I’m an academic writer and teacher working on my second major book project on subjects that aren’t nearly as fun, wide-ranging, and approachable as the ones I treat here (Latin America, anthropology, gender studies), so this blog serves as an outlet and a reminder to me that writing is fun as well as hard — as well as a reminder that writing is the only thing I can do. This reminds me how much I want to be both autodidact and dilletante.
This blog is, in part, about feminism: the importance of achieving equality for women is not up for debate. I will delete all comments that assume otherwise. I do believe that how that equality is achieved is subject to discussion, and I welcome it here.
Why movies? I persist in believing that there are possibilities in film for transformation; and I also see the medium’s limitations. Movies are one site where women are sidelined and stereotyped, yet films also continually surprise and delight me with exceptions to that rule. My own taste in film is wide-ranging and voracious — and while I have a greater-than-average love of foreign, experimental, and indie films, I also love classic and popular film with a passion that almost feels like the love one feels for one’s closest friends and family. That’s the thing: ultimately I just love movies, and I also want to beg them to reflect gender equality far more than they do at present.
I began this blog on an auspicious day: when the first woman in the history of film, Katherine Bigelow, won an Oscar for best director (and best picture) with The Hurt Locker. The fact that it has no women in it spurred my criticism initially, for I am always disturbed by the fact that one avenue for women to achieve power is either to ignore feminism or become active anti-feminists. I think film can do better.
Why “Didion”? Because Joan Didion rules. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” she wrote in The White Album. And is there anyone who could have looked cooler, or more like someone you’d like to know, than she did here?
I can be reached at didion [at] ymail [dot] com.