Vulnerability and Misogyny

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The other day I was in a prayer group on cultivating spirituality in our daily lives. One of the questions at the end of the chapter asked, “Who are the most vulnerable in our society today? In what ways can I or we reach out for help?”

Without hesitation, all of us responded “Women—they’re the most vulnerable.” My voice was among these. I have been thinking about this issue with grave seriousness (to the point of depression) for months. We all know the on-going fights for equal pay, breast-feeding controversies, and annoyance over catcalls, but lately there has been a not-so-subtle culture of misogyny hovering over our country, nay the world.

For example, this past July CNN reported a story about an Indian woman who was brutally gang-raped, not once, but twice by the same men. The horror of that experience stayed with me for weeks, still does in fact. No one was there to protect this already scarred, vulnerable woman. She was attacked a second time coming home from college classes. There are hundreds of other international stories of honor killings, female genital mutilation, killing or disfiguring women with acid, and kidnappings of hundreds of girls around the world (e.g., Boka Horam) for torture and sexual exploitation. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around magnitude of this abuse.

And, it’s not much better over here in the “Land of the Free.”

The release of Donald Trump’s “musings” about his lack of control around beautiful women, that he deliberately tried “f***” a married women, and how he felt, as a famous person, entitled to grab any woman’s “p*****” was just the most recent example of how women are dehumanized in this country. What surprised me was my reaction to hearing this clip. I just shook my head in disgust. Just a year or two earlier, I would have been incensed, outraged. I think this is an example of how I, like many people, have become desensitized to misogyny.

In fact, during the first Republican presidential debate when moderator Megyn Kelly called Trump on his inflammatory, crude remarks about women, his response was to call her a “bimbo” and that she was so mad, “You could see blood coming out of her eyes…blood coming out of her wherever.” Her wherever? How did he get away with saying that? Of course, he insulted a lot of people that night including the sitting President and Congress. The media and the RNC made a huge mistake that evening. Trump should have been escorted off the stage for his inappropriate remarks. Shouldn’t there be some basic civility expected of our country’s leaders? That behavior should never have been tolerated then, because it just fueled his ego enough to let his mouth run amuck for months after. The man has said hateful things about darn near everyone, and it’s not that I think things like that are not said, it’s just that I’ve never seen anyone so public and unapologetic for such rantings and bad language. In the South we would say, “His mama did not raise him right.”

Trump is a spoiled, narcissistic loud mouth. He’s been making outrageous statements throughout the past few years, so that’s why, in my overexposure to this behavior, I simply rolled my eyes when it came out he felt he could get away with inappropriately touching a woman’s private parts, which by the way is sexual assault, which by the way is illegal. Cher summed it up best when she tweeted, “LADIES WE R NOT DISPOSABLE BLOW UP DOLLS,4RICH MENS PLEASURE.” Shame on me for my minimal reaction.

But, it is not just Donald Trump overtly demeaning, dehumanizing, and objectifying women. It feels as if our whole culture has agreed that treating women as “less than” and as pleasure tool is okay, fine, just boys being boys.

A Culture of Dehumanization
• Fox news and its environment of sexual harassment that started at the top with Chairmen of Fox News Roger Ailes is a recent example. Gretchen Carlson was the first to sue, but Andrea Tanteros has filed a suit as well. That’s dehumanizing women in the workplace.
• Pornography addiction is the number one addiction in America today. This is the objectifying of women as tools for one’s own pleasure. Scientist found that, like all addicts, people need to view more and more, cruder and cruder scenes to get the initial pleasure they first had when viewing pornography. What makes it an addiction is more than the inability to stop watching. People will continue to watch even though it negatively affects their job, social life, and marriages. Not only does pornography dehumanize the women who are filmed, by extension it dehumanizes all women.
• In 2012, researchers estimated that 26,000 rapes and sexual assaults took place in the armed forces, yet only one in seven victims reported the attack and only one in 10 of those cases went to trial. Dehumanizing women in the military.
• Stanford student Brock Turner received a “slap on the wrist” sentence for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Dehumanizing women by athletes.
• Bill Cosby’s long and sorted history of drugging and raping women continues to evolve in the news, and he is still a free man. Dehumanizing women in Hollywood.
• The commonness of campus rape. Just as an example, University of Michigan conducted an internal study of rape on its own campus, and found that 20 percent of the women had been sexually assaulted. Internal studies conducted at other universities show similar results, although I think 20 percent is a gross example of underreporting. Dehumanizing women at school, where they go to better their minds and futures.

Campus rape is not a new thing. When I was an undergraduate at a large public university, I woke up one Sunday morning to learn that the Delta fraternity found a battered, naked woman unconscious in the their back yard. She had been gang raped and beat up, she had cigarette burn marks on her thighs, and she had the word, Delta carved into her leg. My blood ran cold because I had been to a party at the Delta house the night before. I think every woman on campus was thinking, “It could have been me.” What really happened is even worse that the original scenario. It turns out the boys (legally men) from the Pike house right next door, did all of these heinous things and tried to put the blame on the Deltas by “marking” with their frat name and dumping her, yes dumping her over the fence.

I’ve never forgotten that, and when I was a high school teacher, I often warned seniors heading off to college: Don’t go anywhere alone, especially at night; don’t wander into a boy’s room alone; watch your drinks so no one puts a date-rape drug in your beer; never leave a party or club with a man you just met no matter how safe you feel. The onus is on you I would tell them. Now, I taught at a girls’ school. I wonder if anyone was ever talking to the boys who were off to the same colleges, and what they were told. My guess is that they were told nothing; all the messages they received about how to treat women they learned from the media, big brothers or their fathers. It begs the questions,

What are boys learning about their gender counterpart? When do they stop seeing women as human beings, people with souls who should be respected, and see them as merely tools to satisfy a sexual urge? If rape, assault, pornography, sexual harassment is so prevalent, then where are the strong male voices trying to counteract this travesty?

Right now, the only strong voice boys (and girls), men (and women) are hearing is a loud mouth pseudo-politician who thinks it is perfectly acceptable to call women fat, bimbos, dogs, slobs, disgusting animals, and just plain ugly. And, no woman seems to be exempt (except Ivanka and Melania) because he has publically insulted Rosie O’Donnell, 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado, Angelina Jolie, Heidi Cruz (Ted Cruz’s wife) and even supermodel Heidi Klum. There are plenty of women speaking back, like Secretary Hilary Clinton, Megyn Kelly, Cher and other noted people, but I wonder if their message is falling on deal ears.

I am no historian, but I can’t help feeling that in this country we have taken 15 steps backwards in the fight for equality. Women are more vulnerable, suppressed and demeaned than they have ever been. The irony is that all of this is going on just as woman has a real shot at the White House. I know it is no coincidence, just as race relations have taken a tragic turn for the worse while our sitting President is an African-American.

The second part of the question posed to our prayer group has me stumped: What can I do to help the vulnerable? I always feel helpless in the face of overpowering cruelty. Just writing this piece for my blog is one way to help. Another is to exercise my right to vote (a right that women in this country have had for less than 100 years) and send a message that I won’t stand for dehumanization as a political or bullying technique. Finally, I have to talk to my children: my girls will know they are worthy of the same rights, that they are children of God put on this earth to love and be loved, and that they should be warriors against anyone or anything that sends a message otherwise. Similarly, my son will know that girls and women are their equal, their partner under the law and the eyes of God, that the only way to interact with a girl or woman is with respect and reverence, and that any other action would be a betrayal to their manhood and their humanness.

Aren’t these basic things we teach all our children in preschool?
• Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
• Don’t interrupt anyone.
• Wait your turn.
• No name-calling.
• Tell the truth.

It seems to me that a lot of people need to be sent back to preschool to relearn these basic tenants for living in this world. All I can say is school’s open. Enroll your misogynist now.

Teaching my girls about the face of evil

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When my first child was just a few weeks old, I spent many-a night rocking and soothing her, trying to get this sweet baby to understand that one sleeps at night and not 13 hours during the day. One of those nights, I went downstairs and turned on the TV for some bleary-eyed diversion. At the time we had the cheap cable package so my choice viewing options were junk and more junk. What captured my attention was an hour-long infomercial for “Girls Gone Wild.”

I had heard of this before, and had seen some tamer commercials for it. I would shake my head, and simply change the channel. I wanted no part of the sexual exploitation of drunk college women. That night, however, as I rocked my innocent baby girl, that commercial seized my heart and injected terror in my veins. Suddenly I was transported 20 years in the future praying that my little girl would never be involved in something like that. Watching these inebriated young women lift their shirts for the camera and accept dares to participate in sexual acts, made me cringe.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m a prude, and I certainly can’t say I made the best choices when I had had a few too many beers (or wine, or shots). Quite frankly, I can think of a few situations, especially when I was a young college student, in which I was remarkably lucky that I was not sexually assaulted. But, motherhood changed me. I went from disgust to plain fear. In my head I kept asking myself, “What do I have to do as a parent to make sure my daughter does not feel she has to use her body to be accepted, liked or admired? What can I do to protect her from men who only want to use her or see her as a source for their pleasure?” I do not have a definitive answer, but figured out that so much of her safety is related to self-esteem and good choices.

Reading about Brook Turner, the Stanford student who was convicted of raping an inebriated, unconscious woman behind a dumpster, has renewed those fears I have for my daughters. Often “experts” spend a great deal of time talking about what women should or should not do to put themselves in the position to be raped:

  • Don’t walk alone at night.
  • Don’t dress “like a slut.”
  • Don’t drink too much.
  • Only drink from a bottle at a club so you don’t accidentally or otherwise ingest a drug like roofies (or Quaaludes), making you easy prey for sexual predators.
  • Be aware of your surroundings (e.g., parking lots, empty streets).
  • Don’t party alone. Always bring a friend who can watch your back.

These are all great suggestions, and when the time is right, I will make sure my two daughters understand them. But, I will also be sure to tell them that even if they do dress provocatively or drink too much, they are never the ones who are at fault for a rape or sexual assault. That blame only rests squarely on the rapist.

The rapist is the one who does not recognize a woman as a human being, but rather an object of pleasure. The rapist is the one whose sick need for dominance leads him to violate and demean another person. The rapist is the one who perverts his sexual desires and his moral reasoning to allow himself to touch a woman’s body however he wishes and without her consent. I will let my daughters know that they not responsible for other’s actions just as they are responsible for their own actions and choices.

And, when the time is right, I will show my daughters Brock Turner’s face, and talk about how this seemingly harmless, Howdy Doody look-alike is the face of evil. They need to know that evil is not necessarily the villain dressed in black, lurking in dark alleys. Rather, I will tell them than evil comes in so many shapes and sizes and colors and backgrounds.

  • Evil can come from “nice homes” raised by “nice parents” and go to “great schools”—like Stanford.
  • Evil can look like the funniest of all-American dads, a TV icon even.
  • Evil can look like a star athlete with potential to compete in the Olympics.
  • Evil can even be disguised as their caring boyfriend or husband whose mask of a loving person will melt away to reveal the dark overpowering villain that he is.
  • Evil can sound like a middle class dad who makes excuses (like he was a victim of a culture of campus partying) for his sociopathic son.
  • And evil can look like a civic-minded judge who is nothing but complicit with the entire system that dismisses rape as “boys will be boys” or it was only “20 minutes of action.”

Just as important, I will sit my son down and tell him how he should treat a woman, how women were not put on this earth to satisfy men’s sexual issues, how women are smart and accomplished in thousands of ways, and how all women (all people) deserve his respect. I will also let him know that, just like the PhD students from Sweden who chased after Brock Turner, it is his responsibility to protect those who are weaker than he is, and to alert authorities when he sees or senses that someone else is in danger. And, I will tell him this is just common sense and common decency.

In some ways I think it is pathetic that I would have to make all of these things explicit to my kids. Shouldn’t they just know this? Don’t people know they should treat others with kindness and compassion? After reading about Brock Turner and how he has never admitted to any wrong-doing and how his father is more torn up about his son’s poor appetite than his victim’s pain, I think this is now a world where knowing right and wrong cannot be assumed. After reading that Brock Turner’s friends and siblings believe he is not a danger to others because he is a shy and hard-working young man, I have to be very clear when I tell my children that psychopaths can be shy, hard-working and bright with a glorious future ahead of them.

My daughters are no longer babies. The oldest will be 13 in a few days. This rape case has made me realize that now is the time I need to have these conversations with them. I’m not relishing these talks, but I know that this conversation is just as necessary as teaching them other fundamentals like using crosswalks, not talking to strangers, locking doors at night, and not engaging with strangers on the Internet.  One day their lives may depend on this lesson.

Mama’s Year in Review: Part Two

Here are some more highlights–highlights according to this mama–of 2015. I am sure I left out something really, really important about 2015, but these are the items that piqued my interest.

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Books, Books, and More Books: The literary world had a great year with some tried-and-true authors like Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman, and Stephen King continuing to publish and newcomers such as Paula Hawkins, Carola Dibbell and Leslie Parry debuting their first novels. I would love to say that I have read all the books on the NY Times Best Seller list, but as someone once said, “Too many books, too little time.” I will say that Judy Blume’s book In an Unlikely Event was the highlight for me. This book was engaging and intelligent coming of age story, and it just plain enjoyable to read. I highly recommend it. The low point for me was the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I read it in fits and starts because it was so hard for me to engage with it. Its plot was choppy, the characters not fully developed, and seemed to end abruptly. As I said earlier in my blog, I believe this books should never have been published. I feel it was an injustice to Harper Lee and her masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird.

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The reinvention of the Pencil: Only Apple Computers could reinvent a near perfect communication device like the good old pencil. The iPad Pro and Pencil is faster than 80% of the laptops on the market today. It seems like a great system for budding artists, and could help students who struggle to take notes in lectures. I would like to get my hands on it to create my own graphics for my blog or create new art. The possibilities seem endless.

Good news for Gluten Intolerant People of the World: First, a company has invented gluten free pasta made entirely from chickpeas or garbanzo beans. The pasta is called Banaza Chickpea Pasta, and the makers boast twice the protein and quadruple the fiber. You can buy a box at EatBanaza.com for 4:00. Wait there is more for those suffering from celiac disease. A company called 6SensorLabs has created the Nima, which is a device that determines if a piece of food contains gluten. A smiley face proclaims no, and a frowny face says yes.

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The Hover board (a board that really doesn’t hover): Despite the news coverage of these “toys” catching fire, I think I would be interested in trying one out. (Don’t tell my kids; they would be laughing uncontrollably at the the thought.)

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Funny Ladies: Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, although a bit crude in places, was a terrifically funny movie that flipped the stereotypical movie with commitment-phobic male lead on its rear.  Amy Schemer plays the lead who learned early from her father that monogamy is unrealistic. Thus, her struggle to maintain healthy relationships.  The real gem of the movie was the montage in the middle of it with Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dryfus and Patricia Arquette celebrating their last day of desirability in Hollywood. They discuss it in a cruder way, but it is a funny little anecdote in the middle of an already funny movie. And, I give her two thumbs up for her work with Senator Schumen on gun control.

Seeing Pluto close up, and not on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom: NASA’s New Horizons probe was able to pass by Pluto, making it the first time any spacecraft was able to get a close-up view of the farthest planet (wasn’t it demoted to dwarf planet a couple of years ago?) in our solar system.

UnknownA New Man?: Don’t get excited ladies, I’m talking archeology now. Although discovered  in 2013 in South Africa by cavers Rick Hunter and Steve Tucker, scientists announced the discovery of a new species of early human – Homo Naledi–this year. These 15, almost completely intact fossils, were found in a cave that was nearly impossible to access. In fact, the cavers found it by accident, and since the entrance to the cave was less than 8 inches in width, not many people would have been able to access that cave. Scientists have been conducting research on these bones, and they believe this is a new species of hominin with features that could be characterized as very old and other features considered more modern in the timeline of evolution. The bones have not been dated so some scientists are reserving their opinion on the importance of this find until later. I just think it is so amazing when monumental new discoveries are made because they make us all question our humanity and understanding of our shared history.  What do we really know? The October 2015 issue of National Geographic presents a comprehensive coverage of this story.

Mama’s Year in Review: Part One

When I was a wee girl, my mama used to say that the older one gets, the faster time flies. I have never felt this more than in 2015. I can’t believe that in just a short week, we will be writing 2016 on our checks when I only just stopped writing 2014 in June. So, last night looked around and reflected to put this entire year in perspective. Although I know there are a host of horrible things humankind did to humankind this year (e.g., ISIS murders, bombing in Paris, continued racial profiling), I decided to list some events that reflected people and things that simply warmed my heart, made me cheer or got a chuckle out of me. (These are in no particular order.)

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Adele: Adele released her newest album, 25, with her first blockbuster single “Hello.” Her sultry, sexy voice combined with her mature lyrics produces an image of an old-fashioned, smoky piano bar with a woman planted tentatively on a stool singing ballad and blues about timeless themes. In fact, it is hard to believe that Adele is a woman in her 20s. Her looks, attitude, and music reflect the life of a more seasoned lady.

The Year of the Woman: It seems that every time I turned around I was witness to another powerful woman breaking barriers and squashing stereotypes in sports, entertainment, and politics. Amen!

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  • Let’s start with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team winning the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. A big congratulations to these super female athletes. Then, WNBA star and Olympic medalist, Becky Hammon made history when she accepted the position as the first female assistant coach for a professional men’s team. Thumbs up for the San Antonio Spurs!
  • In entertainment, Misty Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Other African-American woman made waves in Hollywood. Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, and Regina King all won Emmys this September.
  • In politics, both Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Carly Fiorina have changed the landscape for women in politics. Clinton has proven she can play in the big leagues with the heavy hitters and she is adept at using their own strategies against them. Fiorina has demonstrated that she can take on the insanity of Donald Trump and other male contenders in a classy and expedient manner. Who knows? Maybe we will have a woman president one day soon.

McDonalds Serves Breakfast All Day: I love breakfast, and when I heard Mickey D’s was serving it all day now, I was over the moon with delight. Why? Sometimes a girl just needs a quick egg on the go. You know what I mean? I know most items on the breakfast menu are full of fat, sugar and calories, but my favorite item is the Egg McMuffin, which according to my former Weight Watchers teacher is the best choice in terms of fat, protein and carbs. So, hand over that quasi-healthy breakfast sandwich even if it is 2 in the afternoon.

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The Fall of the Confederate Flag: Boom! Finally! The South Carolina state legislature voted to remove the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds. Unfortunately, it took the devastating massacre of 9 people at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church to do so. It is a lesson to all that symbols are powerful, words do matter, and discrimination should never be tolerated particularly at the government level.

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Elle King: Elle King, 26 year-old daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and model/actress London King, hit the music scene with her song “Exs and Ohs” from her album Love Stuff like Dorothy’s house landing on the Wicked Witch. Her voice is so reminiscent of Janis Joplin that my husband thought I was playing a Joplin record. Although she attended the University of the Arts in Philidelphia, she is also a self-taught musician, falling in love with the banjo and listening to country music until she was so adept at it, she could write songs for the banjo. King is a self-proclaimed “bad ass” with tattoos and a unique sound that mixes country, blues, rock and soul. She doesn’t own a computer, prefers mimosas, and her songs make bold social statements. If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, I encourage you to listen to “Good to Be a Man” from her album The Elle King EP. Better yet, watch the video; it’s hysterical.

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Inside Out: I must have been living under a rock because when I took my children to see Inside Out, I had no idea what it was about. Aren’t pleasant surprises wonderful? I was delighted by the whole shebang: the writing, the actors, the art, the plot. The premise of personifying emotions was brilliant, and the idea that each emotion is necessary is a wonderful message for kids to learn—that it’s okay to be angry and sad sometimes. After all, that is the way we are made. I’m not sure my children got that deep with the movie, but I loved it.

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That Sugar Film: Okay, this documentary debuted in 2014, but I did not watch it until 2015. I am often behind the times, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to share this wonderful film with my plethora of readers. This Australian film follows Damon Gameau in his quest to answer the much debated question: Which is worse for you, sugar or fat? His focus was on sugar, and since he had not eaten refined sugar in several years, he offered his body as the guinea pig for this experiment. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but I will say I learned a great deal about the power of the sugar industry and its glorious history, the effects of sugar on the body, and why we should not be concerned with healthy fats. Let’s just say my husband watched it with me, and he gave up sugars that evening. (Of course, he has the will power of a stubborn ass…me, not so much.) I am trying slowly to get the sugar out of my house to start my withdrawal on January 1.

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Stay tuned for Mama’s Year in Review: Part II

 

Star Wars VII Bridges the Generational Gap

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Dum, Dummmm, dum-dum-dum-DUMMMM-dum…. (Star Wars theme music)

That’s right, I was one of the millions of moviegoers who braved the crowds to see the seventh installment of the Star Wars movies. My husband and son had been anticipating this day for months. They watched trailers, debated possible plot lines, and seemed to develop their own shorthand language for the movie. They were pumped to go. My second child Katie, likewise, caught the Star Wars fever, begging to go on opening day. To be honest, the only reason I went was because my husband proposed it as a family event. And why not? The kids were out of school for the holidays, my shopping was done, and my dirty floors and laundry would live to see another day.

It wasn’t that I don’t like Star Wars. I am proud to say I saw the original franchise in an actual movie theater. (This always impresses my son’s friends: “You DID?” they say in awe.) I mistakenly believed that the whole Star Wars thing had passed me by. My kids watch some cartoon version of it, and it looks nothing like the world of droids and hairy Chewbacas I remembered. And, to be honest, the prequel Star Wars series—although well written–wasn’t as thrilling for me. (It might be because there was no Han Solo—heavy sigh!)

So, I agreed to go, and while my husband and kids waited in the long lines, I stayed back saying something about dirty dishes (my family tend to go brain dead at the mention of dishes). In that time, I feverishly hit Google. Like a panicked high school student who hadn’t read the assigned novel and had 12 hours before the big test, I searched the Internet for the equivalent of Cliff Notes for the last three (or would it be the first three?) Star War movie plots. (Don’t judge me! It had been decades.)

Armed with my refreshed knowledge, I texted my husband that I was on my way. Long lines of waiting fans snaked around the inside of the theater anticipating the moment they could rush to their favorite viewing spot. But, when I settled in my little theater, I was surprised that it was only half full. I later realized that is because AMC had a Star Wars movie starting almost every 15 minutes. I am not even sure they were showing other films that day. Once we got through 45 minutes of previews—90 percent of which were about other war movies—the lights dimmed, and the yellows scrolling text so iconic to Star Wars started rolling.

For the next two hours of so, I sat in utter delight—loving every minute of this Star Wars VII movie. It was true to the original storyline, piqued my interest with new mysterious characters, and featured some of my very favorite characters from days gone by. Although aged (as we all have), Princess Leia and Han Solo were still the same. Solo was his old cocky, self-assured self and Leia was serious and still dedicated to her cause. (Incidentally, Chewbaba, R2D2 and C3PO didn’t age much.) I thoroughly enjoyed it. It stirred in me the old feelings of routing for The Force and hissing at the Dark Side.

IMG_0978When the movie finally ended, Annie (my daughter who was utterly clueless about the movie and agreed to go for the popcorn and the Icees) expressed interest in watching the original movies. She wanted to see what Princess Leia and Han Solo were like when they were younger. I told her Han Solo and Luke Skywalker were “hot”. She seemed supremely disgusted that I would use that word. I followed after her saying, “What? I was your age when the first movie premiered.” With wide eyes she said, “You were?” Then I told her how I loved the first movie and could not get enough of it, how I decorated my 6th grade journal with Star Wars cards, how I wanted to be tough like Princess Leia and wooed by a sexy smuggler. For a brief moment, there was a spark of understanding in her eyes, like she really believed I was once a preteen just like she is today. In that instant we bridged the chasm of generational misunderstanding and ignorance. Although it was a fragile and tentative bridge, for that moment we connected.

When I walked out of the theater, still basking in the glow of “the Galaxy,” I noticed many fathers and sons, mothers and daughters waiting in line. It dawned on me how very unusual this experience was. Very rarely do generations share a deep passion for something that spans decades. My son Will and my husband Mike will continue to relive their favorite scenes from the movie, usually the ones involving guns and light sabers, but I will forever share the moment when my daughter and I agreed on something—even if it was that the men of Star Wars are hot.