Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 12/12/2016
The Exploitation Of Women Of Color In Music Videos Needs To End
Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ music video
As a black feminist who is usually conscious of how normalized our misogynistic and often racist pop culture is, I am mostly displeased by the portrayal of black women in music videos. From Taylor Swift to Jason Derulo, artists across genres and of all identities seemingly fail to recognize that the fetishization of black women’s bodies in their music videos translates into their hyper-sexualizaiton in the real-world.
This treatment is first and foremost evident in the stereotypes about black women these music videos frequently perpetuate. Such stereotypes propagated about black women include the “angry Black woman,” the “sassy Black woman,” and the “hypersexual Jezebel.” But perhaps the most typical caricature of Black women is the sassy, finger-snapping, gum-popping, grill-wearing, twerking woman. And …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Kayleigh Bolingbroke on 12/5/2016
This New Music Video Powerfully Took On Police Brutality
YG in One Time Comin’
In 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. He was later acquitted of the crime. Two years later, Eric Garner was killed after being placed in a chokehold by police officers, and Michael Brown had been shot to death by a white police officer in Missouri just a month later. Their deaths, along with far too many others, did not represent a new phenomenon, but did awaken a newly powerful, social media-based iteration of a movement for justice: Black Lives Matter.
At least 263 African-Americans in the US died due to police brutality in 2016 alone. The number seems to only grow, and this fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the media. Over the past two years, Twitter has been …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Farha K on 11/23/2016
It has been almost one hundred years since the Women’s Bureau was established in the Department of Labor. The Bureau aimed to promote the welfare of wage-earning women and for their rights to be respected in the workforce. But this progress was simultaneously, continuously threatened by the stereotype of the “good wife.” American men were expected to yearn for (and receive) the retro misogynistic fantasy of coming home to a spotless house, good meal, and an effortlessly beautiful woman.
I once thought that this blatantly sexist expectation of women had long been retired, but a recent pop-culture fad disproved this misconception and reinforced the reality that so many men still expect their wives to cook and clean for them: Namely, the social media-based “wifey” meme.
The “wifey” fad basically …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kamrin Baker on 11/14/2016
How Jane The Virgin Wonderfully Handled Abortion
Season 2 is off to a great start
Jane the Virgin has been something of a crowd favorite since it debuted in 2014. But more than just entertaining its audience, the show has broken barriers regarding countless taboo topics, including virginity (obviously), illness and ability, feminism and women’s careers, Latina actresses’ agency in Hollywood, and unplanned pregnancy. And one recent episode, in which one of the main characters pursues an abortion, was no different.
To recap for those who haven’t binged Jane on Netflix, Jane Villanueva is accidentally artificially inseminated while engaged to another man. To top it off, she has planned to remain a virgin until marriage, due to a promise she made her very Catholic grandmother. A love triangle forms between her fiancee and the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David Guirgis on 11/10/2016
The Crucial Lessons Solange Teaches In ‘A Seat At The Table’
2016 was Beyoncé’s year. Her album Lemonade is inarguably one of the most profound cultural expressions of black femininity produced this year (and, let’s be honest, ever). Her thought-provoking lyrics and beautiful visual album contributed to a national dialogue on race and racism in this country — a broader dialogue that even influenced the presidential campaign platforms and debates.
But this year could also easily be considered the year of the Knowles family, as September 30 marked the release of A Seat at the Table, Solange Knowles’ third studio album. The album, which had been in the works since 2008, is a 22 track-long magnum opus — a grand, magnificent, and intensely personal statement about being a black woman in America.
I am not a black …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 10/20/2016
Emma Watson Reminded Us Why We Must Keep Fighting For Gender Equality
Emma Watson’s video, ‘Hurdles’
It’s easy for many people who care about social justice to get caught up in the obstacles these still face, and fall into a pit of despair and helplessness. On the flip side, many others get so caught up in celebrating all the achievements these movements have made that they tend to overlook the existing problems yet to be addressed. It’s critical to resist both of these extremes and to balance the way we perceive milestones in the fight for quality. Emma Watson’s “Hurdles” video, created by Global Citizen, communicates this very message.
Emma Watson starts the video by stating that since the beginning of time, women have faced injustices and inequalities, but that it has never stopped them from fighting for their …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Frances Nguyen on 10/7/2016
Public Women Are Not Public Property
Kim Kardashian West — one of the celebrities assaulted
Ukrainian social media personality Vitalii Sediuk is having a hard time with the definition of “assault.” Rather, the self-described “prankster”— who is responsible for assaulting both Gigi Hadid outside a Milan fashion show on September 22nd and Kim Kardashian West a week later in Paris—regarded both incidents as public protests. Apparently, he opposes Hadid’s inclusion in high fashion and Kardashian West’s alleged butt implants. As he captioned his now-infamous Instagram photo of the attack on Kardashian West, “I encourage her and the rest of Kardashian clan to popularize natural beauty among teenage girls who follow and defend them blindly.”
Though Sediuk is entitled to his opinions (and entitled they are), his actions in both instances did not respectfully express these …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Rachael Hanakowski on 10/3/2016
The Problem With Criticizing Emma Watson and Justin Trudeau’s Feminism
On September 29th, two influential individuals had a very public meeting of the minds: Justin Trudeau, current Prime Minister of Canada, and actor/activist Emma Watson. The two met in Parliament in Ottawa on September 28, 2016, ahead of the One Young World summit, and reportedly discussed their efforts regarding gender equality. But what should have been celebrated as a positive interaction that highlighted the work both of these public, influential figures are doing was interpreted far too cynically by too many — as a ploy for attention rather than a genuine conversation — which adds to an upsetting legacy of the way they have been treated under the spotlight. It also speaks to skepticism to which politicians are often subjected, which undermines their ability to lead with …