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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Elizabeth Bennet has a good head on her shoulders, is witty, and intelligent. She wants to marry for love – not money. You would think that all of these characteristics would be admired, but this is 19th-Century England.

Lizzie’s mother is dead-set on marrying off all five of her daughters, who are all of marrying age (which, apparently is 15 and up). When two very eligible, not to mention handsome, bachelors move in nearby, Mrs. Bennet flies into action and tries to throw her daughters into their path.

Can Lizzie marry for love? Will she have to play the obedient daughter and marry for money? Will her mother PLEASE stop embarrassing her??


The Long Way Home (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1) by Joss Whedon

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Where would we be without Buffy? The people at Sunnydale have no idea how many times she has saved the world from the apocalypse. She has saved an uncaring or unnoticing public from scores of vampires bent on taking over the world, demons, fembots gone bad, ancient curses, her future boyfriend(s)….you name it.

The final season (Season 7) of the popular TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was completed in 2003, but thanks to the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, the story continues in comic book format. Buffy and her friends, Willow the witch, one-eyed Xander, Giles the book-worm watcher, and the others go on to battle all of the “big bads” still left in the world.  Everone’s favorite witty banter, impossible love triangles and dusting vamps are all there starting with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1.

Dark Horse Comics has some really great features that you can check out here.

Spirited Away

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Chihiro gets trapped in a world she is unfamiliar with and her parents have been turned into pigs.

What follows is a story of how Chihiro learns to survive in her new surroundings – a place filled with creatures she has never encountered including a smelly sludge-monster, a towering baby and boy that transforms into a white dragon.  If she cannot learn to rely on herself, she may never rescue her parents and escape from this bizarre land where gods and spirits exist among the living.

Hayao Miyazaki (Director and Writer) knows how to do strong female characters. His girls are warriors and survivors, and he doesn’t fail to deliver in Spirited Away.

*A special thanks to the wonderful internet for this:

Robyn – Music Industry Rebel

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Music video by Robyn performing Cobrastyle. (C) 2008 Konichiwa Records

There are grave injustices in this world.  One of those is Robyn’s lack of superstar status in America.  She’s huge in Sweden, and I don’t mean that in a David-Hasselhoff-is-huge-in-Germany sort of way. Just last year she won four awards at the Swedish Grammys.  She was also nominated for Best Dance Recording in the 2011 US Grammys alongside Lady Gaga and Rihanna. She’s so awesome, she ditched the big labels (Jive Records, being the last) and started her own (Konichiwa Records) in 2005 because she didn’t want to compromise her creativity.

Music video by Robyn performing Handle Me. (C) 2007 Konichiwa Records

Robyn hit big in Europe with her first self-titled album from her label, Robyn. Now the singer/song writer/performer/record label owner Robyn is enjoying notoriety and success globally with her second full-length album, Body Talk.

Music video by Robyn performing Hang With Me. (C) 2010 Konichiwa Records

The Bechdel Test

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From feministfrequency.

Are the movies you are watching representing well-rounded female characters?

The Bechdel Test is a way to determine whether there is an active female presence in a film. There are three things a movie must have to pass the test:

1. At least two female characters who;

2. Interact with each other and;

3. Don’t just talk about men!

You would think it wouldn’t be so hard to find, but as evidenced in the video above from Femininst Frequency, it is!

If you think you have a good feel for what movies pass the Bechdel Test, try this:  think of 3 movies that you think will pass the test, and check out this movie list to see how many you get right. Sadly, it’s harder than it seems!  I only got two out of my 3 guesses right – Just One of the Guys (I had to dig back into my trove of 80s movies) and Easy A (which is, according to the website, up for debate!).

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carsen Levine

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Why can’t Ella just be normal like everyone else? Instead, she is stuck with this annoying childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her. Anything!  If she is told to hop on one foot, she hops. Let’s not even start with the work her awful step-mother and step-sisters make her do. Most people would just sit back and let life take them where they are going, but not Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.”

Ella must travel through her kingdom in her quest to find Lucinda, the fairy who inadvertently gave her the “gift” of obedience at birth, and rid herself of the curse. She’ll meet man-eating ogres and book-smart fairies, and maybe even fall in love with a prince, but none of it will be worth it until she can rid herself of this curse and become the person she really is.

The Hairpin

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The Hairpin is a website aimed towards intelligent females (males can join in, too!) that covers a variety of topics – basically anything including dating, television, books or even discussions about the hunt for the perfect natural deodorant. There’s a great feature called “Reading Between the Lines” where two of the writers dissect seemingly innocent texts. The Hairpin also encourages original content from their readers, so it serves as a great tool for girls and women to get their work out there and in front of an audience.