Pop-Culture | Posted by Claire B on 11/30/2015
In Defense of Mellie Grant: Why Scandal’s Scorned First Lady May Be It’s Most Feminist Character
Bellamy Young, who plays Mellie Grant on ‘Scandal’
Writer-director-producer extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes’ hit show Scandal has too many feminist moments to count. Each episode of the show declared “the most feminist show on TV” by the New York Post seems to tackle an important issue, from sexual assault, to domestic violence, to women in the workforce and beyond. The most powerful message this show sends to over one million viewers per week isn’t found solely in the actions of the glass-ceiling-shattering protagonist Olivia Pope, but the ways in which the show demonstrates the glass ceiling remains for all women.
This message is most clearly revealed by the juxtaposition of Olivia —the President’s strong, independent mistress — with Mellie, the president’s “bitchy” wife. The portrayal of the equally ambitious women makes …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 11/16/2015
The Real Reason ‘He Named Me Malala’ Is So Inspiring
When I saw the trailer for He Named Me Malala, I immediately teared up. I expected watching the feature film itself, therefore, to similarly involve waterworks. He Named Me Malala was not just an emotional experience, however, but also an inspiring one that offered unprecedented insight into the full humanity of this young leader.
For those not familiar with her story, Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for girls’ education and the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize. Malala began her activist journey at just 11 years old, when she wrote a BBC column about the struggle girls face to get an education under Taliban rule. She incredibly survived an assassination attempt and continued to advocate for women worldwide, even publishing a book about her work.
Pop-Culture | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 11/9/2015
What Lena Dunham’s ‘8 Thoughts On Feminism’ Reveal About The Movement
In late October, Vanity Fair published a quirky short video featuring eight of Lena Dunham’s thoughts on feminism. These thoughts included points like why calling out a women for being “un-feminist” is itself a choice at odds with feminist principles and why she does not feel inclined to judge the Kardashian family. The video was clearly meant to be funny and playful, but many of Dunham’s thoughts point to broader truths and issues within the movement.
One of the most important points Dunham raised was the idea that allowing women to make choices you may not personally agree with is a feminist act. For example, some women are comfortable wearing clothing that reveals more of their body — like taped-over nipples or booty shorts — than others. It’s …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/29/2015
How ‘The Intern’ Fell Short of Feminist Movie Magic
“The Intern” featuring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway
*This piece contains spoilers.*
I was excited to see The Intern. The cast, including Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, is impressive and the unconventional story of an inter-generational friendship seemed promising. Unfortunately, however, I left a recent screening feeling disappointed.
I wanted to like this movie in no small part because it was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who is known for films like The Parent Trap, The Holiday and Something’s Gotta Give. Given that women directed only 7% and wrote 11% of the top 250 films of 2014, I wanted to support a female director and writer — especially one who some critics noted pushed back on the conventional “chick flick“ stereotype in …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 10/19/2015
Nick Jonas: Increasing the “Levels” of Objectification
The music video for “Blurred Lines” marked an important moment in our culture — not because of the (highly sexist) video itself, but because feminist and anti-racist critiques of the video were widely celebrated. Parodies of the music video highlighted the asymmetrical power dynamic between the clothed men and topless women, which in turn demonstrated how feminists were using digital media to resist patriarchal depictions of women. It seemed sexist men in particular had learned a valuable lesson: Women want to be more than topless, nameless, voiceless blow up dolls when included in men’s projects. It felt like our society was finally “getting” feminism.
Then I watched the new music video for Nick Jonas’ song “Levels.” The song seemed fun, catchy and a bit sensual, so I …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/14/2015
Is The Media’s Representation Of Sexual Assault Doing More Harm Than Good?
One show doing it right.
Trigger Warning: Mention of sexual assault.
Out of every 6 American women, at least 1 will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. This horrifying yet all too common experience is depicted in mainstream media: Many popular drama series have story lines involving rape, for example. But the question remains: Is sheer volume of this coverage truly beneficial?
The vast majority of TV shows that depict narratives involving assault seem to do so in order to heighten tension and create scandal. Especially considering it’s statistically inevitable that a significant portion of a show’s viewers will be individuals who have survived assault, the phenomenon should ideally be carefully and purposely portrayed in order to show its severity, not to …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 10/12/2015
Why Matt McGorry Is A Great Role Model For Male Feminists
In March, Matt McGorry shared the dictionary’s definition of feminism on his Facebook Timeline. He explained that he was “embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the ACTUAL definition of ‘feminism’” and added that “the fact that the term is sometimes clouded with anything other that pure support and positivity in our society is very tragic.”
This post wasn’t just important because the actor publicly claimed the term “feminist,” but also because it encouraged those who, like him, are unsure of what “feminism really means” and are swayed by the negative connotations society attributes to feminists, to reevaluate how they feel about the term.
This Facebook post, however, was just the start of McGorry’s feminist journey. For example, McGorry decided to take on the controversy surrounding Instagram’s …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aaron F on 09/28/2015
Why Do Sexists Hate The New ‘Ghostbusters’?
The new ‘Ghostbusters’ cast.
The announcement that a gender-swapped reboot of Ghostbusters will soon be in theaters has generated quite a bit of excitement. Considering the top-notch comedy actresses at the project’s helm, including Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the hype is likely justified. But this excitement isn’t universal: As so often happens whenever any media is centered on women, indignant and frustrated misogynists have decided to criticize the film on social media. The blatantly sexist responses of these pitiful man-babies — not to mention their attempts to rationalize their behavior — are likely produced by many causes, but the persistent sexism in both geek culture and the entertainment industry undoubtedly rank high among them.
Geek culture has become increasingly popular in mainstream pop culture over …