, I knew I had to defend this rich, engrossing show. It's not a true story; instead, it tells a very plausible alternative history of what could have occurred had the sexism of the 1960s not existed. Anna Taylor-Joy plays chess prodigy Beth Harmon, an orphan whose genius mother suffered from mental illness. She learned to play chess from the orphanage janitor and went on to become the best player in the world.

Taylor-Joy is frankly always a delight, in my experience, and in this case there's no exception. She plays Harmon, an updated version of the tortured genius, well. If you loved movies like A Beautiful Mind, you'll probably enjoy this one, too. And if you did but you think this is boring, like some of the reviewers I spoke with, I have to wonder if it's because you're so used to seeing women used as prizes, helpers or manic pixies.

The most wonderful part of this series is the fact that Beth's agency is kept intact. She has her own home at an age before most young people, let alone single women, do, or certainly did during the 1960s. Her relationships are casual by her own choice, and she doesn't remain with people who have their own ideas of who she should be and what a fine wife she'd make simply because of her looks or mystery. Even the kindest men she sleeps with don't really know her and in the end, it is her friendships, and not a romantic relationship, that are at the core of her success.

It's an incredibly refreshing take, and between the fantastic acting and direction, it's also a fun world to slip into. There were moments where I cringed, thinking something terrible (likely a sexual assault) might occur only because it ALWAYS does in a story about a woman like this, and let's face it, that is realistic. A third of women can expect violence in their lives at some point. But that doesn't mean we have to glorify it in media, which is meant to help us escape or relax from real life, and The Queen's Gambit doesn't do that at all. There is plenty of loss and heartbreak, including a violent suicide, but there's no glorification of sexual violence, or any sexual violence at all. So the tension that builds is actually tension that's fun to follow.

What did you think of the seven-episode miniseries?

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RBG Holiday Gifts

What have you found?

Missing Ruth Bader Ginsberg is on many a person's mind these days, and not just because she accomplished so much for us. The Supreme Court has been stacked 6-3 and many citizens are just waiting to find out the ramifications behind the imbalance.

As we hover in the uncertainty together, there are some fun RBG products out there we can purchase for holiday gifts for one another, some of which benefit special causes that RBG would have supported. Last month I bought some limited edition wax melts in honor of the Supreme Court justice from Villainous Wax that benefited a reproductive rights organization.

From earrings to ornaments to entire advent calendars, Ruth's memory is everywhere. What mementos are you celebrating her with this holiday season?

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Welcoming Our VP!

Share your hopes for Madame Vice President Harris!

We are in for a long, painful road while the current president contests election results and undermines the very democracy he's... well, that he's undermined for the past four years, if not longer. But we have some major successes to celebrate, from states protecting LGBTQIA rights, to the rainbow wave of the most LGBTQIA candidates elected, to abortion rights protected and drugs decriminalized. Our biggest victory, of course, is the changing of the guard itself, which includes our first woman VP!

Congratulations, Madame Vice President and President Elect Joe Biden. We all know they weren't our first choices, but they are solid choices for changes as long as we work together with them and keep pushing forward. Harris is also one of the most progressive senators in office, with a voting record even more progressive than Bernie or Liz, which is pretty impressive. Neither is perfect but both are strong candidates we can definitely make great things happen with!

Do you have hopes, well wishes or other sentiments to share with Kamala Harris? Post them here in the chat!

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