Archive | Feminist Matters

The Age Gap Is Getting Old

Though not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, Magic in the Moonlight is one of Woody Allen’s slightest efforts in quite a while. Its central star is the French countryside where it is based, with a distant second played by Colin Firth as an ill-tempered illusionist and Emma Stone as a medium who bewitches him with her bright blue gaze and seemingly legitimate psychic abilities. The dance between a depressive rationalism and magical thinking is a familiar Allen trope, and he brings nothing new to it here. What fun there is to be found stems from Firth sinking his fangs into another Mr. Darcy-like role as well as an unusually demure Stone; early reviews have largely amounted to the critical equivalent of a suppressed yawn.

Certainly the twenty-eight-year age gap between Firth and Stone has caused nary a stir. And that’s really something given that their age difference is actually two years greater than the one between Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway, whose on-screen romance in 1979’s Manhattan caused such a flap. (Of course, Stone and Firth’s age difference still pales in comparison to the thirty-eight-year age gap between Allen and his real-life wife, Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former girlfriend Mia Farrow.) So what does it mean? Continue Reading →

Nadine Gordimer, 1923-2014

She was a prickly, complicated woman whose best self could be found in her pages. She said: “The tension between standing apart and being fully involved; that is what makes a writer. That is where we begin.” She also said: “I cannot live with someone who cannot live without me.” The older I get, the more I recognize such thorniness as essential to a woman writer’s survival.

Boxing Day in the West Village

I was having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad day so I went over to the gym and beat up the boxing bag. It took more than an hour but, eventually, whaling on an inanimate object restored my ability to glean something besides self-serving bullshit in myself and other human beings. Boxing is a solution I happened upon while working at Us Weekly. That place was like a pressure cooker containing all the second prettiest sorority girls–you know, the ones who compensated for their insecurities by terrorizing each other–and if I hadn’t worked out a healthy outlet for my rage I probably would have pulled out someone’s bad dye job (possibly mine) by the root. Or simply evaporated in a pool of abject misery. While working on my left hook this afternoon–no joke, I was blasting Public Enemy at the same time–it occurred to me that fewer women might suffer from eating disorders and depression if they just externalized the crap out of their anger like good ole red-blooded American men do.  At the very least, everyone should experience the high of fucking something up every once in a while. The act of striking is a very specific pleasure. So let’s get get this party started right/ Fight the powers that be.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy