Category Archives: dance

Feminist Princess Picture Books for the Kids in Your Life

feminist princess books (1) (1)

These are some great princess books for kids– I’ve got six godchildren and would much rather give them books than compete with the grandparent toy-a-thon. Check these out and see if they’re what you’re looking for in your next kid gift!

The Paper Bag Princess
(read time 5 minutes, perfect for ages 2-92)

Check it out here! The Paper Bag Princess (Munsch for Kids)

paper bag princess

A childhood favorite of mine– I still have my book and doll! 🙂

Princesses can be more than just beautiful clothes in a beautiful castle– they can chase down powerful dragons that kidnap their lovers. Princess Elizabeth, in just her paper bag dress, confronts the terrifying dragon that burned down her kingdom and uses her smarts to trick him. She cons the dragon into showing off until he is so exhausted he has to sleep. She bravely rescues her future husband only to have him insult her appearance.  He says she doesn’t look like a princess. They don’t get married, and the smart, brave paper bag princess dances into the sunset.

The Princess and the Pizza
(read time 11 minutes, perfect for ages 6+)

Check it out here! The Princess and the Pizza

princess and the pizza

Former princess Paulina really misses the perks of being a princess now that she’s just a regular townsperson. She finds out that a nearby queen is looking for a “true princess” to marry her son. Paulina puts on her best ball gown, and tucks some lucky garlic and herbs into her bodice. Then she puts her tiara on her head and heads out to regain her old benefits.

There is lots of competition to marry the prince, and the grumpy queen has tests for the princesses! Paulina’s final test is to make a feast for the queen, but she didn’t get as many ingredients as the other princesses. Back in her room all of her attempts to cook fail, so she gives up and takes a nap. Paulina wakes up to the queen saying the losers will be beheaded! She quickly adds her lucky garlic and herbs to her flat-dough “mess” that she had covered in tomatoes and cheese and pushes it into her bedroom fireplace. When the feasts are presented, Paulina’s is the favorite! After it is named pizza, she runs away from the castle (and marriage) to go home and open a pizza shop that everyone in the town loves.

Part Time Princess “girl by day, princess by night”
(read time 4 minutes, picture viewing time 5 minutes, perfect for ages 4+)

Check it out here! Part-time Princess


Written in our main character’s voice, we find out that she is “just a regular girl” who goes to school. Sometimes she is annoyed by her younger siblings and all of the things she isn’t allowed to do. But each night at midnight she turns into a princess!

She often must be very brave and fight dragon fires. “A real princess can slide down a fire pole in a frilly skirt. No one dreams of telling her it’s too dangerous.” After putting out the latest fire, she decides not to lock up the dragon, and to invite him to tea instead. This was very smart, because the dragon just needed some cheering up. She also attends very fun classes, eats pink cake, plays in the mud, and takes a bubble bath with a dolphin.

A visiting queen (her mother) helps her pick out the best ball gown, and then a bunch of trolls crash the ball! Thanks to her classes, she knows that trolls love to dance, and saves the day. She also meets a handsome prince: “maybe I’ll marry him when I grow up. But right now I’m too busy.” At the end of her long day as a princess she goes home to bed, to return to being a girl by day.

book heart crankyfatfeminist

I love that all of these stories feature brave, smart girls who walk (or dance!) away from the guys in their stories. He’s rude, he’s boring, or “it’s ME time!” A princess does NOT require a prince.
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[cranky] the boy’s club that is my job

I’ve worked in the theatre production business since before I could legally be paid to be there. I started in community theatre, worked on every middle and high school production I could get my hands on, and created my own major in college to continue this work. Primarily, I’m a theatre electrician and lighting designer. Occasionally I work as a production manager, and previously as a stage manager. Since it’s been over ten years I can do a little bit of everything, and I’ve even taught professional development classes for middle and high school teachers. I’ve done lighting design for local professional dance companies, symphonies, musicals, and graduations, as well as college musicals. Six years ago the minimum I was ever paid was $15 an hour. Right now I’m thrilled to get any gig working for less pay.

There is an international theatre union, IATSE (declining to share my local’s number and rat myself out…). While I live in a right to work state, we follow most union rules and are all treated the same. Except that I’ve discovered that the “girls get less work calls” rumor is actually the truth. Guys with years less experience than me are getting more work offers than I am. Guys with a much smaller knowledge base are getting more work than I am. Therefore, they do make more money than me.

one asshole is enough

Recently I found out that there was a huge work call at my local arena for a famous rapper on tour. A friend of mine that I helped get into my city’s theatres was asked to do the show, so he dropped a previous commitment I helped him get so he could go do the union-run concert with “his boys” (his words). So not only was I embarrassed, I found out that the union preference is having a penis over having the most experience or hardest work ethic. What other evenings am I at home, bored, ready and eager to work, and not getting a call because I have a vagina and can’t grow a caveman beard?

And written months later… 

In about a month my boss man at the theatre (not the aforementioned arena) will begin texting me, looking to schedule my currently freelance self for work. I will almost certainly be in the top dozen people getting the first offers. I do appreciate that my boss appreciates me and knows how knowledgeable I am in my one sliver of the world. My boss knows how miserably unhappy I am with him and his lame employees. (and his boss knows too) The end of the season promise to “do better” “communicate more” “look into it” and do better to “respect me” is likely 95% bullshit. Optimists might say only 80% bullshit, but those are only the ones that haven’t met him.

you can fuck off

Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Why fix inefficiency if it will still always all work out? Because it makes you someone WE can rely on, right? Well, if you’re in the top half dozen of his favorites, you’re a guy. And in this field guys work better in an all-guy environment. No deodorant, very few shirts, often beer drinking while working, and copious sexist, racist, rape-culture jokes. When girls are around — and all it takes is one — the party’s over. Beer away, Mary Jane away, shirts on. Jokes forbidden. Telling raunchy sexist jokes will get you in trouble — to the tune of “don’t come back for two weeks” or in extreme cases he might drop from dozen A to dozen B, or dozen B to dozen C, and receive about 20% less work in that venue. A girl complains without solid proof and a super credible witness, and she loses about 50% of her work there.

smash the patriarchy

Thank you, back ass southern right to work state.

YENKO NKOAA, by Eduwoji


This is my absolute favorite song from studying abroad in Ghana. I spent the month of April 2011 doing dance research in a small village near where this was filmed, Klikor-Agbozume. (You have to drive through Sogakope where this was filmed to get to Agbozume.) I spent the evenings of my research time drinking Star, a local beer, and dancing in the village “spot” (bar) whenever we had electricity for music. Yenko Nkoaa was on every night that we had electricity, usually several times during the night. I always wore handmade bright new dresses with African prints to go dancing with my translator, and never once wore a bra– just like every other woman in the village. Klikor will always remain in my heart, and shape the way that I feel about my body.