Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 02/10/2016

Why Beyoncé’s “Formation” Video Is So Important

Formation

Formation

This past Saturday, Beyoncé released the first new song from her upcoming album, entitled “Formation.” The song, and accompanying video, may be the most important works the star has released. If her 2013 eponymous album was the birth of her understanding of self empowerment and goal to empower other women, “Formation” indicates that she will only build on this mission and continue to forcefully declare her political views.

Many things make “Formation” special, but perhaps chief among them is Beyoncé’s evisceration of the respectability politics to which African American women are often subjected. The song can be interpreted as a much-needed declaration of defiance, both against the stereotypical, cultural expectations for African American women and against the idea that African-American women aren’t, and cannot be, leaders in …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Liz L on 02/5/2016

How Grimes Is Daring Music Critics to Dismantle Hierarchies in Pop Music

Grimes

When I met Grimes — the project of  DIY musician, writer, performer, and producer Claire Boucher — after her recent Nashville concert, our first exchange was one of unabashed praise. “Your voice,” she said to me. “It is exceptional.”

As a grown woman with the distinctly high-pitched (frequently mimicked) speaking voice of a 3-year-old on Christmas morning, Grimes’ compliment was utterly validating. Naturally, I cried a little, thanked her a lot, and proceeded to truthfully share my gratitude for her work with the same utter sincerity that she presents within her own striking musical oeuvre.

Grimes is completely unapologetic in her art production and presentation of her own self-engineered pop stardom. The musician conjures visions of a sci-fi galactic queen warrior. She is a keen engineer of sound and …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 01/20/2016

5 Tips For New Feminist Bloggers of Color

The case for feminist blogging.

I became a feminist at 16 years old. At the time, the word “feminist” wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today. In fact, I vividly remember trying to explain sexism and gender inequality to my high school friends outside of movie theaters and coffee shops — to blank stares.

When I was 17, I read Angela Davis’ auto-biography (as well as Women, Race, and Class) and felt my life and feminist identity evolve: I was provided with language for the pain I was feeling as a woman of color in a white supremacist patriarchy. I had an old typewriter which I used to write “articles” about my thoughts on society and power (although I would probably cringe if I were to read them …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 01/15/2016

How Young, Female Photographers Are Carrying On A Powerful Legacy

There’s a strong legacy of female photographers.

The Musée de l’Orangerie is a renowned art gallery in Paris, France. Although it’s best known for housing Monet’s “Water Lilies,” the gallery is currently featuring an exhibit entitled “Who’s Afraid of Women Photographers? 1839-1919.” I was fortunate enough to see the exhibit, which includes the work of 75 female photographers — some famous, some unknown. The featured artists managed to overcome the sexist expectations and prejudices that were part and parcel of the era in which they worked and laid the groundwork for an industry in which female artists have continued to thrive.

Although relatively little attention has been paid to their work, many women have thrived as photographers over the past century. While many women discovered the art form …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/4/2016

Why Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Charge Is Meaningful For Survivors

Bill Cosby

Over the past decade, dozens of women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Yet, primarily due to the statute of limitations on these alleged crimes having passed, Cosby was never actually charged for any of them. That changed on December 30th, however, when the infamous comedian was charged with committing a felony aggravated indecent assault in 2005 by one survivor in Pennsylvania — a state in which the statute of limitations is 12 years.

Despite the disturbing number of women who have come forward — not to mention Cosby’s own admission in July to obtaining Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women and drugging at least one individual — these survivors were discredited and even derided for years. For example, former model Janice Dickinson …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Anne Girard on 12/25/2015

These Actresses Broke Down Barriers In Hollywood

Katherine Hepburn

This past year, many female entertainers — like Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashley Judd and others — received well-deserved attention for their commitment to fiercely confronting sexism in Hollywood. But most people are unaware that a collection of smart, savvy and oh-so talented women blazed the trail for them years ago.

These actresses were not content to buy into the sexist status quo set by the powerful, male-dominated studio system that required them to objectify themselves to make their mark. They insisted on doing it their way and,  in doing so, not only challenged the gendered stereotypes of the time, but also gave women new and dynamic role models for years to come.

Jean Harlow

When Harlow burst onto the scene in 1929 at the tender …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Dave M on 12/16/2015

Jessica Jones’ Handling of Abuse Offers Empathy and Hope

Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica Jones

Comic books and their adaptations have rightfully been criticized for their portrayal of women for years. All too often, female characters are shallowly depicted as sexualized damsels in distress with unrealistic bodies intended for the male gaze. Jessica Jones, the protagonist of the new Netflix series based on the Marvel comic Alias, manages to not only avoid these overused tropes, but presents a complex, nuanced character who offers representation for a frequently marginalized group: survivors of trauma.

Jessica is a fiercely independent woman who rejects objectification and belittlement. Her strength catalyzes the series’ very plot: The villain, Kilgrave, witnesses Jessica stop a mugging and is immediately enamored by her strength and stamina. Kilgrave, whose superpower is his ability to make others obey …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 12/11/2015

Self Care in the Time of Cheer and Cookie Dough: A Body Positive Holiday Survival Guide

A holiday feast.

The holiday season notoriously brings festive décor, inanely repetitive yet somehow still charming music, and treats upon treats. But for many people, it also brings incredible amounts of food-induced anxiety and body shaming. For those of us who struggle with disordered eating or body image issues, all of the wonderful sugar cookies, cakes, and hot cocoa can produce fear and stress more than joy or delight. I know firsthand how this can make the holidays feel lonely and scary.

No one should have to feel this way and, slowly but surely, I’ve figured out some ways to reclaim my own body and happiness. Here are just a few things that have helped me during the holidays.

  1. Change the way you think about food. Food has social

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