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The Female Perspective: I’m Back!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


Hello friends! I have returned from my hiatus and am looking forward to a 2017 filled with exciting and entertaining blog posts.

Today I want to say that I finally saw Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and it was a pleasant surprise! On top of being a really hard name to spell, Peregrine is a delightful character, if a bit creepy.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I have not yet read the books based on the Tim Burton film and I’ll be honest when I say that I wasn’t all that thrilled about seeing the movie either. The trailer did nothing for me and I find Eva Green really creepy- even though I loved her on Penny Dreadful. Green seemed an odd choice for a children’s-type movie. Now I know better!

miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-poster-banner

This movie, while about a group of kids and centered around a young man named Jake, is not a traditional children’s movie, which I should have known when Tim Burton signed on as the director. It’s a movie about bad guys wanting to eat children’s eyeballs. Yes, eyeballs and they are freaking scary when they do it.

It’s not a perfect movie, and to a certain extent it lacks the typical Tim Burton charm that makes his movies both magical, disturbing, and endearing. Even movies like Big Fish, a story about a son discovering the past his dying father kept hidden, are full of magic and beauty. This one was beautiful in certain ways (the ship rising from the sea was very cool, and the kids had some really great powers), but it was also more in the realm of creepy and demonic than magical and endearing.

Even the books look creepy!
Even the books look creepy!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good creepy, demonic film, I just have these expectations of Burton that fell a little short for me in this one. All that being said, the cast was great and Eva Green won me over as the titular Miss. Peregrine. She was still dang creepy, but she had fun with it and it suited her character to a T. I’ll say that even with the flaws of the movie, it made me curious about the books and I plan on reading those (expect a review when I do!) to see how they compare to the movie.

Now, what are you reading or watching friends? Anything I should check out? I am making my way through the graphic novels Y The Last Man that I am very much enjoying and plan on doing a blog about soon and next up I am going to be reading the iZombie graphic novels as well. I love the show and can’t wait to dig into the books.

Until next week, enjoy life and smile at the little things!

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The Female Perspective: Show Me Something Good, Please

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


The news has been pretty bleak as of late and I find it hard to not allow that to bleed into my writing, but this blog isn’t about politics or the latest shooting tragedy or anything like that. It’s meant to be a fun (and hopefully lighthearted) take on entertainment, pop culture, whatever, all from this feminists’ perspective.

In that spirit I realized I wanted to read about some good news for a change so here are a few fun snippets, courtesy of The Good News Network, of human beings doing cool stuff to hopefully put a smile on your face.

Also, baby animals. Because really, who doesn’t smile at baby animals??? Cold hearted ninnymuggins is who!


Man Donates To Pet Shelter Like a Boss

A Canadian man buys and then donates 570 bags and cans of pet food to the local shelter because,

“Because I could, and the animals needed it, basically,” he told The Telegram. “I thought it was the normal thing to do.”

We need more of this kind of thinking in the world. Now some happy and well fed critters are being fed because one man decided it was the right thing to do.

Woman and Baseball, A Perfect Combination

Most women have heard it before, “Baseball is for boys,” and we nod and go along to our gymnastics or softball games. The fact is, if nothing else, A League of Their Own proved that women could and should be playing baseball. Not only that but young girls should be encouraged to give it a go!

Baseball for ALL is a great cause that stresses that not just boys can play the popular game and in this short article, it’s never too late to start!

Boy Hugs Dog and Nothing Bad Happens

If you’ve watched the news, you’ve probably seen this video snippet of a young boy who secretly hugs a dog every day, he was caught on video (obviously) and has now been invited to play with the lucky pup whenever he wants! See, good things happen when you open up when you are kind and loving!

Stuff On My Cat

Have you seen the website Stuff On My Cat? It’s hilarious. I highly recommend it if you need a giggle. It’s fairly self explanatory, you know, people put stuff on their cats and for some reason, it’s always funny.

Stuffonmycat.com
Stuffonmycat.com

I wonder why that is?

Tiny Hats For Tiny Pets

Oh thank you Buzzfeed for showing me this, it totally made my day! Now I must make a tiny hat and put it on my cat and combine my two loves, tiny animal hats and putting stuff on my cat. It’s truly a win-win situation.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/margaretjung/yes-you-can-make-tiny-hats-for-your-pets-and-its-adorable?utm_term=.kuXNok1Q5#.bgR53djJB
https://www.buzzfeed.com/margaretjung/yes-you-can-make-tiny-hats-for-your-pets-and-its-adorable?utm_term=.kuXNok1Q5#.bgR53djJB 

Last But Not Least…

This may have not been my best or most informative blog yet, but I sure hope it put a smile on your face, as it did for me. It’s a reminder that not everything in life is bad and that even though we must be ever vigilant to the bad that rises up into our faces seemingly every day, there is a whole heck of a lot of good in our world too.

Please feel free to share some of your favorite posts, blogs, tweets, etc and share the smiles today. Let’s all try to smile and love one another, no matter what we believe or who we love, let’s all be human together.

Baby Sloth says Hello!
Baby Sloth says Hello!
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The Female Perspective: #AskELJames Is Internet Bullying and Here’s Why

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Author E.L. James
Author E.L. James

Awhile back I talked a bit about the Fifty Shades of Grey controversy that says that the book and the movie promote domestic violence, rape and abuse. If you haven’t read that blog, feel free to check it out here. If you have read it then you know that I disagree with this point of view. The fact is BDSM is not about abuse (for most), it is about exploring pain, pleasure and your own power. It is a lifestyle CHOICE and I do not believe that Fifty Shades of Grey glorifies it in any way.

That being said, I will say that both the book and the movie are boring, mindless and poorly written. All of this is my personal opinion and I don’t dislike author E.L. James for giving us this mindless drivel, she got extremely lucky and made a great career for herself, one that I am totally jealous of. She has the success every writer dreams of having and it’s made an even more amazing story by the fact that she really isn’t a very good writer.

#AskELJames = Failure
#AskELJames = Failure

Recently, to help promote her new book, Fifty Shades of Grey from Christian Grey’s perspective (that’s not the title I know but it really should be) her publicity team decided to host a live Twitter chat with the hashtag, #AskELJames.

This backfired horribly.

Below is a sample of some of the tweets sent over to #AskELJames, they start out funny enough:

What’s your favourite shade out of the 50? Is there a chance that more shades will be added?

How on earth did Ana manage to graduate from university in the 21st century without an email address or a laptop?

Then things started to go a bit wrong…

Do you ever feel guilty that you made so much money from romanticizing sexual abuse and selling it as “erotica romance”?

Is it only ok for Christian to stalk, coerce, threaten & manipulate Ana because he’s hot, or is it also ok because he’s rich?

after the success of “Grey,” have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write?

And things just kept going wrong after that…

Will you be rewriting the book from Stephenie Meyer’s point of view next time?

Are you going to answer any of these questions, or do you need Stephenie Meyer to do a Twitter chat first?

Do all these negative tweets sent to you seem abusive to you? I think it’s romantic enough to be turned into a novel!

Are you getting tendinitis from having to hit “block” so often? 🙁

What gets me is the way in which people are choosing to take something as innocuous as a Twitter forum, meant to engage James’ readers with their fave author, and turn it into a giant bullying fest.

This is wrong. This is so much wrong. No matter how much I dislike the books and bemoan the fact that someone like E.L. James is famous when she can barely even write, I would never say that to her face in such an unkind manner, maybe that makes my a hypocrite but the things that people were saying to her were cruel and unnecessary.

Personally, I wouldn’t take to a Twitter group and decide it was the perfect time to bash and abuse her. Yeah, she’s not one of my favorite. Yes, I have said that time and time again during any discussions of her books. Yes, I feel guilty about it because she is a fellow writer and I should support her 100% because of that fact alone. But I am not a perfect person and I admit that. There’s something about this “attack” that really made me feel icky inside. It’s one more example of the internet world being a cruel place and I am really tired of it.

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What these folks did, and what they continue to do on various open mic forums on Twitter (why celebrities keep doing these, I just don’t know. Robin Thicke experienced a similar situation when he did the same as James) is take time meant to connect a fan with a favorite artist and turn it into something ugly. They take that time meant for others and choose to insult celebrities that they think are less than worth their time. This is a perfect example of why the internet can be a horrible place. Bullies thrive in the online space of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. They can say what they want, whenever they want with virtually no repercussions. I’ve been the victim of bullying on this blog and it takes some serious getting used to! The fact is, if you, as an artist, manage to stir up the masses to such passion (whether it’s good or bad) than you are clearly doing something right.

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The fact is, being a celebrity of any kind requires a thick skin. E.L. James and her team learned this lesson with great clarity last night and no matter what kind of person James is (I have heard some various stories that she’s not the nicest woman but I don’t know if that’s truth or not so we’ll just assume she’s a nice person) she doesn’t deserve to be bullied online. Yes, her writing is a mess. Yes, it is a well known fact that Fifty Shades began it’s book life as Twilight fan fiction and yes, it often toes the line between abuse and erotica (sort of, it’s not all that erotic if you ask me), but no matter what you think of James’ writing, there is no need to go online just to bash her when she was honestly trying to connect with her fans, not her detractors. I have better things to do with my time than to be an online troll.

What do you think? Do you think #AskELJames is bullying? Trolling? Did she deserve it or not? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Dinosaurs and Feminism: Can The Two Exist?

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Jurassic World = Awesome
Jurassic World = Awesome

Last week I went to see Jurassic World (with a few million other people it seems) and I want to state up front two things.

1. I am a HUGE Jurassic Park fan though the sequels left me pretty cold, I won’t lie about that. None of them had the magic of the first one. That first sight of those dang dinosaurs blew my teenage mind 20+ years ago. It was a feat of movie making that made me feel excited and joyful at what I was seeing. It was an adventure story and it was about dinosaurs! Not to mention, I loved the book as well.

2. I loved Jurassic World, it evoked the feelings of the first movie and it managed to stay true to the roots of its source while also being its own fun romp through dino-land. I had a great time watching this movie.

That being said let’s delve into something I read after seeing the movie that made me roll my eyes a bit because it seems that every movie these days is being searched throughly for its feminist identity.

!!!IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE STOP HERE!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

Claire Dearing played by Bryce Dallas Howard.
Claire Dearing played by Bryce Dallas Howard.

I read an article about how the main female character, Claire Dearing, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, wears her high heels throughout the entire film and how that, along with her perfect ensemble, make her less than feminist.

Seriously? Do you hear yourself? We’re judging a fictional character on her outfit and saying that she is left wanting.

Claire’s outfit isn’t a sign of fierceness; it’s a crime of lazy filmmaking — a patronizing shorthand for her cluelessness and stubborn need for control. See how out-of-touch she is with her environment? Silly girl!

~Vulture.com

I see, okay, well that’s one opinion. My thoughts as I watched the film is that Claire doesn’t have the time to run off and change her clothing into something more “acceptable” and it’s more than reasonable for a professional working in a professional environment (even a dinosaur park) to dress the part. It’s quickly clear that Claire is rigid in her thinking and is a workaholic. In a funny exchange with ex-Navy, Raptor Wrangler Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt) we learn that Claire is the type of woman who prints out an itinerary for her dates. Sure, there are people like that, good on them. Makes sense for that type of personality to be in charge of a potential death park.

The one part of Jurassic World that stuck out for me as annoying? Not Claire’s outfit or her high heels (I’ll get to the heels in a moment) it was when she was talking to her sister and the conversation falls to the boring idea that one day Claire will understand how her sister feels because you have to be a mother to understand kids…or some such bull-crap. It was an annoying and trite line spoken in a way that rang untrue to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m tired of the stereotypical mother types or maybe it’s because it’s a quick and stupid way to pigeon-hole women into their “proper” roles. To me, that was a lazy bit of writing that the movie could have easily done without.

Howard and Pratt as they begin their Jurassic World adventures.
Howard and Pratt as they begin their Jurassic World adventures.

Moving on…

As many know, all hell breaks loose in the park as the new, genetically engineered dino, the Indominous-Rex, gets free of its enclosure and begins to destroy its way through the park. During that time Claire’s two young nephews get lost in the shuffle and she enlists Owen to help her find them. To do this they must venture into the park and Claire jumps right in, high heels and white suit be damned. I actually kind of loved her for this. She didn’t run off to change (she frankly didn’t have the time) and she didn’t kick off her shoes, instead, she RAN in her heels and let me tell you, she ran like the wind. It was actually impressive enough that I noticed it at one point. I later read that Howard actually trained for her heel running like it was an Olympic competition and she never switched her heels to flats or special wedges, she did all that running herself.

By the way, for those of you who think that a woman can’t run in heels like that I can tell you with 100% certainty that they can. Not from my personal experience but I have a good friend who can run in heels so it does happen folks. Believe it! For me, I didn’t think Claire’s outfit signaled lazy filmmaking, her running in heels didn’t seem ludicrous, it’s what happens when all hell breaks loose and you are trying to keep yourself safe and your loved ones safe. You don’t have the time to think about what you’re wearing, you don’t have the time to care, all you have the time for is surviving. To me, in a movie like Jurassic World it rang true and I didn’t even stop to ponder that it might be a sign of anti-feminism.

To say that the characters are all “types” would be a truth and it’s not a slight against the movie. It’s the kind of movie that doesn’t have the time to spend developing deep and subtle characters. Character development has to be quick and it has to be easy. Dressing Claire in head to toe white with beige heels and perfect hair is a great way to show the audience right away who she is. Dressing Owen in a leather vest and tight jeans is the best way to show us who he is. Clothes do make a difference a film and in this case, they do it very effectively.

As for feminism in a dinosaur movie? Yeah, it’s there, it’s quiet but it’s there. It’s when Claire saves Owen, even though her nephews then prefer the supposed safety of Owen’s company to hers. It’s when she doesn’t hesitate to release the T-Rex and have it chase her to save her loved ones. It’s there when she protects them from danger and it’s there when she goes after her nephews. One of my favorite small scenes is when Claire and Owen are running from the I-Rex and he stops to give her a hand, she buzzes right past him, a quick little f-you to being a gentlemen during a fight or flight scenario. She was going to keep going, chivalry be damned!

Remember how badass Laura Dern was in that movie? She played world-renowned paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler, the intellectual equal to her partner, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), and a tough, resourceful heroine in the mold of Alien‘s Ellen Ripley or Terminator‘s Sarah Connor. She was able to identify extinct poisonous plants on sight, went toe-to-toe with Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm on chaos theory (with that great line: “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the Earth”), and got elbow-deep in a mountain of dung to diagnose an ailing triceratops. When it came time for her to fight off a velociraptor while taking the initiative to restart a power grid, we had faith she would prevail. In fact, the entire movie was quietly feminist in the way it depicted the downfall of male hubris, from Wayne Knight’s botched attempt to steal dino embryos to the exile of man from the island by an entirely female dinosaur population. Women did inherit the Earth after all. -Vulture.com

Laura Dern's Ellie Sattler was pretty darn bad-ass.
Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler was pretty darn bad-ass.

To compare Claire to Sattler is ridiculous in my opinion because while they aren’t the same woman, they share similar qualities, namely in terms of being able to battle dinosaurs when called upon. Sattler and Grant were equals, yes, and she was a bad-ass character in a lot of ways but so is Claire. I think to simply dismiss Claire’s strength because of her outfit and frigid behavior is to not give her credit for who she is. Simply put, it’s judging a book by its cover. Claire does a lot in this movie and to me, she is resourceful, smart and brave and she should be given credit for being so instead of put down because her outfit and hair are “impeccable” (which isn’t even true, she’s a hot mess by the end of the movie). I think articles like the Vulture.com one is part of the problem with people trying to “defend” feminism everywhere they go. The fact is, not every movie is going to be full of feminist fun like Mad Max: Fury Road was but I feel like when we get a character like Claire, who can be both feminine AND strong it’s a win-win situation. People need to reframe their perceptions of what feminism should look like and realize that it can take all shapes and sizes. From a tough, post-apocalyptic bad-ass to a modern, professional woman in heels. Let’s all open our minds and broaden our feminist horizons.

But then again, so was Claire...I mean, she lured the T-Rex to the I-Rex...not something for the faint of heart.
But then again, so was Claire…I mean, she lured the T-Rex to the I-Rex…not something for the faint of heart.

What do YOU think? Did you see Jurassic World? Did you love it, hate it?

What did you think of Claire and her heels?

Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Women Baring It All For a Reason…But Is The Message Lost?

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Yesterday, a group of women decided to bare their breasts for a cause. They wanted to protest the lack of coverage over deaths of women at the hands of police. Their argument being that ALL lives matter, not just male lives.

About a dozen topless protesters stopped traffic on Market Street this morning, as part of a National Day of Action for Black Women and Girls. Using the hashtag #SayHerName, protesters sought to draw attention to black women victims of police violence, such as Rekia Boyd and Kayla Moore. ~SFWeekly 

If you read this and thought, who is Rekia Boyd or Kayla Moore, you wouldn’t be alone. I only recently heard of the Rekia Boyd shooting and it broke my heart to realize for the first time that these shootings are happening at a rapid rate and I sadly know very little about them. It’s a sign of nothing more than a willingness to put blinders on. I don’t watch the news because it’s “too depressing” and while I see some stories in my Facebook newsfeed, I never saw anything about Boyd or Moore. This article was, to me, a sign that I need to get my head out of the sand and really pay attention.

#SayHerName protest group on May 25th.
#SayHerName protest group on May 25th.

The fact is, not all police officers are bad and I want that said right up front so anyone reading this understands that I am in no way railing against the police. There are good officers out there, good men and women doing their best in a corrupt system. There are also quite a few bad ones and sadly, the bad ones make the news.

Rekia Boyd was killed accidentally by a police officer who was then let go because the "wrong" charges were brought against him. #Blacklivesmatter
Rekia Boyd was killed accidentally by a police officer who was then let go because the “wrong” charges were brought against him. #Blacklivesmatter

I digress though, this post is about the women who decided to take a stand, bare it all and say “enough is enough.” My question is this, by baring your breasts you get attention, it’s true, but is your point lost in the shock of seeing half naked women marching? Is your message lost amidst the sensationalism of the act? All I know is what I see and what I see is people not responding to what the women are trying to say but what the women look like or I see juvenile men getting all weirded out by the breasts in front of them.

Firstly, grow up.

Secondly, please listen to the message. Realize that what these women want people to know is that there are more victims of police violence than Freddie Gray or Michael Brown or Trevon Martin. There are countless other nameless faces being killed for no reason and we as a people need to see it and realize that something needs to be done.

Recently, a clothing company called PacSun was under fire for selling a t-shirt that had an upside down American flag on it. The upside down flag represents an America in distress and is deeply insulting to Veterans, active military and other patriotic people. The thing is, when I read the article and learned exactly what an upside down flag meant I wondered to myself- but isn’t America IN distress right now? Aren’t we fighting a quiet “war” with the police force? Aren’t we troubled by racism, homophobia and sexism every day? Maybe this t-shirt is more relevant than what PacSun thought it would be. I don’t mean to be disrespectful of any America-loving (being an America lover myself) person but the truth is, America is in distress.

PacSun recently removed this shirt from their stores due to protests.
PacSun recently removed this shirt from their stores due to protests.

But who will save us if the problem IS us?

Many will tell you that an upside down American flag means “the country is in distress.” The US Flag Code allows this use of the flag in situations of “dire distress,” but the intention was distress as in immediate danger to life and limb, such as your ship is sinking at sea, an SoS signal.

I write in this blog a lot about feminism in terms of pop culture, movies and comics. I am a proud feminist and I get very tired of the subtle and not-so-subtle sexism that is prevalent in the world today. I get excited when I see progress, such as Ireland allowing for same-sex marriages. I get angry when I see people being hurt or brutalized by others. Not only am I a feminist but I am also a humanist. I want equality for everyone, not just women or homosexuals or various ethnicities.

So you might be asking yourself, what point is she trying to make today? I suppose my point is this, women baring their breasts to try and raise awareness around the female deaths at the hands of police; a clothing company selling an insulting t-shirt but accidentally also making a valid point about the state of America today; the need to realize that we are all one people and should act like it, are all part of what makes America such a beautiful and wonderful place. All of these arguments, protests and discord are part of what makes humans human.

But that doesn’t make it right.

The #SayHerName protest should be treated with respect, not jokes and breast humor or ogling. It’s sad to me that PacSun had to remove the t-shirt from their stores because of the uproar it caused (what happened to #FreeSpeech?) but I also understand it, it is disrespectful and the upside down flag should not be used to sell clothing. The fact is, the truth is hard for many to face but face it we must. The truth is, America is hurting, we are all making mistakes and I am fearful of the boiling point, the point where it all falls apart. What will we do then?

Let’s hope that before that happens, we find our way towards peace and equality.

world-peace-090420w

What do you think about the state of America today? Are you fearful or confidence we will fix it? Sound off in the comments.

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The Female Perspective: Ageism AND Sexism Rears It’s Ugly Head in Hollywood…Again

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


Recently, in an interview with TheWrap magazine, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal discussed ageism and sexism in Tinseltown, revealing that she was turned down for the part of being a love interest to a 55-year old man- Gyllenhaal herself is 37. Oh yes, clearly she is a hag at this point.

Maggie Gyllenhaal arrives at the 40th Anniversary Gracies Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Maggie Gyllenhaal arrives at the 40th Anniversary Gracies Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

It’s no surprise that Hollywood treats female actresses differently than males. It’s been happening since any of us can remember. In fact, a study conducted recently stated:

A study of the top 265 earning actresses and actors in Hollywood films between 1968 and 2008 released last year by the Journal Of Management Inquiry revealed actresses are paid less as they get older, with wages increasing steadily through their 20s and dropping rapidly after 34. Meanwhile, actors’ salaries do not peak until 51 years old and do not decrease with age. ~Huffington Post

Basically, if you are an actress over the age of 34 you are out of luck in terms of getting paid the same as your male counterparts (unless you are Meryl Streep, that woman is unstoppable!). So why is this a badly kept secret that the actresses themselves seem to do nothing about? Sure, they speak out about it in magazines, but are they doing something about it to make studio’s pay them what they are worth? Or, are they fearful that by taking a stand against a studio, they may never work again? I’ll never pretend to understand Hollywood and the weirdness that goes on there (why they keep “rebooting” films is beyond me, don’t people have new ideas anymore?) so I’ll keep this brief, my confusion is about the fact that a woman like Gyllenhaal, a talented actress, who is at 37, too old to be the lover of a 55 year old man. If anything, she might be too young! It’s a bizarre situation and I give her a lot of credit for being able to discuss it gracefully.

“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” Gyllenhaal said. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

Good for you!

As I read more about the study I mentioned earlier regarding the pay rates of women actresses versus men, I couldn’t get angry, anger is the wrong emotion to feel here. What I feel here is sadness. Sadness that this is what Hollywood has become. This is why getting a Superhero movie starring either Wonder Woman or Black Widow is nearly impossible, this is why we can’t have nice things!

According to the study, “Men’s well-worn faces are thought to convey maturity, character and experience. A woman’s face, on the other hand, is valued for appearing young.”

No wonder young girls starve themselves to death or try to surgically enhance themselves to the point of danger (the Kardashian lip situation rings a bell here), Hollywood rarely takes responsibility for what young girls (or even boys) do to themselves in order to look “right” for the movies. The fact is, when you look back on the “good ole days” of movies, people looked NORMAL, women had curves for pete’s sakes, they had all different hair colors and cuts. Nowadays we see a lot of the same thing, straight hair and skinny ladies. Now, I’m not hating on the skinny gals (or straight hair), I love them just as much as my curvy ladies, but what I’m saying here is that we need INDIVIDUALITY these days, not a bunch of Stepford Wives.

Apparently these lips are worth disfiguring yourself for. Go figure.
Apparently these lips are worth disfiguring yourself for. Go figure.

I feel that even as I type this it’s a waste of my time. Hollywood isn’t changing- well, not entirely.

Maybe I’m actually wrong about that, the recent Mad Max: Fury Road film is a good example of how an action movie has become something more, something feminist. Maybe those are the little changes that will eventually effect BIG change?

Only time will tell for sure on this one and even though I sound hopeless, I do actually have some hope for the future of women in film. Maybe at some point Hollywood will see that it’s okay to show an “older” woman on screen and no one will die. People won’t turn from the theater in fear or disgust. Maybe I have to be patient and wait this out.

Even the 70s Stepford Wives were more individual than some ladies today!
Even the 70s Stepford Wives were more individual than some ladies today!

What do YOU think? Will Hollywood every change? Are older actresses appealing? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Was It a Joke and Was It Even Funny?

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


What would Black Widow think of what Evans and Renner said? Hmmmm...
What would Black Widow think of what Evans and Renner said? Hmmmm…

I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking over my blog post for today. I go back and forth between a few different topics until I land on one that really speaks to me. Today, it’s not a simple idea to write about it, it’s one that is complicated, nuanced and tricky as heck. Today, I want to talk about how we all live an a culture that has knee-jerk reactions to stuff and sometimes I have to wonder, is that stuff really worth the anger and hub-bub?

I want to start by saying that nothing in here is meant to insult anyone and I hope that it can all be taken in the grand spirit of debate.

The reason I wanted to write this blog today is because of the Jeremy Renner/Chris Evans/Scarlett Johansson story that broke over the weekend and why it matters more than we want to think it does. 

First we’ll start with the Renner/Evans “joke”. If you haven’t seen it, watch below.

When I watched this I sighed to myself thinking, “this is a joke for two boys in a locker room or at a bar, not for an interview millions will see”. It’s a slippery slope because of a few different things, first off, Black Widow/Scarlett Johansson deserves more than this kind of treatment. My feeling about it as, who cares who she hooks up with? Why does she have to hook up with anyone? Oh yeah, because she’s a woman, silly me, I forgot.  The fact is, I like Evans quite a bit, he has shown to be a kind person and yeah, he’s Captain America, so I know my opinion on this matter is viewed through an “I want to like you” lens, which makes it hard to be angry. The question then arises, is this even worth being “angry” about?

Sometimes sexism just slips out. Sometimes it’s well-intentioned but doesn’t consider the bigger implications. Sometimes it simply doesn’t land as it was meant. None of which means the person doing it is inherently “bad.” But that’s exactly why we bring it up. – Nerdist.com

The fact of the matter is that it’s sexism, well-intentioned and “accidental” though it may be, the whole thing stinks of sexism and that seriously bums me out. You want to think that because Black Widow has been such an amazing force in the Avengers movies that this won’t happen, but it does. Johansson gets asked if she wears underwear under her suit, I mean, really? What the heck does that matter and I know, as a woman, that I could care less! I want to know how she does her stunts, does she do her stunts? Stuff like that.

Black Widow the character get’s repeatedly pushed aside on marketing materials for the Avengers and you will be hard-pressed to find her on any of the new toys and merchandise. Why? Is it because she’s a minor character? Nope. Is it because she doesn’t do anything important? Nope. It’s because the execs who create the marketing think she is less than for some reason…oh wait, not some reason, it’s because she’s a woman.

grossvengers-640x265

I truly hate saying things like that, I feel like it makes me sound like an angry feminist but the fact is, I can be an angry feminist. I am angry that Black Widow doesn’t get her due (but PLEASE make a movie about her) when she is as good or even better than some of her male counterparts. The first time you meet her she is tied to a chair and kicks all sorts of ass without missing a beat. AWESOME.

So there are some problems here. Little things that, when added together, ultimately paint a bigger picture about the under-representation and lack of respect for the women of the superheroverse. A woman with sexual agency who is confident and secure in herself is a great, progressive step forward in terms of female representation. But it’s unfortunate that we’re still defining her by with whom she sleeps or flirts. Even if it is “just a tasteless joke about a fictional character.” A character that’s a very real entity despite the fact that she’s made up.

We’re not looking for another apology or a moratorium on jokes, just trying to bridge the understanding gap that seems inherent between those that understand just how subtle, insidious, and socially reaffirmed sexism can be. – Nerdist.com

The fact is, Evans and Renner apologized (though I’ll say that Evans’ apology was classy and seemed sincere whereas Renner’s was kind of…blah) which is perfect and it should be enough but for some reason, it’s not. We don’t need more apologies, we simply need it understood that when you are in the public eye you really, truly have to think before you speak and no one’s perfect, I don’t pretend to think that for a second, mistakes happen but sometimes, those mistakes are more insidious than people think. Sometimes they prove the point that sexism is alive and well in the world and it can happen at the most surprising moments and while I don’t really want to get annoyed at every little thing, I do feel the need to state loudly and clearly, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.

black-widow-scarlett-johansson-2-970x545

Renner mentioned in his apology that Black Widow is a fictional character, why is everyone getting so upset about a remark made about a fictional character? Why is everyone so hyper-sensitive? Why can’t we have fun anymore?

Well Hawkeye, the reason is that we got the joke, sure we did but women have been the butt of this joke for a LONG time and we’re sick and tired of it. It’s time for a new joke, it’s time for some new material because right now, in this world we live in, those kinds of jokes simply aren’t as funny as they used to be. There is an edge of malice behind them that hurts, we want to laugh but sometimes, we ladies want to cry because it’s not right. Yes,  I realize that those that hate feminism will get up on their high horse and remark that the “feminists have lost their sense of humor again! Let’s all stop telling jokes because the feminists are mad!” But that is not what this is about. Not even close.

They were joking. They’re good guys. Why do you hate fun? We’ve been over this.

But there’s another more important question that Renner’s apology highlighted: Why get upset about something as trivial as remarks about a fictional character? Put it like that, and anyone who took offense sounds like a moron, arguing in the comments section about whether Batman could take down Tony Stark. It’s just fiction! Don’t get excited!

But there’s nothing less frivolous than fiction. You’d think the star of the mind-blowingly successful Avengers franchise might have realized that.

…Fiction matters. You don’t have the luxury of getting to know most people. But fictional characters you can learn inside and out. – Washington Post, “What Jeremy Renner Really Got Wrong About Black Widow”

The fact is, apologies have been made and articles have been written and the outrage has been felt. We need to move on and deal with stories that matter more in the grand scheme of things and right there is where I get stuck. Isn’t this type of quiet sexism what causes the problems today? Isn’t ignoring it or moving on what makes it so slippery, so invasive? It’s a conundrum for me because I don’t want to be angry. It makes me tired. I don’t want to hate Evans or Renner or any of the Marvel characters because I’ve seen them in other talk show venue’s and they all genuinely love and respect each other. It’s a joke, right?

International-Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Poster-700x989

Therein lies the problem, sometimes joke’s just aren’t all that funny. Sometimes they’re sexist and we have to speak up, even if it makes me sound like an angry feminist.

More than anything, I’d love to hear what Johansson has to say about all this, if anyone has seen a response from her about this “controversy” forward it along to me! Tell me your thoughts on this type of “joke”- funny, not funny, sexist or stupid? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: A Feminist Who Sticks Up For Men, Eee Gads!

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!


I came across an interesting article yesterday titled, “Meet The Feminist Who Is Sticking Up For Men“. Intrigued, I read the article with an open mind, especially since I am a feminist who sticks up for men! The article annoyed me to some degree, not with the idea that a woman could stick up for men, but because of the idea that it’s so preposterous an idea that a woman would stick up for men that we have to have an article about it.

EQUALITY.
EQUALITY.

Yes, there have been lots of feminists that hate on men (still are) and as the article points out, some feminists have gone so far as to say such things as:

American writer Andrea Dworkin once said she wanted ‘to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig’, while author Sally Miller Gearhart suggested (in all seriousness) that ‘the proportion of men be reduced to, and maintained at, 10 per cent of the human race’.

Even Jilly Cooper, queen of the bonkbuster, famously asserted that ‘the male is a domestic animal which, if treated with fairness, can be trained to do most things.’

These types of comments sadden me, in my mind I don’t believe that feminism is about hating on men or trying to get rid of them. To me, feminism is about finding equality for the sexes, it’s about finding balance. To so many others it’s about man-bashing or hatred and that breaks my heart. I suppose the same could be held true for other movements, there are always going to be those who side with anger and hatred over calm reasonable discourse. I simply wish there was a way to make the world understand that feminism isn’t about man hating. Not at its core anyway.

The subject of the article is an academic named Christina Hoff Sommers, she has written some books that have raised eyebrows in the feminist community. She currently makes video’s called “The Factual Feminist”, where Hoff Sommers attempts to break down the stereotypes surrounding feminism and the “facts” about various studies that try to tout women as being superior to men. I watched a few of them and honestly found them interesting. Hoff Sommers isn’t trying to woman-bash any more than she is making a plea for moderation. In her book, “Who Stole Feminism?” she made the same plea and found that it landed on somewhat def ears.

“When Who Stole Feminism? first appeared in 1994 I received fan letters from some well-known feminists, but – for the most part – the establishment was unhappy with my plea for moderation. I found myself excommunicated from the church of feminism.

“Some called me a backlasher, a traitor to my gender, anti-woman. One angry critic referred to Margaret Thatcher and me as ‘those two female impersonators’.

Sadly, not much has changed since the 1990’s. If a woman dares to stand up for me, she is met with scorn and judgement from the feminist community. It’s unfair and it’s uneducated. Men aren’t bad, some of them are really awesome and they create balance in our lives. So many feminists in the past have pondered the question, how would the world be without men? They often answer that women would be fat and happy or there would be less crime. The latter is most likely true, since men are guilty of most violent crime, but the question remains…would we be happy without men? I don’t think so, I think that most of us enjoy our interactions with men, we love men and we want them around to talk to, cuddle with and gain inspiration from.

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The fact is, feminism needs a face lift, we need to push forward the idea that women love men and that feminism isn’t about man-hating. It’s about finding balance between the sexes, making everything fair and honest. It is not about putting men down or trying to make them feel “less than”, I want men to feel as powerful as women do. I want us to live in harmony.

Is it a naive dream perhaps? It makes no difference to me, I have hope that one day we’ll find that balance.

Equality-feminism

What do you think? Do you agree that men need to go or do you think we need to strike a balance? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Confusing Feminism With Anger

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!


Today I came across a compilation video of women hitting men (after they supposedly hit the women first), I watched it with a dawning sense of annoyance. Not anger, but annoyance. The person who put together the video clearly is not versed in the difference between an angry person and a feminist.

Before I say more, here is the link to the video in question.

Be warned that the video includes violence and some foul language.

#equality
#equality

The video starts off harmless enough, showing a 1950’s “Manners” video about how women should let men help them, they like it! Fine. I can deal with that, seeing stuff like this from the days before the feminist movement make me laugh, it was a different time, a different world. We then fast forward to the 1970’s and how women simply want what men have always been able to have. That makes sense to me and it’s important to note, it’s not about being angry, it’s simply about wanting equality.

Then…well then, inexplicably,  we start seeing women beating up on men, screaming at them, urging them into violence. I watched it with a growing sense of annoyance. These women are not feminists, they are angry. I think in today’s world people become confused between anger and feminism. If a women expresses distaste or dismay at something that is unfair, we call her an angry feminist. Even if that woman is well-spoken. Even if that woman is articulating a reasoned argument in a calm voice. A video like this only promotes the idea that all feminists are angry. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. It also confuses angry women with feminists.

Yes, there are angry feminists, of course there are. Just like there are angry men and women in every social movement around the globe. They are (hopefully) the minority but they often speak with the loudest voice. To create and post a video like this is unfair to women and feminists. We only see a brief moment in time, an argument that has no context. We see women losing control, pushing men (both literally and figuratively) until they get what they want, a punch or a slap so that they can then attack with a reason. So that they can then say “Well, he hit me first.”

It’s disgusting, it’s unfair and it’s NOT even close to a fair representation of women.

Part of the issue with being a feminist is being instantly stereotyped as being a man-hating, angry woman.
Part of the issue with being a feminist is being instantly stereotyped as being a man-hating, angry woman.

Anger is a totally different topic from feminism. An angry woman is not always a feminist, just like an angry black man is not always fighting for civil rights. There are extremists in every movement and they give the rest of us a bad name. It’s important that we remind people, calmly and rationally, that not every one of us is angry. Not every one of us is out to beat down our “male oppressors” and not every one of us assumes that all men deserve to be hit or persecuted.

I want it made abundantly clear, hitting (or any physical violence) is never okay. Words are far more powerful than fists can ever be.

To the person who created this video – shame on you for putting it out there that angry women are feminists. That nice guys don’t deserve to be commended for being nice, that nice guys don’t get the lady because they are “too nice”. I laughed at that because I was once told by a guy (a rather mean one it turned out) that I was “too nice” and that I would never be able to survive in this world. I’ll tell you what, he was wrong and I am quite happy and I’m still nice. This video promotes generic stereotypes. It doesn’t come close to touching on the real face of feminism Where are your calm women of power like Michelle Obama? Or Angelina Jolie or Gloria Steinem? Where are they in this mishmash of nonsense you call feminism?

I suggest that whoever created the video go back to school and learn a little bit about what it means to be an activist and what it means to just be angry.

No matter what you think of Hilary, she makes an excellent point!
No matter what you think of Hilary, she makes an excellent point!

What do YOU think? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Leggings. Are they SATANS PANTS?

Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of. 


It's true...
It’s true…

I honestly don’t remember when leggings became a fashion staple. I remember wearing them a lot as a child of the 80’s and then they faded out. Now they’re back and it appears they are here to stay. How do I know this for sure? Well, for one, they manage to cause controversy on a semi-regular basis. Recently, a woman named Veronica Partridge, a Christian blogger, denounced leggings because she wanted to “honor God and husband

While I whole-heartedly respect her right to choose whatever she wants to wear, I find it ridiculous that she is blaming leggings for her husbands (and any mans) wandering eye.

Apparently, a discussion about the skin-tight garment led Partridge’s husband to confess to her that “it’s hard not to look” when he goes somewhere filled with leggings-clad women. “I try not to, but it’s not easy,” he told her, according to her to blog.

So let me get this straight? Your husband admitted that he looks at other women in leggings and you then basically go forth and blame the women for wearing leggings? I’m confused, when did it become OK to blame a fashion choice on a mans wandering eye? Last I checked, your husbands will was his own and if he wants to check out some ladies bottoms in leggings than OK, he’s a red-blooded man and that’s NORMAL. Heck! I check out guys all the time! There was once a man in the yoga studio where I worked that wore tight spandex shorts and let me tell you, it was hard NOT to look at him but I managed to not look. Never once did I blame him for wearing those shorts. My eyes are my own and where they look, yep, it’s my choice!

Clearly, these are dangerous pants.
Clearly, these are dangerous pants.

It’s reasonable to not want people to stare at you. I get that, but her blog doesn’t seem to reflect that idea, instead, she is doing it for her husband and God instead of for herself. From her blog,

If it is difficult for my husband who loves, honors, and respects me to keep his eyes focused ahead, then how much more difficult could it be for a man that may not have the same self-control? Sure, if a man wants to look, they are going to look, but why entice them? Is it possible that the thin, form-fitting yoga pants or leggings could make a married (or single) man look at a woman in a way he should only look at his wife?

Entice? That’s what leggings do? They entice men to stare at our booty? I got news for you sister, men are gonna look at our parts no matter what we are wearing. It’s kind of what happens. Is it OK? No. Is it annoying? Sometimes. I don’t see any type of solution for it because even in countries where they wear burka’s women are getting attacked and raped.

I think the bigger problem here is that we are once again blaming the wearer for the problem, rather than the perpetrator of the gaze. Victim shaming is not OK but it is rampant in our society. I want it made clear that Partridge can do whatever she wants and I respect that. What I take umbrage with is the fact that she isn’t blaming her husband for not being able to control himself, instead, she blames herself for wearing the pants. From the Huffington Post article on Partridge’s blog, they mention that leggings and yoga pants have been banned from some schools,

Leggings are banned in middle schools and high schools throughout the country, sometimes under the premise of not distracting male students. Parents at a middle school in Evanston, Illinois, spoke out against the dress code last year, saying the policy sent an “antiquated and warped message” that “shifts the blame for boy’s behavior or lack of academic concentration, directly onto the girls.”

Exactly my point.

Come on ladies, we need to stop blaming ourselves for the inadequacies of others (I don’t just mean men either). Don’t shame or blame the victim, blame the perpetrator.  Self-control is a choice people. A CHOICE. You can decide not to look (as I did when that dude was wearing his tight shorts) or you can choose to look. It may not be easy, but I know for damn sure that it’s not the fault of pants wearer.

Change starts with us, let’s make meme’s like the one below disappear by owning our choices instead of tossing blame at other people who don’t deserve it.

Victim shaming needs to stop.
Victim shaming needs to stop.

What do YOU think? Are leggings a gateway pant to looser morals? Are they Satan’s pants? Or should we start blaming the lookie-loo who can’t stop staring? Sound off in the comments!