For International Women’s Day: A spoiler-ridden, biased, Full Throated review of A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

Still photo from the movie “A Star Is Born,” 2018, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Photo courtesy IMDb.

I just had the pleasure of watching A Star Is Born today. Basic premise for those who haven’t seen it: Washed-up male rock singer discovers nobody female singer, invites her onstage during one of his shows, one thing leads to another, they get married, she becomes a big star, her manager tells her husband that he’s holding her back, he commits suicide, she becomes an even bigger star. The End.

I’ve never seen any of the other three versions of this film, but I do know that the basic premise came from a movie that was co-written by Moss Hart. So, a long time ago. And that probably factors into some of the attitudes in this movie.

But having said that? Holy shit. Buckle up, kids.

Now, before I tear into it completely, I’ll level with you guys: I LOVED the acting, I LOVED the songs, and I am probably going to buy the soundtrack at some point. Lady Gaga was as brilliant an actor as I hoped she’d be, and Bradley Cooper was a hell of a rock (country-rock?) singer.


The ending bugs me. And it took me a few hours before I figured out why.


Okay, listen to this: Two GUYS decide that the best thing for the leading lady’s life – oh, and we didn’t consult her either; why would we want to do THAT?! – would be for her career to skyrocket, and the best way to do THAT is to get her sucky albatross husband out of the way. Unfortunately, when the soulless manager comes to give the husband this news, hubby is already having something of a self-worth problem and decides that Soulless Manager is right and he, the albatross husband, is going to off himself so that she can be the star she obviously wants to be.

Hello??? Does anyone else see what’s wrong with this picture?

I thought this was 2019. How can we still be watching crap like this in 2019?!

If two women did this to a guy, he’d be fucking furious. And rightly so. And by the way, guys, you all should be furious with this movie too, because it didn’t exactly paint you with flying colors.

And from a mental health standpoint? Don’t even get me started.

Yes, “Shallow” is already one of my favorite songs. But this movie sends way too many wrong messages.

You know, maybe the best thing we can do for a “classic film plot” is to leave it in the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

Off-Topic Day: An open letter to the US White House, Democratic Party, and Republican Party

To all concerned:

I am, as of today, officially leaving the Democratic Party.

While I support things like marriage (and other) equality, saving our planet, feminism (obviously), and other supposedly left-leaning ideas, I find that in the effort to fight these (okay, I’ll say it) liberal battles, we’ve lost sight of the importance of bringing our country together.

We can’t keep emphasizing our divisions. Image courtesy Pixabay.


I find myself – me! – thinking what you want me to think, as opposed to thinking for myself. Besides the overall embarrassment of actually admitting that, I feel I don’t need to be contributing to the devastating polarization gripping this country.

Which brings me to the wall.

Speaker Pelosi, I know you don’t agree with building a wall, but I could swear I read an interview in which you said, “it’s not worth shutting down the government.” What changed your mind?

But, as distressing as it may be for the Democrats to lose a member, the Republicans better not start rejoicing because I’m not joining them either. Are you kidding? Senator McConnell refusing to hear bill after bill? It’s ridiculous.

Build the wall, don’t build it, I don’t even care anymore. Just fund the damn government and quit hurting people.

I am embarrassed to say, to the world and to my country, that this government is the most irresponsible group of “leaders” I have ever had the misfortune to witness in power in the United States. We elect you to look after this country, a job you are failing every minute you act like children. Heck, I know children who are better behaved.

Shame on all of you.

Manophobic hell-bent feminist she-devils

(Sorry for the late posting. My next post will be more current.)

I don’t know what it is about America, but we keep producing these IDIOTS.

Case in point: this guy.

Courtland Sykes

Courtland Sykes. Photo courtesy Ballotpedia.

Meet Courtland Sykes, the guy who even the Missouri GOP thinks shouldn’t be anywhere near a Senate seat.

I read the whole article (some great coverage once again from the indomitable Hemant Mehta), including the graphic toward the bottom which said Mr. Sykes only got 2 percent of the primary vote.

I just laughed and laughed and laughed.

Of course, my reaction would have been vastly different had he won the primary, and thus his right to represent the Republican Party in the United States Senate race in November. As it is, as Mehta pointed out, 13,000 people still voted for the guy. Which is scary.

Good grief, which year does this guy think it is? 1818?

So, of course, I shared this article to my friends on Facebook with the quip, “And here I thought I was only a manophobic hell-bent feminist imp. Darn.” That was good for a few laughs. Some of my friends suggested we start a band by that name.

I wish I had something else. I’m just nonplussed that people like Sykes still exist.

Next up: Brett Kavanaugh.

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! I know I still owe you guys a post on the Women’s March rally in January (I attended the one in Tallahassee, Florida, USA) — I’m so sorry. My personal life has been crazy in the extreme this year. I need to do better in terms of making time to post here and on my other blog, Kemetic vs. Atheist. And I will try to do better.

So anyway, back to the topic at hand. While we are all (I hope) taking a day to show our admiration for the women who have inspired us, I want to go back. Way back. Way, way back. (Points if you get the reference… 🙂 )

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One of my favorite shirts. What WOULD Hatshepsut do?

Ever since third grade in Lewiston, Maine (USA), when a theater troupe came into our (Catholic) school to present a play about Hatshepsut, I have felt a deep and abiding love and admiration for her. I know that at one point it was fashionable to trash-talk Hatshepsut (“evil stepmother”, “couldn’t let go of the throne”, I don’t know, whatever people say about her), and I’m here to, as the kids say, “call BS” on all of that. How about this for her motive: She wanted to lead her people. And she did a great job; at least one book has noted that if Hatshepsut were a man, we’d be talking about her foreign policy and stuff instead of how she made poor, old Thutmose III wait to take the throne. That kind of thing really drives me nuts.

I have seen female leadership up close. I used to work for a woman, and she really was an inspiration. While making it look easy, she made me want to lead people too. That gave me the motivation to study for my Certified Association Executive accreditation (that has since lapsed because my career path seems to have taken another fork in the road).

Another inspiration to me was Marie Curie, who was an obvious one for me (my ancestors were Polish and French). The first woman to win two Nobel Prizes? Amazing.

Hillary Clinton was and continues to be an inspiration to me. Talk about trash-talking — boy, people love to dump on Hillary (look at her Twitter feed if you don’t believe me). But this is a woman who knows who and what she is, and doesn’t make any apologies for that. That right there would almost be enough, but she ran a very tough political campaign in which she won the popular vote (and if you think otherwise, I’m sorry for you) for President of the United States. She would have been President, and should have been President, except for this stupid, arcane, 18th-century relic we have in our government called the Electoral College. I would have loved to call her Madam President.

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…and in elected bodies and prime ministers’ and presidents’ offices all over the world.

Who are the women who inspire you? Please feel free to comment below.

In (belated) honor of Women’s Equality Day

I just discovered that Saturday, August 26, was Women’s Equality Day (at least in the United States), because 97 years ago on that date, the 19th Amendment to our Constitution was adopted, which gave women the right to vote. Yay us.


Are we really equal? Image via Wikipedia.

Of course, some would argue that it takes more than the right to vote to constitute equality — you know, like equal pay for equal work, or an equal chance to be hired for (or elected to) a job you’re qualified for…stuff like that.

According to Wikipedia, the President of the United States has to declare this holiday every year. Why? Why not just set it at August 26 in perpetuity and be done with it? Especially in cases like this year, where it’s actually kind of surprising that this President actually declared it. He might not have, and then where would we be?

Answer: Sadly, as unequal as we are now.

But I don’t want you, my readers, to be pessimistic about this. I see women’s equality as a work in progress (although maybe you would think after 97 years, we would have made greater progress than this), but nevertheless, we must not give up. We have come a long way, but there is still a ways to go. We can do it!


Off-Topic Day: Charlottesville

Okay, so I already have a religious/secular blog called Kemetic vs. Atheist, and I have this one about feminism. What do I do when I have something to talk about that fits neither of those categories? Off-Topic Day (instead of creating a third, fourth, etc. blog).


Heather D. Heyer was killed on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., after a car crashed into demonstrators protesting a white supremacy rally. Credit Facebook, via Reuters. Image downloaded from CNN.

Wow, the world just went crazy, didn’t it? Oh no, that’s right, it wasn’t the whole world, just the American part of it. So let me say to the rest of the world, if you’re struggling to understand how this could happen in 2017 America, so are we.

This beautiful young woman was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at a “Unite the Right” rally. The white supremacists were there to protest the taking down of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, the commander of the losing side of our Civil War, a statue that never should have been erected. Things got violent, and Heather Heyer was killed and 19 others injured.

And when I say “white supremacists,” I mean the KKK and the Nazis. Yes, actual, swastika-flying Nazis were there.

Before I go any further, if you haven’t already read this wonderful piece of journalism by The Guardian, please go do that. I’ll be here when you’re done.

And so what I’m seeing now on my Facebook feed are a lot of people saying “silence equals consent” or “silence equals complicity,” and while my first impulse is to resist those who would put words in my mouth (or the nonverbal equivalent), I am here to say  I give. Racism, bigotry, and all forms of oppression are wrong. They are wrong. I stand for tolerance of differing views, for acceptance of diverse people, but not racists. There’s an old Peanuts cartoon (I looked for it online and couldn’t find it) that shows Sally (I think) saying she was not prejudiced, except for bigots; she couldn’t stand bigots. Anyway, that’s me. It always has been.

If you have any comments, please click the “Leave a Comment” link at the top of the post. (Please keep it civil. Thanks.)

Sexism and anti-science in the red depths of North Florida

I got a new t-shirt in the mail the other day. I had bought one with the 500 Women Scientists logo so I could support their work. And the first chance I had to wear it was two days ago, so on it went.

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Me with my new “500 Women Scientists” shirt. The rest of the image is a flower (you can just see the tops of the purple petals), complete with green stem.

And then I had to go to Walmart. For those of you without a Walmart in your neighborhood, let me say that you are probably better off for that. Here in my tiny town of Crawfordville, Walmart is sometimes the only game in town (say, if you need a new water heater at 2 a.m. — which has literally happened to us). Or, in my case, they were the only pharmacy in town that hadn’t yet pissed me off because I hadn’t taken my business there yet, so I switched my business to theirs a couple of years ago. And sometimes it just saves you a 30-minute drive into the local mini-metropolis of Tallahassee, Florida, where there are more options.

The above paragraph explains why I go to Walmart twenty years after my husband and I denounced the company as The Evil Empire, and just a few years after my husband stopped calling it “Hellmart.” I find that as I get older, the world appears less in black and white, and more in multiple shades of gray.

But in general, Walmart does not attract the most open-minded clientele (is this a stereotype? Perhaps), so I really should not have been surprised at the reaction my new shirt engendered in one particular gentleman.

I was coming into the store as he was walking out with his family/party, and our eyes locked somehow. You know that old expression (I assume it’s not just American) about someone having daggers coming out of their eyes? Well, forget that — this guy had bullets coming out of his, if not grenades. Holy cats! In my head, I was like, “Dude! What’s your problem?” Then I remembered what I was wearing.

Did my “500 Women Scientists” shirt threaten his virility in some fashion? Did he think I was going to launch into a discussion of climate change (which some people now deem to be a “political” subject)? I doubt he saw the button on my shirt (in case 500 Women Scientists was not enough liberal protest, I was also wearing a button that says “I Voted for Hillary”), which I imagine was small enough and far enough away from him that he couldn’t have seen it. Or maybe, just maybe, he was angry before he saw my shirt and was just having a bad day. But that doesn’t seem likely.

I’ve decided it’s not enough for me to just write a blog. I have been sitting on that “I Voted for Hillary” button (along with a few similar buttons) for several months without having the courage to wear it until just recently, which is to say, right after I started this blog. I need to have the courage of my convictions, which I haven’t always done in my 50 years on this planet, but I’m trying to get better at it. I mean, it’s not like I will be shot for my beliefs (more than likely). You never know, in this day and age in America, when someone can go into a church — a place of worship, mind you — and shoot and kill nine people. (“But don’t you dare make a move on my guns!” Sorry, that’s another rant for another blog.)

Anyway, speaking of ranting, I guess I’m done for now. If you want to leave a comment, please do so below.

“Mankind” vs. “humanity”

And now for a short post on semantics, or, “words do matter.”

Just yesterday, we all celebrated the 48th anniversary of men first landing on the moon (that’s a true statement since so far, unfortunately, they have all been men). My husband is a space freak, and some of that has rubbed off on me, only I concentrate somewhat on the female side of it, reading books like “The Mercury 13” and such.

Which is not to say that I am not full of admiration for the men that did it. I enjoy seeing this clip as much as anyone. But does anyone else get that twinge in your head when Armstrong says “mankind”? (That little inward feeling that says you weren’t included; the prototype for the human race was male.) (and if your response was “But woman was created from Adam’s rib” then you really are reading the wrong blog, and get out)

But it was 1969. It was a different world. Maybe they just weren’t as conscious of those things back then.

Flash forward to 1996.

Independence Day? Really? (And once again, I am a HUGE FAN of this speech; it’s an example of the St. Crispin’s Day speech in Henry V. More than one movie features a variant of this speech.) We should have known better in 1996 — or at least most of us should have; the writers of the movie clearly did not. (Devlin and Emmerich, responsible for Stargate, another of my favorite movies! Here I am denouncing my favorites all in the same post!)

Can we all agree, in 2017, to call the race “humanity” or “humankind”, instead of the exclusionary “mankind”? Would it kill us to do this? Because the human race isn’t composed of just men.

Thank you.

The rush to post naked Jodie Whittaker photos, or why we as a race really haven’t grown up yet

I doubt I can tackle this better than Jezebel did, but I just wanted to throw in my two cents.

So now that we have a female Doctor Who, apparently some media outlets think we all just can’t wait to see her naked. Oh wait, she’s flashed her boobs and stuff already! Well, gosh! Where can I gawk?!

Jezebel named The Sun, the Mail Online, The Daily Mirror, Daily Express, and Daily Star as the guilty parties, and I have no reason to distrust their research on this matter. So let me just address them directly here: Did you do this when Peter Capaldi was cast? Would you have done it if Capaldi had been replaced by a man? Is that a “no” I hear you all saying? Then shame on all of you, with your double standard. There is no reason to treat Ms. Whittaker any differently than any of her predecessors.

Now, do not understand that this is meant to cast any aspersion at all upon Ms. Whittaker’s career. She’s an adult, isn’t she? And most of us are too, right? (Well, maybe not so much in the case of the above media outlets.) I have porn in my house, okay? I make no bones about it. So when I say I’m not a prude, you can trust me on that. I honestly don’t care what she’s flashed in her previous jobs. That’s her business. But I’m afraid I have to call the rest of the human race “immature” until most of us feel the same way.

Why this site, and why today

Hello. If we haven’t met yet, nice to meet you. You may have seen me post on Kemetic vs. Atheist (a site which is not going anywhere, so if you were worried, please don’t). For a while now, I’ve been concerned with the idea that my only blog is about religion; there’s so much more to discuss in life, isn’t there? And with political events in the United States having taken the turn they did last year, I feel there is still a need for feminists to speak up about the way things are going, and the way we’d like to see things go. Some are throwing themselves into the political arena, getting active…this is what I’m doing. And I may get political too; we’ll see by the time I’m done.

(For the record, there are a couple of things that I will not be full throated about, but I thought “Almost But Not Quite Full Throated Feminism” just didn’t have the same ring to it.)

Why today? We received the wonderful news about the casting of the next Doctor Who as a woman, Jodie Whittaker. I’ve seen her in Broadchurch and she was great, so I look forward to seeing how she will handle, what? The most iconic TV role in Great Britain? Is that exaggerating it a bit? I don’t think so; I’ve seen the word “iconic” bandied about quite a bit today, so I’m going with “iconic” too. So if you’re reading this and you’re feeling peeved about Whittaker’s casting, I’m thinking this may not be the blog for you. Probably. Just a feeling.

Still here? Awesome! If you have any thoughts — about this blog, about topic suggestions for future posts, etc. — please feel free to leave them below.