Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/19/2011

Beauty Pageants: What You Should Do Instead

I usually don’t pay attention to beauty pageants anymore. My reasons for hating them are pretty obvious and I’ve written about them here before. They blatantly objectify women. If they’re boosting “self-esteem,” as pageant promoting talking heads often claim they do, then it seems to me that said confidence is mostly based on being held up as a figure of immense beauty in a global society where beauty is valued above all else. And while confidence is great, that’s a pretty shallow and transparent thing to feel confident about. And I get that a woman should be able to do whatever the hell she wants (within reason) and that entering a beauty pageant is a choice, but if we cut the shit the “ugh” factor here is a little …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Cherokee S on 01/11/2011

Music Video Girls: Exploitive or an Industry of Independence

UK TV Channel BBC3 once in a while produces something worth taking a look at, and the minute I saw an advert for their latest one-off documentary endeavour – “Music, Money and Hip-Hop Honeys” – exploring the job that is ‘The Music Video Girl’ – I was intrigued.

Music videos are a subject that I often bring attention to. It is impossible to turn on the latest music channel without being bombarded with a series of greased up women jiggling their bits around in front of the camera. Of course, we can’t forget the men parading around them with the,‘Yes, these are my bitches,’ attitude. Unfortunately, apart from pop starlets like Katy Perry – that’s a post worth of discussion right there –  this is mostly a ‘Hip-Hop’ …

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Feminism | Posted by Jocelyn A on 11/18/2010

“Feminist” Advertisements: Exploitation or Progress?

Peggy Orenstein’s “The Way We Live Now” piece in New York Times Magazine a couple months ago explores what she calls the “empowerment mystique,” or using themes of girl power to sell products that have nothing to do with promoting equality. She mentions several recent commercials by companies selling products unrelated to gender or discrimination, such as Verizon and Target, which send a message of empowerment for girls and women. This kind of ad, she claims, manipulates people to associate the company with sincerity and hopefulness. It is also a reflection of a society in which women hold the majority of jobs, and earn more bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorates than men.

Orenstein draws a distinction between the Verizon ad, which shows a series of young women speaking proudly …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 11/17/2010

My First Heartbreak: How Feminism Got Me Through It

This past week my boyfriend dumped me. Now, under normal circumstances, recovery would have been simple. At first, I’d turn the radio randomly to any given pop song where a lyric about “looking into each other’s eyes” would inevitably transition into me sobbing, “WE USED TO LOOK INTO EACH OTHER’S EYES. THIS SONG WAS TOTALLY WRITTEN ABOUT ME AND MY PAIN” followed by dramatic, angsty teen tears. Then, there would be a bitch session with my friends as they confirmed that he was in fact always a douchebag and even though he kind of looked like John Mayer that also kind of added to the doucheyness. Knowing my friends, and our love of festively celebrating the fall season, his picture attached to a pumpkin would probably be presented along with …

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