In the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked opinion draft that would end Roe v. Wade, I want to repeat some things shared in the April 15 article. Please get involved – this is especially true for men reading this. I’ve done a good deal of organizing in activist spaces, and men showing up to do the work is not terribly common. We need to be involved, show up as allies, and consistently do the nitty-gritty work that helps everyone fight this.
Time and again, I’ve seen fellow men show up, realize they’re not going to be gifted a leadership position, and then fade away until it’s mostly women working to protect people. We have this mythology of ourselves as men that we show up to do work and protect others, but I’ve seen little evidence of that. From what I’ve seen, we tend to show up to be congratulated for showing up. We tend to armchair quarterback the people actually putting in the work, and pretend that doing that is somehow work. That’s some bullshit. We need to do far more than that.
We’re supposed to be allies. That means contacting elected officials, putting our weight into politically pressuring them. That means volunteering, marching, donating, and doing the routine, daily jobs that come up in the course of activist efforts regardless of whether they’re tough or thankless. We’re not here to be thanked. We’re here to give help. So give it.
Knowing what we’re up against is crucial – Washington Post has a good resource for the types of state bills that have been passed and introduced, including trigger bans that would go into effect the minute Roe v. Wade is overturned. It explains each type of bill in turn, and shows which phases each state is at.
Securing the right to an abortion is crucial in states that support the right to choose. This is being done at the state level in many states, either through law or, even more firmly, through amendment to the state constitution.
For instance, the Connecticut General Assembly has recently approved a bill that protects providers of care and patients seeking care in Connecticut, regardless of which state the patient comes from. It would ensure that information cannot be turned over to another state, and CT Governor Ned Lamont has vowed to sign it into law. The right to an abortion must not only be protected by law, but we need to make sure those laws protect people providing and seeking such medical care.
Right now, Republicans hide behind the perception that this is an issue for only half the population. They’ve bet that men aren’t going to show up to fight it, and when we don’t show up, their strategy proves out. We’re not needed to save the day, but we are needed to support those who are already leading. We’re needed to make abortion rights leaders’ jobs easier, we’re needed so that our numbers add enough to overwhelm what Republicans anticipated.
Our job isn’t to assess whether others are resisting appropriately; our job is to ensure the way they’ve chosen to resist has our numbers and support behind it. Allies do work for those they’re allied to, and this is a time we’re needed to do that work. As men, we need to join and support the fight for choice and the right to an abortion.
This week, new series by women come from Canada, Nigeria, the U.K., and the U.S. New films by women come from Argentina, Finland, France, and the U.S.
The Staircase (HBO Max)
co-showrunner Maggie Cohn
Based on the real incident, Michael Peterson is a crime novelist whose wife was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. The ensuing judicial battle lasted 16 years. Toni Collette, Colin Firth, Sophie Turner, and Parker Posey star in the biographical crime drama.
Maggie Cohn showruns with Antonio Campos. She brings experience as a producer on “American Crime Story”.
You can watch “The Staircase” on HBO Max. The first three episodes are available immediately, with a new one dropping every Thursday for a total of 8.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
mostly directed by women
The newest “Star Trek” follows Captain Kirk’s direct predecessors on the Enterprise. Returning from well-loved roles in the 2019 season of “Star Trek: Discovery”, Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn, and Ethan Peck play Captain Pike, Commander Chin-Riley, and a young Lt. Spock. Other original series favorites return, such as Nyota Uhura and Christine Chapel.
Though Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman serve as showrunners, six of the 10 episodes look to be directed by women. This includes Amanda Row (“Nancy Drew”), Andi Armaganian (“Smallville”), Sydney Freeland (“Reservation Dogs”), Leslie Hope (“Snowpiercer”), Maja Vrvilo (“Star Trek: Discovery), and Valerie Weiss (“Outer Banks”).
You can watch “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” on Paramount+. New episodes drop every Thursday for a total of 10. Filming on a second season already started in January.
Ridley Road (PBS)
directed by Lisa Mulcahy
Based on the book by Jo Bloom, “Ridley Road” sees a Jewish woman go undercover within the 1960s British neo-Nazi movement.
Lisa Mulcahy directs off the teleplay by creator Sarah Solemani. She previously directed on British series “Years and Years” and “Blood”.
You can watch “Ridley Road” on PBS. New episodes arrive Sundays, for a total of 4.
The Porter (BET+)
showrunner Marsha Greene
The story of the first Black union is told through the eyes of those who formed it – porters working the railways that cross the U.S. and Canada.
Showrunner Marsha Greene previously produced on “Mary Kills People” and “Coroner”.
You can watch “The Porter” on BET+. All 8 episodes are available immediately.
CW: domestic violence
Blood Sisters (Netflix)
directed by Temidayo Makanjuola
Sarah gets engaged, but her upcoming nuptials hide a secret involving her friend Kemi.
This is the first project recorded for Temidayo Makanjuola, but IMDB can often be incomplete when it comes to Nigerian projects.
You can watch “Blood Sisters” on Neftlix. All 4 episodes are available immediately.
Signora Volpe (Acorn TV)
showrunners Rachel Cuperman, Sally Griffiths
Sylvia becomes disillusioned with her life of spycraft. On a trip to Italy for her niece’s wedding, things go wrong and she puts her skills to use. Perhaps she’ll start a new life as a detective in the Italian countryside.
Showrunners Rachel Cuperman and Sally Griffiths both wrote for “Midsomer Murders”.
You can watch “Signora Volpe” on Acorn TV. New episodes drop every Monday for a total of 3.
Language Lessons (HBO Max)
directed by Natalie Morales
Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass star as a Spanish teacher and an adult student who become friends.
Director and co-writer Morales also helmed last year’s “Plan B”. She’s best known for roles in “Dead to Me” and “Santa Clarita Diet”.
Inbetween Girl (VOD)
directed by Mei Makino
After her parents divorce, a teenage artist copes by secretly hooking up with the popular boy at school.
This is the first feature from writer-director Mei Makino.
See where to rent “Inbetween Girl”.
Anais in Love (VOD)
directed by Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet
In this French film, Anais is broke and disinterested in her relationship. She falls for a new man, but he leads her to fall for the woman he’s seeing, Emilie.
This is the first feature from writer-director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet.
directed by Hanna Bergholm
In this Finnish horror film, a gymnast finds a strange egg. She hides it from her demanding mother and keeps it safe, waiting for the day it hatches.
This is director Hanna Bergholm’s first feature.
You can watch “Hatching” on Hulu.
Along for the Ride (Netflix)
directed by Sofia Alvarez
Based on the novel by Sarah Dessen, two insomniacs explore their town at night before one heads to college.
Writer-director Sofia Alvarez helms her first film after writing the “To all the Boys” movies.
You can watch “Along for the Ride” on Netflix.
La afinadora de arboles (HBO Max)
directed by Natalia Smirnoff
In this Argentinian film, Clara and her family move to the countryside for a slower pace of life after she wins a world prize for children’s literature. Can’t find an English trailer for this, but there are subtitles for the film.
Director Natalia Smirnoff started out as an assistant director and casting director, including becoming Lucrecia Martel’s go-to casting director. Smirnoff started writing and directing features in 2010.
You can watch “La afinadora de arboles” on HBO Max.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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