Saturday, July 31, 2010

Free Sakineh

A most worthwhile petition; please consider following the link and signing (also post to Facebook, Twitter, etc.):
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43 year old mother of two, was convicted in May 2006 of having an “illicit relationship” with two men and received 99 lashes as her sentence. Despite already having been punished, she has now been further convicted of “adultery” and has been sentenced to death by stoning.
See the petition for more information and/or read Marina Nemat's statement further down on the same page. She writes, in part:
Iran’s political prisons, including Evin, are still quite operational. People are tortured and executed in Iran on a daily basis. When atrocities happen, those who remain silent and don’t speak or act against evil become its accomplices. We cannot afford to wait for governments to bring about real change. I believe in the power of the individual. Each one of us can make the world a better place, even if only one small step at a time. We can create a ripple effect that will expand and eventually turn into a tsunami.

Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani has been condemned to death in Iran. There are many others who are languishing like her in their grave-like cells, maybe facing painful deaths. They are not alone or forgotten. Even if we don’t know all their names, we are with them. I do not believe in violence, but I do believe in the power of voices coming together as one. Let’s get our voices heard.
Again, if you feel that this is a worthy cause (and, really, how can you not?), please sign the petition.

For more information, you can check out these news stories (among others):

Will We Again Abandon Afghan Women? | The New York Times

Details scarce surrounding Iranian widow’s ‘crimes’ | Globe and Mail

Iran stoning sentence woman asks to be reunited with her children | The Guardian

An Appeal for Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani | The Huffington Post

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Monday, July 26, 2010

It's a Mad, Mad World.

Just bringing you a wee bit of Mad Men-related self-promotion while I prepare several other posts for the blog. That said, stay tuned in the next week for my thoughts on the films Inception, The Kids Are All Right and (possibly) Salt.

First off, my article, "Feminism in a Mad World," is out in the current issue of Ms. set to hit newsstands August 10th (subscribers should receive or have already received the issue this week). I'll post a brief excerpt here, but you'll have to check out the print version to read the rest:
Set in the tumultuous 1960s and exploring the lives of philandering ad men, discontented housewives and sexualized secretaries, Mad Men may not immediately leap to mind as a great exemplar of feminist television. And yet, since the show emerged as the sleeper hit of 2007, going on to win the Emmy for Outstanding Television Drama two years running, it’s been a hot topic on the feminist blogosphere and around water coolers everywhere, alternately lauded for its strong female characters and criticized for its nostalgic rendering of the halcyon days of sanctioned workplace misogyny.

It’s true that Mad Men doesn’t shy away from the fast-paced, chauvinistic world of 1960s advertising and all that comes with it: the unchecked sexual harassment of pretty secretaries by male executives; housewives with little to do other than raise the children and serve as eye-candy at business dinners; uncensored racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism; and an old-boys-club atmosphere, complete with office drinking, smoking and philandering. But amidst all this homosocial revelry, Mad Men gives us a cadre of women characters who, like Peggy, are multifaceted and prodigiously fleshed-out—a rare treat for a television drama, a genre in which women are often given short-shrift in favor of the male protagonist.
If you just can't wait to think and talk about the intersection of Mad Men and feminism until the Summer 2010 Ms. hits the newsstands, feel free to pop on by the Ms. Blog and comment (please do comment, even if you want to argue with me!) on my review of the season four premiere (it's funny, so much has changed on the show, and yet my opinion of the show and its relationship to feminism hasn't changed that much in the past few years).

And...if you don't feel like reading at all, you can listen to my recent radio interview with Steve Jaxon on KSRO The Drive--again, discussing Mad Men--or catch me on Mary Glenney's Women's Show on Saturday between 10am and noon.

ETA: You can find a recording of my second interview about Mad Men here.

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