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16th-century Spice Girl


The Queen

Cate Blanchett's Virgin Queen

Most of all, Weir balks at the film's blatant girl-power edge. Indeed, she reveals that Elizabeth played on —not rebelled against— her era's belief that women were inferior, mining her vulnerability and coquettishness to rule the powerful men around her.

"It's a mistake to see Elizabeth from a feminist standpoint," says Weir, who lives outside of London. "She actually used her femininity as a weapon.

"Of course, it wouldn't have been as appealing to show Elizabeth on film describing women as second rate," she continues. "But to do otherwise imposes the values of one century on another century. We have to see her in the context of her own age. In that light, she's all the more remarkable."




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For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a "month of blessing" marked by prayer, fasting, and charity.