Happy New Year, everyone! As is our tradition, I asked the Gender Focus contributors about some of their highlights from how they spent the past year, and here’s what they came up with:
Ashli Scale: Prometheus
Chanel: I have two: How to Survive a Plague is a documentary about the activism around the AIDS crisis. I went in expecting to spend two hours analyzing direct action tactics, and left feeling devastated, but weirdly hopeful.
From the Black, You Make Color is a documentary (yes, I only watch documentaries) about a beauty academy in Tel Aviv and its students and staff, all folks on the periphery of Israeli society. It’s an important, insightful piece about identity and class.
Jessica Mason McFadden: I’ll go with the one movie I saw: Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita.
E. Cain: The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I didn’t watch many movies this year, but this one is a super cute family film.
Favourite Book Read in 2012:
Sarah Jensen: Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. A fascinating look into curb heights, street widths, and the importance of parallel parking. Really interesting to learn how crucial city planning is to building strong communities.
E. Cain: Prisoner of Tehran, A Memoir by Marina Nemat. My boss gave me this book for Christmas, a powerful memoir written by a strong woman - I highly recommend!
Chanel Dubofsky: The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg. If Jami Attenberg writes it, I will read it. The Middlesteins is her latest book, about a Midwestern Jewish family trying to avoid, deal with and make sense of each other. It’s startling, meaty and gorgeous.
Jessica Critcher: Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti. The title is all snark– it’s a rhetorical question. It’s a great read for someone happily living child-free (who occasionally finds herself defending that lifestyle choice). It’s also great for moms because it gets past all of the “mommy wars” crap that the media keeps creating and circulating. My mom loved it too– we recommend it to all of the moms we know.
Issue/Cause That Most Inspired You:
Jarrah: #IdleNoMore. It’s been incredibly powerful to see a grassroots movements led by Indigenous people for Indigenous rights spring up and spread so quickly across Canada. It’s an almost unprecedented opportunity for non-Indigenous Canadians to put action behind our words by standing behind and supporting First Nations people in Canada.
Sarah: Food. In the last year I’ve learned so much about the impact that food has on my own health and the health of our environment.
Jessica Critcher: This is always hard! But since I have to pick, I would say the WAM! (Women, Action and the Media) campaign to build a grassroots direct action network for gender justice in the media. They had an Indie-Go-Go campaign over the summer and raised more than $10,000 to build a new state of the art website. Pretty legit.
Ashli: I’ve been most active in the Body Acceptance movement by doing body image presentations in schools. I’ve been so inspired by Kate Harding’s blog “Shapely Prose”, which closed up shop in 2010 but you can still access the great resources on it like Kate’s visual BMI Project. Read more