Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma M on 03/2/2015

So Many Talented Women

Last night, students shuffled in and out of the audition room for a production I’m working on, frantically asking about pronunciation and deciding whether to use or ignore the chairs we’d provided them. Between one audition and the next, after we’d seen about 15 people, my male professor turned to me and whispered “there are so many good girls.” Less than 20 minutes and 10 more auditions into the night, another man working on the show turned to me and said the same thing.

In the audition rooms I’ve been in over the last four years, the number of women auditioners is almost always double the number of men, and women are competing for far fewer roles. More often than not, the shows done on my college’s mainstage feature predominantly …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/20/2015

These Students Are Sending A Powerful Message to the Oscars

It may be 2015, but women’s representation in the entertainment industry is still grim. According to the Women’s Media Center, a recent San Diego State University report, for instance, found that women accounted for only 16 percent of directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors for the top 250 domestically made films in 2013. This number is depressingly low on its own and, unfortunately, is even a decline of 2% from the previous year.

Such statistics demonstrate why events like the Athena Film Festival, which addresses the lack of representation of women filmmakers by devoting an entire weekend to honoring their work, are so important. Melissa Silverstein, co-founder of the festival as well as founder of the blog Women and Hollywood, works tirelessly to raise awareness …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Katie J on 02/11/2015

How Popular Music Perpetuates Rape Culture

Brooke Axtell, the domestic violence survivor who spoke at the Grammys

Many people have praised the effort made to raise awareness about domestic violence at the Grammys. Yet plenty have also noted the irony of the same organization that nominated Chris Brown acknowledging this issue. The issue of the intersection of popular music and violence against women is hardly one relegated to this event, though. Popular music has been perpetuating rape culture for years.

Think of the average teen girl. Everywhere she goes, she hears Robin Thicke sing “You know you want it”, and Rick Ross say “Put molly all in her champagne/She ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/She ain’t even know it.” Her body, the one thing she possesses in the most intimate form, …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 02/2/2015

The Real Reason Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Sexist

I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on NPR when I was 15.  It was the tail end of the story, and all that I could glean was the name, that it was an immensely popular work of fiction, and that it was particularly popular among the elderly in nursing homes.  Priding myself in being a well-informed and well-read individual, I decided I should be reading this seemingly topical and influential book.  I pranced into Barnes and Noble on my high horse, bragging to my friend about how I was buying a very popular book to enhance my personal literature collection.  When I told her what the book was, she blushed and said her Mom wouldn’t let her read it.

“Why?” I asked, thoroughly confused.

“Because it’s… porn!” She …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/28/2015

An Interview with Melissa Silverstein

Melissa Silverstein

It’s no secret that the film industry is hardly hospitable to women. The Women’s Media Center found that only six percent of the 100 top films of 2012 cast the sexes in equal numbers, and only 28.4% of those movies cast women in roles with speaking parts. Furthermore, men outnumbered women 5-to-1 in key behind the camera roles: women accounted for only 4.1 percent of directors, 12.2 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers of these films.

But Melissa Silverstein is trying to change that. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival. Silverstein recently took a break from preparing for the fifth annual festival to talk to the FBomb about why women are underrepresented in the

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 01/14/2015

Why Gina Rodriguez’s Golden Globe Win Is So Important For Young Latinas

Gina Rodriguez as Jane the Virgin

If you tuned into the 2015 Golden Globe Awards, you may have noticed an unfamiliar face beating out powerhouse women like Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Taylor Schilling, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy. This young woman, Gina Rodriguez, not only conquered the awards show, but has also run away with the hearts of critics and viewers alike in the title role of The CW’s Jane The Virgin.

Considering how homogenous American media tends to be, Jane The Virgin is a welcome breath of fresh air. The show is about a virgin who is accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of a man she used to have a crush on who is also her boss …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Pippa B on 01/12/2015

Free To Be…You And Me: My First Feminist Theory Class

I took my first class in feminist theory from a car seat in the back of my parents’ blue station wagon. As we pulled out of the driveway and embarked on adventures to the grocery store, school, or ski mountain, my sister and I would clamor for entertainment. An adult arm would reach into the glove compartment and pull out a tape. Many tapes rotated through our car during that time, but the one that seemed to captivate us most during those long rides was the Ms. Foundation for Women’s 1972 masterpiece “Free to Be… You and Me.”

I didn’t know that the program, which is composed of a series of poems, songs, and sketches, was a record album and book before it was a tape. I also had …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 01/9/2015

“So Popular!” with Janet Mock: The Feminist Pop Culture Show We’ve Been Waiting For

Janet Mock

Many of us are fans of Janet Mock’s work as a transgender activist and her incredible New York Times Bestselling book Redefining Realness. Now we have a new medium through which to appreciate Mock’s fierceness: she’ll host her own MSNBC show, “So Popular!”

I applaud MSNBC for choosing a transgender woman of color to headline their new online show. Mock has been very vocal about her experience of accepting and owning her womanhood, including her choice to have gender reconstructive surgery. She states on her blog: “I was born in what doctors proclaim is a boy’s body. I had no choice in the assignment of my sex at birth…My genital reconstructive surgery did not make me a girl. I was always a girl.”

On “So Popular!” …

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