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Orange Is the New Black at Globe Arts

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It’s absurd that it took a show about prison to get us this much closer to an accurate mainstream depiction of women’s inner lives, but OITNB is cultishly popular precisely because of how relatable its smallest moments are to viewers. Although the major dramas are compelling – clandestine contraband runs and brawls, badass betrayals and alliances – they’re all secondary to those quieter conversations in prison corners, where characters articulate feelings so rarely showcased on the small screen. 

Read the full review here.

Hannibal at The Globe and Mail

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“Created by showrunner Bryan Fuller and shot in Toronto, Hannibal is arguably the most violent show ever broadcast on prime time. Where it departs from run-of-the-mill gratuitous slaughter is in its artifice, tolerable to the squeamish because its lusciousness is so far removed from our collective experience of violence. The grotesque becomes dreamlike and treads into the sublime, with imagery so far beyond the pale that it’s no longer possible to disturb. A dead woman is stitched inside a horse carcass with a bird fluttering in her chest. A man’s lobotomized skull becomes an active beehive. Corpses are piled into totems and spirals. It’s hard not to wonder why the main characters don’t just go on psychiatric leave after all the bizarre tableaus they’ve seen.”

Read the essay here.

Baseball Life Advice

blackcatsanto_display_image.jpgYou can sign up for my brand new Baseball Feelings Tiny Letter and get Baseball, Books, Feminism and Feelings delivered right to your inbox about once a week (no spamming, promise.)

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What The ‘93 World Series Taught Me About Sexism In Baseball

tumblr_mva8dya6rz1qin7uco1_500.jpgWhen you’re a woman who loves a sport, and make the decision not to accept the status quo, you set yourself for attack—all for what is literally “just a game.” I’ll admit that lately I’ve grown weary of the fight, fielding the stream of “well what do you expect us to do about it, huh?” and “it’s not our fault that there are no qualified women in sports.” My anger about the lack of diverse media representation, the endless stream of white male faces on panels and mastheads, the undercurrent of misogyny in so many conversations—all of it has evolved into a dull, crippling sadness that has tainted this game I so desperately adore. It has made me think a great deal about that fourteen year old girl who craved baseball, only to be met with the aggressive, demoralizing sexism of a fellow fan.

Read the essay here.

Lost Boi in The Globe and Mail

index.jpgThis subversive and cheeky take on the classic children’s story arrives more than 100 years after Barrie first envisioned Peter Pan in his 1902 adult novel, The Little White Bird. Pan has seen many incarnations since – from an elfish boy clad in green in Disney’s 1953 animated film to Robin Williams’s bumbling grown-up version in Steven Spielberg’s epic 1991 adaptation, Hook. Lowrey’s rewrite is certainly among the more inventive, narrated by Pan’s best boi, Tootles, a street kid plucked from a diner and destitution and brought into the kinky, queer, gender-fluid world of a delightfully reimagined Neverland. Pan’s pack of bois have “fallen out of their prams” – orphans, runaways and ne’er-do-wells, rejected by their families and loyal only to Pan, each pledging to never join the world outside that has excluded them. Their unwavering devotion to Pan and his make-believe way of life is signalled by the locked leather cuffs they wear, an obvious nod to the consensual servitude of BDSM culture.

Read the full review here.

A new bill would make the Canadian national anthem as feminist as it was in 1908

For Quartz:

I will admit, even I sometimes have to remind myself why the throwback needs an overhaul. But even if we don’t always notice or care, O Canada is a relic of inequality similar to all the other small examples of sexism that continue to permeate our culture—Hooters waitresses, swimsuit editions, “ice girls,” gendered toys, cleaning product commercials, bic pens “for her,” and pretty much every family sitcom ever. These are the things that while arguably inconsequential on their own, combine to become a juggernaut of harmful expectations and exclusion.

Read the piece here.

Infidelity Film Deal

infidelity_medium.jpgPitched in the vein of Unfaithful and the acclaimed series The Affair, Stacey May Fowles’ novel Infidelity thrillingly unravels a profound story of desire and obsession as it entwines us in the unfolding of a potent affair.

The film rights have been optioned by Allison Black of Euclid 431 Pictures Inc. and Karen Shaw of Quarterlife Crisis Productions Inc. by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Agency

The Devil You Know captures the anxiety of Bernardo-era Southern Ontario

devilyouknow.jpgIt’s delicate work, writing about dead girls. It’s far too easy to stumble into tasteless appropriation, to use the suffering of young women as an intellectual exercise, or for the purpose of lazy provocation. The dead girl is fodder for so many familiar pop-culture narratives, showing up in pulpy genre tales, on crime shows and films. Her body is stuffed into suitcases and refrigerators, her remains stumbled upon by dog walkers and joggers, her community holding hands and mourning her by candlelight. She’s often merely a prop, an easy symbol of destroyed innocence that exists to drive the actions of others, and the kind of lurid titillation that readers lap up. It takes both skill and empathy to write absorbing fiction about dead girls that doesn’t dangerously veer into exploitation, and with The Devil You Know, Elisabeth de Mariaffi has beyond succeeded.

Read the review here.

Talking to Elly Danica About Don’t: A Woman’s Word

41w6b1hje5l_sy344_bo1204203200_.jpgWomen’s stories, the reality of our lives too often appears to have no value to the reading public, who it seems don’t want to read such boring, painful stuff. Really? We can dismiss the reality of women’s lives so easily? Unless there is a major groundswell of women’s and children’s stories that are taken seriously in all sectors of society, I can’t see how we will make any progress defeating the excesses of patriarchy and all that this means in women’s lives.

Elly Danica, September 2014

Read the full interview at The Butter.

“Hearts Hot and Time Passing:” Looking back on the early 2000s and its girl outlaws who broke the rules

hearts-hot-and-time-passing-looking-back-on-the-early-2000s-and-its-girl-outlaws-who-broke-the-rules_alu_blogfeatured.jpgNostalgia is a tricky thing because it tends to make the past look better than it was, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve seen a movement in literature as exciting and inspiring as that particular time period since. After years of being told by academic institutions what literature was and what it was supposed to do, Zoe Whittall’s story blew that apart. The stories and poems I went on to discover hit me with a lightning bolt of possibility. Now, with the benefit of more than a decade of distance, I’m sure what she was part of, what she helped start, was the kind of vibrant, supportive culture that paves the way for a variety of new voices to take root. 

These writers didn’t see a place for themselves in the status quo, and consciously or not, they made their own world and welcomed others into it. Not only that, but the candor in which they spoke and wrote about the intricacies of their life experiences actually brought a great deal of solace to the readers that came to love their work. Many of them, in turn, have deservedly become a dominant and welcome force in contemporary Canadian literature.

Read the full essay at All Lit Up.