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Brave knights. Fair maidens. A damsel in distress. That is sooo 476 AD. At least, we'd like to think it is.

Let's face it: The Middle Ages is one of our favorite periods of history to relive. And what is it often chockfull of? Dudes with swords who kick butt and helpless princesses who need saving.

Out of date, right?


Unfortunately, the truth is that men in the "lead" and women in "supporting roles" is as present now as it's ever been. Many of us are still bafflingly uncomfortable with the idea of a female president, but totally fine with a president who belittles and objectifies women on a near-daily basis!

That presents a special challenge for modern day re-enactments like Medieval Times, an elaborate theme restaurant in the United States and Canada that entertains diners with a live-joust and other medieval performances.

Though its show is set in the Middle Ages, Medieval Times' audience lives in the year 2018. And, lately, the restaurant's owners were getting more and more feedback about their 30-some-year-old performance: It needed more women.

Early this year, Medieval Times decided to make a big change to some of its shows: They would now feature a queen in charge, instead of a king.

Who rules a kingdom? A king, of course!

Well, not so fast.

All photos by Medieval Times used with permission.

Sure, the Middle Ages were the heyday of the patriarchy in a lot of ways, but queens were powerful, too, and played important roles. They were often key strategic advisors to the king behind closed doors. (Catherine de Medici, one of the late queens of France, was known for being particularly conniving and ruthless, for example.)

So, yeah. Queens did more than just sit around and look pretty.

Yet, since Medieval Times first opened its doors in 1983,the company's restaurants typically feature a live scene starring a "king" hosting a jousting tournament for the viewing pleasure of himself and the audience while they down their supper.

Clearly, rewriting this script wouldn't exactly be a stretch of history.

Actress Erin Zapcic prepares for battle.

Fortunately, starting at the Lyndhurst, New Jersey location on Jan. 11 — and soon rolling out to all nine Medieval Times restaurants — "Queen Dona Maria Isabella" is taking over.

“Where previously our female characters played in more supportive roles, we are now showing a woman fully in charge, a woman whose authority is sometimes challenged, but she quickly rises to the occasion as a strong leader, squelching opposition,” says Ingrid Hunt, senior general manager at Medieval Times, in a press release.

The update might seem like a small tweak, but it's a big win for better representation.

Some data suggests that while roles for women (in Hollywood, for example) are on the rise, they still only make up about 32% of speaking parts. Female leads are even more rare.

Shows on broadway have a similar problem.

So a major rewrite to a decades-long show like Medieval Times — that brings in over 2.5 million audience members every year — is actually pretty awesome.

And the Chicago Times reports that the show's director, Leigh Cordner, took the gender-flip extremely seriously, spending well over a year rewriting the performance script to accommodate a matriarch in a powerful way.

We only hope that more and more shows follow suit and start to think outside the box about how women and people of color can be better represented in their performances.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

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Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

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Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

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Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

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Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

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In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

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