underneath it all by kristen hoyt
gal gadot, wonder woman, dc comics

Wonder Woman Changes the Face of Feminism

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As someone who knew nothing of the Wonder Woman backstory, I was unsure as to what to expect from this DC Comics blockbuster.  My expectations were blown out of the water!  Surprisingly good acting, strong character development and an entertaining story line easily held my attention.  What really stood out, however,  was the message the film conveyed.

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman shows us a new type of feminism.  Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, is powerful and a fierce figher. She is also graceful, kind and tenderhearted.  She embraces her feminine beauty, using it to her advantage and reveling in the joy of being admired by the opposite sex.  Her power lies in her integrity and commitment to protecting what is precious in life — love, kindness, innocence.  She draws strength from her romantic relationship with Steve Trevor.  It’s clear she does not feel his love or protection suppresses her ability to assert herself.  She was more than capable on her own but was made better by his partnership and love.

Modern feminists tell us that in order to be respected and treated “equally,” women must turn their backs on femininity and seek equity, or sameness, with our male counterparts. 

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  • Kristen, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been thinking about how I miss Star Wars heroines in a dress and how the new leads are made to be androgynous. Being feminine is beautiful and it does not take away from being a strong woman.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Christie! It does seem like many of the new characters lack the femininity of Wonder Woman or Princess Leia. Modern feminists never would have let Star Wars: Return of the Jedi come out because of Princess Leia’s famous/infamous outfit!

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priyanka chopra, quantico, alex parrish, resistance, abc

Quantico Ends Season 2 With A Fizzle Not A Bang

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ABC’s Quantico has always walked the fine line between good storytelling and the ridiculous.  Prior to its Season 2 spring debut in January 2017, the show was often unrealistic, but featured likable characters and interesting and informative plots.

Since the election and inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, however, the show’s writers seem to have developed the same hysteria as the rest of the mainstream, or should I say “lame-stream” media.

Season 2 started out okay in the fall, with Season 1 favorites Alex Parrish quantico, priyanka chopra, jake mclaughlin, abc(Priyanka Chopra), Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy), and Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin) fighting a terrorist organization recruiting from within the CIA.  It was the spring start when things really began to get strange.  The second half of Season 2 features an off-the-books black ops organization, led by Clay Haas (Hunter Parrish) and comprised of Alex and her crew, that performs covert operations on U.S. soil, which is illegal.  The plotlines have deviated from stopping terrorist attacks and training at “the Farm” (the CIA training facility in Campy Peary, VA) to overtly political and ridiculous efforts to stop “radicals” within the U.S.

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elisabeth moss, offred, the handmaid's tale, hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale Highlights the Fragility of Freedom

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The Hulu original drama The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 best-seller, follows Offred (skillfully played by Elisabeth Moss), a twenty-something millennial wife and mother with a successful career. Offred is dismissed from her job, “freed” of her money and property, and ultimately enslaved as a handmaiden when a puritanical group overthrows the United States government.

The story takes place in Gilead, a dystopian America in which all forms of our Constitutional republic have been abolished in favor of strict adherence to Old Testament law.  The propaganda pedaled by the puritanical authority is that America had become so “sinful” – engaging in pollution, drugs, extramarital and homosexual sex, abortion, etc. – that God cursed most women with infertility, causing the slowing birth rate to grind to a near halt.  Therefore, any fertile women must be rounded up and used as breeding stock, or handmaidens (after the biblical story of Rachel and her handmaid, Bilhah), to provide wealthy powerful families with children.

The show portrays the fundamentalist ruling regime as right-wing, religious fanatics. The story is an example of what happens whenever any ideologically-driven group gains absolute power. 

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netflix, black mirror, the future is bright, nosedive

Black Mirror: A Glimpse Into A Future That Is Not So Bright

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Technology is everywhere.  It’s inescapable.  The ubiquitous beeping and chirping notifying us of a text message, another “like” on our latest Facebook post, or a new follower on Twitter or Instagram, interrupts conversations, sleep, and our deepest thoughts.  It seems we cannot go two minutes without interacting with some form of technology.  And we’ve blindly accepted this without a second thought.

In the midst of all the hoopla over the latest and greatest tech, one show stands out as a cautionary message, a sort of prescient glimpse into what a future powered by artificial intelligence and machines and ordered by social media would look like.  And the forecast is bleak.

The Netflix original drama Black Mirror is both captivating and chilling. It’s like a car wreck complete with flashing lights and sirens and disturbing gore, from which you can’t peel your eyes away.  Named for the powered-down screen on your phone, tablet, or computer, Black Mirror is utterly unique in several ways.  First, each episode stands alone with its own storyline and cast. And each episode is a dark, satirical examination of a world where our technological gadgets control us.

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loving movie, 2017 oscar nominations, ruth negga, joel edgerton, loving vs virginia, richard and mildred loving

Loving is a Tale of Faith, Hope & Human Rights

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Loving debuted quietly in November 2016.  It tells the story of a brave biracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who fought for their right to love one another within the bonds of holy matrimony.  Set in 1950s Virginia, the film draws a clear and shocking picture of true racism and celebrates the courage of this extraordinary couple played by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.

Directed by Jeff Nichols, Loving received a number of nominations including Golden Globes for best actor and actress. Negga was also nominated for her subtle and moving portrayal of the little-known Civil Rights icon Mildred Loving. The film is a testament to the tenacity of two humble icons of the Civil Rights Movement.  By refusing to settle for less, the Lovings drew attention to the truth that love knows no boundaries of skin color or social class.  The saddest element of this film is not the story, though.  It is the fact that prior to the making of this movie, I doubt many people knew who the Lovings were or recognized the impact they had on American history.  I certainly had never heard of them, and I’ve studied constitutional law!

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