Mindy Kaling on Refusing to be an Outsider & Sexism

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is part of a small group of female comedians, writers and actresses who have created and now run their own TV shows. Kaling also stars in her show, The Mindy Project, as Mindy Lahiri, whom she describes as “delusionally confident” and “unapologetically selfish.”

And how do others describe Kaling? The word “pioneer” comes up a lot.

“I often forget that … being Indian, an Indian-American woman who is not, sort of, pencil thin — that that is very new to broadcast television,” Kaling tells NPR’s Rachel Martin.

Kaling and Martin discuss the challenges of being seen as a pioneer and the sexism Kaling has encountered on the job.


Interview Highlights

On her Mindy Project character

People, you know, had trouble with the character. She’s not immediately likeable. She does and says a lot of things that you don’t see in, forget female characters, any characters. Like, she says things like, “I’m going to hell because I don’t really care about the environment and I love to gossip.” She thinks Rick Santorum is handsome. Like, she has lots of all-over-the-map opinions and feelings that the writers dream up, but it makes her really original and fun. …

I don’t think anyone wants to grow up to be Mindy Lahiri, the same way no one wants to grow up to be Michael Scott [Steve Carell's character on The Office]. But that’s OK. … My dream of course, as a writer and a person who’s an entertainer, is: Grow up to be Mindy Kaling, don’t grow up to be Mindy Lahiri.

On being a role model

I embrace it. I think I’ve always wanted to be a role model, and I think … everyone should try to live their life like they’d like to be a role model. I think it’s like the thing keeping me out of jail. … It’s good for me mentally, selfishly, and it’s also nice to try to do that for, especially, younger women. I mean, it’s scary as hell. … I worry about it, but I think it’s a good thing to try to do.

Of course, everyone wants to be mythologized in a great way. I’d rather be like Odysseus than someone who was handed everything. And I, besides my parents and a handful of people, I don’t know anyone that worked harder. … I work so hard and so many hours, and I’ve done that for years and years and years. You know, I write a little bit about what it’s like to be a female boss in my book and the things I’ve noticed about that, but by and large, it’s just a tough job in general.

On the sexism she’s encountered on the job

Years from now, when I have time to sit and reflect on the different situations that I face every day, I’ll be able to speak more succinctly about the challenges as a woman. Yeah, there’s obviously instances where I perceive sexism in my job. … I think that the sort of sexism that I see has been one that’s a little bit like a gentler form of sexism, but still a little bit debilitating, which is that when, as a producer and a writer, whether it was at The Office or [at The Mindy Project], if I make a decision, it’ll still seem like it’s up for debate. And I notice that a little bit atThe Office, with, like, an actor: If I decided there’d be a certain way in the script, it would still seem open-ended, whereas … if I was a man I would not have seen that. [At The Mindy Project,] I feel that … less and less as I’ve sort of matured into the role more. The one thing I sort of, because of that, have felt [is] that when I made a decision I sort of would have to leave the room so that it was final and there was like no discussion would come after that.

On being referred to as a pioneer

I know why people are interested and I know why people want me to speak about it. But I sort of refuse to be an outsider, even though I know that I very much look like one to a lot of people, and I refuse to view myself in such terms.

On the challenge of talking about her otherness while also doing her job

I was on Twitter recently and a critic, who’s been very critical of me and of the show, was talking about a round table that three South Asian women had done where they kind of criticized and dissected the show, and said, “Why doesn’t Mindy respond to this?” …

I’m an actor and a writer and a showrunner and I edit my show. … I have a job that three people usually have, and I have it in one person. And the idea that the critic thought that I had this excess of time for which I could go to, like, panels or write essays was just so laughable to me.

And I think as women, you know, if you are considered a pioneer in these things, you can get really distracted by these other things — you know, people’s demands of you reflecting on your otherness. And for this white critic to say, “I don’t understand why she doesn’t do that” — and you’re like, “It’s because I’m running a show on a major network and I want the show to continue” — and to sort of guilt me. … I’m an A student. I’m addicted to feedback, and I want to please people. That’s sort of how I’ve gotten to where I am. And I think that it’s insidious to be spending more of your time reflecting and talking about panels, and talking more and more in smart ways about your otherness, rather than doing the hard work of your job.

Source: NPR.org

Tagged , , , , , , ,

We Mean Rise: Women Ahead For A Better Future

#Wemeanrise derived from the word womenrise (expansion of women) is a relay that was born November 10, 2014, following the meeting on the role of women in conflict resolution, held November 5, 2014 by the Elders , a independent coalition of influential world leaders who have decided to combine their efforts and experience to build a more harmonious, more just and more peaceful

The debate had gathered activists and peace activists in the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and online to discuss the effective contribution of women in conflict resolution. The assumption had been postulated as follows:

It is unthinkable to have a lasting peace without the full participation of women

This is about how to better expand the work of women in peace building in the world to answer this question, Mary Robinson has URGES those involved to establish contact between women and the competent authorities and associate their actions at all levels of the peace process Jimmy Carter , for his part, has stated that a good woman, eloquent and sincere, alone can influence an entire audience

Somali activist Asha Haji Elmi has highlighted the central role played by peace activists in risky way of representing the voice of the silent majority, mostly women and children, “with all the dangers that entails.

The fact that she concluded saying “I am ready to die for peace has left the room” Stunned “.

At Asha, I answer as follows:

We need you, your family and your loved ones need you, so do not die for peace, live peace! Do not take as many risks, life is precious and full of learning. Bring your experience on the table!

wemeanrise-we-mean-rise-twitter-list-member-trademark-art-designs

We Mean Rise aims to highlight the leadership, expertise, vision and action of women around the world. To this end I invite all women activists and non-profit organizations to join the relay to combine all our experiences and voices for a better future in the world. We are still at the beginning. I have created two lists: oneWomeanrise one that brings together women activists around the world and Wemeanrise 2where organizations working for the promotion of women find themselves. You or your organization can be included by simply sending me a tweet by subscribing to one or the other list
You can suportez us or write us on fa@trademarkart.org

It was a rich debate ideas involving Mary Robinson, Hina Jilani, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Manal Omar, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini including You Can watch the debate video here

Source: trademark.org

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

SHE Interviews Rah Digga – Her beginning & future in Hip Hop

Rah Digga

Rah Digga is an inspiring woman to say the least. I was truly honored to speak with her and to hear first-hand what her journey in Hip Hop has been like. Most of the time we hear the ‘now’, not understanding the path that has led people to where they are today. I was excited, and little nervous talking to a legend, so I figured we would get right into the interview.

What some people don’t know is Rah Digga came into the music industry through Q-Tip. I asked how she got this opportunity, and how long had she been rapping prior to that encounter. She explained that Q-Tip was remixing the Outsiders single and she happened to be in the studio. At the time, Digga was pregnant, but was still grinding and trying to land a record deal before her due date. She rapped for Q-Tip, and as they say ‘the rest was history’; he immediately signed her. Amazed at her motivation, I asked Rah Digga if she was nervous talking to Q-Tip. She said since she knew her baby was coming any day, and she wasn’t going to stop until she got signed. There were no questions or other options.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Potty-Mouthed Princesses use bad words for a good cause!

Sometimes, you have to try anything you can to get people’s attention. Why not get the future generation to help now?

Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism by FCKH8.com from FCKH8.com on Vimeo.

Tagged

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Mural by: Anat Ronen

Tagged

A woman whose changing the world!

Professor Nazneen Rahman


Geneticist and doctor specialising in cancer gene discovery Professor Nazneen Rahman is head of the Division of Genetics and Epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research and head of the Cancer Genetics Clinical Unit at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Thousands of families throughout the UK are participating in her research, which has been highly successful in identifying genes that cause cancers in women and children. She has used these discoveries to develop gene tests and clinical protocols to provide better treatment and screening options for people at increased risk of cancer, and is currently developing new pathways within the NHS to make gene testing accessible to more patients.

She also provides advice to clinicians from across the world about rare cancer genetic syndromes.

She qualified in medicine from Oxford University in 1991. Rahman sees herself as an “accidental scientist”. As a junior doctor when pregnant with her son, she decided to do a PhD in Molecular Genetics, which she completed in 1999. She completed her Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in Clinical Genetics in 2001.

Source: BBC

The best commercial ever!

RIP Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou
1928-2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

500 Female MC’s you Should Know by Davey D

Below is a list of 500 Female Emcees and the first thing that everyone reading this should know is that the list is not complete. To be honest there’s more than 500 names, much more, but still the list is not complete nor will it ever be. There are too many places and spaces that I have never been nor have the incredible artists like Aisha Fukashima the Raptivist, Mad-lines, Aima the Dreamer, Raw G,Ximbo, Invincible and D’Labrie who over the past year contributed greatly to this list.

female-emcees-psoterlight

The list is not complete even as we have other wonderful lists like; the Illest Female Rappers,Women of Hip HopFemale Rappers TumblirThe Female Rappers Network or more recently Patrick McNease‘s Ultimate Female Emcee List. If we really think about it, we don’t want this or any list to be complete. There will always be more emcees to add as long as this culture call Hip Hop is alive, well and is global. If the list stops growing Hip Hop stops growing..

With that being said, the reason why the list came about in the first place was out of frustration and a realization that many within this industry , in particular my male brethren needed to be enlightened.

Continue reading

MC Lyte Talks About the Lack of Female Rappers in Mainstream

The female voice in Hip Hop has played an important role in the continued success of the culture since its early days.

Groundbreaking artists like Roxanne Shanté, Sha-Rock, Sister Souljah, Queen Latifah, and MC Lyte paved the way for the following generation of femcees like Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Eve, and then eventually Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, and Angel Haze. 

While women in Hip Hop have produced chart topping singles and classic albums over the last three decades, major labels are still not signing the lyrical ladies at the same rate as their male counterparts.

Evidence of this difference is the fact that in 2010 only 3 female rappers were signed to a major label record deal; at one point there were 40. Subsequently, there was not one solo album by a female rapper that broke into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 2013.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,