Tag Archives: Rita Moreno

Bringing Back Wonder Woman

Editor’s Note: Sometimes, it’s a good thing to give people room to express their own pop-culture crushes. So, I’m going to give the floor this Friday to guest contributor Crunkista, who has a postful of love for the iconic Wonder Woman. –AP

By Guest Contributor Crunkista, cross-posted from Crunk Feminist Collective

Dear privileged Hollywood women,

As lovely as Aphrodite, As wise as Athena, with the speed of Mercury, and the strength of Hercules...she is only known as Wonder Woman.

As lovely as Aphrodite, As wise as Athena, with the speed of Mercury, and the strength of Hercules…she is only known as Wonder Woman.

We need you. It’s time. You can no longer remain silent. You must act. You must step up. White men alone cannot decide the fate of the Wonder Woman movie.

As I write this, I understand the sad truth that many people (ie too many of our young) today do not know Wonder Woman: her power, strength, ideals or her significance to women’s empowerment and history. So, strap up. I’m about to blow you away with some knowledge.

In 1941, a psychologist named William Moulton Marston began writing comic books under a pseudonym.  Marston, a respected Harvard-trained lawyer and Ph.D. was one of the few men of his era that believed in the untapped potential of comic books to teach children right from wrong and elicit positive change. He asked, “If children will read comics, why isn’t it advisable to give them some constructive comics to read?”[i] Marston, known as a flamboyant opportunist/marketing guru, also had very controversial beliefs about human psychology and was utterly obsessed with the ability to determine when a subject was not telling the truth. He was convinced that one could test for deception by studying subject’s physiological reactions (primarily changes in blood pressure) and is credited with the invention of one of the first lie detector tests.

Along with this obsession for the truth, Marston loved Greek mythology and believed in women’s overall higher moral compass. He alleged that women were innately “less susceptible than men to the negative traits of aggression and acquisitiveness, and could come to control the comparatively unruly male sex by alluring them.”[ii] This controversial ‘girls run the world’ prediction was very much ahead of his time. In a 1937 interview with The New York Times he claimed –

“The next one hundred years will see the beginning of an American matriarchy–a nation of Amazons in the psychological rather than physical sense,” adding that, “women would take over the rule of the country, politically and economically.”[iii]

Marston, a complicated man, was very much interested in bondage and the relationship between dominance and submission. He believed that the fairer sex would basically be able to control men through sexual governance. In his wildly sexist and heterosexist worldview, the world would be a better place if women ran it — mostly through the use of their sexuality of course. Sexually satisfied men would then happily submit to women’s power and we would all live in peace. (Side note: I don’t really hang with many white men, but this one definitely would have been invited to some of my parties. Did I mention he was poly? In 1941?)

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Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Rita Moreno

By Andrea Plaid

Rita Moreno. Via Palm Springs Life.

Rita Moreno was the first drag king I ever saw.

In her role at Otto, the screaming, sadistic film director, on the Electric Company, Moreno taught Generation Xers how to read and, more subtly, how over-the-top masculinity can be. (**TRIGGER WARNING**)

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By The Numbers: On Demián Bichir’s Oscar Nomination For A Better Life

By Arturo R. García

With apologies to fans of Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, et al., by far the most pleasant surprise of this week’s Academy Awards nominee announcements was seeing Demián Bichir get nominated for Best Actor–alongside “conventional” choices like George Clooney and Brad Pitt–for his role as an undocumented single father in A Better Life. 

As Colorlines noted, Bichir’s nomination was one of several nods for Latinos in this year’s Oscar race: cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, also from Mexico, was nominated for Best Cinematography for Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life; Bérénice Bejo, a native of Argentina, earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her turn in the The Artist; Brazilian Sérgio Mendes was nominated for Best Song for “Real in Rio,” his collaboration with Siedah Garrett, of “Man In The Mirror” fame, from the animated film Rio.

But a look at some relevant figures further illustrates how painfully rare Bichir’s accomplishment is.

2: The number of Mexican-born nominees for Best Actor, with Bichir joining Anthony Quinn, who was nominated on two separate occasions, for Wild Is The Wind (1957) and Zorba The Greek (1964).

2: The number of white actors nominated for this category for playing Latino characters (Marlon Brando, 1952, Viva Zapata! and Spencer Tracy, 1958, The Old Man and the Sea).

47: The number of years between Quinn’s nomination for Zorba and Bichir’s nomination.

61: The number of years since a Latino actor born outside of Mexico and the United States was nominated for Best Actor; José Ferrer (born in Puerto Rico in 1912, before it became a U.S. territory) earned the honor in 1950 for Cyrano De Bergerac.

1: The number of:

  • Latino actors (going into this year’s ceremony) to win Best Actor, with Ferrer taking the Oscar home.
  • Latino actors born in the U.S. to be nominated for the category (Edward James Olmos, 1988, Stand and Deliver.)
  • Latinas in Oscars history to win the Best Actress award (Rita Moreno, 1961, West Side Story.)
  • Mexican-born actresses ever nominated in that category (Salma Hayek, 2002, Frida.)

0: The number of Latina actresses born in the U.S. to be nominated for Best Actress.

$1,759,252: Total domestic gross for A Better Life, per Box Office Mojo.

$75,524,658: Total domestic gross (as of Jan. 24) for Moneyball, starring Bichir’s fellow nominee Brad Pitt.

11,000,000: The total number of undocumented workers in the United States, as quoted by Bichir in a statement to US Weekly, as he dedicated his nomination to them.

6,650,000: Estimated number of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the U.S. as of 2009, according to the Department of Homeland Security (PDF).

25-to-1:  Current odds of Bechir winning the Oscar, according to Vegas Insider.