Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sister Appreciation  

The main point of Appetite for Equal Rights is to keep all of you informed on current happenings that affect women and equality. However, once in awhile, I think it's necessary to stop and take a look back to appreciate all the women that have done amazing things, and are still doing amazing things, to benefit the world. Today in my Women, Performance, and Social Change class, we discussed two fantastic women whom I think deserve recognition, just so you all can realize how awesome they are.

The first woman is film director Julie Dash. With the release of her film, Daughters of the Dust, she was the first African American woman to have a full-length general theatrical release in the U.S. This film was also named a National Treasure; an honor that only about 400 other films share. She also directed another award-winning film, The Rosa Parks Story, among others. She uses her movies to communicate important messages about race, and about cultures that are often underrepresented. You can learn more about Julie Dash, as well as find out about her current projects, at her website.

The second woman is comedian and actress Margaret Cho. Through her comedy, as well as her book, "I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight," she utilizes the tool of story-telling to tackle issues such as race and body image. Most of her stories come from her days of starring in a sitcom in the 90s, entitled All-American Girl. She was a victim of severe pressure, both from her network, who told her to lose weight, which ultimately led to an eating disorder, and from her viewers, who either loved her or thought she was a disgrace to the Korean community. Despite all this, she pulled through and now she calls the shots in her career. Aside from being one of the most talented comedians I have ever seen, she is also an avid supporter of equality and respect for women and GLBT people. She embraces a type of feminism that does not put her in a specific box, but rather allows her to define her own kind of feminist theory. There's Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Socialist Feminism, Post-Modernist Feminism, and then... there's Cho Feminism. She doesn't do what she thinks a feminist should do - but rather throws out ideas of what it means to be "PC" and finds her own ways to fight for equality and justice. Rock on, Margaret Cho.

Anyone else want to offer information on fabulous women (or men) who are under appreciated?

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