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The Female Perspective: This Halloween, Be Sexy, Be Powerful, Don’t Be Slutty

Welcome! This is the 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.


I was thinking about my blog for this week and wondering what kind of goodness I wanted to write about and eventually I thought about how Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about the air that’s different, it’s cooler (well, usually. Right now it’s a tad warm in Rhode Island) and it’s just … weirder. So I started thinking, what are some great costumes for the feminist lady? Can it be sexy? Can it be daring? Will it still be feminist if you show off your good bits?

I think the answer can be yes though I admit it makes me feel a little bit weird saying that. I’m not someone who loves the “slutty” costume series and a lot of them really just look ridiculous (does anyone buy these???) but I also think that people should dress up as whatever they want. If it makes them feel good, who am I to judge? Then I think to myself, the real problem isn’t the risqué costumes, it’s the term “slutty” – that seems to be a quick and not-s0-subtle way for us women to degrade ourselves while doing something as simple as getting a Halloween costume.

Let me suggest some alternatives to being a Sexy Disney Character (ick) or other so-called “slutty” costume.

To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.
To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.

#1) Rosie The Riveter

Smart & Sassy.
Smart & Sassy.

How can you go wrong with this badass lady? Not only is the costume SUPER easy to make, it’s also really recognizable either as the “Yes We Can!” lady or Rosie. No matter what, you’ll look smart, sexy, powerful and be super comfortable.

Am I one of the only people who want their costumes to be comfortable along with looking awesome? I’m okay with it if I am, just thought I’d ask.

#2) A Suffragette

And it's perfect for the upcoming release of the movie "Suffragette"!
And it’s perfect for the upcoming release of the movie “Suffragette”!

You might be going, huh? What? Is that some weird toy or cosplay? Nope! In case you didn’t know, women didn’t always have the right to vote and it’s because of these brave women (aka suffragette’s) that we can vote and enjoy the rights we have today. Not only is it an unusual costume, it’s also pretty cool, you can wear a vintage dress and wear a SASH without having to be a beauty queen or … um, sash model. Seriously, who else other than beauty queens wear sashes?

#3) Any Awesomely Famous Women From History/Pop Culture

Honestly, these are as easy as pie (mmm…pie). You can go as Frida Kahlo and sport a fabulous uni-brow that will certainly catch all the glances. Not to mention, as Frida you can wear beautiful, colorful, flowing clothing and really show off your artistic side.

If you are more into movie/TV icons you can go as a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent and go around kicking people’s butts or grabbing that hot guy dressed as Thor and tell him you want him to join the S.H.I.E.L.D initiative – it’s a perfect pick up line for the single gal!

You can also go with more traditional fare like a fully dressed Disney princess, the Queen or even my personal fave, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or get really tough with your best Furiosa costume!

Buffy Costumes - totally DIY awesome!
Buffy Costumes – totally DIY awesome!

There are so many awesome options for Halloween costumes that DON’T involve showing off every bit of skin you can get away with but still be powerful and in full command of your sexuality. Don’t sell yourself short by picking something “slutty” – I can promise you that you are better than that.

Halloween is a time to express the side you never get to express. It’s a time to dress up in a way you’ve always wanted to, but thought might be disapproved of. Go Goth, Emo, Punk, Prairie Lady, whatever makes YOU feel good.  If that means showing some skin, then go with it, but do me a favor, don’t call yourself a “Slutty” anything. If someone tells you that you are dressed as a Slutty Nurse just because your skirt is short or you’re showing some cleavage, make sure to correct them and say you are a Nurse, plain and simple. Calling ourselves “slutty” is what I object to. I think it’s degrading and it cheapens any effort we put into dressing up for a party. We are more than our body parts ladies. We are more than our cleavage and our booty. We are powerful, we are sexy, we are smart and we are worth respecting ourselves.

This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!
This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!

This Halloween, dress as you want, have fun with it, be daring, but most of all, be the powerful Universal force you truly are. Don’t sell yourself short by being slutty. Show the world that you can be both powerful AND sexy and that being sexy does not mean you’re not feminist. Being sexy is about harnessing your inner Goddess and rolling with it. Not about being cheap. You’re all brilliant, now show off that brilliance this Halloween!

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Tell me in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: Female Dinosaur Toys? Dear God NO!!!!!

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.


How many of you have seen the Jurassic Park movies? Okay, that’s like a bazillion-trillion of you, good. Now, how many of you recall that all the dinosaurs on the island are female? No? Watch this for a quick refresher.

Okay, now that we are all on the same page let’s take a moment and check out these wonderful new Jurassic World toys! Oh boy, dinosaurs and raptors to play with, what fun! Wait…huh? These dino’s are described as being boys. Well that’s quite odd…

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Oh wait, it’s not all that odd because girls can’t have toys unless they are gender approved. God forbid your son gets a GIRL dinosaur to play with. I am sure that will instantly make him like…what exactly? Girl dinosaurs? Will it make him gay? Can we please just call this for what it actually is? Sexism. The fact is, we see it over and over again, does anyone have any Black Widow toys? Not really right? Because they are so against selling women figures or female toys that they will actually go to the lengths of actually erasing a woman off her own toy or changing the entire mythos of the story by making the dino’s boys instead of girls.

Does this make me angry? A little bit, yes because the whole thing about Jurassic Park is that they manufacture the dinosaur’s to be all female all the time so that they don’t breed (but, as we all know, that fails in spectacular fashion). So why make the change? Why decide to write-up the dino’s as male instead of female? What’s the thought process on this? I am actually curious to know because I cannot think of one, single reason why you would take characters that are very much female and decide that they’re male because maybe the powers that be that make those kinds of decisions think that boy dino’s will sell better than girl dino’s? Newsflash, whoever you are decision making guy, you should get fired for being so dumb it actually hurts me. Why give the dino’s a sex at all? If you are so offended by the idea that they are female in ALL OF THE MOVIES why bother with a he or she pronoun? Oh that’s right, sexism.

All girls, all the time.
All girls, all the time.

It’s a tough world out there folks and while I realize that dinosaur toys as a movie tie-in is the smallest nugget of annoyance there can possibly be, it’s still frustrating that female’s get so little respect that there can’t even be a proper toy that represents them. Don’t even get me started on the Furiosa comic book that completely negates the beauty of Mad Max: Fury Road. 

Come on, sing it with me! "Girls, girls, girls!"
Come on, sing it with me! “Girls, girls, girls!”

It’s these “little” things that make up the bigger whole. It’s these things that remind me (and so many others) that feminism is important, that it is necessary. Equality will never be a thing of the real world until we are all actually equal and no one decides that a female dinosaur has to be male because it won’t sell otherwise. I can PROMISE you, even if you put a pink frilly hat on ole’ Blue up there, it would still sell because Jurassic World is a HUGE hit.

Come on decision makers, stop screwing us ladies over in the toy department, we like toys too and not just Barbie dolls.

What do YOU think? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: The Women Are On Top!

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.


I stumbled across an article from NPR today (I love NPR by the way) and they were talking about how currently, women-centric films are at the top of the box-office.

This year, though, is different: We are almost at the midpoint of 2015, and as of right now, more than half of the top 10 box-office hits — six of them — center their stories on female characters. Besides Mad Max, there’s its archrival Pitch Perfect 2, as well as Insurgent with its combative heroine Tris; Fifty Shades of Grey; the animated kid-flick Home, in which a little girl saves the planet from invading aliens; and Disney’s live-action Cinderella.

NPRThis Year, Women (And Girls) Rule The Big Screen

Let’s just take a few minutes to take a look at that. More than half of the top 10 box-office hits feature women storylines. What does that say about the audiences? That hey, what do you know, WOMEN go to the movies! They watch traditionally man-centric films like Mad Max and movies based on (bad) books like Fifty Shades of Grey among others. It says that maybe Hollywood is actually taking steps to even the playing field when it comes to man-movies versus female-movies?

Pitch Perfect 2 is just one of the many female-centric movies topping the box-office charts.
Pitch Perfect 2 is just one of the many female-centric movies topping the box-office charts.

I can’t lie, reading a statistic like this made me really happy. Even though less than half of the female-centric movies were directed/written by women, it’s a step in the right direction for the film industry. Maybe there will come a time when the studio execs will realize that people WILL, in fact, watch a movie centered around a woman. The success of The Hunger Games movies should show that pretty succinctly. Katniss Everdeen is a household name for a lot of people and while the movies aren’t the best, I can’t fault Jennifer Lawrence, she has so far turned in some pretty stellar performances and the final installment is due out this year. I suspect it’ll have record numbers.

Spy with Melissa McCarthy is topping the box-office this week.
Spy with Melissa McCarthy is topping the box-office this week.

Recently, the movie Spy was released and it is a movie based around a female superhero (the always funny Melissa McCarthy) and it is topping the box-office charts after this past weekend. Proving once again that people will turn out and pay for movies starring and about women.

In 13 of the past 30 years, not a single top 10 box-office hit was centered on a female character. And in the other years, there were never many — just one per year for eight years, and two or three in the others, and that, largely thanks to the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises. -NPR

It does make you wonder what is the difference between this year and years past. Is it simply that better movies are being made (though Fifty Shades of Grey would make that instantly untrue)? Or is it that the characters are compelling, multi-layered and strong? Could it simply be that women LIKE movies and when they see movies being made about women, they go and see them? All of these or none of these factors could be true. I am not a genius when it comes to these types of things but what I can say is that it’s heartening to see this type of statistic. Please Hollywood, take note of the fact that women-centred movies DO make money. Take note that you should make more like this to entertain the ladies.

Mad Max: Fury Road stars Tom Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron as Furiosa and Max takes a lot of "orders" from Furiosa.
Mad Max: Fury Road stars Tom Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron as Furiosa and Max takes a lot of “orders” from Furiosa.

Or better yet, make more films like Mad Max: Fury Road, that had a man and woman SHARING the spotlight and in fact, Max took a lot of his cues from Furiosa which was awesome to see, not from a crazed man-hated perspective but from the point of view that yeah, sometimes men DO listen to women. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

Not all of these feminine characters are “empowered” exactly — don’t even get me started on the Bechdel test — but they are feminine, which is no small thing. Remember it’s just three years ago that Pixar’s Brave was called “brave” simply for being about an action heroine. -NPR

All-in-all I have to say that for the moment, women films are on top and I’m going to enjoy the holy heck out of it while I can!

What do YOU think? Are you happy to see Hollywood churning out more women-centric films? Do you think they are quality films? Should Hollywood do more of them? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: “Mad Max: Fury Road” – Does It Go Furiously Into Film History or Is It Feminist Propaganda?

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.


VROOOM. VROOOM!
VROOOM. VROOOM!

I’m going to start this article off with the following warning, if you haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road than you are 1) Missing out on a seriously fun film and 2) There may be spoilers ahead.

You have been warned!

That out-of-the-way I want to also say that I loved this movie. Seriously, I loved it. I would go see it again in the theater, which is not something I normally say (theater prices are HIGH) so that’s a high compliment coming from me. Let me begin to list the reasons WHY I enjoyed this movie.

  1. It stays true to the Mad Max mythos. This is mostly because George Miller was at the helm and if anyone is going to keep Max where he belongs, it’s going to be his creator. Besides that though, they managed to keep this new movie (that was what, 30 years after the last one?) in tone, look and feel without blinking an eye. Tom Hardy as Max couldn’t be better casting. He managed to imitate Gibson’s Max without it seeming like an imitation. It seemed flawless, like Hardy was meant to be Mad Max.
  2. Charlize Theron is awesome in everything she does.
  3. The cars. Oh my good lord, the CARS were amazing.

The beauty of Mad Max: Fury Road is that it tricks you. When you see the trailer you think it’s going to be a Mad Max movie with cars, sexy ladies and big chase sequences with little in the way of plot and heavy in action and destruction.

mad-max-fury-road-poster2

Well Fury Road delivers more than that, it has the sexy ladies but they aren’t just set dressing. They do stuff, even if it’s little things like load a gun or a cool stunt. They aren’t “things” as they say often in the film and damn if that isn’t true. This film is a nod to feminism in the most wonderful way, by not being overtly feminist. Well, it’s not overtly feminist to me, but to some menfolk, it seems to have struck a nerve.

In a post on the blog Return of Kings, Aaron Clarey is calling for men to boycott the new Mad Max movie:

Not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible. … Because if [men] sheepishly attend and Fury Road is a blockbuster, then you, me, and all the other men (and real women) in the world will never be able to see a real action movie ever again that doesn’t contain some damn political lecture or moray about feminism, SJW-ing, and socialism.

[…] men in America and around the world are going to be duped by explosions, fire tornadoes, and desert raiders into seeing what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda, while at the same time being insulted AND tricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewritten right in front of their very eyes.

This is fantastically laughable. This guy not only gives credence to the fact that men SHOULD go see the movie (I mean, seriously, FIRE TORNADOES people) but it also makes men sound like very simple, stupid creatures who are easily confused by movies featuring strong female characters and that there is no fate worse than becoming a male feminist and learning to (gasp) respect women.

The fact is, Fury Road does NOT contain any “political lectures” or “moray’s on feminism,” it’s simply a story about a group of women who are tired of being brutally used and ask the (ever-awesome) Charlize Theron, as Imperator Furiosa, to get them away from the evil leadership of Immortan Joe (played to diabolically disgusting perfection by Hugh Keays-Byrne). That’s it, that’s the plot folks. Simple and not nearly as feminist as Aaron Clarey would have you believe. 

Charlize, you are my favorite ever.
Charlize, you are my favorite ever.

Let’s all take a step back to realize that this movie isn’t about shoving feminism down the collective throats of the masses, it’s about telling a story. A crazy story about the end of civilization and of a world bathed in blood, fire and dust. I think that the reason these folks are so bent on calling Fury Road a feminist film is because women are at the forefront of the story, instead of Max or other male characters. I suppose, to some extent, that does make it a feminist film but for some reason that irritates the holy heck out of me. Why do we have to label everything? Why can’t this simply be an insane film about insane people doing insane things and leave it at that without making it something else?

Oh, that’s right, because we have to obsess and label everything. That’s right. I forgot for a second.

Then there’s this:

Anybody who has seen the original three Mad Max movies knows that women exist for one of four man-created reasons: to be raped so Mel Gibson can get mad, to be sexual partners with a guy trying to kill Mel Gibson, to be murdered so Mel Gibson can get mad, and to force Mel Gibson to fight in the Thunderdome.

I for one, am so HAPPY that Miller decided to add another category to this list. Now women in the Mad Max world can be tough, bad-ass broads who actually save the day. There is no better example of this than with Imperator Furiosa’s character.  Her sole purpose in this film is to help the wives of Joe and get them to “the green place.”

If there was a better choice out there for the role of Furiosa than Charlize Theron, than I don’t think any of us have heard of her. Theron embraces her roles like few actresses working today. The mess that was that Kristen Stewart Snow White story was only watchable because of Theron being the evil Queen. Theron doesn’t slack off in Fury Road, she powers through the role, giving her character softness, depth and power without us ever thinking that she is less powerful than her male counterparts. In fact, she is what keeps everyone moving, even in the face of unendurable loss.

Tom Hardy as Max is perfection.
Tom Hardy as Max is perfection.

Does this also make it feminist film? I suppose it does. You know what? I’m perfectly fine with that because it means an ACTION MOVIE just also became a FEMINIST movie. That’s pretty darn awesome if you ask me.

Let’s not forget about Tom Hardy as our beloved apocalyptic bad boy, Max. He is perfection. Yep, I said it, PERFECTION (and you can tell I’m excited because I keep using ALL CAPS). There were times where he sounded like Mel Gibson and there was even one time where he actually looked like him. It was perfect casting. Hardy barely spoke in the movie (I’m pretty sure his entire dialogue in the movie took up no more than one page) but when he did, he made it count and he was every inch the Mad Max we have all come to enjoy watching.

I want one of these vehicles. Imagine how quick I would get everywhere!
I want one of these vehicles. Imagine how quick I would get everywhere!

This movie was (and get ready for some cliche’s!) action-packed, super fun and totally bad-ass. The soundtrack kept you on the edge of your seat and the chase sequences were so engaging that I felt tense while I watched them (which is a great compliment). The few quiet moments were an opportunity for the audience to catch its breath and move the plot along a bit (and let me tell you, those were few and far between). Well done George Miller. WELL DONE.

Now go see it if you haven’t yet. Seriously. Go. Now.

Did you see Mad Max: Fury Road? What did YOU think of it? Feminist Tour-De-Force, Awesome Action Film or Something Else? Sound off in the comments!