Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016
Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?
The first time I heard Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $,” I genuinely thought it was a joke.
“Wow, Fergie’s just desperately trying to stay relevant,” my friend declared. I laughed in agreement. The song’s blatant auto-tuning, remixed dance track, and seemingly nonsensical lyrics made her observation obvious to me.
But then the same friend and I watched the song’s music video. The “M.I.L.F. $” video left us staring at the screen in shock, wondering how such a horrible song had somehow turned into a tongue-in-cheek, clever presentation of an arguably feminist message.
To break it down, the music video’s message is this: Yes, we are mothers. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t also work and make money and provide for our families. Though I had initially written …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 06/22/2016
The Problem With Gossiping About Beyoncé and ‘Lemonade’
We missed the point.
We are now almost two months into the post-Lemonade universe, and it still seems the biggest public conversation the album has inspired is a debate about the true identity of “Becky with the good hair.”
Look, I can’t say I didn’t have loads of fun with “Sorry” (the song in which Becky is infamously referenced) and Lemonade as a whole. “Becky with the good hair” was my entire Twitter bio for an obscene amount of time and I was undeniably entertained by the tabloid-worthy speculation about the state of Bey’s marriage. I think we’re all at least a little guilty of indulging in this type of gossip. But these conversations not only insult the integrity of Beyoncé’s work, but also ultimately go completely against Lemonade…
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 05/18/2016
Comparing Kim Kardashian to Ayesha Curry Hurts Us All
Comparing Kim to other women hurts all of us.
Our society has long been obsessed with comparison. Girls are routinely pit against each other to “win” the supposed honor of being the “hottest” in the halls of their high schools. They’re even encouraged to put down their perceived competition to do so.
There are likely many reasons why young women feel encouraged to do this, but the way media gossip analyzes and criticizes female celebrities — and compares their talent and/or bodies to other celebrities — is a big one. It has become normalized for people (who don’t know these celebrities personally) to happily explain and/or rant about their actions, decisions and lives because the media makes them feel that they have the right to attack and shame people (specifically, …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Bryan Pierce on 05/6/2016
Why I Created A Gay, Male Superhero
As a gay man, I know how much I owe women for the equal opportunities I have, and do, enjoy. When I was bullied by other boys schools, I always found female friends to nurture and care for me. I came out to women even when I was still afraid to admit my identity out loud to myself. Women have made the difference in our last Democratic presidential victory, and are therefore a major reason we’ve seen advancements for the LGBT community in this nation. Mainstream culture still undeniably belittles and even rejects any behavior that can be considered feminine — an experience gay men and women alike understand.
Growing up, I was constantly looking for my place in the world. I couldn’t wait to leave behind my …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 04/11/2016
What Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie Reveals About The Way We View Female Sexuality
In March, Kim Kardashian West posted a nude selfie on Instagram. As has come to be expected whenever a woman (especially a high-profile woman) does something with her body, people had a lot to say about it. While general backlash was perhaps expected, however, the number of women who shamed Kardashian was surprising to many — and on International Women’s Day, of all days. From Bette Middler’s straight-up degradation to Chloe Grace Moretz’s (slightly) more subtle condescension and shaming, Kardashian’s lighthearted selfie quickly evolved into something much bigger: a debate about female sexuality and what constitutes “good” feminism.
What we say when we talk about female bodies is often not what we really mean. When people say that Kardashian shouldn’t pose naked, they’re implying that Kardashian, a …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Zoe G on 04/6/2016
This is Why We Need To Stop Asking Celebrities If They’re Feminists
Enough is enough.
It seems that one of the most common questions journalists ask female celebrities these days is, “Are you a feminist?” Considering that feminism was essentially a dirty word in the mainstream media for years, the fact that major publications have been posing the question at all seems like progress. But this “progressive” question actually points to some pressing issues with contemporary feminist discourse — namely the way in which feminism seems to have shifted from being a collective political movement to an individual identity and media buzzword
Celebrities have two options when they’re asked “are you a feminist?”: They can say “yes,” and get a pat on the back for being politically learned, or they can say “no” and risk being branded ungrateful, ignorant, or just dumb. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Gabby C on 03/25/2016
We Need To Address The Music Industry’s Gender Gap
Female musicians rock.
“I’m tired of men who aren’t professional or even accomplished musicians continually offering to ‘help me out’ (without being asked), as if I did this by accident and I’m gonna flounder without them,” the Canadian singer Grimes wrote in a now-infamous tumblr post about sexism she has experienced. “I have the best job in the world but I’m done with being passive about any kind of status quo that allows anyone to suffer or to be disrespected.”
Though Grimes wrote this in 2013, it seems little has changed. Although Lana Del Rey made the cover of the issue featuring the list, of the 127 artists featured on last year’s Billboard Power 100 List, only 15 were female. Less than 5% of established producers in the world are …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 03/23/2016
What Kesha’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals About The Trauma of Shame
In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for allegedly sexual assaulting her. More specifically, she sued for freedom from a contract that bound her to only producing music with her assailant. Her decision to do so added fuel to the already growing fire that is the current conversation about rape culture. One of the world’s biggest pop stars publicly admitted she had gone through something that’s still very much stigmatized in today’s society and even risked her career to fight for herself and countless other survivors by extension.
Much of the conversation surrounding this case has focused on the trauma of sexual assault itself, and rightfully so. But it seems Kesha’s experience highlights another aspect of the experience of assault: the trauma of shame. Shaming and blaming women …