Pop-Culture | Posted by Morgan K on 05/15/2015

Margaret Keane and the Countless Invisible Female Artists

A Keane painting

A Keane painting

Our generation may not be too familiar with the haunting “Keane Eyes” which were ubiquitous in the 1950s and 60s. Those dark, doe-eyed figures found their way into print and media, living rooms and coffee shops countrywide. But it wasn’t until Tim Burton brought light to the reality in his biographical drama Big Eyes that the truth about those paintings supposedly created by Walter Keane was made clear to young people.

Margaret Keane – Walter’s wife – spent years painting the “Big Eyed Waifs.” The artist’s husband convinced her that using his name would increase the paintings’ popularity. But as the fame of the paintings — as well as Walter himself — grew, so did Margaret’s anger and isolation. She finally reached a breaking point and came

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Bridget L on 04/29/2015

Where Are The Jewish and Queer Students at Hogwarts?

Hogwarts

I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books, have seen each film countless times, and dressed up as Hermione for many Halloweens. But while I’ll always love the series, I also recognize that it’s not flawless.

Last December, JK Rowling revealed that there were Jewish students at Hogwarts, and even provided readers with an example: Anthony Goldstein. This revelation prompted others to question whether or not there were LGBT students at Hogwarts as well. In a Twitter chat, Rowling addressed this by stating “But of course,” there were LGBT youth at Hogwarts.

I find these revelations problematic for a couple reasons. First is the fact Anthony Goldstein was only a background character without any distinguishing character traits for the duration of the series. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Tara E on 03/27/2015

Meet The Comedy Duo Asking Strangers “What Do Feminists Look Like?”

What does feminism look like? If you identify as a feminist, you probably feel trained to not care about appearances and encourage others not to as well. But maybe you still wonder: What does my appearance tell the world about who I think I am?

The truth is we all judge people based on what they look like and they judge us, too. Shugs & Fats, the new comedy web series created by Nadia Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, is all about acknowledging this and dealing with it through irony and laughter. Doing so, their humor suggests, not only makes us feel better but also helps us understand why our preconceived assumptions are problematic in the first place.

Manzoor and Vaz — as South Asian, female comedians — also …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma M on 03/2/2015

So Many Talented Women

Last night, students shuffled in and out of the audition room for a production I’m working on, frantically asking about pronunciation and deciding whether to use or ignore the chairs we’d provided them. Between one audition and the next, after we’d seen about 15 people, my male professor turned to me and whispered “there are so many good girls.” Less than 20 minutes and 10 more auditions into the night, another man working on the show turned to me and said the same thing.

In the audition rooms I’ve been in over the last four years, the number of women auditioners is almost always double the number of men, and women are competing for far fewer roles. More often than not, the shows done on my college’s mainstage feature predominantly …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/20/2015

These Students Are Sending A Powerful Message to the Oscars

It may be 2015, but women’s representation in the entertainment industry is still grim. According to the Women’s Media Center, a recent San Diego State University report, for instance, found that women accounted for only 16 percent of directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors for the top 250 domestically made films in 2013. This number is depressingly low on its own and, unfortunately, is even a decline of 2% from the previous year.

Such statistics demonstrate why events like the Athena Film Festival, which addresses the lack of representation of women filmmakers by devoting an entire weekend to honoring their work, are so important. Melissa Silverstein, co-founder of the festival as well as founder of the blog Women and Hollywood, works tirelessly to raise awareness …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Katie J on 02/11/2015

How Popular Music Perpetuates Rape Culture

Brooke Axtell, the domestic violence survivor who spoke at the Grammys

Many people have praised the effort made to raise awareness about domestic violence at the Grammys. Yet plenty have also noted the irony of the same organization that nominated Chris Brown acknowledging this issue. The issue of the intersection of popular music and violence against women is hardly one relegated to this event, though. Popular music has been perpetuating rape culture for years.

Think of the average teen girl. Everywhere she goes, she hears Robin Thicke sing “You know you want it”, and Rick Ross say “Put molly all in her champagne/She ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/She ain’t even know it.” Her body, the one thing she possesses in the most intimate form, …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 02/2/2015

The Real Reason Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Sexist

I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on NPR when I was 15.  It was the tail end of the story, and all that I could glean was the name, that it was an immensely popular work of fiction, and that it was particularly popular among the elderly in nursing homes.  Priding myself in being a well-informed and well-read individual, I decided I should be reading this seemingly topical and influential book.  I pranced into Barnes and Noble on my high horse, bragging to my friend about how I was buying a very popular book to enhance my personal literature collection.  When I told her what the book was, she blushed and said her Mom wouldn’t let her read it.

“Why?” I asked, thoroughly confused.

“Because it’s… porn!” She …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/28/2015

An Interview with Melissa Silverstein

Melissa Silverstein

It’s no secret that the film industry is hardly hospitable to women. The Women’s Media Center found that only six percent of the 100 top films of 2012 cast the sexes in equal numbers, and only 28.4% of those movies cast women in roles with speaking parts. Furthermore, men outnumbered women 5-to-1 in key behind the camera roles: women accounted for only 4.1 percent of directors, 12.2 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers of these films.

But Melissa Silverstein is trying to change that. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival. Silverstein recently took a break from preparing for the fifth annual festival to talk to the FBomb about why women are underrepresented in the

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