Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 09/21/2015
How These Emmy Winners Are Changing the Game for Women in Hollywood
It’s no secret that Hollywood is sexist. Studies, industry insiders and even the ACLU all confirm this. But as the many female creatives who won in their categories at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards just proved, the problem is not due to a lack of talented or capable women in the industry — but the previous refusal of the industry to produce the stories they want and need to tell.
Many are aware that women are quantifiably underrepresented in the entertainment industry. A recent 2015 Women’s Media Center’s report found that studio senior management is 92% white and 83% male, and that for the 250 most profitable films made in 2014, 83% of the directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors were men. It’s a problem also evident in …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 09/18/2015
Girlpool: The Feminist Band You Need To Know
The musical duo Harmony Trividad and Cleo Tucker, also known as “Girlpool,” have a lot to say about the rigid expectations girls face growing up in America. Through unsettling harmonies and raw, creaking voices — accompanied only by a bass and guitar — they send a clear message: They’re fed up.
The duo’s first EP, which was released in November of 2014 with Wichita Records, tackles issues of gender and sexuality from a variety of angles and in a bare, untrained tone allows the listener to really hear what they’re saying. The song “American Beauty,” for example, examines the imperfect but liberating experience of discovering one’s sexuality, and affirms girls’ sexual desires. “Jane” empowers girls to speak up and seek genuine, fulfilling relationships: The last line, “If you are
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 09/9/2015
The Everyday Sexism of Dating
In theory, dating can be an incredible opportunity for two individuals to model gender-based equality and mutual respect. In practice, however, women are still frequently degraded and regarded as submissive sexual objects — especially in heterosexual relationships.
Countless women anecdotally confirm this, but one need look no further for evidence than the viral Instagram account @tindernightmares. The account collects screenshots of real messages women have received from men on Tinder, which range from cringeworthy to downright disrespectful. While @tindernightmares appears to have been created to humorously expose the truly weird people who frequent dating sites and app, the creepy messages that often appear on the site actually highlight a much bigger problem women face today while dating: They’re still seen as sex objects and subordinate to men.
Tinder Nightmares: https://instagram.com/p/6v2ltOkITn/
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 08/25/2015
How Television Continues to Normalize Eating Disorders
“Please don’t hurl too much, because if you get any thinner I’m gonna start looking fat,” Brooke, the head cheerleader in the show One Tree Hill, nonchalantly says to her best friend in an early episode. It’s unclear if her friend really is bulimic, but regardless, viewers learn that purging isn’t the issue — making your best friend look “fat” is.
Even young viewers are targeted: The seventh episode of the Disney Channel show Shake It Up portrays a model who, in awe of the two thirteen-year-old main characters, declares that she “could just eat you guys up! You know, if I ate.” The entire cast laughs. Refusing to eat is normalized, not raised as a point of concern or serious issue.
The truth of the matter is …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Lexi V on 08/18/2015
How ‘The Bachelorette’ Proves Slut-Shaming Is Alive and Well
Ok, I’ll admit to watching an episode or two (or six) of The Bachelorette this season. For those who haven’t watched, the show focuses on one woman’s quest to find a perfect match among a group of male suitors. Like The Bachelor — the show on which this one is based — she eliminates men every week until she finds the right partner. As a feminist, I certainly have many issues with the show, but one of the biggest (and perhaps most prominent this past season in particular) is the intense slut-shaming the Bachelorette faced.
Slut shaming has been evident in past seasons, but when Kaitlyn Bristowe, the star of this past season, decided that she wanted to have sex with one of the contestants, she faced a …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 08/11/2015
It’s 2015. Why Is Male Nudity Still Funny?
“There’s a big problem in Hollywood today,” Kevin Bacon says at the start of a recently released video. “In so many films and TV shows we see gratuitous female nudity, and that’s not okay.”
While raising this excellent point (albeit one feminists have made before) seems like a promising start, it quickly becomes clear that this is not an earnest message, but a satirical PSA.
“It’s not fair to actresses and it’s not fair to actors,” Bacon continues, “because we want to be naked, too. Gentlemen, it’s time to free the bacon.”
This video thus joins a legacy of efforts to capitalize on the pervasive double standard in the entertainment industry in which men’s naked bodies are funny while naked women are sexual objects to be exploited. While …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 07/27/2015
Rihanna’s ‘BBHMM’ Video and Our Resistance To Black Women’s Subjectivity
Rihanna performing BBHMM live at the 2015 iHeart Radio Music Awards.
As anyone even mildly interested in pop culture likely knows, Rihanna recently dropped a new music video for her song Bitch Better Have My Money. I found the video itself interesting, but honestly found the critiques of it even more so. Many of these critiques demonstrate that mainstream culture still doesn’t know how to meaningfully engage with black women and the popularity of the work they create. Specifically, it seems that critics of black, female artists try to understand their work through the lens of static theories that reiterate racist tropes, and which produce prescriptive, limiting understandings of their work. We’ve seen this with panic over Beyoncé’s feminism, shock in response to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda album cover, …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 07/21/2015
What Misty Copeland’s Success Reveals About Race In The Arts
Misty Copeland in an Under Armour commercial
Misty Copeland made history on June 30th when she was promoted within the American Ballet Theatre, becoming the first African American ballerina to reach the rank of Principal Dancer after being the second-ever black soloist in the traditionally white ballet company. Considering that almost all principal ballerinas around the world have historically been white, Copeland’s promotion is an immense achievement in an artistic tradition that still largely favors pale skin and extremely thin bodies.
Copeland rose to fame amid circumstances that, for elite ballet, seem at odds with her success. She took her first ballet class at her local Boys & Girls Club at 13-years-old — a relatively late start — and lived with her single mother and siblings in relative poverty …