I’m Queen of my day

Spoiler Alert.  If you haven’t seen the new James Bond Movie and plan to, don’t read this!  (I meant to warn you all yesterday, and forgot, someone kindly reminded me Sorry!)

I’m strong, I’m grounded, I’m Queen of my day.  I repeated the affirmation over and over as I meditated. I didn’t think about it before meditating it just came to me when I closed my eyes.  Yesterday Donna commented about my blog that freedom was her biggest dream.  The freedom to choose how to spend her day which is really the freedom to choose how to spend your life.  I know this is not just a women’s issue, but there is a history (which is still happening) of men trying to control women’s lives.

And then, Slam!!  It hit me, my heart sped up and I could feel the anger, my mind racing. Here it is again, right back in pop culture.  Not as blatant, but still there.

Jon and I saw the new James Bond movie last night.  I’m not a fan, not for any reason other than that I’ve only seen one other 007 movie and it didn’t really interest me.  But, while watching it, I found last nights movie really entertaining.  Knowing it’s supposed to be outrageous, it was easy not to take seriously and just enjoy.

And I did, until this morning when my meditation was interrupted by the idea that it was a really sexist movie.  I know James Bond movies are inherently sexist, but this was sexist in a different way.    The three women in the movie,who we got to know, were all powerful and brave and each one lost her power by the end of the movie.

I understand that Judi Dench was probably done with her role as M and so killing her off could be seen as a natural, and if it was just her I wouldn’t be feeling this way.  But when Naomie Harris (later revealed as Miss Moneypenny)  who is Bond’s driver/partner in the beginning of the movie, becomes a secretary by the end of the movie, well, what’s up with that?  Then there’s the woman who is basically being held prisoner by the “bad guy”  and is brave enough to try escape with Bond’s help.  She’s killed William Tell style (really William Burroughs style, because William Tell didn’t kill his son but William Burroughs did kill his wife) a glass of burbon instead of an apple.  So not only is she killed, but humiliated and tortured  too.  The only other woman in the movie was the bitchy Prime Minister questioning M and “put in her place” by Ralph Fiennes who plays Mallory.  (I know he was defending M, but once again her power was taken by a man).

So what does this mean?  I remember when Hilliary Clinton became First Lady, there were a slew of movies where the character of the First Lady was killed or died.  I’m not saying this is necessarily a conscious thing but it makes me think that there are men out there who feel threatened and are looking for a way to get some of their power back. (makes me think of the witch trials , or how the monotheistic religions took the power of “the giver of life” from women and gave it to a man)

It’s an old story and no longer my story, but it still pisses me off.

21 thoughts on “I’m Queen of my day

  1. I love both the potholder & the concept! Any chance that it isn’t already sold? If not, count me in : )

    Kathleen M

  2. There’s a lot of us gals who are pissed off, and rightfully so. I sense that attempts to squash our gains of the last 40 years are rearing their ugly heads again…as shown by the political campaigns. Let’s hope we can hold the basic strength that “pissed off” can conjure, and use it to get our places back. Great post, Maria!

  3. Right on Maria. I was an environmental investigator. Won national and local awards for my work. Then acquired a new boss and suddenly I wasn’t young enough to do my job. The stress has just about killed me and I’ll be retiring 10 years earlier than planned but at least I will be able to retire. Unfortunately for all of us, the mind set is still alive and well in the workplace (even federal workplaces). Meditation saved my life literally. Loved the potholder.

  4. It’s interesting to me that it was a coalition of young people, women, blacks, gays, and hispanics who secured the presidential election for Obama. All groups that are traditonally written off by conservatives. Watching the election night returns, I had a sense of the power women can wield when we are part of a coalition. It felt good.

    Romney’s pre and post election comments confirm your sense about a large, angry group of men in our culture, Maria. When a person who is running for high office has a “binder full of qualified women,” it’s a sorry world. As author Barbara Kingsolver said and a recent Portland Arts and Lectures interview, women do not belong in binders.

    At the same time, there are a lot of wonderful, enlightened men who are supportive. I am thankful for each and every one of these men. Still, it is difficult for progressive men to understand how insulting popular culture can be — e.g. SkyFall — until someone points out which “group” is being victimized at the movies or elsewhere. Interestingly the new Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn, Part 2, funny as this sounds, is a powerful ode to strong women.

    Eileen, I am so sorry to learn about the truly evil boss in your recent past. It sounds like you have made a very healthy choice for you. No job is worth that kind of hassle.

    Years ago, I recall being assigned three jobs in a single year and receiving a lackluster review from a new, male boss. Sensing I was in a no win situation, I moved on to another company where I made more money and had just one job to do. While there, I was again — imagine this — successful. Funny how the company I had been with replaced me with three individuals, all men.

    Back in the eighties, when I first entered the workforce as a recently graduated Chemist, well over half the men working in my industry (semiconductors) were very inappropriate. Looking back, I’m not sure how I weathered those years. Thinking about it, there were always strong, kind women present, many of whom were operators on the production line. They kept me focused and sane and they celebrated my successes.

    A lot of progress has been made since that time, but I believe the truly angry men have simply become more covert.

    What to do? Based on Maria’s review, I will not be spending my hard earned cash on SkyFall. Thanks for the heads up, Maria!

  5. That’s what you’re going to get with a James Bond movie. I hate them. I no longer live in that world either. But it pisses me off no end.
    This blog was hilarious. Esp. the William Burroughs part! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Jon, Cindy

  6. Sexism is alive and well around the world, including the U.S. As women in the U.S. we are able to stand up against it but in some other countries women would be put to death if they stood up against it. Love how you analyzed the sexist bond movie. — barbara

  7. On a purely entertainment level, perhaps there could have been a “spoiler alert” to your email. Not much reason to see the movie now.
    Ah well, I’ll be thankful that you saved me the price of admission.

    Loved the potholder. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  8. Maria,
    Great posting and I’m with you all the way. I stopped seeing the Bond movies after the first one, did not enjoy seeing women be mainly in the role of sex kittens. I have fought too hard for equal rights in the workplace and elsewhere, and have enjoyed the progress. One of my greatest joys was watching my son’s excitement on Election night (he is 30) over the number of women who won office.

    Of that I am super proud! I recently heard a 21 year old woman say that “men ARE smarter, stronger and should make more money”, and I wanted to cry. She has no idea how many women before her fought to make this world equal for everyone. But alas, that is not my problem, as I try to remind myself all the time.

    So your message, “I’m Queen of My Day” is perfect – and I shall remember, I can shape my world to the best of my ability and then have to accept what I cannot change.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post (and once again, a great piece of art).

  9. Not to worry, Maria. I only see the Bond movies because my husband is a big fan, and he sees so many of the movies I want to see that I figure I can go to see Bond now and then. But one of our daughters is home for the holidays so I could happily send them off while I tend to some Thanksgiving baking. Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. Your reading of the Bond movie reminded me of “the Bechdel test”–based on a famous comic strip by the cartoonist and graphic novelist Alison Bechdel. In order to pass, the film or show must meet the following criteria:

    1. The film includes at least two women, who
    2. have at least one conversation,
    3. about something other than a man or men.note

    Surprisingly few movies pass the test! For more look here:

    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2009/12/the-bechdel-test-for-women-in-movies/

    For a list of movies that do and don’t pass the test:

    http://bechdeltest.com/

    Skyfall is already on there! Guess what? It flunked:

    http://bechdeltest.com/view/3632/skyfall/

    For the original Bechdel comic:

    http://projectjennifer.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/all-one-needs-is-a-protagonist-of-ones-own/

  11. Oh, Maria! Say it loud & clear!!!!

    On another note, I rec’d my Umbrella Girl p/h a few days ago & I love it! I am going to use it as a p/h at some point, but for now, I just want to look at it in its pristine atate.

    And, did you know I won the spinningglasstudio.com First Monday Giveaway?

    Martha Crist

  12. I’m trying to think of films about powerful women and the power of the feminine spirit. I can think of two off the bat.

    One feature film is called The Celebration, a Danish film that is extremely powerful. It knocked the wind out of me.

    Another is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

    Today I stumbled across a long interview with Jaycee Dugard which was inspiring and moving.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ificFSADaY

    The strength and resilience of human beings never ceases to amaze me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Full Moon Fiber Art