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Book Review: "Power Up" by Magdalena Yesil

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Review: Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy by Magdalena Yesil (Review copy provided courtesy of the publisher)
Magdalena Yesil travelled from Turkey to the United States to go to college and became a pioneering entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Most recently, she’s known for early investment in Salesforce, now a multibillion dollar company and cofounder of Broadway Angels, a group of female investors that invest in start-ups.
Power Up is written for women building careers in tech, but really, it is applicable to anyone building a professional or business career. Yesil offers realistic advice about building a career in male dominated business including guidance on topics that people (but especially women) can struggle with, like sexual dynamics, getting credit for work and pay imbalances among other things.
It’s an effortless book to devour, mostly because Yesil’s voice comes through clear, personal and genuine. Her story is inspiring and you are immediately drawn into the reco…

Lillian Gish: The First Lady of American Cinema

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Lillian Gish was one of the most influential and famous actors in Hollywood’s history. Her first film was in 1912 and a career spanning seventy-five years followed. Gish’s partnership with pioneering director D. W. Griffith is regarded as one of the greatest collaborative relationships of all time. Some of their films include Way Down East (1920), Intolerance (1916), Broken Blossoms (1919) and the controversial, and highest grossing film of the silent era, The Birth of a Nation (1915). Not only having a successful acting career, Gish was also a writer, director and producer. She received an honorary Academy Award in 1971. As the years passed, the media dubbed Gish “The First Lady of American Cinema.”
Lillian Diana Gish was born on the 14th of October, 1893, in Springfield, Ohio. Her father left when she was young. Running low on money and with nowhere else to turn, Gish’s mother, Mary, and her daughters joined a group of traveling actors. Gish and her sister, Dorothy, made their stage …

Stella Adler on Method Acting

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A big influence on the modern Hollywood acting style comes from Stella Adler. She had done away with the earlier big gestures used in silent film acting, such as an actor placing both hands on their heart to indicate sorrow. She bridged the gap between early twentieth-century Russian theatre and what was becoming popular in film at the time. Adler drew from the imagination rather than personal experience. She had a name in American theatre, appeared in a handful of films and has taught some of the greatest actors of all time. She was known for her harsh, but fair analysis of student’s skills. Some included Marlon Brando and James Dean. Even after her passing, the likes of Mark Ruffalo and Angelina Jolie have studied at her acting schools.
Stella Adler was born on the 10th of February, 1901. Her father, Jacob P. Adler, was a famous actor on the Yiddish Theatre circuit. She was only four-years-old when he had her star in one of his productions, Broken Hearts. Adler had no formal acting t…

Book Review: Play BIG – Lessons in being LIMITLESS from the first woman to coach in the NFL

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Author: Dr Jen Welter with Stephanie Krikorian Published by: Seal Press Reviewer: The Sydney Feminists 


Reviewer comment:  After I volunteered to do this book review, I discovered it was about triumph in American Football! I was reluctant. Not my genre! How wrong I was. Anyone who reads Play BIG will understand how ironic my pre-conceived judgement was. This story is riddled with pre-judgement, prejudice and historic notions of what women can’t do.  
(The review copy was provided courtesy of the publisher).

Play BIG is the trail blazing story of Jen Welter, a sports mad kid who despite being told she couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t make it in sports ....Did!
But Play BIG is far more; it’s a story of an inner burning passion that left Welter open to derision, due to her seemingly disparate interests. Despite outward opposition, she did the hard yards and tapped into her unrelenting drive to follow her dreams. Even when she wasn’t sure what her goals were she followed her instinc…

Intersex Solidarity Day – November 8th

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The "I" in LGBTQI+ can be a bit underrepresented, so here are a few quick facts: Intersex people are born with physical or biological sex characteristics (such as sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, hormonal patterns and or chromosomal patterns) that are more diverse than stereotypical male female bodies. Approximately 1.7% of the population is intersex. Being intersex is as common as having red hair. November 8th is Intersex Solidarity Day (link to the allies page: https://oii.org.au/allies/)
March 2017 marked the release of the Darlington Statement by Australian and Aotearoa/New Zealand intersex organisations and independent advocates. This statement sets out the calls and priorities for intersex people in our countries. It calls for an end to legal sex/gender classification systems for one thing, and it asks for legislative protection from discrimination, among other things. 
Another call to action from the Darlington Statement is an immediate stop of deferrable medical interve…

The Rare Occasion a Feminist Cries Tears of Joy

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Two Thursday’s ago, I sat on a bus after a long day at work and I openly cried.  I didn’t give one single f*ck who saw me. 
It would be a safe bet to think my marshmallow eyes were in some way the result of my outrage at the floodgates recently opened by mainstream media reporting on the abuse of women by men in power. 
In October 2017, the news of Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour broke and there was a proliferation of the #metoo hashtags popping up in status updates and newsfeeds across all social media platforms. Men  did some fantastic white-knighting, coming to the defence of women through the lens of their fatherhood, as if our humanity is predicated on our position as someone’s daughter.  If I read another man say he, qua Dad, feels for all these poor, abused women because he has daughters, I might pop each eyeball out, slowly, and consume them, with a nice chianti. 
But this is not why I was crying. 
Despite the rock that still remains in the deepest recess of my stomach, the near …

We have a problem with sexual harassment but it's not up to women to solve it

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The New York Times and writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published an iconic article about Harvey Weinstein. The article opened up a floodgate of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations, shining light into some of the darkest corners of the entertainment industry.

I'm not going to go over the article, other than to say Weinstein is an entitled, predatory man who held a position of power which he happily exploited for decades. Weinstein was shamed. Weinstein was fired from the company he helped create. There were consequences for his actions.
He did release an apology statement, but he was not sorry for his actions, only sorry they had consequences. 

The fallout of the article has an emerging narrative; men who've worked with Weinstein are shocked and disgusted. Some women echo this reaction. But most women are just disgusted, not shocked. They know this sort of exploitation exists in Hollywood, and not just a few are sharing their own sexual harassment stories. 

B…