Sara Paretsky’s Blog

And the answers
February 21, 2009, 12:22 am
Filed under: reading

1 & 2: Loveleen Tandan is listed as co-director for Slumdog Millionaire, but her name was not mentioned once in these reviews.  Whether it should be is a minor controversy in the movie review world; the producer said the decision to include her name was made over a drink, which somehow implies that she is so negligible that she shouldn’t have been a co-director.

3.  Anne Bancroft was 6 years older than Hoffman–31  and 37 when The Graduate was filmed.  Hoffman was 22 years older than Thompson; 71 and 49 for Harvey.  Roberts was 36 when Mona Lisa Smile was filmed.

4.  Ella Baker helped found SNCC; Fammie Lou Hamer the Mississippi Freedom Party; Dorothy Height headed the National Council of Negro Women; Doris Nash the Nashville-Jackson Freedom Ride.  Baker started the SNCC when the SCLC refused to hire her as the full-time director because of her sex.  Nash got the Freedom Rides underway despite opposition from white mobs, the White House (JFK and RFK), and black male leadership in the Civil Rights Movement.  John Lewis, now a senior congressman from Georgia (not the UMW leader) was one of the courageous freedom riders.

5.  No women were permitted to speak at the  1963 Lincoln Memorial gathering, despite the urging of many women within the movement

6.  I hate Hottie, chick and babe as terms for any woman, and I don’t know of any comparably degrading terms for men.

7.  75 percent

8. 62 percent

9.  Rogers headed North Shore Gas, People’s Gas, and the Illinois State Lottery

10.  Concerned Women for America picked “a” as their lobbying slogan (a.  Women need to have more babies to pay for the stimulus package down the road)

The National Right to Life Committee frequently uses the language of c (Women who decide when and whether to get pregnant are “playing God” with their bodies and need men in government or religion to tell them “how to live their lives right.” )

b (Babies require women to spend more money on health care and diapers which will further stimulate the economy) is something I threw in–it makes as little sense as Concerned Women for America or the National Right to Life Committee’s views on women and pregnancy.

11.  I don’t know the answer to this.  It seems to me that almost every movie relegates women to these roles–look at The Wrestler, to name the most recent.


5 Comments so far
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I knew I´d better wait for the answers. I really couldn´t answer many of these without a lot of work (and I just didn´t have the time this week).
Great idea, however.

Comment by Dorte H

I have been very upset by the lack of mentions of prominent black women in all the talk about the Civil Rights Movement brought on by Barack Obama’s campaign and win. No matter what women do, or how outstanding they are, or how popular they are at a given point in time – when history is written, even if it’s only 30-50 years later – they’re all gone.

Comment by ab

Genderism seems so deeply ingrained in America that most people, including most women, refuse to even acknowledge or recognize it. Perhaps the economic meltdown will put enough men out of work and at the mercy of their wives’ paycheck that they will finally notice the inequity in pay. My grand-daughter signed up for Teeball and was “counted” as 6 months younger than she actually is because they assume her skill level is that much lower than boys the same age. We’re talking 5-6 yr olds! I won’t even mention my theory that some people voted for Obama in primaries because they’d rather have even a black man than any-color woman! I doubt we’ll see the day Sissy Farenthold called “the day women achieve real equality” any time soon. Gee, is this a hot topic for me? 😉

Comment by Cat

The March 1 NY Times had a story on the gender gap in American wages. (
In only two occupations do women’s earnings actually exceed men’s: special ed teachers and postal supervisors. In all other fields, including regular teachers, the gap ranged from 5-10 percent to 40 percent–with gaps greater at top earning jobs. Women CEO’s make on average 60 percent of men CEO’s. Go figure.

Comment by Sara Paretsky

There seems to be one other field where women actually earn more – porn movies, according to what I have read. Sad, but it shows it’s not physically impossible to give women higher salaries.

They pay less because they can. We have to ask for more money. Maybe you have seen the documentaries with hidden cameras, where a woman and a man separately visit an employer and a car shop, with identical resumes and cars broken down in identical fashion. In the car shop the women had to pay more, and when they were looking for a job she was offered less. So it starts right away.

Comment by ab

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