Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 01/2/2015

Why The Legend of Korra May Be the Best Cartoon Show Ever


On December 19th, Nickelodeon released the final episode of the series The Legend of Korra, a fantastical animated series set in a world where four tribes, each of which is associated with an element (earth, fire, water or air), co-exist. In this world some people called “benders” can control only one of these elements while the “Avatar,” named Korra, can control them all. The show was a spinoff from Avatar: The Last Airbender and was originally supposed to run for only two seasons, but became so popular that it was extended to four. The show was popular for many reasons, not least of which is its dedication to depicting diverse characters that represented a range of backgrounds along the lines of race, gender, socioeconomic class, religion and spirituality. Furthermore, …

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Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 11/12/2014

Can A High School Assembly Really Effect Change?

I’m a proud member of the Women’s Issues Club at my school (Horace Mann in New York City), which is dedicated to discussing gender equality. We recently helped organize a “Unity Assembly” for our peers, which was meant to celebrate students’ diversities and help us understand our own community. We discussed many issues (such as race, socioeconomic class, sexual identity, gender identity and gender equality) and also produced a video that featured different students and faculty members explaining why they need feminism.

I was encouraged that this video helped my peers better understand feminism based on their reactions. Many of my male classmates genuinely praised the Women’s Issues Club and were shocked by the facts about gender inequality presented in the video. For example, one of my friends told me …

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Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 07/28/2014

Race and Gender After Gentrification

I live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which has historically been considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in New York City. My parents never let me walk around the neighborhood alone when I was growing up. My dad always felt nervous about my mother coming home on the train too late at night and, as I got older, he worried about my safety, too. I’ve always been scared to go home alone at night and have always been afraid of men on the street and what they are capable of (especially as I began to experience more and more street harassment as I grew older).

Yet despite this, I’ve only begun to consider the safety (or lack thereof) of my neighborhood in recent years as my neighborhood has begun to evolve …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Joneka P on 03/17/2014

Black Women Create: Highlighting Black Women in Film and TV

Many people underestimate the power that representation in the media can have for young girls, and especially young girls of color–but connecting with the experiences of another person and empathizing with their stories and lives is powerful.  Whenever we talk about why representation matters, I always think about this quote from actress Whoopi Goldberg:

“When I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”

Now, though, television seems overwhelmingly white. It wasn’t always this way. I grew up watching shows like Good Times, A Different …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 01/15/2014

Why Girls Want American Girl to Commit To Diversity

When I was younger, I owned an American Girl doll, like many girls my age. I wasn’t as big a fan as some girls, but I really loved the books that went with each doll. I read all the stories that were in my elementary school’s library, and I still remember the different cultures and periods in history that I was introduced to by these stories of original creative, brave, and dynamic girls.

That’s why I was surprised when my friend Avery Tyson, who is twelve years old and a huge fan of the American Girl series, approached me to ask for support writing a petition to ask American Girl to include more diverse dolls. I remembered American Girl as being one of the only companies that made a …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Talia on 08/23/2013

How Stock Photos Reflect The Way We View Women

Just one white, thin, sexualized photo stock woman.

Last year, I was working on a graphic art submission to the National Organization for Women (NOW)’s Love Your Body Poster Contest. To execute my concept, I needed to find a lot of stock photos of women.

Since I wanted to celebrate multiculturalism and include women of different races, I needed stock images of white, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American women. I never expected how difficult it would be to find suitable stock photos. Searching for stock imagery of white women wasn’t a walk in the park, since a large percentage of the photos I found were sexualized (even on websites that were mostly clean and reliable). Stock images of women of color were so scarce that I almost gave up trying …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/17/2013

Saturday Vids: Comics Undressed

Today is the last day to back “Comics Undressed” on Kickstarter. Here’s a video about the documentary and a description below. Help them out!

Comics, heralded as a white heterosexual masculine medium, has in fact a diverse range of contributors, many of whom are women, non-white, and/or do not conform to the binary constructs of sexual or gender identity. However, such voices often go unrecognized or are demeaned in mainstream media. Moreover, the lack of equal economic opportunities for a wide range of creators stifles the output of our culturally diverse society, which in turn is reflected in negative or absent portrayals of women, queers, and people of color in the content of the medium itself.

The Ladydrawers documentary Comics Undressed is an ambitious project with the primary aim …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Shavon M on 05/6/2013

Bright Like a Diamond, White Like a Princess

In recent years, Disney has been toying around with their “Princess” brand, making their popular films and characters even more marketable to children–namely, to young girls. This isn’t really new: Disney has changed the designs of their princesses to fit with market trends numerous times since the first princess, Snow White, debuted in 1937. Controversy arose, however, when Disney began retooling their princess brand for new products last summer, tweaking their make-up and outfits, and changing other, more integral aspects of their characters.

The redesigns are noticeably more glamorous and more bedazzled. Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty, 1959) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast, 1991) no longer have the visually-flat hair of their movie counterparts, and are instead featured with the shimmering, flowing locks frequently seen in magazine …

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