Take up Thor’s hammer, knit a uterus and embrace your early 40s, everyone, because we’re about to dive into another month of the Lydia Lexicon.
First, let’s marvel at Marvel.
Late this month, the comic book publisher made a huge announcement in favor of feminists and female supers everywhere. It took to The View to unveil the new Thor in its Avengers Now! Series — surprise! A woman has now taken up the hammer. “The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” said Marvel editor Wil Moss. “This new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute. She’s now the one and only Thor.”
Later it also announced on The Colbert Report that Sam Wilson, formerly known as Falcon, will be the first African-American Captain America after picking up the star-and-stripes shield when Steve Rogers loses his powers. Clearly, the publisher is on the right track toward a more diverse pantheon of lead characters. Let’s just hope that the movies follow suit, because we’d love to see Scarlett Johansson get a badass female partner.
Of course, ScarJo kicks ass on her own just fine…
…As proven by the box office success of her film Lucy, which was released on July 25 and made more money than macho-action flick Hercules starring Dwayne “No longer using ‘The Rock’ as an alias’ Johnson. The $44 million it brought in is just another score for women in a year when Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent is poised to beat out X-Men: Days of Future Past and even the female-led comedy Tammy is prepping for a big run. Maybe 2014 will be the year for women in movies — and that’s not even thinking about the November release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
Speaking of Jennifer Lawrence
Or, you know, just alluding to her, anyway — J-Law topped Forbes’ list of the most influential actresses. Another powerhouse woman who doubles as a role-model-slash-spirit-animal topped the magazine’s more broad (get it? “broad?”) list of “Most Powerful Celebrities:” Beyonce. At last, journalistic proof that the world is drunk in love with her.
To The Left, To The Left, Your Age Discrimination in a Box to the Left
I couldn’t resist another Beyonce reference, even though this next story borders on the line between good and bad and has nothing to do with the singer-slash-goddess. Instead, it involves Sofia Vergara, the 42-year-old actress who’s made a name for herself as a lead in Modern Family and spokeswoman for Pepsi and Covergirl. Esquire writer Tom Junod wrote an article about how shocked he was that a 42-year-old woman, Vergara, could be sexually attractive. In response, author and columnist for The Hairpin Sarah Miller wrote an editorial calling him out for his ageism and, by extension, sexism. Note that Junod is 55 years old. Hmm, sexy.
You know what is sexy? Not Hobby Lobby.
More specifically, not the Supreme Court’s decision that Hobby Lobby can, on the grounds of religious belief, refuse to cover a female employee’s contraception through insurance. As a result, several quiet but clever protests have erupted, including people rearranging crafting letters into pro-choice messages, porn actors describing how to “create your own” contraception out of Hobby Lobby products and yarn-armed objectors mailing knitted and crocheted uteruses to the craft store’s headquarters.
For those less crafty: Never fear, the Internet is here. A spoof called “The Supreme Court: No Girls Allowed” attacks SCOTUS for its male-centric views and exclusion of female justices (three out of nine? Really?). The Satanic Temple, which describes themselves as encouragers of benevolence and empathy free of religious constraint, launched a campaign for followers to claim exemption from state-mandated pro-life materials, and other groups, such as branches of Judaism that declare a mother’s welfare comes before that of her unborn child, could follow suit.
What other feminist news did you notice this month that we should have covered? Leave us a message in the comments, and check back next month for another installment of the Lydia Lexicon.
Kate Everson is a Chicago journalist and University of Missouri alumna. By day she is an associate editor for four HR industry magazines. By night, she reviews films, outlines fiction novels with tough female leads and dreams of being the first person to win two Oscars in the same night for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. When her fingers aren’t getting exercise bouncing across her keyboard, she’s reading Palahniuk and Vonnegut, practicing her Batgirl skills in the dojo or waiting by the mailbox for her Hogwarts letter. As Katharine Hepburn said: “Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.”