Underrated Ladies Tag – Part 1

Preamble

Ahhhhh this is such a cool and interesting tag to be included in. I’m so excited thank you so much Megan. Female power is so important Megan from A Geeky Gal embodies it for sure!

Plus the originator Kate  @ Melting Pots and Other Calamities makes amazing content about female strength. Please go check her out I just discovered her but she is awesome.

Also, don’t be disappointed there are no Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters in my tag below. I intend on doing a whole separate post for them! Yay! So dem rules are pretty simple and they are seen below.

The Rules:

  • Please PINGBACK to me at Kate @ Melting Pots and Other Calamities. Or just Kate. And PINGBACK TO A SPECIFIC POST OF MINE.  I won’t see the post otherwise, and I’d like to see it.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Choose female characters from books, movies, TV, anime, Webtoons, etc.
  • Tag as many people as you want, but at least one person.
  • Have fun!

Tag

Name a heroine you like, but whom you feel is always overshadowed by the male characters in the story.

Quinn Airgon (Tika Sumpter) from Final Space. This show hit us with real feels, crazy antics, and the unforgettable baby green squish. Yet I rarely talk about the amazing character of Quinn. She is intelligent, tough, beautiful, and loyal. Throughout the series, she is surrounded by male energy which is equal parts ridiculous and reckless. Without her, I’m pretty sure the whole team aboard the Galaxy One would have perished.

Quinn Airgon
Quinn Airgon

As you can see, her facepalm game is real.

For that matter, name a heroine whom you feel is always overshadowed by the other female characters in the story.

Donna Moss(Janel Moloney) from The West Wing. This show had wonderfully powerful females, from press secretary C.J Cregg (darling Allison Janney), to First Lady Abigail Anne Bartlet (the incomparable Stockard Channing). Yet Donna Moss was always my favourite.

She was tough, funny, and infinitely capable. Her role to offer comic relief in a show known for its heavy topics, but boy was she a great character when the chips were down. Her relationship with Josh Lyman(Bradly Whitford) resulted in some of the best scenes in the show.

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Donna Moss

Although she was ‘only’ an assistant to Joss (and I say ‘only’ lightly), she ran a tight ship, anticipated her boss’s every move, and was a sharp as a tack. Her full title was Senior Assistant to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, for many seasons. I won’t spoil the show for you (but if you haven’t watched it what are you doing with your life), she gets bigger and better jobs.

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Name a character who had potential but was greatly underutilized in her story.

Kaywinnit Lee Frye (Jewel Staite) know affectionately as Kaylee is one of my favourite Firefly characters. (Yes I am still salty Firefly was cancelled). Throughout its short run Firefly grasped us by the heart and never quite let us go. Of course, Joss Whedon would have said there were no main characters, but for me, Kaylee always got the back seat.

Mal was the Captain (loveable rogue Nathan Fillion), and his first mate Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres) badass extraordinaire, usually took centre stage. Kaylee, while essential to the upkeep of the ship, rarely went on missions. That was left to the captain, his first mate, and their hired hand Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin, no not one of THE baldwins) who got to be centre stage.

Kaylee Frye
Kaylee Frye

Along with that, you had the transcendently beauty Inara Serra(Morena Baccarin), the ever more mysterious River Tam(Summar Glau), her brother Dr Simon Tam (Sean Maher) who with his medical training was thrown front and centre, finally the enigmatic Derriel Book (Ron Glass). This leaves Kaylee in the back seat.

Now I’m sure if we’d gotten more Firefly the character of Kaylee would have been expanded. She is fiercely funny, loyal to her space family, regardless of their less than above board activities, and a brilliant mechanic. We may not have gotten much time with her, but she knew how to get into our hearts regardless.

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Kaylee Frye

Name a female character who you either find better in her book than her movie, find better in her movie than her book, or whose portrayals you find equal.

Minerva McGonagall (portrayed by the legend Dame Maggie Smith in the movies) is my favourite Harry Potter character. There is very few who even come close to her, in both the novels and the movies. Her name is the same as the Roman Goddess of wisdom, and like Hermione Granger(Emma Watson), was almost placed in Ravenclaw. Ultimately we see her courage and integrity which to me, means she was correctly placed in Griffyndor.

Minerva McGonagall
Minerva McGonagall

She is an exceptionally brilliant wizard, even beside Albus Dumbledore she holds her ground. She is warm and loving, yet tough. Her obvious concern for not only students of her own house, but for all the students, endears her to me.

Even though Harry was not her child, she bought him his first broom in first year. A child who never had anything was given a broom which put him in touch with a talent that gave him pure joy.

She defends the unfair removal of Hagrid in book 5, in which she fights back, but is ultimately put in the hospital. We must remember she was an elderly woman at this stage. During the battle of Hogwarts McGonagall is fighting alongside the rest, loyal to magic, Dumbledore, and good to the very end. When the fighting is over she is made the Headmistress of Hogwarts.

Minerva McGonagall
Minerva McGonagall

Name a character who you want more backstory on.

Emily Gilmore(Kelly Bishop) from the Gilmore Girls. Although her life is alluded to in the show, really the focus is on Lorelai(Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). Of course, I love both Lorelai and Rory for different reasons, but I feel Emily’s hard done by. We are given her story from Lorelai’s perspective and of course, that’s going to be of an overbearing mother.

Emily Gilmore
Emily Gilmore

In some cases, we get a glimpse of maybe how difficult it may have been to be Emily. Richard Gilmore(Edward Herrmann) her husband, while he adored his wife, had a mother (Lorelai the first portrayed by Marion Ross), appears in several episodes and is quite cruel to Emily. I can only imagine what that was like when Emily was young and newlywed.

Also, Lorelai ran away from Emily and Richard’s controlling hands, but this hurt Emily more than she’s ever cared to admit. She adores her granddaughter Rory but loves her daughter no less. For me, the Gilmore Girls needed to include more about the eldest Gilmore Girl, Emily.

Emily Gilmore

Name a character with traits you feel are sadly overlooked by everyone.

Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan) in Charmed. My love affair with Rose McGowan has only grown over the years, and her acting skills were what first lead me to her. After the death of my favourite Halliwell when I was a teenager, Paige was introduced to fill the huge shoes of Prudence Halliwell (Shannon Doherty).

Paige Matthews
Paige Matthews

Although Piper Halliwell (Holly-Maire Combs) was my favourite sister (I think she was everyone’s favourite, to be honest), I felt Paige was always overshadowed by her older sisters. Piper had reason to be front and centre as her powers were great but Paige’s powers were just as defensive. Somehow though Phoebe(Alyssa Milano) always got more attention, and I think that may have been directors choice somehow.

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Paige Matthews

For me, even taking Piper’s powers of freezing, combustion, and her talents with potions, Paige’s powers were arguably the best out of all four sisters. As she was a mixture of White-Lighter and witch, her powers of telekinesis were therefore enhanced, she could orb anywhere at will and eventually learns how to heal.

She was also very level-headed for her age, kind when it came to those in need, hence her career in social care when we meet her first, and finally her fire. She did not grow up with the Halliwell sisters, and her adoptive parents died quite young. She didn’t have the attachment issues the other sisters had, and this worked to her advantage sometimes when it came around to making hard decisions.

It was toyed with a bit, showing her first as an active social care worker and then White-Lighter. Ultimately this was abandoned for one reason or another, but when watching Charmed, I found myself enjoying Paige’s stories more than those of Phoebe.

Name a morally grey character. (Villain or anti-hero!)

Louise Belcher(Kristen Schaal) is the youngest member of the Belcher family and my personal favourite. Each and every member of the Belcher’s is funny in their own way, but Louise has a special place in my heart. For someone so young and adorable, she is quite evil.

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Louise Belcher

For me, I love a girl with a bit of spunk and Louise Belcher has malice in her that makes me chuckle every time. Her parents are wonderfully accepting of their children and their various quirks and let them all be themselves. Louise is highly intelligent but uses her smarts for evil instead of good. You go Lou, we love you.

Louise Belcher
Louise Belcher

A character you’re stunned isn’t more famous.

Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley McClane) from Steel Magnolias. I know she probably is famous to some degree, but she doesn’t appear in enough gifs in my opinion. Steel Magnolias is one of my favourite movies, and I’ve cried more times then I can count at that movie.

Ouiser
Ouiser

Overall the female power in that movie is incredible with the cast consisting of Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, and Daryl Hannah. Feel good isn’t even the word to describe the character of Ouiser’s throughout the movie. She does and says things we all wish we had the balls to.

Ouiser Beaudroux
Ouiser Beaudroux

She is the grumpy old lady I aspire to be and spends her time not giving a shit about who she insults or what she says. Although abrasive, she is the best friend of Clariee Blecher(Olympia Dukakis) who appears ladylike and demure but is just as twistedly funny and Ouiser.

They also have one of the best friendships immortalised in the history of the big screen, and one of the best lines. “You know I love you more than my luggage.” I demand more Ouiser gifs and appreciation!

Ouiser Beaudrox
Ouiser Boudreaux

A character from a piece of fiction you’re amazed isn’t more famous.

Ellen Riley(Sigourney Weaver) from the Alien franchise. I can hear you yelling at the screen, “but she is famous, she’s in four of the movies, blah blah blah.” Ok, can you whist for a second and let me explain myself? Please and thank you.

When you watch Alien for the first time, you don’t know who the protagonist is going to be. That’s the beauty of that movie. Each character is carefully drawn with their own limits and flaws.

Ellen Ripley
Ellen Ripley

Ellen is no different and in fact, she’s not a kind or soft female character. She’s tough, pedantic, and not particularly well liked. Perhaps this is the reason she survives, but for me as a young girl, it was wonderful to see someone who wasn’t the typical female in a horror movie.

Ellen Ripley
Ellen Ripley

She never has makeup on, she’s filthy by the end of the movie, and covered in a film of greasy sweat. She wore baggy ship clothes, wore her hair naturally, and didn’t spend 90% of the movie smiling to show off her beautiful teeth.

Ellen Ripley
Ellen Ripley

Don’t get me wrong, Sigourney Weaver is a beautiful woman, but she wasn’t the typical Hollywood beauty, and that’s what made her so amazing. She was one of the first proper female badasses, written like a real person, portrayed like a real person, and gave zero fucks about what she looked like while fighting for her life. Along with being one of my most favourite movies of all time, Alien gave me one of my first strong females. She paved the way for many more, and I’m arguing that she isn’t given enough credit as far as heroes on movie franchises go.

Captain Marvel might have been the first Superhero movie about a woman, but Ellen Ripley was out here being a badass since 1979. I think I feel a tattoo coming on ladies…

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I’m Tagging:

A mixture of everyone because anyone can be a feminist and support women! Don’t feel obligated, but I would just love to see all your takes on it!

Nicole from Mullen Crafts – Another strong female who surprises me time after time.

Lee from Lee’s Hall of Information – I feel this would be right up your alley, maybe even some strong female characters of your own?

Quibbles & Scribbles – I think you would kick this tags butt!

Dalen from Dalen Flynn – You always have something interesting to say!

A Queen With Wings – They have written about feminism in the past.

BlackWings666 – You’ve never shied away from Women in fiction.

Pussy Tantrum – For your love of Jill Banner and other gorgeous ladies.

Thank you, my dear friends! Love Jaycee. xxx

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Also, Megan has a YouTube channel so go support our sister!

 

Wicca

Wicca. Noun. “A religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (such as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles.”[i]

 

Although I don’t follow an organised religion, I’ve always felt there was a spiritual gap in my life. I envy my friend’s meditative connection to a higher power when they pray. When I’m struggling with my mental illnesses, I know the ability to focus my mind would give me peace. Yet meditation is not an easy skill to learn as I’ve struggled with it for many years. However, those practising Wicca take this training as the due course in their craft.

“Be aware…that disciplines are ineffective unless a routine is established because the unconscious is attuned to patterns and will respond easily once the pattern of a conscious routine is rhythmic.”[ii]

In my local Vincent De Paul, I came across a book on Witchcraft, and absentmindedly bought it as research for one of my projects. In reading it a revelationary paradigm was cracked. Not only due to its descriptive worth, but it’s connections to female power struggles throughout history. While the modern Wicca has both male and female practitioners, it’s roots are in paganism and witchcraft. Both known for their charged feminine figures.

As a feminist I hunger to understand the lore of the feminine, and that which is interwoven into my body. It was comforting to discover that our pagan ancestors used their awareness of the heavens to not only influences the outer world but their inner worlds. To them inner peace begat outer peace.

“Discovering the sublime silence at the center of your being and activating that center.”[iii]

Wicca

Of course, as Halloween approaches, (my favourite time of the year), that which is chilling surfaces. Yet it is my duty to remind you that although dark magic exists and was practised as a religion throughout the ages, those that called themselves witches were persecuted out of fear. Not as a result of any true evil. Women were murdered for their independence, for displaying fortitude, and simply for their feminine energies.

Wicca was born in the 20th century out of the ashes of witchcraft and paganism. It can be practised alone or as the member of a coven. It’s the way of the Goddess, to live beyond the ego, to firmly grasp your senses, so you are their ruler. “Awareness is the ability to literally read the feelings in the air…awareness means control of one’s undertakings.”[iv] Wicca is not about changing the outside world to your every whim. It’s changing how you process your inner world so your journey in life may be more mindful, enjoyable, and rich.

‘Do as ye will, e’re it harm none’

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

References:

De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide.

https://books.google.ie/books/about/Witchcraft.html?id=1TFuAm5N7gEC&redir_esc=y

Footnotes:

[i] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Wicca

[ii] De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide. Page 4.

[iii] De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide. Page 9.

[iv] De Angeles, Ly. 2006. “Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.” Llewellyn Publications. Llewellyn Worldwide. Page 37.

 

Do you like my Spooky Tuesday blogs? Well, there are more coming soon this October. Until then why not satiate your hunger with my stories section:

https://thinkingmoon.com/category/stories/

Tough Love

Episode Name: “Tough Love.”

Season: 5

Episode: 19

Writer(s): Rebecca Rand Kirshner

Director: David Grossman

Quote of the Episode:

Principal Stevens: “Now I think we all know that Dawn is more than just a kid.”

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It’s like she knows!

Screenshot of the Episode:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Firstly, this is actually Clare Kramer in the bath so perfect timing, and secondly, what other evil hell god loves bubble baths?

Summary:

Buffy and friends have the threat of the hell god Glory hanging over them. Some infighting occurs between Buffy and Dawn, and Willow and Tara. One these fights end in tragedy when Glory thinks she’s found the key, and as a result, destroys Tara’s mind.

Analysis:

There is something truly awful about fighting with someone you love. When we fight with a stranger or an enemy, it’s less personal, less painful. When we fight with our loved ones, we are vulnerable and we can cause pain. In “Tough Love” we see the agony we can inflict on our loved ones, and the agony they can inflict on us.

The female relationships take the fore in this episode, and even the subtext from the male characters is female.

Xander: “Whatever you choose you’ve got my support, just think of men as your *pause* you know I’m searching for supportive things, and I’m coming up all bras so… something more manly, think of me as that so…”

BtVS has always managed to subvert the male viewpoint and present itself from the female perspective. The Slayers are female, the male characters are in a passive position, and the morality of the show is presented from the care perspective which is explained beautifully by Jessica Pratt Miller:

“The justice perspective, with its abstract focus on reason and impersonal rules and authority, echoes cultural ideas of masculinity, while the care perspective, with its contextual focus on personal relationships, including feelings and emotions, fits with ideals of femininity.”[i]

Even Giles who is a strong father figure to Buffy points out that although he is there, she needs to take control of her responsibilities with Dawn.

Giles: “I may be a grown-up, but you’re her family, her only real family now, she needs you to do this.”

Buffy’s been struggling with her new found guardian role, as she cannot approach it with her fists. She must get Dawn to attend school, and do her homework, but Dawn doesn’t think it matters. Buffy has to tell her the horrible fact that if she can’t make her, then Dawn will be taken away. Of course in the Buffyverse, this is intensified by the fact that Dawn would without Buffy’s protection from Glory, she would be exposed.

Dawn: “Who cares if a key gets an education anyway?… Those monks put grades K through 8 in my head, can’t we just wait and see if they drop 9 in there too?”

Buffy: “Because they’ll take you away. If I can’t make you go to school, then I won’t be found fit to be your legal guardian.”

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Meanwhile, Willow, is grappling with her identity once again, as we have discussed in previous Buffy posts. She doesn’t want to be considered the “Side-Kick.” This identity crisis continues in her fight with Tara. She fears she’s the “Junior Partner” in the relationship. The key reasoning is that Tara has lost her mother, unlike Willow, Tara has been a practicing Wicca longer than Willow, and Tara has been out as lesbian longer than Willow. According to James B. South “…her biggest fear is that, deep down, she hasn’t changed at all; that beneath all the layers of social roles she has assumed, she is still the nerdy schoolgirl that she was when the show first started.”[ii]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Willow bites back at Tara with this bitter retort: “I’m really sorry I didn’t establish my lesbo street cred before I got into this relationship *pause* you’re the only woman I’ve ever fallen in love with so, how on Earth could you ever take me seriously?” This causes a fracture and Willow leaves. This leads to the consequence of Tara being alone when Glory finds her. When she discovers she is not, in fact, the key, she becomes angry and steals her mind. This is the worst punishment a character can face in the show as Glory describes it thusly: “It doesn’t kill ya. What it does is make you feel like you’re in a noisy little dark room, naked and ashamed, there are things in the dark that need to hurt you because you’re bad…” This makes me shiver every time.

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Spike’s character this season, while mixed ( we cannot forget the Buffybot…), has shown genuine courage and strength. He did not reveal Dawn to be the key, even though Glory tortured him for hours. His face still shows the scars of this valor, born of a new morality, the morality of the Slayer.

He comforts Dawn as best he can, when she is under his protection.

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Dawn: “Anything that happens to Tara, that’s cuz of me… I’m a lightening rod for pain and hurt… I must be something truly evil.”

Spike: “I’m a vampire, I know something about evil, and you’re not evil.”

Dawn: “Maybe I’m not evil, but I don’t think I can be good?

This compelling scene has the added dimension of not just Dawn as a mystical key but as a human being. None of us are truly good or truly evil. This is something we struggle with as we grow, and Dawn is getting a lesson early.

Finally, we see the further evidence of Willow’s descent into evil which will culminate in the final episodes of season 6. She reaches for a book with “Darkest Magick” on the cover.

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As with Dawns realisation that she can neither be solely good nor evil Willow shows us her dark undercurrents. This was put beautifully by James B. South: “…because our ordinary notion of Willow is one in which Willow would never do the sorts of things she did. It is incomplete as a response, though, because it assumes that we could ever fully understand Willow, that there are no dark currents in her, that we could ever construct a coherent and consistent narrative for Willow.”[iii]

While the episode doesn’t end in death for Willow, she has incurred the wrath of Glory. When Glory tracks her down (“I told you this wasn’t over,”) poor Tara inadvertently reveals to her that Dawn is the key. Had she kept her head as Buffy asked her to, Dawn may not have been discovered so early. We see the fallout from giving in to our desires, a conflict which Willow contends with for seasons to come.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Source Material:

“Tough Love.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 5, episode 19, The WB, May 1, 2001

South, J. B. (2003). “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale.” (Vol. 4). Open Court Publishing.

Field, Mark. 2013. “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Myth, Metaphor, and Morality. “Amazon Digital Services LLC.

Gilligan, C. (1993). In a different voice. Harvard University Press.

Endnotes

[i] Pratt Miller, Jessica. (2003). “The I in Team2: Buffy and Feminist Ethics.” (Vol. 4). Open Court Publishing. Page 37.

[ii] South, J. B. (2003). “My God, It’s Like a Greek Tragedy”: Willow Rosenberg and Human Irrationality.”  (Vol. 4). Open Court Publishing. Page 135.

[iii] South, J. B. (2003). “My God, It’s Like a Greek Tragedy”: Willow Rosenberg and Human Irrationality.” (Vol. 4). Open Court Publishing. Page 145.

Did you like this? Check out the Buffy the Vampire Slayer category on my main page:

https://thinkingmoon.com/category/buffy-the-vampire-slayer/

Female Authors

Hello, fellow bookworms! I see you there. 😉 In this post, I would like to talk about my Goodreads challenge along with the female authors I’ve read since January. I won’t be necessarily reviewing the books because I don’t want to spoil any of them on you, but I will be talking about how they affected me.

I set myself a goal of 80 non-work related books to read this year. If you’re on Goodreads why not come join me on my quest. How many have you pledged? Here is a link to my profile:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/44595266-j-c

So far I’ve accomplished 52 of the total 80 which is 65%. As you can see from this very hi-tech screen grab below.

Female Authors
Female Authors

As part of this challenge, I want at least half of those 80 books to be from female authors. Although I have read many female authors in my time, I wanted to make a conscious effort to give equal support to both male and female authors this year.

The following 20 books I’m going to discuss are from female authors I’ve read this year. Seeing as I’ve already read 52 books and only 20 of them are female authors, I’ve  some catching up to do.

Let me know in the comments below if you love/hate any of these books and why? Maybe one of these are on your ‘to be read’ list. Let’s have a chat.  Ok let us not waste any more time, we begin.

Book number 1: ‘The Bell Jar’ – Sylvia Plath

Female Authors
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

As far back as secondary school (high school for my American friends), I’ve loved the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Her melancholy resonated with miserable teenage Jenni. At Christmas I received her only novel as a gift from my parents and proceeded to read it on the 1st of January. What an interesting way to start this year of books. Although it was a compelling read, I still feel her poetry is superior. It’s essential reading for anyone suffering from bipolar disorder, and although it’s not necessarily autobiographical, there are many parallels to Plath’s own life.

Book number 2: ‘Talking As Fast As I Can’ – Lauren Graham

Talking As Fast As I Can - Lauren Graham
Talking As Fast As I Can – Lauren Graham

I have mentioned before on this blog that I have an Audible account. It allowed me to listen to several of these books in the voice of their author. As a huge Gilmore Girls fan, I knew that this book would be best consumed audibly and I was correct. Graham does talk fast, but she keeps a sensible pace so you enjoy full extent of her funny anecdotal life.

Book number 3: ‘How To Be A Bawse’ – Lilly Singh

Female Authors
How To Be A Bawse – Lilly Singh

If you don’t know who Lilly Singh is, I’m really sorry. Here is her YouTube channel. Go ahead and subscribe. I’ll wait…

https://www.youtube.com/user/IISuperwomanII

…done? Did you watch a video or two? I know she’s great, you’re welcome. Now back to her book. There are so many self-help/ motivational books out there. This is one of the good ones. Honestly, she not only deals with the ins and outs of being a Bawse, but she explicitly explains her experiences with depression.

You also get the added bonus of it not only being read in the author’s voice but with some surprise guests. It’s an inspirational read.

Book number 4: ‘Americanah’ – Chimananda Ngozi Adichie

Female Authors
Adjoa Andoh

I thought this novel was phenomenal. I was a fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her speech “We Should All Be Feminists,” so I wanted to give one of her novels a try. Although this one isn’t read by the author herself, it’s beautifully narrated by the talented Adjoa Andoh who brings the different accents to life. It was highly rated on Audible and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s an exquisitely winding love story between Nigeria and the United States of America. Treat yourself with this yarn.

Book number 5: ‘Wishful Drinking’ – Carrie Fisher

Female Authors
Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

When I heard the news that we lost Carrie Fisher, I was devastated. I am such a huge Star Wars fan, and she was one of the first examples of a strong female character that I remember. Along with being such a wonderful personality, she’s also an excellent writer. Her voice (both literary and physical) is so unique. She finds the funny in both the darkness and the light of life. I don’t even have to individually single out any of her books because they are all awesome.

Book number 6: ‘The Princess Diarist’ – Carrie Fisher

Female Authors
The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

Speaking of Carrie Fisher did I mentioned that I love her? In this audiobook, you also get a section narrated by her daughter Billie Lourd.

Book number 7: ‘Furiously Happy’ – Jenny Lawson

Female Authors
Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson

This book has been on so many “10 books to read if you suffer from depression,” or “15 books by female authors,” or “books by online personalities,” that I had to bite the bullet and get it. While the cover is exceptionally attractive and draws you in even before you open the book, the contents are even crazier. It will make you laugh I promise, you’ll be so annoying you’ll want to read sections of it out loud to the person next to you (sorry Le Boo!). If you haven’t heard of her you can check her out here:

http://thebloggess.com/

(Jennis unite!)

Book number 8: ‘Brave’ – Rose McGowan

Female Authors
Brave – Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan has been such a controversial figure, and part of me really wonders how would she be received if she were a man. I am a fan of her hubris, I think she genuinely is brave when you account for all she’s been through. This book is an eye-opener and at times very distressing. The story of her struggle began way before her rape. She has been homeless, she grew up in a cult, and her home life, in general, was very tumultuous.

If you haven’t yet, read this book. Or listen to it on Audible. (I’m not sponsored by Audible by the way, I really wish I was though!)

Book number 9: ‘The Great Gasbag’ – Joy Behar

The Great Gasbag - J Behar
The Great Gasbag – Joy Behar

This book was a bit of light reading between books with a heavier subject. I’m a huge fan of The View which Joy Behar calls her home. Whoopi Goldberg is my Queen. Behar is the only remaining original panel member and she is not winding down. This book may be humorous, but she knows her stuff. Read it for a laugh or read it for the political facts. Either way, you’ll get what you came for.

Book number 10: ‘Repeal The 8th’­ – Una Mullally

Female Authors
Repeal The 8th – (Edited by) Una Mullally

This was a tough read in the lead up to the referendum. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read my post about it:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/why-im-voting-yes-on-may-25th/

This book is a collection of essays, personal stories, and poetry. It made me cry like a small child. It made me angry and see red. It also showed me the value of my vote. I was voting, not only for myself but for all the women that came before and all those who would come after. It was just downright powerful.

Book Number 11: ‘A Line Made By Walking’  – Sara Blaume

Female Authors
A Line Made By Walking – Sara Baume

I’ve spoken about my mental illness here in the past 6 months and any story that continues the conversation is worth reading. This story is set in Ireland, following an artist struggling to cope with her mental health issues. The story has the added dimension of being both unique and uncomfortably familiar at the same time. The images painted by the author are still stuck in my mind, and the cover of this book drew me in inexplicably. It’s also nice to support Irish authors when possible.

Book Number 12: ‘The History of Bees’ – Maja Lunde

A History Of Bees - Maja Lunde
The History Of Bees – Maja Lunde

Heard of this book before? Always meant to give it a read? Well, get on it because it’s fantastic. If you’re like me and you’re worried about the bees (I’m not crazy they help grow our food), this book will reinforce you, while frightening those who are unaware of the dangers in a dwindling bee population.

An intermingling tale of three parts, Lunde manages to both connect people who have never met while demonstrating their utterly alien experiences. The narrators are all terribly flawed so that we feel at home with them, and by the end, you’ll be trembling with worry about our little fuzzy friends.

Book Number 13: ‘Swing Time’ – Zadie Smith

Female Authors
Swing Time – Zadie Smith

Although college and the books I read back then feels like many eons ago (I did only graduate from my Bachelors in 2010), I distinctly remember a novel called ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith. I hadn’t read anything else of hers since and I was in Waterstones one day perusing when this bright yellow book caught my eye. Sure enough, it was Zadie Smith. I’d always promised I would read more of her but never got around to it. I decided to buy it there and then, and she’s still got it.

Book Number 14: ‘Grace’s Guide’ – Grace Helbig

Female Authors
Grace’s Guide – Grace Helbig

Grace Helbig has a lifestyle/comedy YouTube channel whose brand is socially awkward. Although her YouTube content appeals to the painfully bumbling teenager girl inside, I was actually disappointed by this book. She seemed to get this book deal when many YouTubers were also getting book deals because of their online clout with young audiences. The novelty of this novel falls short, and while you might get more of an insight into the person behind Grace Helbig, you will get nothing but recycled life advice from this. (Sorry Grace!)

Book Number 15: ‘No Seriously… I’m kidding’ – Ellen DeGeneres

Female Authors
Seriously…I’m Kidding – Ellen DeGeneres

This book is worth more than the €1 I paid for it in a second-hand shop. It was a lovely light companion for awhile between otherwise serious life times. Also, who doesn’t love Ellen?

Book Number 16: ‘Wicca Starter Kit’ – Lisa Chamberlain

Wicca Starting Kit - Lisa Chamberlain
Wicca Starter Kit – Lisa Chamberlain

This book, and the next were research for something I’m writing. I was surprised at the many misconceptions I had about Wicca, and I found these books useful in my own life. As someone who likes to experience slowly and deliberately, this book came through with many basic tools to survive in a modern world. When you feel as though you’re completely out of touch with nature and your own natural bodily rhythms these paradigms will help.

Book Number 17: ‘Witchcraft Theory & Practice’ – Ly De Angeles

Female Authors
Witchcraft Theory & Practice – Ly De Angeles

As I said this book was also for research purposes. It turned out to be a bargain for the €1 I paid in a second-hand shop. (I love thrifting books). This book, unlike the last one, is more explicit in its explanations, recommendations, and value. Wicca and witchcraft have been attached to women for millennia. It is your due diligence as a feminist to understand it’s history.

Book Number 18: ‘Nefertiti’ – Joyce Tyldesley

Female Authors
Nefertiti – Joyce Tyldesley

 

Simply put Tyldesley has an insanely impressive repertoire of writings and books on the subject of ancient Egypt. Although she has books which are concerned with the civilization as a whole, she is also known for books like this one, which are biographies of those long dead. You’ll get the idea from the full title, ‘Nefertiti: Unlocking The Mystery Surrounding Egypt’s Most Famous And Beautiful Queen.‘ If you want to get an idea about what Nefertiti was like, outside of her famous Berlin Bust (pictured on the novel’s cover), you can read this book.

Book Number 19: ‘You Can’t Fix Stupid’ –  Terry & Linda Jameson

Female Authors
You Can’t Fix Stupid – Terry & Linda Jameson

This is another fun book, that I read in a day. I actually took it with me when I was getting one of my tattoos. I kept chuckling and moving much the chagrin of my tattoo artist. If you know anything about the Psychic Twins you’ll enjoy this book, if you don’t you’ll still enjoy it.

They recently started a YouTube channel in which they discuss many interesting things, while also collabing with many other established YouTubers. I enjoyed this book, and you really can’t fix stupid. Have a look at their channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJZSVCGZksXJWlQECPJvk1A

Book Number 20: ‘Hatchepsut’ – Joyce Tyldesley

Female Authors
Hatchepsut – Joyce Tyldesley

Finally as with the other Joyce Tyldesley book on this list, ‘Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh.’ is an intense read. I credit the depth of the characterisation to Tyldesley’s extensive archaeological fieldwork experience.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Now that my friends is all for now. Liked what you read here? Why not try my previous list blogs?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/28-female-musicians-i-adore/

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/lets-learn-about-me/

 

Entrophy

Episode Name: “Entropy.”

Season: 6

Episode: 18

Writer(s): Drew Z. Greenberg

Director: James A. Contner

Quote of the Episode:

Buffy to Dawn: “True, but technically you’re one and a half.” – In reference to her only being created at the beginning of season 5.

Screenshot of the Episode:

Buffy32.PNG
Willow & Tara

Summary:

This episode is packed full of emotions, complexities, and plot developments. Notably, the episode follows Anya, the renewed vengeance demon. She tries in vain to wound Xander and by getting his friends to wish horrible acts of mutilation on him. The vengeance comes to her in the end. The Scoobies discover that ‘The Trio’ have hidden cameras throughout Sunnydale to monitor Buffy and friends. Anya has sex with Spike on the table in the Magic Box, an act everyone, including Dawn, witnesses.

Analysis:

Things fall apart.

This season was despised by fans for its dark atmosphere and what was considered inaccurate character choices. Even I found it distasteful when I first watched it. It grew on me as I aged, my life experience provided perspective. Philosophically this season flourishes in the shadows of human nature, showing us the darker side of our emotions. From Buffy’s treatment of herself and Spike, to Willow’s plunge into addiction, Dawn’s kleptomania, and finally Xander’s weakness of character, we are overcome with tenebrosity. I believe the season has value, so please allow me to play Devil’s advocate, that we might identify the life lessons we’ve all learned the hard way.

Buffy23
Buffy & Spike

 

This season saw the breakdown of several relationships. Buffy12From Buffy and Giles parting ways, Dawn’s kleptomania and Buffy’s complete ignorance of the fact, Willow’s abuse of magic and Tara, to Xander leaving Anya at the altar. Although we are often taught from a young age that love conquers all, it won’t. This is evidenced by Xander’s declaration, “I wish we could go back to the way things were before.” A childish train of thought to be sure, but we’ve all felt this exact painful flood of emotions when our actions cause irreversible consequences. However, it is common with grief too, “prompt fruitless fantasies of turning back time,” according to Korsmeyer (2008).

 

Love is like fire, it’s hot and transformative.  We often lose control of it, as it’s notoriously hard to handle, and it can be so easily extinguished. I don’t know any human who hasn’t suffered heartache in some way. It is part of our journey that we learn to heal ourselves and self-soothe, however many people never reach this stage in their development.  We see Xander and Anya fighting, their love transformed. To self-loathing for Xander, and wrath for Anya. This is shown through Anya’s bitter exclamation, “Yes honesty now. Congratulations Xander. I wonder what the medal will say.” According to Korsmeyer (2008) when love is mixed with anger there is a certain vigour to it.

Buffy21.PNG
Anya & Buffy

When I first watched this season, my anger was only directed at Xander. He was the sole villain of the piece, abandoning his love at the altar. My perspective has now shifted and although Anya was not to blame for the abandonment, her actions following the wedding-that-never-was are wrought with hypocrisy. According to Korsmeyer’s (2008) close scrutiny of Anya and Xander’s relationship, the love Anya feels for Xander is all consuming. She may have displayed affection for the other members of the group, but Xander was the only one she loved.

“…it would seem that although romantic love demands that we love only one person, forsaking all others, we may not properly be said to love truly if one person is all that we are capable of loving.”

Therefore it’s no surprise at her irrational behavior of engaging in sex with Spike on the table in The Magic Box. It really puts the nail in the coffin of Anya and Xander’s relationship. It also reflects the point made by Field (2013) that:

“As was hinted at the end of Hell’s Bells, Anya’s humanity (metaphorically, her adulthood) was fragile enough that it couldn’t withstand the crushing emotional blow of Xander leaving her at the altar.”

Buffy27.PNG
Spike & Anya

Her deep love transmuted to wrath, she has sex with Spike in The Magic Box, as vengeance burns in her heart. Of anyone she could have cheated with, Xander could not forgive her for cheating with Spike. However, Field (2013) again considers this to be a display of her need for affirmation from someone for her pain:

“…I saw her behavior as seeking validation for her pain. She didn’t really get that from the SG females, but she did with Spike. And when she did, she hushed his wish.”

While actions have consequences, all of our actions have intent. Anya’s decision to sleep with Spike was that, a decision. We call on the Law of Congruity here, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Xander leaves Anya at the Altar, so she seeks vengeance. She struggles to achieve this as no one will take her bait. Anya: “Didn’t I mention the whole, left me at the altar thing!?” We’ve all experienced the separation from friends when we break up with a partner. Although the gang is happy to have Anya back, they will not allow the anger to overtake them. This leaves Anya is desperate and alone.

 

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Anya is dressed in red throughout this episode. A nod towards the colour of love, blood, and wrath. Spike is completely in black. This could be viewed as his lack of a soul. The reason why Buffy believes he couldn’t truly love her is that he is soulless. The love is only real for him. According to Milavec & Kaye (2008) their relationship was doomed regardless of whether or not Buffy terminated it:

Buffy and Spike demonstrate the friendship of pleasure based on irrationality… Erotic love cannot survive on passion alone.” 

The below scene, with Anya, Buffy, Spike, and Xander, speaks to the chaos the group has descended to. I noticed on closer inspection some nuances in Anya’s reaction to Buffy and Spike’s relationship. She displays clear grief and guilt at the realisation. I don’t believe she would have done what she did knowing Buffy and Spike had just parted ways. Her face of realisation and her soft, “Buffy,” shows her feelings are more complex than previously surmised.

Buffy30.PNG
Spike, Anya, Xander, & Buffy

Buffy also tries to mend her relationship with Dawn, yet she still misses the underlying reason Dawn strayed in the first place. Dawn is the only one in the group to be treated as a child, and it’s common for teenagers to want freedom and respect. This relationship is on it’s way to restoration, but only after Buffy realises Dawn’s needs.

Buffy17.PNG
Buffy & Dawn

Of course, the most heartbreaking moments come from beloved Willow and Tara. They meet in the hall of the University, they meet in the coffee shop, and they are on their way to reconciliation. Sadly we are witnessing some of their final scenes together. Tara’s declaration, “You can’t ever, put them back the way they were,” followed by, “can we just skip it? Can you just be kissing me now?” is tragically bittersweet. As the next episode is her last. We take this moment to consider if Tara had chosen to wait. Would she have lived? Could this be the Buffyverse punishing those who skip rehabilitation? According to Field (2013) Tara made the right decision leaving Willow, not because Willow was addicted to magic, but because Willow violated her mind and trust, in (and not exclusively) Tabula Rasa.  “Tara left precisely because she understood she was being mistreated.”

 

This episode is the stirring of the pot, the beginning of the end. The remaining four episodes in this season showcase the villain within us all. Suddenly although Anya is the demon, her darkness is outshone by the monster Willow becomes. Her eventual descent into caliginosity was inevitable. Tara’s tragic death was the excuse that she could justify the abuse of power for.

She forgets that love is not resigned to the romantic alone, and we have responsibilities to all the love we feel.

Buffy25

Notable music:

Alison Krauss – “That Kind of Love.” Plays over the end of the episode.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Source Material:

“Entropy.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 6, episode 18, The WB, April 30, 2002.

South, J. B. (2003). “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale.” (Vol. 4). Open Court Publishing.

Field, Mark. 2013. “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Myth, Metaphor, and Morality.”Amazon Digital Services LLC.

Achebe, Chinua. 1958. “Things Fall Apart.” William Heinemann Ltd. London.

Do you love Buffy? Me too! Have another!

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/same-time-same-place/

Troid

Don’t fight who you are.

 

I am. I am. I am.

When did the world decide what the perfect human being looked like? Acted like?

They’re early risers.

Not gluttonous, and thin.

Humans are orderly.

We will drive in traffic 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year for a job.

Don’t forget community activists, parents, joggers, book clubs, and coffee.

 

I am, me. My brain is messy. It’s loud in here, and it’s always on. Even my dreams are problem-solving.

I love the dawn, but not from the side you’re used to.

Night time is when I come alive, and my muse is awake then.

She sleeps during the day. She is the owl, the bat, the wolf.

 

When I ask why we have decided what the perfect human being looks like, I realise, I’m asking for your permission.

When I don’t need it.

I am, me, and I cannot fight myself. I won’t. There is too much in the world I need to be strong for.

I’ll fight myself no longer.

 

A Saturn cycle is ending, and a new one begins.

In this one she loves herself, her muse, and the night.

Throw off the shackles of humanity’s portrait of a young girl, quiet in her ways, and opinions.

Welcome the wild woman.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

_____________________________

Did this speak to you? Why not check out some more?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/sustainability-half-year-update/

Also this, Sunni Patterson’s ‘Wild Women.’

Why I’m voting YES on May 25th

When I was 15 I was forced to watch a video of childbirth in science class. I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and I assume this was done to try to prevent teenage pregnancy. To this day, at 28 years of age, I’m terrified of becoming pregnant. I do not want children. I’m not a monster, but I’m not going to change my mind. Having children was never in the cards for me, I knew I couldn’t marry my first love because he wanted children, and I didn’t. You can’t compromise on a child.

The day I was born I nearly killed my mother. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I did damage to her body. To this day she still suffers the consequences. Now I was desperately wanted, loved unconditionally and so was my younger brother. However, my parents had to discuss if it was safe for my mother to have another child before she became pregnant with him. Woman have to give some of their body and soul to have children. Of course, when a child is wanted, this is a small price to pay for the mother-to-be.

It’s a huge price to pay though, for the woman whose liberty has been taken away. Childbirth is traumatic. So when you say ‘love both’, you are telling the frightened teenager, who got pregnant by accident, that she will have to go through this trauma. That she will have to give birth, and then ‘give up the child’ as you so easily put it.

Even if you thought you were ready to hand over the child, when you’re suddenly faced with the reality of giving the baby away, it’s harrowing. Woman are not monsters and when we hold a baby in our arms, we want to love it. This isn’t always possible. When you say love both, you’re saying to a woman, you must carry this child to term, give birth, and then decide can I, A) give up some of my life force to raise this child or, B) give the child away. All the while knowing that when the child grows up, they will feel rejected because you couldn’t keep them.

That’s what your love both is saying.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are some tweets by the Vote No side, which have validated my feelings on repealing the 8th:

VN1

Trust me, if a woman is considering having an abortion, she is way ahead of you. Abortions are not just physically painful. Women do not have abortions as a form of birth control, and the decision is never taken lightly. Can you imagine if you’re trying to make this awful decision, and you read something like this?

VN2

This person is particularly callous. Note how they say, “Abortion to treat a “mentally unwell” mother is much like treating anorexia with liposuction.” Aside from that horrific statement, lets read what they’re referencing. Yes, in cases abortions may take place after the limit of 12 weeks. Why? Because continuing with the pregnancy will not only result in the death of the child, but the death of the mother. How can you love both if they are both dead? Savita Halappanavar would be alive today if it wasn’t for the 8th amendment. Please get your facts straight, and try to be kinder to those who are already suffering.

VN3

While I agree that maternal mental health care, childcare, flexible work hours, housing, financial aid, and emotional support are valid issues in themselves, they are not the issue we are voting for on May 25th. The vote will repeal the 8th amendment, which will stop women from being criminalised in their own country. They will be able to access safe abortion care, rather than travelling or ordering abortion pills.

VN4

This could be true, constitutional issues surrounding abortions are exceptionally complex. However, I would like to point out, that it will not remove all rights for the unborn baby. This is very important, and I will continue to state it. A women who is 5 months pregnant will not be able to walk in and get an abortion without a valid, medical reason. When it is repealed it will take 2 years for laws to be constructed and passed to for the female citizens of Ireland.

VN5

These numbers are a reflection of the abortions being recorded. They were not recorded as well before 1968 as they were illegal or abroad. Also they are not taking population growth into account. It’s very easy to manipulate numbers to show what you want.

VN7

This was tweeted by a male. He thinks, “killing a child in the womb because they are ill or terminally ill is barbaric.” Well I think that making the mother carry a dying or dead child to term is barbaric. I think allowing a sick child to be born, who will only suffer and die, is barbaric.* I think that compassion is right answer here. Compassion for the mother, (who may have children at home already), and compassion to the unborn child, who will be lost.

*Update: An old friend contacted me regarding the language I used here. It really affected them in a negative way, and reading it back I understand completely why. I want everyone to know, that mothers who carry their sick babies to term are absolute heroes. I don’t think that it’s the wrong choice (although it sounded like I did), I think the situation is unique to each and every person. I am absolutely appalled at the idea that I hurt anyone’s feelings on this matter. I have no idea what it feels like to be in this situation. I want to thank my friend for calling attention to it. If anyone felt personally affected by anything I wrote please know, I’m truly sorry, and you are welcome to message me anytime so I can be held accountable for it. 

 

VN8

When a child who has been neglected all their lives, turns to drugs and overdoses, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a father is murdered on his way home from work at 3am, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a girl is raped and forced to give birth to a child, this is a unique life being destroyed. Why is the life of the unborn, of a foetus more important than the already living, breathing, unique life? This is a non-argument. Once the child is born, if it lives in poverty, people couldn’t care less. Also it’s ‘foetus,’ not ‘fetus.’

VN9

This is not being supressed, this kind of information is readily available on any legitimate governmental medical site. This is a insensitive description of some hard cases, and is not the norm. What is not being said here, is that these unborn children, are probably already dying. They will not survive in the world without their mother, and will soon perish. This is a terrible tragedy, and no one should have to go through it. Yet when at all possible, shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve the life of the mother? Of the human beings suffering from the death of their child?

VN10.PNG

Of course she was distressed at having to travel. Her own government made her a criminal in her own country. I have said this, and I will say it again. No one has an abortion on a whim, or as birth control. The entire experience is traumatic, and we are compounding the issue for the women who have to leave their country to do it.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

No side debunked:

20180519_112336.jpg

  1. Yes it will, but there will be laws created in place of it. At the moment, women are criminals in their own country because of this constitutional amendment. If the amendment is repealed, it will make updating the law much easier. As a ‘yes’ voter I want the children protected as much as the ‘no’ side. Unborn babies will have rights. It’s important to state this.
  2. Yes it will legalise abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks / 3 months. A women who presents herself to a doctor, looking for an abortion will undergo a 3 day period in which she will be counselled and presented with each option. These women are being painted as evil, and that needs to stop. Life is not perfect, and sometimes a woman will need to avail of this service so her own life can continue. Don’t make an already difficult decision, more difficult by sending them abroad.
  3. When I see something like ‘Mental Health,’ on a political poster, I wince inside. As someone who has mental health problems, it only exacerbates how we are viewed. As if it’s not a real health issue. The cases they are talking about here are exceptional hard cases. You must remember repealing the 8th will save women like Savita Halappanavar. She was diagnosed, and she needed an abortion. She died because of our restrictive laws. This cannot be allowed to happen again, regardless on your views of what constitutes an illness.
  4. Finally I agree hard cases are the exception to the rule. However the argument is once again, when does life begin? A foetus cannot survive outside the womb. We must be compassionate to the living, breathing woman with a harrowing decision to make.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

To end this post, I would like to post some information for the Yes side of the campaign. If you are in doubt, if you are undecided, please read these.

T4Y1

Abortion will continue regardless of the 8th being replealed. Women have a basic medical need withheld for them in their own country. If they need to avail of medical attention, they will travel so they can fulfil that need.

T4Y6

We can save lives. Read this as many times as you want. Savita Halappanavar would be alive today, if it were not for the 8th amendment. We cannot let women die, because the law is criminalising them. We need to stand up for ourselves and vote Yes on May 25th.

T4Y3.PNG

There is a reason, human rights advocate Colm O’Gorman and others like him are voting yes on May 25th.

T4Y4

When a women, whose just been told that her baby is dying, and killing her along with it, has to go abroad to seek the appropriate medical attention, a hard case is created. Woman have had to leave their baby in another country, when they died from a fatal foetal abnormality. How cruel is this? We cannot allow this inhumanity to continue. Vote Yes.

T4Y5.PNG

Make them keep the baby. Force these woman who have already been violated in the worse way imaginable, to carry their rapists child. To go through the trauma of child birth, and then give up the child. A child who will either, A) find out they are a product of rape, and how is that going to impact them? Or B) will never find out why their birth mother rejected them, and have to live with the consequences of that.

T4Y7

Our Taoiseach is a conservative. Yet he is voting yes.

T4Y8.PNG

If this was the other way around there would be all out war. The ‘No’ side’s vitriol, spawned from a generation said and lead by the Catholic Church has providing proof of their awful natures. I can’t help but notice there are 3 men in this photo, taking down a poster which says ‘Stop Policing My Body.’ Horrific.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Why Vote Yes?
  1. Woman should have the right to bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to create a compassionate country for woman in crisis.
  2. Abortions will happen anyway. Vote Yes so they can access abortion care at home. In Ireland,
  3. Babies that are already alive will be loved, woman that are already alive will be loved. Vote Yes so women making a difficult decision, will not have to do it alone in a foregin country.
  4. Woman will not die because of something that never should have been in the constitution in the first place. Vote Yes to allow doctors to treat women without fear of breaking the law.
  5. The UN and the EU are I agreement, Ireland is violating some of it’s citizens basic human rights to safety and bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to regulate and restrict abortion care according to Irish law.

 

T4Y9

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Interested in this? Sometimes I write about politics, have a gander:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/category/politics-economy-concord/

28 Female Musicians I Adore

If music is passion, then colour me happily spent. Throughout my life, music has been partner to my creativity and emotions. As I write this I listen to music. My constant need for it was amplified in jobs when I couldn’t spend my work day enjoying it. Voices, instruments, and choruses have soothed my soul from as far back as I can remember.

As it is my 28th birthday today I decided the challenge myself by writing a blog about 28 female artists that inspired me and an album of theirs. These artists moved me not just because of their music, but due to their strength, feminist undertones (or overtones), and talent. So without further ado.

1.
1983: Cyndi Lauper – ‘She’s So Unusual.’

She really is so unusual, and still is. Lauper not only has had a magnificent musical career, she’s been an activist for LGBTQ+ rights for decades. Her debut album is particularly special with a song from Prince, a cover of ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun,’ and one I listened to on repeat, ‘She Bop.’ What a she bop it is! The album art was by none other than Annie Leibowitz. The album is Grammy winning and if you’ve never listened to this album, treat yourself! It’s pure fun.

2.
1986: Kate Bush – ‘The Whole Story.’

Kate Bush’s voice is big. Her song writing is exceptional, and her best loved song is the opening for this album, ‘Wuthering Heights.’ This album was played throughout my childhood by my Mother who is a huge fan of Kate Bush. Listening to it now, it’s marching rhythms, quiet whispers, and misty landscapes transport me. My favorite track is ‘Running Up That Hill,’ and I find myself singing it long after the album end.

3.
1993: Martina McBride – ‘Who I Am.’

My family are a big fans of the American country and western genre, and my Father especially loves it. Martina McBride has a huge voice for such a little frame. This was one of the albums I knew off by heart as a child. Every word, every lyric, and every note. My favorite track, “Where I used To Have A Heart,” was so dear to me, that I sang it in a competition. This album reminds me of singing to my granny Patricia as I practiced, and her admiration gave me the confidence to do it. The track, ‘My Baby Loves Me The Way I Am,’ has never meant more to me than it does now. (Winks at Boo).

4.
1993: Björk – ‘Post.’

Ughhhhhh this album is phenomenal. Björk never fails to entertain me. She is crazy, she is beautiful and she is concentrated talent. I’ve been to Iceland and her landscape informed her musical style. This album is a dynamic and energetic adventure. She bursts onto the scene with ‘Army Of Me,’ and throughout the album we are treated to a mixture of styles and stories. The popular ‘Oh So Quiet,’ would give no indication what the rest of the album would be like, and she confounds expectations with tracks like ‘Possibly Maybe,’ and ‘Cover Me.’ I love you Björk, your energy is addictive.

5.
1994: Madonna – ‘Bedtime Stories.’

Only recently a Madonna convert, I understand why she seems to be so divisive. She does everything a male artist of her age might do, and because she’s a woman that’s not ok. Female voices have been shamed for centuries. “Opps, I Didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex.” She has shown no signs of slowing down although she turns 60 in August of this year, and what do I have to say about that? Slay. Queen. There are no rules, you are hurting no one, in fact your music has healed many for decades. You are the master of reinvention, of female empowerment, and pop. This album in particular is a favorite of mine, and I have a special love for, ‘Human Nature,’ and ‘Bedtime Stories.’ The latter of which was written by Madonna and Björk.

6.
1994: Sarah McLachlan – “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.”

Although she is well known for her hit ‘Angel,’ the Sarah McLachlan I fell in love with was featured in Buffy The Vampire Slaye. I was drawn in by the beautifully melancholy of ‘Full Of Grace,’ off her album Surfacing. It was her album ‘Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,’ however, that hooked me. While this came out in 1994 I didn’t get my copy until well into the 2000’s. I actually ended up buying it twice when I thought I lost it (this was when CDs were still a thing). This album is ethereal, large, and gothic. McLachlan lyrics expose an alternate view into female sexuality, which for a young teenage girl is important. When then mass media provides a very bleak offering of the female sometimes you need a Sarah McLachlan to show differing female sexualities. You just have to look at the art work on the album and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Highlights for me from the album are ‘Fear,’ and the cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue.’

7.
1995: Alanis Morrissette – ‘Jagged Little Pill.’

In fairness young Jenni should probably not have been listening to this, but I just adored it. I remember as a 10 or 11 year old playing it for my then 14 or 15 year old cousin. “This is one of my favourite albums it’s amazing!” To which she giggled at the lyrics, And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back I hope you feel it. Well, can you feel it?

“Jenni,” She offered, “This is very grown up, should you be listening to this…?”

Regardless of whether I should have been or not, Morrissette got me through my teenage angsty years. While this isn’t my favourite album of hers, it was certainly impactful on young Jenni. Maybe she’s why I was so precocious?

8.
1997: Celine Dion – ‘Let’s Talk About Love.’

No one will tell me that listening to Celine Dion is lame. This Lady is an unbelievable artist, her voice is a fairy-tale and I fell in love. The year this album came out, a gift from my parents, I listened to it over and over. Listening to it now in 2018 it’s still as persuasive and beautiful all these years later. As if Celine’s own voice wasn’t enough we get the gift of a duet between her and Barbara Streisand, ‘Tell Him.’ I learned this on keyboard so I could sing it to my grandmother as she adored both these ladies. I think I was bought this album because ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ is on it, however there is nuance to the rest of the album because of the collaborations. Just look at the list of writers and you’ll understand. I love Celine Dion, and she loves us back.

9.
2001: Alicia Keys – ‘Songs In The Key Of A Minor.’

I only recently discovered this album. I’ve always been a fan of Alicia Keys, especially when she recently got fed up of make-up and stopped using it. Since then she looks as beautiful as she always has. Make-up is great, it’s a way to express yourself, and it’s no longer just for females, there are plenty of males posting make-up tutorials. It should be a choice, not a necessity, so thank you Alicia. This girl has chops and it’s an extraordinary debut. Her ability on the piano alone earns her praise. Her voice creeps down your back. The reimaging of Prince’s ‘How Come You Don’t Call Me?” is a gift. Her lead single ‘Fallin,’ is still perfect. This neo soul, RnB, and at times jazzy offering is ambitious for a young woman vying for chart success. In the end, she triumphs.

10.
2001: Destiny’s Child – ‘Survivor.’

I like to joke that Solange was my favourite member of Destiny’s Child, (She would fill in if any of the girls were sick). Still all the same, I love Kelly, Michelle, and Beyoncé. The single ‘Bootylicious’ uses a sample of Stevie Nick’s ‘Edge of Seventeenth.’ So as tribute, Nick’s is in the video, which I just love. This album delivers female empowerment. Between the singles ‘Bootylicious,’ and ‘Survivor,’ another track ‘Independent Woman Part I,’ was featured on the soundtrack of 2000 film Charlie’s Angels. (Which I also have). Destiny’s Child is a girl band I go back to over and over again. This is a multiple platinum selling album for a reason. Now go watch the ‘Survivor’ music video on YouTube, I know you want to!

11.
2001: P!nk – ‘Mizzundastood.’

P!nk is weird, like really weird. It was such a godsend for awkward teen Jenni who was also extremely weird, and hadn’t yet realised that this is actually, well, normal. ‘Don’t Let Me Get Me,’ made me cry with joy as she sang:

I’m my own worst enemy
It’s bad when you annoy yourself
So irritating
Don’t wanna be my friend no more
I wanna be somebody else”

 I was always trying to escape my own head, I was so cruel to myself, I never had compassion. I wish I could hug myself, all I can do is look back and feel glad of the learning curve. I appreciate the album more and more as I get older, and own every record P!nk has released. The music business needed someone edgy like P!nk to balance out the Christinas and Britneys. One of my favourite tracks is ‘Misery,’ a duet with Steven Tyler. I couldn’t pick one as an absolute favorite, because the whole album has such a special place in my history.

12.
2002: Christina Aguilera – ‘Stripped.’

 

“So, what am I not ‘supposed to have an opinion?

Should I be quiet just because I’m a woman?

Call me a bitch because I speak what’s on my mind

Guess it’s easy for you to swallow if I say and smiled.”

Gurl, you got it. Another female artist that played as the background soundtrack to my formative years. Whether or not it had an effect on me can be argued, but no one can deny I am not one for being forced into a box. Or being told how to act because of my sexual organs. My clothes are a mixture of male and female, my ideals are neutral and reasoned, and I am not hysterical when I am passionate. My behaviour has been shaped by a society that told me, ‘girls should be seen, and never heard,’ to which I responded. “Fuck that, you know how loud I am, and my friend told me it was charming.”

Critics argued against it’s unwillingness to settle on a genre, I think this is one of it’s biggest strengths. You go from RnB on ‘Can’t Keep Us Down,’ to gospel on, ‘Cruz,’ Rock on, ‘Fighter,’ and pop on ‘Beautiful.’ Alicia Keys is featured on the track, ‘Impossible’ and Lil Kym on ‘Can’t Keep Us Down.’ The production launches it’s promotion with her talk track ‘Stripped Intro,’ and keeps up the theme until the final track, ‘Keep On Singin’ My Song.’  This album has aged well.

13.
2003: Dido – ‘Life For Rent.’

Dido, where have you gone? I have her first 3 albums, and only realised recently that she released another album in 2013. ‘Life For Rent’ was written mostly between herself and her brother Rollo. This multi-platinum selling album was a gift from my godmother. It was all I wanted that Christmas. I loved her so much, from her debut album to her new release. Although I thought I was so grown up at 13 when I got this album, most of it went over my head. When I revisited it as a 28 year old, I noticed how much I’d missed of its subtle nuances. Dido’s voice is not strong like Christina’s, or celestial like Björk’s but it was whispered in my ear like a pray. Highlight track for me is, ‘Mary’s In India.’

14.
2004: Norah Jones – ‘Feels Like Home.’

I think most people have Norah Jones’s 2002 album, ‘Come Away With Me,’ but somehow ‘Feels Like Home,’ made it’s way into my possession first. Any album that features Dolly Parton is a win in my opinion, and ‘Creepin In,’ was a duet with her. It seems Jones had more creative control on this album and spoiler alert, that usually makes an album better! For me, this album gave me peace when I needed it, Jones’ voice was one among many that year but hers captured me, and gave me sanctuary.

15.
2004: Sam Philips – ‘A Boot & A Shoe.’

Have you ever watched the Gilmore Girls? What a show that was, and still is. One of the best things about the show is the accompanying soundtrack, which was mostly composed by none other than Sam Philips. I discovered this album through Gilmore Girls, and fell deeply in love with the sardonic lyrics sang in such as soft voice, that you are surprised by the undertones. The song that was featured in the final episode of the latest Gilmore Girls offering is Philip’s, ‘Reflecting Light.’ This song needs more attention. I think the album, heck Sam Philips, needs more attention overall.

16.
2005: Kelly Clarkson – ‘Breakaway.’

Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ was featured in the 2004 film ‘Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.’ Although the film was a let down for me, (as a huge fan of the books by Meg Cabot), it led me to the album by Kelly Clarkson, which is a plus. I’ve seen Clarkson live, and yes, she doesn’t need a studio to hit those notes from ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes,’ and ‘Since You’ve Been Gone.’ It’s even more spine tingling in person, when it’s just her, in her jeans, wandering around stage. There are a lot of over produced singers out there, and trust me, Clarkson is not one of them. ‘Where is your heart,’ and ‘Beautiful Disaster,’ are excellent examples of her versatility on this album. The success of this album, and of Clarkson herself, comes not from the exceptional voice she was given, but the way she uses it.

17.
2006: Nelly Furtado – ‘Loose.’

I had started college, in 2007, and I was 17. I was struggling (you can read about it here: https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/my-anxiety-my-magic/). Losing myself in music was a good way to cope. At the time Nelly Furtado was dominating the charts with singles, ‘Maneater,’ ‘Promiscuous,’ & ‘Say It Right.’ These swam around my head until one day, when I was feeling particularly low, I wandered into a music shop in Maynooth. I bought this album, and it ended up on my playlist for over a year. The production on the track, ‘Say It Right,’ reverberated through my bones. Furtado is another female artist that broke out of her record company’s mould. Something nearly all the female artists on this list have struggled with. To be in control of your own music, image and power is something women still struggle with. Give us choice and fuck off.

18.
2007: Imelda May – ‘Love Tattoo.’

“Johnny got a boom boom, Johnny got a bam, he got a!”

 Singer-songwriter Imelda May is my hero. She worked incredibly hard to get where she is. She wrote, recorded, and performed until Ireland listened, and then the world. She’s one hell of a woman, and she is unapologetically herself. This is her second album, and although I love all her offerings, this one has a special place in my heart.

19.
2010: Rihanna – ‘Loud.’

Now here is a lady who gives no fucks. She does not apologise for her sexually contentious attitude, her drug use, or flexing. She dresses how she wants and she stopped taking herself or the industry seriously a long time ago (proven by her swigging from a hip flask at an awards ceremony in which she was front row). Her album was LOUD and it screamed. Featured is the collaboration with Eminem where she owned and highlighted domestic abuse. Nearly all the tracks on this album are hit singles, and she is so blasé about her success. Her line of Fenty Cosmetics offer 40 different foundation, to cover all skin types and types. She is now in the process of releasing a line of lingerie for woman of all sizes and shapes, so they can find something to make themselves feel good. I’ve listened to this album many times, and cannot help myself, I love, ‘Cheers (Drink To That).’ When she sings, ‘Let the Jameson sink in,’ I smile, nod, and lift my glass.

20.
2011: Adele – ’21.’

Of course Adele is on this list. This breakup album came out when I was going through a breakup. Coincidence? Yes. These things just happen. When I needed to mope, Adele was there for me. When I needed to feel legitimized in my feelings, I blasted, ‘Set Fire To The Rain,’ when I needed to cry, I listened to ‘Someone Like You,’ and when I needed to feel acrimony, ‘Rumor Has It,’ had my back. Adele is another hero of mine. When she accepted her Grammy Award for ’25’ she used her speech time to air her grievance about Beyoncé’s failure to win. I applauded, not because I thought Adele didn’t deserve the Grammy, but because she isn’t afraid to say what everyone else is thinking. This is probably a reason why her music is so compelling.

21.
2013: Beyoncé – ‘Beyoncé.’

When Beyoncé drops an album, you sit down and listen to it. Now I loved ‘Lemonade’, but ‘Beyoncé’ had so much more to say about femininity, feminism and the struggle of the female. I rank it higher than ‘Lemonade.’ You only have to listen to the first track, ‘Pretty Hurts,’ to understand where the album is going. Beyoncé voiced a concern for many females who fear they are compromising their feminism because they love their man, and still want to be a feminist. Beyoncé became a mainstream example of feminism. There isn’t a format for feminism, and this is the theme throughout this album. The track, ‘Flawless,’ featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is spectacular. It’s a hit song, but it also offers a side to Beyoncé I’m glad she finally let out. This is my favorite Yoncé album.

22.
2014: Warpaint – ‘Warpaint.’

I can’t remember how I found Warpaint, but I remember what got me enthralled. It was their music video for, ‘Disco//Very – Keep It Healthy.’ These LA girls, in their messy clothes, with a devil may care attitude, crawled under my skin and I couldn’t stop listening. Part of me loved the fact it was an all-girl band, the other part of me loved the musical style, the mixed voices, and the grim atmosphere. These ladies have been a staple of my music collection since then and I cannot recommend them enough. They are the modern skater, punk, indie rock girl band we’ve been waiting for. Our patience has been rewarded and we deserve this.

23.
2016: Lady Gaga – ‘Joanne.’

I’ve had a wonderful and outlandish journey with Lady Gaga. She burst onto the scene when I was in my first year of college, and my college gang fell in love with her. Now she’s gotten this far, she’s given us this gem of an album, ‘Joanne.’ Named for her dead Aunt, this finally allows an insight into her musical influences which before seemed nothing but superficial, (and according to Madonna, “Reductive… Look it up.”). This spectacular offering has the hit singles, ‘Perfect Illusion,’ ‘Million Reasons,’ and, ‘John Wayne,’ and these are songs to be reckoned with. However, what is vastly superior are the themes she deals with on the album tracks. These include her sexual assault in, ‘Diamond Heart,’ self-pleasure in, ‘Dancin’ In Circles,’ and the healing power of your female friends in ‘Grigio Girls.’ I recently watched her documentary “Five Foot Two,” and it just showed me how powerful a person she is. She is our generation’s Madonna.

24.
2016: Laura Mvula – ‘The Dreaming Room.’

You’ll remember Laura Mvula from her 2013 hit single ‘Green Garden.’ I was a fan then, and I’m a fan now. Her most recent album, ‘The Dreaming Room,’ is packed full of gorgeous lyrically pertinent songs, and a collaboration with Nile Rogers, on ‘Overcome.’ My favorite track is ‘Phenomenal Woman.’ Her song writing suits her voice, her messages are graceful, and her rhythm is intelligent. You will thoroughly enjoy every inch of this album it is a tasty snack.

25.
2016: Sia – ‘This Is Acting.’

If you know me you know I love Sia. Sia Furler was the singer on several Zero 7 albums which is a band I’m particularly fond of. Between this and her own solo career Sia has written music for Rihanna (‘Diamonds),’ Beyoncé (‘Pretty Hurts,’) Kylie Minogue (‘Kiss Me Once,’) Britney Spears (‘Perfume,’) Celine Dion (‘Loved Me Back To Life,’) Katy Perry (‘Chained To The Rhythm,’)…and so forth.

Furler’s ‘This Is Acting,’ is a combination of new songs and those that had been rejected by other musicians. Her raspy soulful voice invigorates me every time. The album offers an anthem for everyone. From “Cheap Trills,” which reminds me of those good old days in the pubs, was produced by God’s mouthpiece himself, Kayne West. (I know he’s a complete twat, but damn the man can produce). She proves her dance tune skills with, ‘Move Your Body,’ which is impossible to sit still to. Her song “Alive,” is very Adele-esque. That’s because it’s co-written by the megastar Adele herself. Her voice makes each second of every song feel epic, and props to the lady because she’s got more writing credits than I could list here. Her first number one was ‘Cheap Trills,’ and she was the oldest female to get her first number one single at the age of 40. Much respect for this.

26.
2016: Solange Knowledge – ‘A Seat At The Table.’

This album should have won the “Best Urban Contemporary,” Grammy instead of Beyoncé ‘Lemonade.’ It did win for her single, ‘Cranes In the Sky’ at Least so that’s something. It is a much more coherent album than ‘Lemonade.’ There are interludes where her Mother and Father speak about their experiences of being African American. She sings about her hair, she sings about being mad, she sings about being mistreated:

 

“I ran my credit card up
Thought a new dress make it better
I tried to work it away
But that just made me even sadder
I tried to keep myself busy
I ran around circles
Think I made myself dizzy
I slept it away, I sexed it away
I read it away.”

 

It’s controversial but I’ve always felt Solange is the superior Knowles, but there is enough room in the music world for both. Although ‘A Seat At The Table,’ was realeased the same year as ‘Lemonade,’ it didn’t get the attention it deserved. From start to finish the story of this album sold through Solange’s earthy tones speaks to her audience. Her persuasion lies not in aggression but elegance.

27.
2017: Miley Cyrus – ‘Younger Now.’

Miley Cyrus has got a lot of attention lately hasn’t she? Her transition from child star to woman was viewed as tentative and people are quick to say she did it wrong. Poor Miley, she’s pawn for her father used her to make money. What about, you have done a phenomenal job well done. Although I may not have been a big fan of the ‘Bangerz,’ and ‘Miley And All Her Dead Petz,’ era, her combination of all her musical past in ‘Younger Now,’ gave me pause. She talks about her bisexuality, her growth and regrets. The influences are country, rock, pop and electronic. Her song, ‘Love Someone,’ screams Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks / Fleetwood Mac). Also there is a duet with her Godmother Dolly Parton. I’ve always said an album with a duet with Dolly Parton is a good album.

Also she just collaborated with Converse All Stars. I got myself an early birthday present:

https://www.converse.com/ie/en/regular/converse-x-miley-cyrus-chuck-taylor-all-star-platform/562241C.html?lang=en_IE

28.
2018: Janelle Monáe – ‘Dirty Computer.’

Everyone, put down what you’re doing, right now, and listen to this album. It is unbelievable, it’s fun, it’s inclusive, it’s reaching everyone, it’s… just go listen!

Watch Tessa Thompson strut around with Janelle in the videos for ‘Make Me Feel,’ and ‘Pynk.’ Understand that the LGBTQ+ community are in mainstream media to stay, and expressions of sexuality is not controversial, it’s prevailing. Monáe questions beauty standards, uncontrolled jingoism, and terrible fear. Monáe pushes back at a society that tried to block her light out. She came from an impoverished background economically, but her rich inner life results in a cerebral masterpiece.

We are not worthy, but she went ahead and gave it to us anyways. Thank you Janelle. xxx

Female Musicians
Female Musicians

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Did you like this one? Try my last one:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/my-anxiety-my-magic/

Same Time, Same Place

Episode Name: “Same Time, Same Place.”

Season: 7

Episode: 3

Writer(s): Jane Espenson

Director: James A Contner

Quote of the Episode: Anya: “Spike’s insane in the basement.”

Screenshot of the Episode:

Capture19.PNG

Willow & Anya

Summary:

Willow returns to Sunnydale after a summer spent with Giles in England, as rehabilitation for her good girl gone bad incident of the previous season. She arrives with no one to greet her, because her friends can’t see her. Then a dead body turns up, and it’s been skinned. Willow scrambles to prove it wasn’t her by defeating the demon, but her invisibility leaves her at his peril.

Analysis:

This episode was more frightening to me than the perennial favourite Hush Capture5ever was. Yes, Hush was nominated for an Emmy, and yes its gang of demons were particularly disconcerting. For me though, Gnarl has a special place as a creature that grab you in the dark, when you’re all alone. He is the scariest villain produced by the entire series, and this episode is always uncomfortable for me to watch.

Gnarl: “All alone. Are you frightened to be all alone?”

Although I’ve seen this episode many times, I noticed something this time around. When Buffy, Dawn, and Xander arrive home without Willow, they are discussing her disappearance. They’ve spoken to Giles about it and he feels bad for letting her return before she was ready. Then Dawn says this, “So Giles is blaming Giles, and we’re blaming us, *sighs* is anyone going to blame Willow?” Buffy gives Dawn a look of distain but Dawn has a point. There are different rules for the Scoobies. Take for example what Mark Field has to say about this episode:

“…compare Willow to Faith. Faith is still in jail, having turned herself in. Putting aside the practical question of whether Willow could be punished by others, Willow got to spend 3 months in England having Giles go all Dumbledore on her.”[i]

Capture8.PNG

It is up to the group to electively decide who needs to be punished and how. However, Dawn has not been part of the group dynamics for as long as the rest. Although when she was inserted into Buffy’s life she was given an entire history, she was created, not born. She was too young for research, she was her mother’s ‘normal’ child and was often shown in completely ordinary teenage situations. It’s not the first time we see Dawn Capture1.PNGspeak out against the group think and although her comments often feel abrasive, she is an important portal to the outside world. For me this picture says it all (left). Dawn looks angry, because of the trust they put in someone who tried to kill her, “She didn’t finish!? She didn’t finish not being evil!?” This is because Willow is their friend, not because they believe fully in her rehabilitation.

Now I have a problem, as I often do, with what is deemed appropriate for television and popular culture in general. For example, although this show did push the boundaries of sex, especially LGBT sex, it was still relatively tame.

“Oops I didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex.”[ii]

However, the television executives were fine with this (Right). So creepy demon, please feel free to peel the flesh from Willow’s bare stomach, and chow down. However if we Capture16Capture17want to show a sex scene between Willow and Tara it must be done under the guise of a magical demon. (Once More With Feeling). This double standard has been addressed in Theodor Adorno’s article, “How To Look At Television.”[iii]

The curse of modern mass culture seems to be its adherence to the almost unchanged ideology of early middle-class society, whereas the lives of its consumers are completely out of phase with this ideology… For example the concept of the ‘purity’ of women is one of the invariables of popular culture.”[iv]

Unfortunately Buffy herself falls prey to this trope in Season 2. Although the losing of ones virginity was presented in a novel way, it fails to show the young woman (and men) who are watching, that you are not more or less valuable because of your virginity. Your own sexuality is relevant and being ‘pure’ for your future love is not something you’re responsible for. The only person you have a responsibility to, is yourself… but I digress.

Willow has murdered someone, we cannot forget that. She tied Warren up and skinned him. Willow is forgiven because that is what is expected. This is provided for us in the rules of popular culture according to Adorno.

“The stereotype of the nice girl is so strong that not even the proof of her delinquency can destroy it; and, by hook or by crook, she must be what she appears to be.”[v]

Now let’s talk aesthetics. I’m sure this was intentional but I love to mention these things anyway:

 

So you can see on the left we have Xander / Buffy and on the right we have Anya / Willow. Of course this is good versus evil. Anya can see Willow. This may be because Willow only included Buffy, Dawn, and Xander in her unintentional spell. It’s more likely though that Anya is immune, as Spike is also able to see Willow. This is what makes the scene in the basement so magical. Spike is insane after getting his soul back, so talking to him is a rollercoaster in itself. Add invisible Willow into the mix and you get a beautifully shot scene.

Capture11.PNGSpike: “Everyone’s talking to me, but no one is talking to each other.”

Willow has turned to Spike, because she can’t find Buffy or Xander. She asks him about the skinned victim:

Willow: “It was skinned, what could do that?”

Spike: “You did it once. I heard about it.”

Willow’s starting to feel like maybe it was her that skinned the victim after all.

So I would like to end by firstly saying props to Camden Toy (right) for being the creepiest Buffy villain to ever grace our TV screens. He also played one of The Gentlemen Camden-Toy-headshot-featured-imagein the episode Hush,  and has played an Ubervamp a couple of times. Look though, he’s such a sweet looking man, how could we have ever been afraid of him?

Secondly this is the First Evil (below). It’s not Buffy. This happens in previous seasons as they use a shot of the Buffy Bot. I don’t know why but this has always frustrated me. Like it’s a cool shot, and I know it’s still technically Buffy, but it’s the First Evil using her image. Grr, Arrgh is Capture4.PNGall I have to say about that. (If Whedon has addressed this at any stage, please let me know. It has annoyed me to no end for years!)

Finally, Willow is now in Buffy’s old room, and Buffy is in her mother’s room. This will prove significant for the rest of the season. Buffy has not only accepted her role as the Slayer, but she is now the leader of the household.

 

Notable music that year: Alicia Keyes “Songs In The Key Of A Minor,” Kings Of Leon “Because Of The Times,” Red Hot Chilli Peppers “By The Way,” Christina Aguilera “Stripped,” Avril Lavigne “Let Go,” Justin Timberlake “Justified,” Boards Of Canada “Geoghaddi,” Coldplay “A Rush Of Blood To The Head,” Foo Fighters “One By One,” Phil Collins “Testify,” Queens Of The Stone Age “Songs For The Deaf.”

Source Material: “Same Time, Same Place.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer , season 7, episode 3, The WB, October 8, 2002.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

 [i] Field, Mark. 2013. “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Myth, Metaphor, and Morality.” Amazon Digital Services LLC.

[ii] Madonna. Bedtime Stories. Track 6: Human Nature. 1994. Maverick Records.

[iii] Adorno, Theodor. 2010. Adorno, Theodore. 2010. “The Culture Industry: Selected Essays On Mass Culture.” Edited by: J.M. Berstein. Routledge Classics. London & New York.

[iv] Adorno, Theodor. 2010. “The Culture Industry: Selected Essays On Mass Culture.” Chapter 6, “How To Look At Television.” Page. 163

[v] Adorno, Theodor. 2010. “The Culture Industry: Selected Essays On Mass Culture.” Chapter 6, “How To Look At Television.” Page. 174

Do you love Buffy? Check out my last post on the show:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/same-time-same-place/

Also here is the Buffy category explained:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/buffy-category-explained/

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