Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Benny and Joon!

     Hello readers, welcome to our very first Theme Week!  This week all of our blogs will be focused on our favorite movies and how they address feminist issues and fit into an activist framework.  Or perhaps some bloggers will choose to write about feminist movies specifically.  The possibilities are endless!  I'm not even exaggerating: there are thousands of films out there and every single one of them certainly plays into race, class, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity in some way or another.

     One of my favorite films is the 1993 movie "Benny and Joon."  Without spoiling the plot, I can say that it is about a mentally ill young woman (Joon) who lives with her brother (Benny).  Under unusual circumstances, they take in Sam, a young man who changes their lives dramatically.  His Buster Keaton inspired antics are amusing for the audience as well as the characters, and his personality brings out the best in Joon.
     First of all, this film does not pass the Bechdel Test at all.  There are only two major female characters with names, and they hardly ever speak to each other.  Most of the topics of conversation surround Joon or Sam, and their relationship.  It is not a movie that celebrates women, but it also does not degrade them.  I chose it as my "feminist" movie because it realistically addresses mental health and relationships.  I don't want to spoil the plot, but I will say that I highly recommend Benny and Joon for just about anybody-it has comedy, various dynamics of relationships, love of life, and is most of all heartwarming.  Check out this clip from one of the most memorable scenes in the film! (no spoilers, just Johnny Depp being adorably hilarious)

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