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 …
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 …