30 January 2015

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Female directors that did not get their Oscars

This selection is not about the content, but about the authors. While our inspirational movie list is growing longer and longer, there are only few among them who have been directed or written by women (or transpersons for that matter). Yes, not all women-directed movies are good or feminist. Yes, there are feministing movies made by men. Yes, directorship is not the only position from which women can influence the movies. You have screenwriters, writers whose work is adapted to movies, women whose lives are adapted to movies, but...

This article came out after the 2014 Oscars nominations were announced, offering a list of women who - while movies they had directed were nominated to Best Picture - were not nominated for the Best Director award.
The chonological order for those cases is the following: 
1986 - Children of a Lesser God by Randa Haines
1991 - The Prince of Tides by Barbra Streisand
2007 -  Little Miss Sunshine by Valerie Faris (co-director with Jonathan Dayton)
2008 - Slumdog Millionaire for which the award was given to Danny Boyle but not to his co-director in India Loveleen Tandan
2009 - An Education by Lone Scherfig
2010 - The Kids are All Right by Lisa Cholodenko
2010 - Winter's Bone by Debra Granik
2013 - Zero Dark Thirty by Kathryn Bigelow
2014 - Selma by Ava DuVernay
Only four women have actually earned nominations for Best Director in the history of the ceremony:
1976 - Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties
1993 - Jane Campion for The Piano
2003 - Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation
2009 - Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Bigelow is the only woman to win the award. They have been giving these things out since 1929.

Lesson learnt? Keep your eyes peeled for movies directed by women, because the big award machines won't give that to you. Here are few additional suggestions from the movies that we have covered. And here's a longer list on imdb.com to keep you entertained.

+ An elegant rant on the particular uglyness of the 2014 nominations.

23 January 2015

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Designing Woman (1957)

Guess, when did Hollywood decided that it was OK for a woman to have a life beyond romantic aspirations! Well, around 1957.

Designing Women (1957, Vincente Minnelli), while following much of the style of other misunderstanding-based romantic comedies (see Bringing Up Baby (1938)), introduces some elements that make it much more advanced than you would expect.

The heroine (the most amazing Lauren Bacall, mind you) is a very successful fashion designer. So, contrary to the female employment patterns in US at that time (work until marriage, then full-time caretaker), she has no intentions of quitting even if stumbling upon a person she'd like to marry.

While vacationing, she enjoys the party and actually does find somebody she likes. She proceeds to take time off from work to enjoy the romance.

She eats! A lot! Claiming that she eats ridiculous amounts when in love, Marilla proceeds to devour stuff. Implication? Women - even the very beautiful and successful - are humans. They require calory intake. Good news fro women everywhere, taking account how complex the dominant culture makes our relationship with food.

When starting to build an everyday life together, turns out that she earns more than her partner. He suffers about it a bit, then gets over and life goes on. The tension does not go back to that. Ha! Even more, they have very different lifestyles and social circles. And that is deemed to be OK. They can live with it.

It's not all feminist dream (and, obviously, a very privileged, high class scenario), as the plot spinner is jealousy of Marilla fuelled by the nondisclosure of information by Mike in the name of protecting Marilla. But the amazing part (for 1957!) is that once overcome the misunderstandings, there's no insinuation that Marilla should quit her job, change her friends or somehow differently adjust to her partner. Nice, eh?

17 January 2015

We don't want to take it any more!

Youtube entertainment group BuzzFeed have created various videos on topic of women empowerment which perfectly displays the situations with what women have to deal on daily basis but shouldn't be like that.

We are living in a society where female bodies and choices are criticized constantly. It comes from media and sometimes even very close people. We are tired of all that - listening that our bodies are not OK the way they are, catcalling, online harassment and being called in the worst names when we decide to take a stand for our decisions.

Nowadays we are having many stereotypes on what is feminism. It has become a negative concept despite the actual fact that feminism is a movement towards equality between genders. My guess is that it came out as a negative concept because women are getting angry and becoming more aggressive because of the way we are treated.

Unfortunately, almost all women can relate abusive, harassing and/or uncomfortable situations from men and we are the ones who are blamed for that.  The problem is that if we say "no" or express our aversion in a calm, polite way it's almost never taken seriously. And this is what makes us angry and more aggressive. We don't want to be puppets of the patriarchy, we want to be in charge of ourselves and that our choices are respected no matter which way of living we choose.

We want to be heard and we want to protect our sisters all over the world. We simply won't take it any more, it's time for development and changes.

06 January 2015

Hysteria FemCon 2015

2015 is already starting with loud events towards women empowerment and gender equality. "Hysteria" is coming soon and will take place in India, Kolkata from 10th to 12th of January. It is creation by Eye Art Collective; group of young artists, enthusiasts and activists who combine their interests and skills to create world a better place.
Before the event we contacted people who stand behind it and they were happy to answer our questions and share their good practices despite their busy schedules. In this article we will get to know what is Eye Art Collective and their creation "Hysteria", what are their main goals and difficulties to create such an event.

Manisha Ganguly (Co-Founder/Editor of Eye Art Collective) :
"We at Eye are an independent art collective that is anarcha-feminist, anti-racist and queer-positive. Our main tool is artivism, using art as a form of activism, to create awareness about socio-politico-cultural issues in the all-pervasive, bold way that only art can, transcending language barriers. Feminism as an ever-changing ideology-movement is one that is viewed with much trepidation, fear and suspicion by the layperson. Feminists are often typified as “ugly” and or “man-haters” (as feminists are mostly female, you follow-great sarcasm at play here,folks-), among other unflattering adjectives; the Feminist vision is often obscured by radicals within the Feminist fold who envision a matriarchy as their final goal and take away from the real problems on the ground – patriarchal oppression, gender violence and deep-rooted sexism that pervades every pore of the skin of society.
Hysteria, aims to address all of these issues and more with the use of varied mediums to understand the prevailing pre-conceived notions, right them and help all participating persons to be more gender-tolerant individuals. With the help of diverse mediums from good old fashioned discussions to air everyone’s views, to screening topical films to workshops on self defence to music, theatre and slam poetry, we wish to use all available means to reach our end of gender sensitivization and creating general awareness.
Obstacles will crop up, and always will, especially when an event of such a singularity is on the cards. From being misunderstood as to our objective (anarchism is not taken lightly by institutions or blindly collectivist individuals who are either a>not enlightened or b>refuse to be enlightened as to what it really entails) to having the usual event hiccups in terms of logistics, finance and manpower, we have persevered and how.
Hysteria is a-go from the 10th to the 12th of January at Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. We hope our initiative, albeit a drop in the ocean, makes a difference in the way we view the world. For the better.

More info:
If you are around the area you are very welcome and we highly recommend you to join Hysteria FemCon 2015!

04 January 2015

New year, new ambitions and even bigger love for Being A Girl!

Last year have been very important for women empowerment! Many loud events and happenings took place all over the world which are developing the movement. New years resolutions are important but it's also important to remember what happened and inspired us in the last year! Here are five of the brightest moments that keep us going:

  A 17 years old girl from Pakistan took a stand for her and thousand of other young girl rights and received the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala Yousafzai made huge impact on women empowerment worldwide and proved that feminism changes the world.

He for She by Emma Watson in the UN. This woman is an Idol and/or appreciated by women and men all over the world. Her speech shook the world. It created bigger interest on gender equality and fact that feminism is not only a girl issue.

A group of feminist advocates, including Soraya Chemaly, won a fight in worlds biggest social media! Facebook changed its policies towards breastfeeding and currently the pictures of nursing women are no longer banned from the social media.

Many pop artists, top actors and musicians have declared themselves as feminists, such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lena Dunham, Aziz Ansari and previously mentioned Emma Watson. It helps to lessen the stigma and stereotypes towards feminism and increases the involvement which, we believe, is a step forward towards gender equality.

This year Sweden took it in brand new level by creating new word in their vocabulary. Sweden created "hen" which stands for gender neutral pronoun which can be used when talking about someone whose gender in unknown. Gender-neutral feminism revolution.

New year, new ambitions! We hope that the world is inspired by 2014, so 2015 is going to be a very exciting year towards women empowerment! What do you want to achieve in this year? Here you can find some inspiration from leading feminists.

I Being a Girl team wants to thank every single person for being together with us in 2014! Thank you for reading and sharing! Special thanks to our amazing supporters for guest articles! Every single contribution is appreciated and we love you as much as we ♥ Being a Girl! We can do it!

I Being a Girl Team