Coffee Talk – On Feminism & Appropriation

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Welcome to Coffee Talk!  If it's your first time here, this is where I share all sorts of things going on in my life, on the web, and around the world.  Feel free to grab your favorite morning beverage and join in on the conversation.

Barbie & Feminism

International Women's Day was yesterday, and to celebrate, Barbie has released a line of dolls based on inspiring and historic women.  It's called the Role Models collection.

Dolls pictured include: Helene Darroze (world renowned chef), Nicole Adams Obe (champion boxer), Chloe Kim (champion snowboarder), Frida Kahlo (artist), Ibtihaj Muhhamad (champion fencer), Catherine Johnson (NASA mathematician & physicist), & Gabby Douglas (champion gymnast).

I played with Barbie dolls when I was little.  That was back before they came in different sizes and skin tones. Heck, back then it was a big deal to have "Skipper," Barbie's little sister, which was just a slightly shorter and smaller breasted version of Barbie.

So, I love some of the things that Mattel has tried to do with the brand over the last few years, introducing dolls with more than a slightly different skin tone.  The different body and hair types now available make me feel a lot more likely to get my girl a Barbie of her own.  Tho, with these new Role Model dolls, that Barbie is likely to be a Frida, or a Patty Jenkins (who comes with her own camera *squee*).

How to Love Black Panther without Appropriating?

I love comics, science-fiction, fantasy, the works.  I'm the quintessential geek girl. And because of that, I love Black Panther.  It's an amazingly well done story from a great comic. And I want to show how much I love it, but I'm having difficulty figuring out how to do that without feeling that I'm appropriating from other cultures.  Particularly because I try to find ways to have geeky things in my life and wardrobe that don't involve a graphic tee, and the fashion in the movie is largely based on real African cultures.

Example – I love this necklace that Danai Gurira wears in the film, and feel that it would be easy to add something similar to my wardrobe – I can get one on Etsy. But….. it's based on Ndebele Neck Rings. And while there are also other cultures that wear adornments, is it really OK for me to wear them? Seriously – I would love your thoughts.

Lenten Meals

It's Lent, which means on Fridays I don't eat meat. Technically eggs, fish, seafood, snake, and alligator (read animal by-products and cold-blooded creatures) are OK to eat, but the hubs isn't a fan.  That means I have to come up with a meatless meal for dinner every Friday night.

We sometimes do breakfast for dinner – usually some kind of french toast (like this Red Velvet French Toast from Houseful of Nicholes that I'm dying to try.)

(c) Houseful of Nicholes

And we do a lot of meatless pasta – spaghetti marinara, linguini alfredo, and tortellini.  But I'm getting a little tired of the same old thing every week.  Do you have any meatless recipes that you love?

What's Going on With You?

I would love to know what's going on in your life.  Share your thoughts about the above topics, or anything that's on your mind in the comments below.


  1. anna on March 9, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I love tarka dal…red lentils…any time of year. I know the basic green or brown lentil is the red-haired stepchild of legumes for many, but musoor dal is split and peeled so a) less musical in digestion and b) soaks up flavours of whatever you put with it.
    This is my own recipe. The spinach is optional. If you want to add a veggie, go with it. Otherwise, it’s my version of a Dal Tarka.
    Esau’s Red Lentil pottage
    2 hefty tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (half fresh ginger, half fresh garlic, a good glug of quality olive oil, blitz in a food processor, put in a glass jar in the fridge with a tight lid on it.)

    1 medium red onion, chopped
    3 tablespoons oil
    1 heaping teaspoon curry powder (I use MDH Chicken Masala from India)
    1/2 teaspoon spicy paprika, to taste
    1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
    1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
    salt, to taste
    1 (14 ounce) can creamy coconut milk
    1 cup red lentils, rinsed
    2 cups whole canned tomatoes, squished (or chopped tomatoes)
    1 cup broth or water
    1 pound frozen spinach (optional)

    1. Saute the ginger, garlic and onions in the oil until tender. Add spices and stir well.
    2. When fragrant, add coconut cream. Stir in lentils. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
    3. Cook on low heat (you may want to use a heat diffuser to stop it sticking) until lentils are creamy and cooked through.
    Serve over rice. Feed to “an hairy man.”
    The name comes from so many “red” ingredients.

    On another topic:
    I just received the shocking news that my dear online friend Bonnie is dying of metastasised ovarian cancer. It has spread so there’s no hope. She is a believer, but please pray for her husband Vernon. They’ve been together for 51 yrs. We’ve never met but I hurt so bad. I know she’s going Home, but….oh. Oh.

    • Andrea on March 12, 2018 at 10:00 am

      I’ll keep your friend in my prayers.

  2. anna on March 12, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Thank you.

    As for “appropriation”, of course it’s OK for you to wear whatever you feel comfortable and beautiful in. As the old saying has it: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I wear African “grand bou-bou” tunics all summer long. Why? Because our Senegalese friends know what’s comfortable in the heat. That’s why it’s their national dress. So I’m not African. Nu? I know comfortable when I see it.

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