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sc_woman_bookinwoodsThe recent argument among regular women, Anti-feminists on Tumblr and FaceBook, and Feminists has me seeking positive answers.*

My first answer to anti-feminists is to read the bell hooks (short) book: Feminism is for Everybody.

My most nuanced response is for everyone — though, especially feminists and Jane Austen fans — to study an amazing, new comic strip series: Manfeels Park.

I believe the Manfeels Park comic was started before the latest major media bruja-ja about feminism. The idea is to present a male apology for sexism by taking media and literature quotes, and illustrating them in a Jane Austen style. It is intelligent, thoughtful, and hilarious.

For a great taste of the collection, you may want to start with this one, here:
“Legitimate snake” (Starring Mr. Wickham, by the way). Though, so many of the strips are painfully funny, so flip through the archives. Any true Jane Austen movie fan will have to check out the “Lake scene” comic.

Looking forward to your interest and comments.

Sincerely,
Kimberly of Georgiana Circle

PS – Compelled to say…”I am a feminist. And, I love my husband.” Grrrr….those anti-feminists have gotten to me!

___________________________________

For a thoughtful article on the current “Women Against Feminism” debate, please see a Washington Post blog post: here.

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KW writes: The wedding is over. The vows are made. The world is reviewing the hoopla and eye-candy. I, personally, have many concerns with the purpose of royalty. I was waiting to dive in with analysis and critique while two real-live people were contemplating such an important step. But, now that Kate and Will have taken their leap of faith, maybe it is time to reflect on what monarchy (and empire) mean?

One of my friends has dived in on FaceBook. She noted (quite emphactically) that a lot of England’s wealth and tradition are related to colonizing and exploiting other parts of the world. And, having lots of wars. Seeing all the military uniforms as part of a religious ceremony was one of the things that didn’t sit well with me. Also, the fact that so many people are distracted by the hoopla, when they have their own lives, responsibilities, and countries to take care of.

Hope you might make your own comments — good and bad — in the comments. And, here is a poem I had written reflecting on Princess Diana’s wedding. It was written after she died…

The Bluish Light, 1997 (more…)

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Emma, Lady Hamilton. By Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Emma, Lady Hamilton, was a contemporary of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana knew and liked Lady Hamilton.

If you like Lady Hamilton, or want to learn more about her, there is currently an exhibit at a book club in New York city. More info about “The Enchantress: Emma, Lady Hamilton”, at the Grolier Club until April 30, 2011, can be found at their link, and at the “read more” below.

I have become fascinated with Lady Hamilton party because of the movie “That Hamilton Woman”, with Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton, and with Leigh’s then husband, Laurence Olivier, as Lord Horatio Nelson. The movie is exquisite.

My favorite part of the movie is the way it explores the relationships between men and women, caught in a sexist society, where divorce is more of a shame than affairs, courtesans, or cruelty. And, I love the line uttered by the character of Lord Nelson, “That’s the way people look at these things. They do not believe in a friendship between a man and a woman.” I think that the tension that occurs — partly by nature, partly by a skeptical, sexist society — when a man and a woman try to be friends or colleagues is a large part of the energy that keeps women from succeeding in business, or fairly taking part in governing.

For an excellent review of the Grolier Club exhibit, see the Scandalous Women article: here. A quick biography of Emma, Lady Hamilton can be found at one of my favorite history blogs, The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: here.

Info on the exhibit: (more…)

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from Wikimedia

 

My morning live-blogs about princesses, boots and politics is at onthewilderside: here.

What do I usually care about? Peace, justice, politics, fashion, feminism and English Literature. Though, like many other folks, I have been compelled to watch the human drama of the rescue of 33 men in Chile. Above is the link to my full blog. Below is my story about seeing a princess on the live-feed:

A princess…

I have been reading English literature and history and doing a personal study of “What makes a princess?” Some of what makes a princess in real life is bad – being part of a regime. Though, part of being a princess includes the beautiful side of aesthetics and humanity.

Today, I saw a princess. When the 14 th Chilean miner, Victor Zamora, was brought to the surface, his was wife there to await him. The curls of her long, flowing hair glistened like black crystals in the desert sun. She was wearing a hard hat, a required part of a vigil in somewhat dangerous territory. And, when Victor emerged into the sunlight to see his adoring wife, he reached out to hug her.  In the exuberance of their embrace, her hard hat fell to the floor like a crown. (more…)

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Update: Deborah Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, passed away on September 24, 2014, at age 94.

My commentary on the monarchy, circa 2010:

As an American activist for peace and justice, I am surprised to find myself consumed of late with stories of the English elite — the life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; Jane Austen novels; and the story of Lord Byron, Lady Caroline Lamb, Lord Melbourne and their circle. I have been wondering what fascinates me about these stories, and how I can be so excited about the lives of people who, in real life, I would find to be elitist, over-privileged, and ultimately knowing or unknowing cogs in an oppressive system of unfair hierarchy.

Well, I was gratified to find an article in the Guardian that at least toys with these conundrums. Finally, someone else who admires a Duchess, at least took the time to examine the role of a Duchess. (more…)

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This is about a modern debate. Models are expected to be so skinny. So, the fashion industry tends to use models 16-years-old and under. So, they are considering rules (they now have some loose policies that are not working) about how and how much to use models under 18 years old. Interesting in a Lady Georgiana Spencer perspective. Because, Georgiana, too, was exploited for her beauty at a young age. For Georgiana, it was about being an elegant wife, and a young and talented beauty who was expected could give birth to an heir.

As New York Fashion Week rolls out runway, too-skinny model debate turns to age
By Samantha Critchell, AP / February 10th, 2010

Would older models quell too-skinny debate?

NEW YORK — The models auditioning for New York Fashion Week were undeniably thin. But it was only after the fashion industry started worrying about too-skinny models that casting agent James Scully began asking their age. (more…)

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A hat/tip to my husband, who spotted this article and realized it matched my blogging here…

(excerpt from the blog) Forest Street Kitchen
Hard Times? The New “Poverty Chic”

…In this issue [of Town and Country magazine], the Editor’s Letter focuses on the effect the recent economic downturn has had on the halcyon days of the, well, the right-up-until-a-year-ago era. She calls 2009 “the year of ‘no mores’- no more lavish spending, no more whimsical investments, no more doing things just for the hell of it.” On the following page, she comes to her senses and recommends that we consider purchasing as a Christmas gift a $325.00 chinoiserie enamel ring box. This would, I imagine, be a stocking stuffer along with a 2 carat diamond ring from Cartier (to put in the box) , a perfect black truffle, a cashmere dog sweater, and a pair of airline tickets to Anguilla. (more…)

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