Archive of ‘story’ category

Nerdy Thursday: Joss Whedon, the feminist

Today, I am feeling particularly inspired by one of my favorite writers of all time: Joss Whedon. And though I could go on and on and on and on about the ways he inspires me, I’m going to focus on one reason in particular. Here it is:

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And here it is again:

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And again! f8052b704453d3858a5b2e53f40a6076

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, today, I am thinking back on all the women I know and love from Whedon’s work, and am feeling not only inspired by them, but honored. Because you see, I can imagine myself among them.

These women are unique and varied. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors. They work in different areas, have a spectrum of expertise, and live into a wide range of roles, but they share some essential qualities:

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They are strong. They are intelligent. They are loving. They are flawed. They are learning, growing, evolving. They are self-aware.

7c4e66a679419b5ef1f39153793f039dInara-FireflyThese are qualities that I recognize. I know them to be true of myself. They are qualities that people of all races, ages, and genders can relate to.

It is refreshing to experience characters that reflect myself–they affirm my identity, but challenge me to be more than what I am. I can learn with them and from them.

So, for that gentle genius, Fred, and the bookish, compassionate Willow; for the stoic and fierce, yet down-to-earth Zoe, and the loyal, ass-kicking Natasha; for the graceful, nurturing Inara, and the kind, smart Kaylee: I give thanks.

1000px-WillowS7-1-And thanks, Joss, for your dedication to creating female characters with dignity and depth. Keep up the good work!

 

 

*Check out my take on Black Widow from AVENGERS 2: AGE OF ULTRON, posted here through Reel World TheologyAvengers_Black_Widow

 

 

 

 

Nerdy Thursday: The What’s Underneath Project

I stumbled across these videos on YouTube last summer and was utterly moved by the wonderful, uncomfortable vulnerability of each interview, created by literal and figurative nakedness. In a climate that is increasingly dishonest, secretive, and inauthentic when it comes to body image, this project is profoundly counter-cultural. It swings a spotlight onto the harmful messages that bombard people of all shapes, colors, and sizes, and dares to suppose there is another way to see the self.

The most deeply felt effect this project has on me comes from watching a diversity of individuals stripped down to a common core: a desire to be known, loved, and accepted. When I watch these people bravely stepping into vulnerability both emotionally and physically, I see with such clarity the stereotypes that control me and those I use to control others. But I also see the utter strength and beauty of the whole human being.


As stated in their mission video, StyleLikeU is “an attempt to bring fashion back to the heart that it really should be.” Their method is to focus on the Individual and the Authentic.
“We’re showing how style is an art, and it’s an art that everybody should be able to access in themselves. We’re on a crusade to help awaken people to that idea again.”

Nerdy Thursday: Invisibilia

thI had no idea what to expect from this NPR podcast when my sister recommended it to me. It’s such a unique blend of storytelling, psychology, history, and science that in some ways, it defies description. Hosts Elix Spiegel and Lulu Miller take a crack at it this way: Invisibilia (Latin for “all the invisible things”) explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas,
beliefs, assumptions and emotions.”

Once I started listening to Invisibilia,
I could quite literally not stop.Invisibilia_1color_SPOT199C I invented reasons to go driving or to clean (my designated podcast-listening times). My house is now spotless.

It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’ve already lost count of the times I’ve brought into a conversation some story or insight I learned from one of these episodes. I carrying them with me, and see their influence on my life in ways I did not anticipate. Conjuring courage in a scary situation, recognizing the power of my thoughts, being conscious of my expectations of others: I often find a connection between these things and the stories I have heard through Invisibilia.

That is this podcast’s source of power: stories. True, visceral, honest, personal, human stories. Human behavior may be the mind of each episode, but the people sharing their real life experiences are the program’s pulsating heart.

Spiegel and Miller are fantastic hosts. They are enthusiastic, full of life, and unabashedly curious. After crafting thoughtful environments for each episode, they have the humility (and the great sense) to get out of the story’s way.

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