Hey girl.

Ever wondered what a feminist Ryan Gosling would look like? Wonder no more. There’s more where that came from here. Do not miss this. It is amazing. Thanks, breakfrontleft! Two of my favorites here. I’m a fan of any man who uses the word discursive…

An Open Statement to the Fans of The Help

I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was unsettling about The Help. I read the the book about a year ago, and it was a good read. There’s just something about a white woman telling the story of black women that doesn’t sit right. It felt trite or simplistic or something. Similar to The Blind Side, it seemed white people were the ones doing the saving, and black people had no part, no agency in their own story. Is that overstated? I’d love to hear thoughts from others…

ABC sent me this article tonight with a thoughtful perspective from The Association of Black Women Historians. You can find the entire article HERE. But here’s a snapshot…

On behalf of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH), this statement provides historical context to address widespread stereotyping presented in both the film and novel versionofTheHelp. The book has sold over three million copies,and heavy promotion of the movie will ensure its success at the box office. Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers. We are specifically concerned about the representations of black life and the lack of attention given to sexual harassment and civil rights activism…

We respect the stellar performances of the African American actresses in this film. Indeed, this statement is in no way a criticism of their talent. It is, however, an attempt to provide context for this popular rendition of black life in the Jim Crow South. In the end, The Help is not a story about the millions of hardworking and dignified black women who labored in white homes to support their families and communities. Rather, it is the coming-of-age story of a white protagonist, who uses myths about the lives of black women to make sense of her own. The Association of Black Women Historians finds it unacceptable for either this book or this film to strip black women’s lives of historical accuracy for the sake of entertainment.

We’re going to see the movie this week, and we’ll let you know what we think…

Am I sexist/racist/etc?

Moxie readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Harvard Implicit Association Test. I am working with a group to plan a diversity assembly at school, and we are thinking of having 6th graders use their netbooks to take a few of these Demo Tests and then discuss the results. The test has several different sections and asks you to link race/gender/skin/tone/a president to words that are “good.” Next the test switches and asks you to reverse your sorting. It’s tougher than it sounds!

My question: Do you think tests like this one actually reveal something about our conscious or subconscious?

I bet you’re wondering about this black nationalist’s score. Moxie along with 6% of test takers slightly prefer blacks to whites. Nothing surprising about this result.


{True Sisterhood}

And no, I don’t mean my (former?) affiliation with the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority…

True Sisterhood is a group of four women with ages ranging in four decades who get together (remotely) and talk about their stories. They are authors, speakers, scholars, and women with stories of deep pain and deep beauty. Each week they record a podcast. I couldn’t give a stronger recommendation. Here’s how their website describes their mission…

Our private thoughts reveal a lot about the breakdown of relationship among women, even (and sometimes especially) Christian women. We’re catty. We’re envious. We compete and compare. We look to our bodies, our achievements, our men, and even our spirituality to give us what we lack. Addiction and vice soon become our favorite solution to what we may not even realize is our deepest problem: loneliness.

Turns out, we need each other more than we’d like to admit. The True Sisterhood exists to demystify the drama of female relationship by modeling authenticity and vulnerability, so we can navigate life no longer alone.

Because I’m in a similar group, what our church calls “quads,” I was eager to hear how this group worked. Over Christmas break I feasted on their words. I was hooked as soon as I listened to the first, self-titled podcast where the women discussed how the ideal of “effortless perfection” can be paralyzing and destructive for women. They discussed their desire to strive for authentic relationships where they dealt together with “sin in the present tense,” turning into the brokenness that characterizes all of our lives and sharing it with trusted friends.

In our group, we are making some serious breakthroughs. After missing one of our members who went to Uganda to adopt a two-year-old boy (!), we all came back together this week. It was a sweet time to be together and hope for each other. I’m thankful for these friendships, and I’m excited about what’s to come as we begin to share our stories. I’ll be honest, it’s a little scary. But I know it’s going to be good.

{Poetry in Motion}

After being in a sorority for four years, I swore off large groups comprised entirely of women. These days, I make one exception…The Indigo Girls.

Reader Chili T and I embarked on a journey last Friday night. A journey to the old Roxy, the new Buckhead Theater to see the Indigo Girls, who in many ways, have inspired our existence. (Now, keep in mind, Chili T and I aren’t “together,” we were just together, so take “inspired our existence” with a grain of straight salt) It was an evening of pure purity. I come away from each Indigo Girls concert thinking the same things.“Why can’t I be this passionate about other things in life?” and “This is one of the best moments of my life” also “I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!”

Many people ask me, “why do you like the Indigo Girls so much?”

Is it Amy?

Is it Emily?

Is it the indescribable feeling you get when they play/harmonize/write/jam together?

Or is it the way you go to the concert dreaming about what they might play, and they deliver over and over again?

My answer: YES.

Check out this rockin’ set list. (You might look at “Chickenman” and wonder, who is Adrian? Oh, he’s a sophomore at W whose dad manages the band. nbd.)

And here’s my personal record of the set list. Looks like I missed a few.

side bar: I used to keep these on a piece of paper in my pocket, but yet again, another reason why the iPhone is amazing–it’s great for lists, and boy (girl?) do I love lists.

Fill it up again
Heartache for everyone
It’s alright
Sugar tongue
Love of our lives
Power of two
Three hits
Get out the map

Land of Canaan
The one that got away (Fleet of Hope)
Second time around
Let it ring–Amy
Wood song
Shame on you
Chicken man into Bitterroot River back to Chickenman

(with Adrian Carter)

Closer to Fine

(with Shadowboxers and Evan McHugh)

There is so much more to say, but I’ll leave you with this image from the concert. As always, the Girls say it best.

(Shout out to Lesley, who is wondering why it’s taken me so long to do an entire post on the Indigo Girls.)

next stop…Amsterdam…

Short update from across the lake: I’m leaving L’Abri (ahem, em em) and headed to meet up with Johnny in Amsterdam. I will be travelling via car, then train, then chunnel, then bus, then…I’m not sure. I will take the chunnel to Brussels, and I am considering stopping to check out the UN headquarters if it’s close by the station.

In Amsterdam I’m looking forward to the Anne Frank house, the Van Gough museum, and a WW2 museum. Also biking and canals!

L’Abri has been great, although it’s been a short experience and I’m leaving feeling like there is much unexplored. I feel like I’m just getting to the point where I can really think, and now I’m leaving.

I’ve had one semi-big epiphany. My question has been, “What is the role of women in the church?” I think what I’ve really been asking is “What is my role in the church?” Not that the first question is not worth answering, I think I’m just tired of thinking about it for now…

I’ve burned out on theology, and now I’m reading Prince of Tides (thanks, Chili T!) and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. I highly recommend both although I’ve completed neither. 

burn out

  1. 1. How did woman’s history become gender history?

2. How does studying gender help us to understand empire?

3. What does the culture of space as an object of analysis reveal about colonial history?

4. How does the study of gender bring together private and public spheres?

5. How does the study of consumption bring together gender and empire?

6. What is the historic relationship between feminism and Marxism?

7. Is gender study feminist?

Alice Walker at GSU

Tomorrow (!) night at 6PM, Alice Walker will be speaking at Georgia State University in the Sports Arena. Tickets are free.

Moxie will be posting more soon, I’m sure.

PS. One of my favorite books is a feminist anthology edited by her daughter, Rebecca: To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism