Episode 58: Tales of Catsgard

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • Updates
    First off -- we are in a book! Pretty exciting stuff. And check out this Bustle article about it!
  • This Week in Comics
    Secret Love, Squirrel Girl #8, Silk #6, Rat Queens #11, and A-Force #3 | This week we are feeling the love for all the great women we're reading about, from angry Cindy Moon to cat pun heavy Doreen to the teams of mercenaries in Palisades and superheroes in Arcadia. Comics about ladies, amiright?
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Special guests Sol & Eileen join us for a quiz on common words invented by authors. While you're at it, check out this New Yorker article on the evolving meanings of the phrase "rabbit hole," originally coined by Lewis Carroll. Sol and Eileen previously joined us for a quiz in Episode 53, and Eileen was our guest for our episode about Ada Lovelace.
  • Reruns
    We're reairing our very first main segment, on Iron Man 3! Oh, what babies we were. Also, this is the very first time we sorted fictional characters into Hogwarts Houses.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A & B: Sleep

This Week in Links 57

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • First of all, in case you didn't hear: we are in a book! That's right, we've sold a piece as part of Kelly Jensen's Feminism For the Real World anthology, coming out in spring 2017, and we are SO EXCITED to finally be able to share the news!
  • Now for Hamilton news:
    • On the official Broadway premiere, for the #HAM4HAM show, Lin-Manuel Miranda read aloud from Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, the inspiration for the show. Get a tissue.
    • The New York Public Library has put together a Hamilton archive. Guess how we feel about libraries + Hamilton, guess.
  • John Oliver takes on sex ed in American schools. If your middle school/high school were anything like mine, you might find this video educational as well as hilarious.
  • No, you are crying about this Bloggess love letter to librariesI remember breathing in the welcoming smell of the dust of the books.  The soft sounds of the drawers of wooden card-catalogs that had slid open and closed so many times that they became a velvety hush.  The clean white slips of paper and tiny pencils waiting there (for free!) so that you might look up something wonderful and write down the secret code that would lead you to treasure.
  • Please enjoy these infographics from NPR (their science Tumblr is called Skunk Bear, because NPR is the greatest) on the relative size of various prehistoric animals to a modern human.
  • Please also enjoy the Smithsonian's roundup of owls across their collections.
  • MTV brings us the oral history of Bring It On, because MTV is committed to enduring works of journalism. God is on their side.
  • Please read Ezekiel Kwehu on waiting for cops to kill himMost of us will not be killed by police officers. White supremacy will not kill us so directly, so flagrantly. Instead it dogs our steps, wages niggling wars on our peace itself. Its power is in the daily theft of our joy, our dignity, our sanity.
  • Ryan North -- the guy behind Dinosaur Comics and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl -- got stuck in a hole with his dog today. Don't worry, everyone survives.

Episode 57: Searching for Meaning in a Pauly Shore Movie

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Jem #5, A-Babies vs. X-Babies #3, Giant Days Year One, We Stand on Guard #2, Infinity Gauntlet #3, Sex Criminals #11, Ms. Marvel #17 and DC Bombshells #1-3 | Sex Criminals is back with an amazing, Nintendo-themed, Bryan Lee O'Malley XXX variant cover; Ms. Marvel leaves us hanging; and DC Bombshells transports some of DC's greatest lady heroes back in time to the 1940s. The stories involving All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player Kate Kane (Batwoman) and Night Witch Kara Starikov (Supergirl) have been the best so far and we can't wait to see what they do with fellow librarian (though in this iteration, I believe she's a pilot) Barbara Gordon and Atlantean Mera.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Book Deal-Breakers | Turn-offs include novels in verse, fourth-wall breaking, bad dialog, and men who know what's best for you.
  • Real Ladies: Filmmakers
    We address the state of women behind the camera in Hollywood. Spoiler alert: It's not looking good. While some of our favorite movies were directed by women (Clueless, Bend it Like Beckham, When Harry Met Sally, and A League of Their Own among them), the sad fact is that even among movies targeted specifically at women, including romantic comedies and dance movies, the overwhelming majority of directors are men (83 percent, to be exact). While women directors are working (and receiving critical acclaim) in independent and foreign film, the big-budget blockbuster is still a man's world. And, sure, recognition is great, and better late than never, but it isn't enough. We didn't get to this in the show, but Fortune and Geena Davis have some practical suggestions for improving the numbers.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends, with a cameo by Becca's cat Eliot
    A: Leverage and This American Life episode 562, "The Problem We All Live With"
    B: Pop Culture Happy Hour's recent episode on musicals

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 56

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • Not even gonna pretend like we don't have a bunch of Hamilton links this week.
  • Ian McKellen teaches us how to make scrambled eggs. It's a family recipe, y'all.
  • The AV Club hosted an interesting conversation between a few comics artists about creating and drawing costumesA design doesn’t just work for every character even if it’s a good design. The character must come first and that establishes the parameters of where the design is going to go.
  • The Telegraph looks at the modern values of the inheritances Jane Austen's characters received, and just how flush they'd be today. Looks like Emma would be the richest; get it, girl.
  • This headline is Allison and Becca catnip: The Great Comics Hunk-Off.
  • Paul Rudd, still the goshdarn handsomest.
  • Danielle Henderson's piece for BuzzFeed about GeekyCon makes it, and being a fan, just seem like the greatest: There’s never been a better time to like things, or more ways to show how much you like them.
  • a) Jason Segel is in a book club and b) Jason Segel made his book club read Infinite Jest without telling them he'd been cast as David Foster Wallace. I kind of love that.
  • July 26th was the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a law that's made sweeping changes to the accessibility of everyday life for millions of American (still have a ways to go, of course). NPR has an interesting article about accessible fashion"What is the purpose of the garments that we wear?" she asks. "Why do certain things operate purposefully, whereas other things are simply sort of for appearance?"
  • Of eternal interest to us: a list of picture books about princesses that challenge princess stereotypes. (You know what I mean, even if that phrasing sounds a bit #notallprincesses)
  • Bless their hearts, men are such delicate creatures.

Episode 56: What Is This, A Center for Ants?

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Power Up #1, Lumberjanes #16, Spider-Woman #9, All-New Hawkeye #4, Ant-Man Annual #1, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #2, and Hawkeye #22 | In Ant-Man Annual #1, we're introduced to a new hero, Raz Malhotra, a man who, in addition to keeping his head in a crisis, also happens to be an out person of color. Let's put this guy in a movie, Marvel. Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps is a solid mystery and one of the few Secret Wars/Battleworld/Doom Troop titles we're enjoying. Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye comes to what is probably a powerful conclusion, if only we could remember what happened in #21.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    This Week in Ladies hits the road! On Monday, we saw Broadway hit musical Hamilton, based on the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton and the Ron Chernow book, also called Alexander Hamilton. We first heard of Hamilton back when it was a mere concept album, rather than the Tony Award-winning show it is certain to become, and writer/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda performed the opening number at the White House. Y'all, this show is so great, even the numbers that got cut from the show are worth checking out. It's so great, even the cast of Les Mis are auditioning for roles. It's so great, one of its stars Jonathan Groff photo-bombed us while wearing a bike helmet.
Jonathan Groff (King George) photobombs us with Phillipa Soo (Eliza Hamilton).

Jonathan Groff (King George) photobombs us with Phillipa Soo (Eliza Hamilton).

  • Ant-Man
    Ant-Man is a top-tier MCU movie. Yeah, we said it. It's fun, funny, and we dare you to not be charmed by Paul Rudd and Michael Peña. Sure, it could've used more ladies (we have a casting suggestion for Janet Van Dyne), and the villain is only so-so, but we're always here for a heist movie and a montage that bring the laughs. And the Paul Rudd.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    B: The #Ham4Ham tag on Twitter.

Thanks for listening!

Episode 55: Here's Looking at You

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Squirrel Girl #7, A-Force #2, Saga #30, A-Babies vs. X-Babies #2, We Stand on Guard #1, and Papergirls preview | Our two biggest comics this week both came from Brian K. Vaughan -- Saga, which just wrapped up another arc and got Allison thinking about how parenthood changes people or doesn't, and We Stand on Guard, which got Becca thinking about how great Canada is. We also talk very briefly about Friday night's Eisner Awards and give a quick update about Rat Queens.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Self-Published Kindle Erotica | We each read niche self-published Kindle erotica and report back for your listening pleasure. Let's just say it was character building. If you're interested in self-published erotica (even with an author who's somewhat condescending toward his audience), check out this fascinating Cracked article on how the sausage is made. (That pun was unintentional, but I feel like I can't take it back now. ~B) 
  • Magic Mike XXL and the Female Gaze
    So, typically we'd spend this episode talking about Real Ladies, but we had some grown-up woman shit to discuss this week. Magic Mike XXL was everything we hoped Magic Mike would be and more. Forget Mad Max: Fury Road, this might be the most feminist movie of the year. Check out this interview with the movie's choreographer ("You really have not seen a dolphin dive until you've seen Joe Manganiello do one"), read a feminist argument for Twilight, Mo Ryan on being a "sexual scavenger," and, though we didn't mention it in the show, read Mallory Ortberg on what she knows about female desire, which is pretty much everything.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
    B: Catastrophe starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan

Thanks for listening!

ranking Black Widow's wigs: the definitive list

Scarlett Johansson has portrayed Natasha Romanov, aka the Black Widow, in four Avengers movies now, and has made the character into a richly complex, compelling badass.

The person in charge of her wigs, however, has done her a grave disservice.

Across four movies now, her wigs have, uniformly, sucked. They've been stiff and awkward and not especially lifelike, and it makes you question Marvel's priorities -- a budget that big and they can't spring for a decent hairpiece?

Here, in order from worst to best, are Black Widow's wigs.

5. Iron Man 2 (2010)
Our first glimpse of the character (initially in disguise as Natalie Rushman, Stark Enterprises employee), and a promising start to her wig career. When she's in disguise as Natalie, her hair is a shiny, wavy dream of princess hair. Look at her. Birds styled this for her.

ironman201.png
ironman202.png

Then, her true secret identity is revealed, and we crash and burn.

ironman203.png
ironman204.png

This is not great. Corkscrew curls in general are great, but these particular corkscrew curls are not great. They are too precise to be even a little bit realistic. She's like Medusa over here, a weirdly perfectly regimented and symmetrical Medusa.

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
In a radical departure from the spiral perm, here Black Widow's sporting straight hair in a very blunt-edged cut. It's... too blunt? It just seems excessively sharp. This wig is so blunt it will hurt your feelings. Avoid asking this wig to be real with you.

Plus, she's middle parting it, and that is not a good look for anyone, even, it turns out, Scarlett Johansson. This conclusively proves ScarJo is indeed a mere mortal and, just like the rest of us flesh-beings, cannot wear her hair in a middle part.

cap201.png
cap202.png
cap203.png

Natasha's best hair moment comes when she and Steve are hiding out at Sam Wilson's place, and she showers. Look at her drying her hair, pretending it's real hair and not a wig she takes off lest it get wet. Commitment to her disguise right there. That's why she's a super spy, not just a regular spy.

cap204.png

3. The Avengers (2012)
This is a pretty stiff helmet of hair she's rocking here. There's a real Pat Nixon quality to this. Black Widow is a busy woman, does she have time for this every morning? Is she in disguise as someone with hair that's too old for her?

avengers01.png
avengers02.png

2. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
It's inoffensive, I guess. It's fine. That's the gold standard we've reached, here: it's fine.

ultron01.png
ultron02.png

1. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Cap 3 has just started filming, so it might be too soon to say, but this picture is very promising. That looks like it could be actual human hair! That she grew herself, on her own head! Fingers crossed they keep this up. As the superheroes of the Marvel universe all get into a fight and break up, a girl's gonna need a good head of hair on her shoulders.

(source)

This Week in Links 55

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • So, since last we spoke here, America has had a week, right? White House photographer Pete Souza captured the moment Obama found out about the SCOTUS health care ruling. This David Remnick piece for the New Yorker, "Ten Days in June," is a great look at what a week of victories so late in Obama's presidency means for him. (BTW, Ten Days in June would be a pretty good name for the awards bait movie they're gonna make about this time.): The more Obama leads on this, the more he sheds his tendency toward caution—his deep concern that he will alienate as many as he inspires—the better. The eulogy in Charleston, where he spoke as freely, and as emotionally, as he ever has about race during his Presidency, is a sign, I think—I hope—that he is prepared, between now and his last day in office, to seize the opportunity.
  • NPR and librarians are a love story for the ages, obviously. They have a neat story about one of their Investigations Research Librarians (dream job alert), and how she tracked down U.S. military veterans who were exposed to mustard gas (veterans the VA itself said it couldn't find). They've also got a great story about librarians in the U.S. military during WWI.
  • TIME has some neat photo galleries celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland.
  • We often link to Mallory Ortberg at the Toast, but this time we're gonna link to her dad, and his piece for Christianity Today on CharlestonI have heard that verse from Isaiah many times. I have always taken it as a metaphor—“no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” Who would form a weapon against me?
  • Check out Librarian of Progress, a site dedicated to advocating for a Librarian of Congress (dream job alert) who's ready to take the LoC into the 21st century.
  • io9, asking the hard questions: Which DC Comics Character Has The Most Ridiculous New Costume?
  • Indy PopCon! had a Men in Comics panel to discuss the issues men face in the industry.
  • Patrick Gordon, who played Steed on the TV show The Avengers (unrelated to the Avengers we usually talk about here) died recently, and io9 has a great tribute to him, and his ability to convey that a real gentleman respects women: In fact, the fact that Emma Peel is frequently mentioned as a "feminist icon" is partly a tribute to Patrick Macnee’s ability to embody a version of the traditional English gentleman—one who’s comfortable having a powerful woman at his side. 
  • An Illustrated History Of Famous Men And Their Cats
  • What did we do to deserve Hayley Atwell?

Episode 54: People Experiencing Regular Intervals of Disruption

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

This Week in Links 54

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

  • Oof, Charleston. A couple links worth your time: Jamil Smith on the power of black churches ("It gets harder to love thine enemy the more we come to know them"), Charles Blow on millennial terrorism ("Oh Fox, there is so much that needs explaining to you"), and Chloe Angyal on the power and danger of white womanhood ("It is on us to dismantle racism with just as much commitment as we dismantle sexism, for one cannot happen without the other").
  • So the rest of our links this week are going to be happy. Let's start with a blues cover of the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • It's the 40th anniversary of Jaws! You should read TIME's original review ("a case study in the recklessness, stubbornness, blindness and bravado that go into a Hollywood superproduction"), and then look at vintage photos of sharks. We here at TWiL HQ love us some sharks.
  • A librarian at the University of New Brunswick is living the dream: while digitizing materials, he found a copy of the original script of Star Wars in the library's archives.
  • You have probably already seen this story about the airport staff who found a boy's lost stuffed tiger and photographed it having adventures before sending it back to him, but you know what, read it again, it's still great.
  • Someone Went And Photoshopped Giant Cats Into 'Jurassic Park' Because The Internet
  • More cat news: the Alamo has a new official cat.
  • Channing Tatum did a Reddit AMA and he's everything you could ever want him to be. He is the platonic ideal of Channing Tatums. When asked about his perfect sandwich: k get ready: it's very complicated. bread, white. peanut butter, not crunchy, creamy. grape jelly, double portion, more than you think should actually fit on a piece of white bread. bread. and then some cheetos shoved in there, and then you're good to go. 
  • OK, a couple links that aren't just unadulterated happy. The Toast did an interview with @AfAmHistFail, the anonymous docent at a plantation home who tweets about her experiences giving tours: One of the best things a historic site can do is demonstrate the humanity of African-Americans. When cops are out shooting people because they find black people scarier or less sympathetic than white ones, anything museums can do to remind us that historic African-Americans were complex human beings with emotions and initiative is great. 
  • Over at BuzzFeed, Anne Helen Petersen looked at how In Touch magazine broke the Duggar news (calling sexual abuse of children a "scandal" offends our sensibilities) and how tabloids can actually use their poor reputation to do real investigative journalism. Some interesting stuff here on the business of tabloids and tips and paparazzi.
  • 538 looks at how the American Library Association's lists of the most frequently banned/challenged books and had issues with their data.
  • Let's close it out with another happy one: though we recently lost Christopher Lee (RIP, sir), you can still listen to him read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," and it is beautiful.

Episode 53: Laying Down the Law

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Spider-Woman #8, Silk #5, Spider-Gwen #5, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6, Giant-Size Little Marvel A vs. X, Starfire #1, Saga #29 | Many of this week's comics tackle the issue of nuance in the battle of right against wrong and using more than one's fists to solve problems. A lot of really good stuff in Spider-Woman, Silk, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, especially. In other comics, we got the Thor Corps, an auto-fellating dragon, and baby Avengers. Not all in the same book.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Special guests Eileen & Sol join us for a quiz on author initials. Warning: This is going to be one of those times when you're yelling out answers in the car in frustration as we attempt to answer the questions. You might remember Eileen from our episode about Ada Lovelace.
  • Becca & Allison's Rules for Popular Culture
    We don our dictator hats and make some pop culture decrees. Allison bans Benedict Cumberbatch; Becca makes trilogies taboo. And no, the French are not better than us. It's a very cathartic exercise and we encourage you to comment with your dos and don'ts!
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, season 2
    B: San Andreas

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 53

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

Here's what's on tap this week:

  • Miss Piggy on her feminism: I believe that any woman who refuses to accept society’s preconceived notions of who or what they can be is a feminist. I believe any woman who is willing to struggle, strive — and if necessary learn karate — to make their mark in the world is a feminist. And, yes, I believe that any woman, who cares about her appearance, her star billing and most especially her percentage of the gross, is a feminist.
  • As the summer movie binge gets into gear, you're going to want to print out this feminist summer blockbuster drinking game to be able to refer to it. (Our local theater chain, the Alamo Drafthouse, makes it easy on you by serving alcohol during the movie! Becca and I both have favorite "adult milkshakes" there.)
  • Connie Britton hula hooped on James Corden's show, as if she were not already perfect enough? Also, look at Guy Pearce sitting on that couch, looking at Connie and James and stroking his beard, all "I've had this dream before."
  • Over at Texas Monthly, Dan Solomon (who, full disclosure, I'm friends with) compares the police response to black kids at a swimming pool in McKinney to white bikers shooting each other in Waco.
  • Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Selma Blair hung out together and saw the Cruel Intentions musical and appeared to have any awesome time. 15-year-old Allison and Becca have to go lie down now.
  • If Vin Diesel Were Your BoyfriendIf Vin Diesel were your boyfriend, he would hold your nephew and laugh and look at you every time, amazed, as though you had anything to do with it. [Though, WHERE is the mention of the D&D game he sets up for the two of you and Judy Dench???]
  • The Kahuku High School class of 2015 seems a hell of lot more fun than the kids I went to high school with.
  • We're fans of Oliver Jeffers' picture books here at TWiL, but hey, he also does weirdo performance art about memory!
  • Via Jezebel, studies find that experiencing real awe can make you a kinder person.
  • Please read Ta-Nehisi Coates on Kalief Browder, and the individual toll of our justice system: The numbers which people like me bring forth to convey the problems of our justice system are decent tools. But what the numbers can’t convey is what the justice system does to the individual black body. Kalief Browder was an individual, which is to say he was a being with his own passions, his own particular joys, his own strange demons, his own flaws, his own eyes, his own mouth, his own original hands.
  • An infographic on how many people various Marvel characters have murdered. So one of our more cheerful infographics. (The answers will not surprise you.)
  • The Rock Reveals That He Has A Huge Crush On Hayley Atwell. As Becca said in her email to me about this, "This is everything. Please disregard every other time I've said that ever."

Episode 52: Like the Hulk, But With Boobs

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Lumberjanes #14, A-Force #1, Spider-Verse #1, Secret Wars Journal #1, Jem #3, Infinite Loop #2, All-New Hawkeye #3 and Secret Avengers | For our discussion of A-Force, we try to explain Marvel's Secret Wars event, but you should really check out this post over at Panels for more info. We briefly discuss Jill Lepore's New Yorker "article" about A-Force, so if you haven't yet read G. Willow Wilson's response, please do. We also talk at length about recently wrapped series Secret Avengers by Ales Kot, which continues to explore territory covered in Captain American: Winter Soldier, about the role of secret ops in a democracy.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    We talk about what we've been reading lately, which, strangely, also ends up being a discussion of books with a great sense of place (though we don't talk about that much): Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (New Orleans), The Blythes Are Quoted  and other Avonlea books by L.M. Montgomery (Prince Edward Island), and the Tess Monaghan books by Laura Lippman (Baltimore).
  • James Tiptree, Jr. Awards
    The 2014 Tiptree Awards were celebrated at WisCon over Memorial Day weekend so we took this opportunity to read a couple of the books from this year's winners and honors list. Allison read My Real Children by Jo Walton and Becca read Kaleidoscope, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios. We also talk about past winners and the overall significance of the award.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Sexism, Parts 1 and 2 from the Caustic Soda podcast
    B: Aquaman, vol. 1: The Trench by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 52

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share.

Here in the United States it's Memorial Day, and I hope everyone is having a safe one. (In Central Texas, we're pretty hard hit by flooding and tornadoes, so that goes double for locals.)

Here's what's on tap this week:

matthew-lewis-attitude-mag.jpb
  • Let's just start things off right, shall we? Matthew Lewis posed for Attitude magazine and it is, well. It is. And as if that were not enough, he and J.K. Rowling tweeted each other about it.
  • Feminist Lisa Frank. Hello third-wave feminism expressed via the pop culture touchstones of older millennials, you are my everything. (Lisa Frank herself is not pleased with this Tumblr, but to that I am a panda bear in overalls and a baseball cap painting the words "I don't care" over and over.)
  • io9 takes a look at the ways the Marvel Cinematic Universe have influenced Marvel comics, from costumes to the finer points of superpowers to whether or not someone is even alive. (Weirdly, though, no mention of Coulson's role in the deeply excellent Secret Avengers comics.)
  • TIME has a great interactive thing where you tell it your first name, birth year, and sex, and it tells you what the popularity ranking of your name was for the year you were born, and what the equivalent popular name was for every decade back to the 1890s. Pretty neat! Today I'd be a Sadie, but in times past I could have been Nellie, Charlotte, or Mamie, all of which I'd take. Becca would be an Amelia today, or a Ruth, Pearl, or Gertrude in the past. Hi, and welcome to This Week in Ladies! We're your hosts, Mamie and Gertrude.
  • Would read all these books.
  • This year is the 15th (!) anniversary of Center Stage, the greatest dance movie ever made. Don't believe me? Let Entertainment Weekly convince you: Center Stage is, however, a great movie, where "great" is defined as "A thing you loved when you were 12 that's still entertaining once you reach adulthood, despite how much of it is about feet."
  • Cool job alert: The National Archives Foundation has hired someone to be their "Chief Spirits Advisor" as the National Archives opens an exhibit about the history of alcohol in America.
  • HuffPo has a cool history of Crayola crayons, inspired by a collector who tracked down a lot of vintage crayons and studied the way names and colors have changed over the years.
  • Here's a cool fan-made video highlighting reused animation in Disney movies.
  • Jon Stewart has been quietly running a program to help veterans enter the TV industry for the last few years, and now that he's leaving The Daily Show, he's hoping other shows and networks will join it: "This is ready to franchise. Please steal our idea," Mr. Stewart said in an interview at his Manhattan studio recently. "It isn't charity. To be good in this business you have to bring in different voices from different places, and we have this wealth of experience that just wasn't being tapped."

Episode 51: Princess Raccoon Zombie Virus

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Rocket Raccoon #11, various Spider Ladies, Lady Killer #5, We Can Never Go Home, Ms. Marvel #15, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Captain Marvel #15, Thor #8 | Whew. We took a couple weeks off from comics, so we did a quick catch up on a lot of books today. We talk about Rocket's fitting finale, our varying levels of satisfaction with the Spider Lady books, and how we felt about the big Thor reveal you've no doubt heard so much about.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    You haven't read what?! We both read one of the other's all-time favorite books and now we're reporting back. Becca shares her thoughts and feelings on unexpected delight World War Z by Max Brooks, which eschews gore and grossness in favor of the real horrors of human nature and global politics. Allison is the true hero as she read the director's cut version of The Stand by Stephen King, which at 1153 pages, was not a short book to begin with. She goes on at length about another true hero, Dayna Jergens, who...well, you should really listen. She pretty much kicks all the ass in this book. We also highly recommend the 1994 miniseries, which is currently streaming on Netflix.
  • Real Ladies: Princesses
    Becca shares the deets on Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, who is often overlooked in the history books as a) she was fairly average and b) she was the daughter of Queen Victoria and the mother of Tsarina Alexandra. But, she did dare to *gasp* breastfeed her children and she told her husband she found him intellectually unsatisfying, so. Allison talks about Princess Pingyang, whom she first read about in Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie. Pingyang led 70,000 men in the Army of the Lady to help her father overthrow a negligent ruler and usher in the Tang Dynasty, considered a golden age of Chinese culture.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: The Fall, currently streaming on Netflix
    B: DC Bombshells art
    Both: Supergirl trailer

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 51

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • At Slate, they're taking a look at the "prefatory bitch," the sentence construction "Bitch, [whatever.]" We here at TWIL are no strangers to this -- our corrections segment is called "Bitch, Please" -- and we're fans: The prefatory bitch, if I were to animate her, is a zephyr at your statement’s back, blowing it past the shoals of dissent, into the realms of the inarguable.
  • Here are 23 female cartoonists on drawing the female body (complete with drawings). Some lovely art and thoughts here.
  • Anna Kendrick, always a delight. 
  • BuzzFeed has a really thorough, sound list of questions about sex ed at Hogwarts. The people need answers. 
  • In the 1690s, a British periodical called the Athenian Mercury had what is now considered the first ever advice column. Atlantic Monthly reproduces some questions and their answers. No one is unhappy with their in-laws or their coworkers, but they do want to know things like "What is the cause of the winds, and whence do they come, and whither do they go?" or "Dancing, is it lawful?"
  • Friend of the show Matthew Jackson is over at Playboy explaining what the hell the Infinity Stones of the MCU are (and it's SFW).
  • You're probably already mad about having to wait in line for the women's bathroom while men sail on unencumbered, but this TIME article about the way that reflects our bullshit sexist society is going to get your dander even more up.
  • BookRiot defends liking princess books (as we have done ourselves, and will continue to do forever and ever). Plus she's got some great recommendations to get you out of the Disney-only box: [T]here’s a lot that’s problematic about the Princess Ideology – it’s nepotistic; it places a premium on things like appearance and virginity; it’s trying to sell you Frozen diaper wipes. But A PIRATE’S ACTUAL JOB DESCRIPTION IS THIEVING AND RAPING so let’s not be so literal about our kids’ choice of imaginary occupation.
  • Here at TWiL HQ, we like the Avengers, infographics, and ranking things. (We like other stuff too, but honestly, that pretty much covers it.) So this infographic of all Avengers teams since the inception of the Avengers-titled comic series is way our jam, as is this Entertainment Weekly ranking of every Avengers team member ever. (Anyone who titles a post "Let's rank every Avenger ever" is just TRYING to seduce us. It's working.)
  • As the Token Female Member of This Action-Adventure Team, My Job Is to Kick

 

 

Episode 50: Peace in Our Time

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we have on tap for you this week:

  • All Ultron Extravaganza!
    This week, we're all about Avengers: Age of Ultron (isn't everyone?). Get ready for some deep cuts, as This Week in Ladies achieves peak MCU geekdom. We talk about nightmarish mind-manipulation visions, water-induced woo-woo visions, and The Vision. Plus, our feelings about characters new and old, secret families, caricature villains, and Cap vs. Iron Man. You guys, this movie was a preview of both the upcoming superhero Civil War in the third Captain American movie, and possibly the upcoming TWiL Civil War. Tony, Steve. Can't we all just get along? For our sake? We wrap up with an updated sorting of MCU characters into Hogwarts houses, which we did way back when we talked about Iron Man 3 in our very first episode. What a long, strange trip it's been, y'all.

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 50

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week: