Pop-Culture | Posted by Atiya I-M on 10/15/2014

My Problem With The “Powerful Bitch” Trope

Blair Waldorf from "Gossip Girl"

Lately I’ve noticed a trend in some of my favorite shows that makes me uncomfortable on a number of levels. From Blair Waldorf on “Gossip Girl” to Sadie on “Awkward” it appears that if you are a female protagonist on TV, mean is the new black and being good gets you nowhere. These protagonists are catty and manipulative. They’ll stab you in the back, make fun of your clothes, and do it all with a smile on their face in a fierce outfit. I’m talking about the powerful bitch.

Disclaimer: I know that historically and currently “bitch” is a sexist term that is often applied to women who have the audacity to speak their minds and have ambition. I’m not speaking in that context. The …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014

Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?

Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"

Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.

Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/6/2014

The Naked Celebrity Photos Aren’t A “Scandal” — They’re A Crime

Jennifer Lawrence: one of the hacked celebrities

When I first read that 100 celebrity women were hacked and their private photos stolen then distributed online, the incident was framed as a scandal. The first article I read ridiculed the women whose privacy was violated for being so stupid as to have nude photo of themselves on their personal devices and blamed them for the incident. It questioned how they would show their faces in public and, of course, the word “slut” was thrown around quite a bit. It wasn’t until I read an article written by Scott Mendelson on Forbes that regarded what had happened as a sex crime that I fully appreciated the magnitude of this event.

Many people seem to argue that this crime would have been prevented …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Pippa B on 10/3/2014

Every Girl Needs A Gay Best Friend (Or Not)

Dwight Eubanks from the Real Housewives of Atlanta

Every woman needs a designer handbag, a little black dress, a pair of killer heels, and a gay best friend. The ideal gay best friend is impeccably dressed and overflowing with gossip. He is ready at all times to defend your honor with a sassy yet aggressively pointed finger and to deliver a perfectly timed comeback.  He is in your court no matter what and ready to be summoned at any time. And let’s not forget the fierce walk.

The idea of a Gay Best Friend (or GBF) has seeped into popular culture through movies, television and, perhaps most prominently, “The Real Housewives” franchise. Dwight Eubanks, a regular on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (RHOA), has almost 40,000 Twitter followers, a …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 09/29/2014

YouTube Star Sam Pepper’s “Prank” Video Is Sexual Harassment

Sam Pepper

It’s undeniable that the YouTube community is becoming a powerful and influential force in the entertainment industry. Vloggers appear on magazine covers (such as Seventeen and Fast Company), red carpets, and even on TV in commercials and “Dancing with the Stars.” However, the growing community, which averages 1 billion unique visitors each month, has experienced some troubling issues along with its success. Back in June, I covered YouTube’s growing sexual assault problem, which was derived from the blurred lines of consent between content creators and their growing fan bases. Recently, another sexual assault scandal has shaken the community.

Sam Pepper, a former Big Brother contestant and popular YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers, released a video which sparked a large controversy within the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Samantha M on 09/12/2014

The Problem With “Likes”

So many of my peers have an unhealthy obsession with how many “likes” their pictures (especially selfies) receive on Instagram. Many of my friends seem to give a simple “like” so much more weight than it deserves and plenty even equate the number of likes on their pictures with how attractive they are or whether or not people like them. I know teens who go so far as to delete their photo if it doesn’t receive a certain amount of likes in a given time period.

Letting social media interactions like this have so much influence on one’s life might seem ridiculous at first, but it’s evidence of something more serious. There is a lot of pressure on teen girls to feel beautiful and perfect, and for those things to …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Bethany O. on 08/27/2014

Defrosting the Women: For All the Ladies Who Deserved Better

After having spent the summer watching a lot of TV, I want to talk about women in refrigerators.

First, a brief explanation for those who are unfamiliar with the term “women in refrigerators“: the phrase originates from an incident in Green Lantern #54 in which the titular protagonist, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, comes home to discover that his girlfriend Alex has been killed by his enemy ­and then stuffed in a refrigerator. Gail Simone coined the term to describe the broader trend in fiction of women being killed off in order to further a man’s storyline.

But when I say, “I hate it when women are fridged,” it’s not because I’m angry about the slaughter of so many female characters­. I’m certainly angry, but it goes a bit

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Ines R on 08/15/2014

Stop Tweeting That and Start Living It

It is almost impossible to deny that millennials are obsessed with documenting everything. We think that something funny we see at Target, or a friend’s drunken rant at a party, or just a quick selfie must be shared with the world. Can you prove you were really within arm’s reach of Beyonce if you didn’t take a picture? It’s everywhere, from screenshots to Snapchats, one could see it as sharing joy or laughter with others. But in all sincerity, most Facebook posts or Snapchat stories are just a way to say, “Look at all the amazing and fun things I do, I am cool, and don’t you just wish you were me?”

I don’t say this in a patronizing way. Look at my camera roll and there are thousands of …

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