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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Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 12/9/2015

The Feminist Revolution Will Be Podcasted

Feminist podcasts are taking over.

The last thing one might expect young people to listen to is talk radio, yet we are doing so in force and at increasing rates. In fact, the number of shows produced increased from 69,860 in 2009 to nearly 91,800 in 2013, and the number of episodes downloaded in the U.S. jumped from 1.9 billion in 2013 to 2.6 billion in 2014. This shift is not just important from a technological perspective, however, but also a feminist one: The power to create and proliferate content is increasingly available to anyone who chooses to engage, and many of those who do so are committed to broadcasting a feminist message.

 “Stuff Mom Never Told You,” an offshoot of HowStuffWorks hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline …

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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 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 11/16/2015

The Real Reason ‘He Named Me Malala’ Is So Inspiring

Malala Yousafzai

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.

I …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 11/9/2015

What Lena Dunham’s ‘8 Thoughts On Feminism’ Reveal About The Movement

Lena Dunham

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 …

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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

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 10/19/2015

Nick Jonas: Increasing the “Levels” of Objectification

'Levels'

‘Levels’

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 …

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