Pop-Culture | Posted by Anne Girard on 12/25/2015
These Actresses Broke Down Barriers In Hollywood
This past year, many female entertainers — like Amy Schumer, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashley Judd and others — received well-deserved attention for their commitment to fiercely confronting sexism in Hollywood. But most people are unaware that a collection of smart, savvy and oh-so talented women blazed the trail for them years ago.
These actresses were not content to buy into the sexist status quo set by the powerful, male-dominated studio system that required them to objectify themselves to make their mark. They insisted on doing it their way and, in doing so, not only challenged the gendered stereotypes of the time, but also gave women new and dynamic role models for years to come.
When Harlow burst onto the scene in 1929 at the tender …
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 …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 05/27/2015
What Happens When Women Publicly Stand Up For Themselves
Women are disrespected far too often. They’re frequently interrupted, talked over, or directly insulted. So, it is particularly satisfying — even cathartic — when a woman publicly takes a stand against this treatment.
Influential Lebanese TV host Rima Karaki recently did just that. A BuzzFeed article titled Badass Journalist Shuts A Man Down After He Says It’s Beneath Him to Be Interviewed By A Woman featured Karaki’s brilliant take down of a rude, insulting scholar named Hani Al-Seba’i who ordered her to be silent. “I run the show,” she reminded him before ultimately cutting off Al-Seba’i’s transmission.
I was floored by Karaki’s compelling and brave actions — especially considering that she acted in a culture which tends to uphold traditional gender roles.I am a Classics major and am …
Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/25/2015
Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling and the Importance of Live Panels
I’m a fan of both Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling. Yet I found myself somewhat surprised by just how impressive I found both women while recently watching their contributions to a Sundance live panel moderated by Emily Nussbaum via YouTube. I tried to pinpoint why exactly I was so taken with the extent to which I found both women endearingly self-aware, thoughtful and humble.
Perhaps, I finally realized, it had something to do with the panel format itself. Instead of answering the typical lazily sexist questions both women are frequently asked — like about existing as a female in Hollywood or what it was like to work with [insert male co-star here] — these talented individuals were given open platforms to discuss substantive issues they actually care about. Dunham, Kaling …
Feminism | Posted by Martine K on 01/21/2015
The Case Against ‘Fad’ Feminism
Although feminism was once ignorantly considered a radical subculture full of man-hating, bra-burning lesbians, the movement has now arguably been integrated into mainstream culture. Pop culture icons like Beyoncé, Emma Watson, and Taylor Swift are encouraged and even pressured to identify with the “f-word” and to furthermore serve as feminist role models for young girls everywhere. While it’s encouraging that immensely successful women are publicly identifying as feminist and, by doing so, inspiring their fans to embrace the term as well, it’s important to remember that feminism is so much more than a trend. We must not forget that feminism is a social movement and, as such, requires much more than just a willingness to identify with the label.
Feminism might be about believing that men and women …
Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 12/1/2014
Black Lives Matter: Black Women In Revolution
Though there has been a recent frenzy of media coverage surrounding police violence against black men in America, the murder of black bodies by this society is not a new issue. Beyond police brutality, black and brown bodies have found themselves the targets of various forms of systemic oppression since before slavery. Yet it seems we are currently experiencing a political war between those who choose to be color-blind, to declare that America is post-racial, and those that understand the pervasive, racialized reailty of our modern patriarchy. However, especially considering recent events (such as those that unfolded in Ferguson), it’s crucial that we critically examine how to foster a comprehensive dialogue about racism in America.
On November 1st, I attended a conference sponsored by the African American Policy …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe P on 08/22/2014
The Dangers of Internalized Misogyny
We need feminism now more than ever for many reasons, but rampant internalized misogyny — which often goes unnoticed and, in some situations, is even understood as social norms – is as good a reason as any.
Culturally, we seem to have just accepted that “sex sells.” But the media, advertising and other cultural institutions “sell sex” largely by demeaning women and causing them to feel ashamed about their bodies. For example, American Apparel is known for its sexually exploitive advertising and marketing. Take the sock and stocking section of their website. The female stocking model is portrayed doing an uncomfortable-looking acrobatic move with her thigh highs, while the male model merely wears socks on his feet. Images like these allow viewers to internalize ideas about women as passive …