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Entries in feminism (12)

Tuesday
Jan212014

Film | Actor Debrinna Mansini To Play Georgia O'Keeffe in 'Awakening In Taos'

Sasha Pivovarova By Mikael Jansson For Vogue US February As ‘Portrait Of The Artist’

Vogue’s February issue honors the American southwest from Georgia O’Keeffe to the handworked embellishment of the Navajo Indians. While Anne has always wanted to study the female-centric culture of the Navajo people, we can say that Georgia O’Keeffe, a consummate smart sensuality painter, has been an Anne love forever.

Checking in on the artist, we note that New Mexico actor Debrianna Mansini was selected to play O’Keeffe in ‘Awakening in Taos”. From PR Web:

“Awakening in Taos” is being produced by an independent Santa Fe based film company headed by an amazing woman in her own right, Kathleen Peters and her partner Mark Gordon. Just the kind of company that fits with Mansini’s vision of promoting the roles of women. The film itself explores the story of Mabel Dodge Luhan’s transformational life as a writer, salon hostess, art patron and catalyst for change, fostering the way for Modern American Art and culture to evolve into the early twentieth century. “Not only is the story one that needs to be told, it is fundamentally important to continue to pave the way for young men to see strong women as role models. Most people, men and women, i would bet, don’t know the importance Mabel had on our art history. It is exciting to be part of this film and this team. What else can I say? Marsha Mason and Ali MacGraw? I feel blessed and my own dedication to my craft is coming to fruition.”

Narrated by Ali MacGraw, “Awakening in Taos” features Marsha Mason as the voice of Mabel. Zoe Zimmerman is slated to play the young Mabel and Mansini will portray Georgia O’Keeffe in voice over and on camera dramatic scenes. Gordon says, “We were invited to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum to see Debrianna Mansini perform in a reading of the letters between O’Keeffe and her husband Alfred Stieglitz. My concept of O’Keeffe in our film was based upon documentary films of the artist in her 80’s, I really wasn’t seeing her as a young woman. Debrianna’s characterization of Georgia was beyond my expectations. She portrayed a passionate young woman in her 40’s, in love with Stieglitz yet struggling to come to terms with his infidelities. The emotional intelligence she brought to the role was refreshing. She took the artist from the 1920’s and 30’s and made her a contemporary character sorting through issues as a woman and artist that many women today are just coming to terms with. I could see how Debrianna’s interpretation would appeal to contemporary women and make O’Keeffe relevant today. We are proud to include this beautiful, talented young actress in on-camera re-enactments and as a voice characterization in concert with Narrator Ali MacGraw and Marsha Mason as Mebel, whose voices bring the story of Mabel Dodge Luhan to life.”

About Debrianna Mansini: Debrianna Mansini (represented by O Agency) is an actress who combines her talent with activism. She is deeply concerned with using the voice of her craft to shed light on women and social justice issues. Her NY roots and training live with her in New Mexico, her enchanted home base, along with her husband, accomplished artist David Forlano. http://www.debriannamansini.com

From the AOC Archives

‘Waterfall’ by Georgia O’KeeffeGeorgia O’Keeffe | Art, Sensuality, Orchids, Divinity

‘Red Canna’ by Georgia O’KeeffeO’Keeffe to Chicago | Women’s Liberty Not Won

Friday
Sep202013

Transcending The Target-Market Female Narrative Into An Identity Far More Relevant


The Birth Of Barbie by VenusOak

A Day In The Life Of A Target-Market Female is a powerful postmodern short story by Katie Brinksworth at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. The events are surreal, yet the tale is strangely familiar to every woman who has ever read a magazine or watched a commercial. It’s both comic and tragic as we recognize the ploys of advertising, and our own susceptibility to the lies of marketing:

At 6 a.m. on the dot, the 25-to 45-year-old target-market female wakes up and stretches with delight, excited to greet the day.

For breakfast, the target-market female debates whether to eat the yogurt brand that encourages her to be herself, or the one that helps her poop. Today, like most days, the target-market female chooses regularity over self-worth.

After drinking a cup of the orange juice brand that makes her look the thinnest, the target-market female lotions up every inch of her body and gets dressed for the day. She then takes a short, breezy walk to a local café, where she patiently awaits signs of male appreciation for her noticeably soft skin.

While she waits, the target-market female daydreams about fiber, smaller pores, and easy-but-creative recipes she can make with precooked sausage. When she realizes the time, the target-market female rushes home to begin the most rewarding part of her day—doing the laundry.

Moments that seem ideal and cheerful are tinged with a dark undercurrent that pulses through the story. Beneath such picturesque actions as “waking up with delight” and “taking a short, breezy walk”, our protagonist chafes under self-denying, self-limiting choices such as “choosing regularity over self-worth” and “awaiting signs of male appreciation”. She is well-behaved, product-dependent, and image-obsessed. I don’t blame her, because I occasionally find myself being that way, too. Don’t we all go through that sometimes? I know that the images are Photoshopped— invisible pores, superbly glossy hair, perfectly white teeth. I know that many of these celebrities who seem to be able to “do it all” have personal assistants, house chefs, fitness trainers, nannies, and millions of dollars at their disposal. Why do I still find myself, sometimes, mercilessly comparing myself to them? When I first read the story I thought the protagonist was laughably ridiculous, until I realized I share her weaknesses. Perhaps that’s why I love the story so much. It helps remind me of how laughably ridiculous I can be, when I allow myself to believe in my insecurities and in the lie of consumerism— the false promise that I will be happy and complete, if only I buy this or that product.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy products, and certainly nothing bad about enjoying other people’s appreciation of our inner and outer beauty. The problem is when these things— material possessions and external approval— become the reason for living, the raison d’être. One of my favourite authors, cosmologist and mathematician Brian Swimme explained this well when he discussed the importance of holistic awareness in his book, The Universe Is A Green Dragon:

Humans are easily addicted to beauty, even a clouded vision of it… Anyone who grabs a sliver of beauty and insists that it is the whole becomes a fanatic, workaholic, cynic, fundamentalist, or drug addict.

Having a fractured vision of beauty— mistaking just a part for the whole— leads to extremism in religion and in all other ideologies including consumerism. Objects are not everything, but in this image-obsessed world, it’s easy to believe they are. The target-market female actually lives her life as if she, herself, is an object. Marc Barnes, a Catholic writer whose work I don’t always agree with, made an insightful and particularly incisive observation when he remarked that we allow our very selves to be defined by objective qualities:

Our will to be an object is immense. How much easier it is to be stereotype of religion or ideology, how much simpler to be the sum of our achievements or attractive features, and how much nicer the world would be if we could all be content with our careers, styles, sexualities, and living-room decors being ‘who-we-are’. By placing our very selves in our objective qualities, we live as objects, and this is immodesty, a disintegration between who-we-are— subjects— and how we present ourselves in word and deed— as objects. It is an essential dishonesty.

What a powerful thing media is, when I must remind myself constantly that I am more than just a target-market female, more than just an object. However, it can only have as much power as I allow. It is like the Devil card of the tarot deck— in which people are depicted as being chained, but not against their will. Their bindings are loose enough to simply step out of, if they wish. It’s easier said than done, but it’s still certainly achievable with enough awareness, conscious intent, and self-empowerment.

The target-market female is a cautionary tale, an example of what shouldn’t be. In contrast are the life stories of countless brave women, embodiments of creative feminine power, such as Isabel Allende, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Risa Hontiveros, and Malala Yousafzai. It is all the more important to share their stories, invoke their narratives, and draw inspiration from their lives. We must nurture the voices of feminine power, and empower ourselves to be among them, too.

Who are the women you admire? Who are the women in your own life, among your own family and friends, whom you find inspiring? What were the moments in your own life when you felt like you were one of them? Let’s write about them and engage them. Let’s craft our own narrative, and not allow advertisers or anyone else to foist a deceptive image of womanhood upon us. Let’s transcend the target-market female narrative— instead of falling for it, we will learn from it and use it as a guide that will point us in the right direction. Let’s take the story into our own hands.

It is said that history is written by the victors, and indeed, for ages, the feminine perspective was simply pushed down and hidden away. History has been “his story” for a very long time. “Her story” has only been given voice recently, and it is up to all of us to shape. ~ Feanne

—-

Thank you for reading! My name is Feanne and I’m happy to be writing for Anne again after five years of being away. Anne is a wonderful woman whom I’m truly honored to connect with, across oceans and continents. I look forward to hearing from you all as we continue exploring feminine-relevant issues with everyone here at Anne Of Carversville and GlamTribale. You can reach me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Feanne is a visual artist, singer-songwriter, social entrepreneur, and sustainable lifestyle advocate from Metro Manila, Philippines. As an artist, she specializes in intricately detailed symbolic illustration. She sings jazz-inspired music and composes sweet tunes. She is especially interested in promoting healthy eating, sustainable farming, Filipino products, and eco-friendly technology. Her creative work revolves around the themes of earth and cosmos, magick and mystery, beauty and shadow. To her, Science, Art, and Spirituality/Religion are all chords of the same Universal song. She believes that renewed interest in wise traditions— combined with the advances of modern philosophy, science, and technology— promises to to help create an ecologically and spiritually sustainable human civilization.

Saturday
Aug112012

American Nuns Respond With Barbara Marx Hubbard Style Vision | Nuns Ask Romney To Spend A Day With Poor

Barbara Marx Hubbard was the featured speaker at this week’s Missouri meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The main focus of the meeting was drafting a response to the Vatican’s claims that American nuns are “radical feminists” out of step with the church’s teaching. Of course, the members of LCWR don’t see themselves in this light.

The response to Rome’s doctrinal assessment is more eastern, writes Thomas C Fox for The National Catholic Reporter. 

The statement simply absorbs the misunderstanding, pain, violence and abuse the women who gathered here find within the doctrinal assessment. Not unlike a Japanese Jujutsu move that manipulates an opponent’s force rather than confronting it with one’s own, the statement asked Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the apostolic delegate appointed by CDF to oversee LCWR, to move forward with the women in more conversation.

Reporting on the statement from our American nuns continues below.

First, a short fashion film ‘Sisterhood’ by Json Adriani, with styling by Federica Salto and featuring Masha @ 2morrow model and Malgosia @ Urban Management.

This little gem expresses this moment in history at which humanity stands. Simply stated, the world finds itself in a battle over the truth and validity of more feminine principles versus holding on to primarily patriarchal ones. Perhaps subconsciously, Json Adriani’s new short identifies the reflection and contemplation required about the future vision of America, and the type of planet we seek.

‘Sisterhood’

Mitt Romney’s announcement today that Wisconsin Rep Paul Ryan is his running mate crystallizes dramatically the coming dialogue around American values. In response to the Vatican’s condemnation, American nuns have placed themselves as leaders in the discussion about the future of our country.

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

American nuns have responded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith with a request for more dialogue and a vision of Christianity in the future. Sister Pat Farrell’s address also captures a 21st century vision of women as leaders in creating a sustainable planet.

Continuing his explanation of the nuns’ mindset, National Catholic Reporter publisher Thomas C. Fox writes:

The U.S. women religious have slowly come to imagine the hand of God in the very doctrinal assessment that has caused them so much anguish. As misrepresenting as they feel it is in describing the nature, mission and values of LCWR, the women, after much processing, are now seeing it as a kind of “trigger” moment, one that is forcing a uniquely public look at what LCWR is and what it has come to represent. The women do not see themselves operating in opposition to the hierarchy, but rather as a timely, needed pastoral complementary, feminine voice within the church.

LCWR’s president Sister Farrell’s closing address focused on the message and vision of the Second Vatican Council, a vision that is repudiated in many ways by Pope Benedict, who argues that the 2nd Vatican Council has been misinterpreted with any suggestion that it opened the door to an acceptance of homosexuality, sacraments for the divorced and re-married, women priests, or birth control.

The Vatican is using the 50th anniversary of the 2nd Vatican Council to reeducate Catholics about the real messages in a Year of Faith. Bottom line, the Catholic Church is facing major dialogue among its members in the coming year, and the nuns seek an active voice.

The LCWR board meets for two hours today with Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the head of a three-bishop team chosen by Rome to overhaul the LCWR over the next five years.

“There is an inherent existential tension between the complementary roles of hierarchy and religious (the nuns) which is not likely to change,” Farrell told the sisters. “In an ideal ecclesial world, the different roles are held in creative tension, with mutual respect and appreciation, in an environment of open dialogue, for the building up of the whole church.”

Stating the obvious, she said the Vatican’s mandate over the LCWR “suggests that we are not currently living in an ideal ecclesial world.”

The sisters say they will keep on talking with the Vatican “for as long as possible” but will reconsider if the sisters are “forced to compromise the integrity of (their) mission.

Sister Sandra M. Schneiders, professor emeritus of New Testament studies at the Jesuit School of Theology/Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Ca, told Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times: “There is definitely a desire to de-escalate the conflict, because fight is not what we’re about.” But there are also non-negotiables, she continued, including the sisters’ belief that God speaks through many people, not just through the bishops.

Paul Ryan Budget

Huff Po’s Senior Religon Editor Paul Brandeis Raushenbush has already responded to Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential pick with the same thought that went through my mind on hearing the news.

Nuns on the Bus, and the voice of American Nuns just got a big boost. It is the American nuns — far more than American bishops and priests as a group — who have challenged Ryan and the Ryan budget. I listened to Sister Simone Campbell here in Philadelphia a few weeks ago in a Nuns on the Bus stop.

Sister Simone Campbell argues that Ryan’s budget “rejects church teaching about solidarity, inequality, the choice for the poor, and the common good. That’s wrong.”

In a tearful moment between Sister Simone and myself, she fiercely pronounced: “We must get our country back.”

Catholic leaders who are more focused on social policy and the poor than the Vatican’s priority of contraception, homosexuality, no women priests and abortion have been aggressive in criticizing Paul Ryan. When scheduled to speak at Georgetown University, more than 90 faculty members including over a dozen Jesuit priests signed a letter about the Paul Ryan budget:

“Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.”

Nuns Challenge Romney

Earlier this week, Sister Simone’s social justice lobby NETWORK openly invited Republican candidate Mitt Romney to spend a day with them, learning about the needs of struggling families and low-income communities. The official press release from NETWORK said:

“Recent advertisements and statements from the campaign of Governor Romney demonize families in poverty and reflect woeful ignorance about the challenges faced by tens of millions of American families in these tough economic times,” stated Sister Simone Campbell. “We are all God’s children and equal in God’s eyes. Efforts to divide us by class or score political points at the expense of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters reveal the worst side of our country’s politics.”

As NETWORK demonstrated in their recent “Nuns on the Bus” tour, budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and endorsed by Mitt Romney will hurt struggling families throughout the nation. The Romney-Ryan budget would devastate services such as nutrition assistance, childhood education and job training that provide pathways out of poverty for millions of families.

Anne of Carversville

Cuttalossa Farm on Cuttalossa Road in Lumberville, Pa.Thinking about Sister Simone and the message of the American nuns, I discovered the delightful and artistic English tent company Field Candy. (See images bottom of page). The tent Animal Farm immediately made me think of my beloved Baby Doll sheep on Cuttaloosa Road and the memorable moment I experienced one day watching the animals came marching out of the small barn as a band of merry revelers. Looking now, I see that Cuttalossa Farm is for sale.

Next up was the tent 10,000,000 Fireflies. They, too, are deeply rooted in my imagination and private identity. A video from the cancelled FOX show ‘Fireflies’ deeply captured my imagination and always inspires me in the fight for social justice.

The second essay shares a dream I had years ago — a dream about risk, fear of failure and ascending into the light. Thinking of all the people who have stood up for the Catholic nuns — and it’s a huge number — I just have to share the always inspiring video ‘Firefly and Serenity: Defying Gravity’.

Whenever my spirit needs a boost, I go for it. Today I share the video in honor of America’s nuns.

The Merits of Going Through Life Thinking You’re a Firefly

Slowly, consciousness returned to my sleeping brain functions. “This is impossible,” I whispered in my dream, as I floated now in a state of total awe. “I’m defying the law of gravity. I should be dead, a crumpled, bloody mess of a corpse in the cactus garden.”

My shocked, dreamstate mind regained control. Awareness and a plan of action returned to my sleeping mind. I was still in charge on my skyward journey, if I faced my fears. Looking at myself from the corner of my dream, I saw tears streaming down my face.

“Look up, Anne,” a voice told me.

Carversville, Cuttalossa Road, Cuttalossa Farm and a Peaceable Kingdom

Out of nowhere, the formation appeared … a simple, bucolic scene unfolded before my eyes that I will never forget.  I don’t remember who led the parade … probably one of the dogs, but they came two by two.

Unlike Noah’s Ark,  they were not matched pairs. The dog ambled along with the rooster; one of my precious Babydolls was frolicking with a duck…

The scene polarized me for several minutes, burning a vision of hope in my mind. It sounds so trite and overly simplistic to say this, but I remember thinking to myself: “If they can get along and have such a good time together … well, why can’t we humans do the same thing?”

These animals couldn’t be more different, but they had surmounted their differences to create unimaginable delight.

J’Adore: Field Candy classic design limited edition tents. Made in England. Field Candy Limited Edition Tents: 10,000,000 Fireflies

Field Candy Limited Edition Tents ‘Animal Farm’

Firefly and Serenity: Defying Gravity