Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 12/31/2014
A Eulogy for Misty Upham
It was recently reported that Misty Upham, an actress best known for her work in Frozen River and August Osage County, was found dead in a ravine. It was later revealed that her death was caused by blunt force trauma to her head and torso, although the precise circumstances of her death are still a mystery.
Misty was a rare gem in the entertainment industry. As a Native American woman, she represented a demographic rarely accounted for in the media. According to a study conducted by the USC Annenberg School, only 3.6% of characters in top-grossing films qualified as “other” in 2012. This category includes American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and characters with two or more apparent racial/ethnic origins. 83.9% of characters …
Feminism | Posted by Celeste Y on 12/8/2014
On Having Exclusively White, Male Professors
Academia was introduced to me as an essential part of life at a young age. I have been lucky enough to have been educated in environments in which curiosity was encouraged – a value that has shaped my life in and out of classrooms. I think this explains many things about my self-conception and the way I do things, like the perhaps unnecessarily diligent approach I take to reading (such as, most recently, Amy Poehler’s wonderful book). Admittedly, I attack many books with my highlighter regardless of whether or not I’ll be tested on their content. For me, my school and out-of-school life have been two sides of the same coin: a coin which my parents and I are willingly spending on a higher form of education this year.
Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014
Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?
Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"
Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.
Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …
Feminism | Posted by Lana S on 10/1/2014
The Importance of Colored Feminism
Alice Walker: proponent of womanism
As a Latina living in a society in which white privilege is very real, I have come to understand the importance of colored feminism. It turns out that while the fight against racism and the feminist movement are similar movements in many ways, it’s important that the feminist movement lives up to these ideals and features the voices and perspectives of women of color.
There are many ways in which sexism and racism in this culture create unique situations that only women of color experience and these experiences deserve to be addressed. Take for example the various racist and sexist ways porn depicts women of color. Many people assume Latinas are “spicy” in bed and that Asian women are quiet and submissive because this is …
Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/21/2014
A few weeks ago, Jada, a 16-year-old girl from Houston, Texas, went to a house party and was given a drink by the host. Little did she know that the drink was drugged, and that she would wake up later with no memories of what had just happened.
After Jada went unconscious, she was raped. The rape was recorded via pictures and videos, which were then put on social media. When Jada woke up later she had no idea what had just happened to her. That is, until she checked social media and found alarming tweets, pictures and videos. In a horrific turn of events, her assault was then turned into a meme, where people mimicked her pose– unconscious, sprawled out on the floor, partially unclothed– and then took a …
Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 06/4/2014
“You’re Pretty, For A Black Girl”
“My dick really isn’t attracted to black girls.”
I tried to explain how his comment could come off as a tad bit racist.
“Well, it’s just that I don’t usually like girls like you.”
“You mean, you usually like girls with blonde hair and blue eyes?”
No, this conversation wasn’t with John Mayer. It was with a caucasian male in a fraternity, one of my peers at USC.
I cried that night on my two-mile walk home from “frat row.” I cried the next day. Ok, I cried for countless nights. Not because I was sad about some guy, or because he claimed he “wasn’t interested.” I cried because I was disappointed that American Eurocentric culture still produces people who fear challenging what they have been taught. …
Feminism | Posted by Sarah Colome on 11/4/2013
Where Are the White Women? A Response to Halloween, Blackface, and Missed Opportunities
It is always important to make sure that white folks are not taking up space in a racial justice movement whose very problem is derived from our privilege and racism: it is important to stand in solidarity and support. This is particularly true of white feminists, whose own fights for justice are steeped in a history of segregation and intersectionality. But where is that solidarity with communities of color who perpetually suffer from injustice? Where were white women during one of the more recently publicized incidences of racism: the preponderance of blackface on Halloween?
Halloween conjures up a plethora of imagery: children walking down the street costumed and candied, ghouls and goblins running amuck in haunted houses…and blackface. I have come to dread going out on Halloween not just …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Sam H on 10/28/2013
The Black Girl Conundrum
I will never forget the noise that my mother made when she first saw it. We were navigating the streets of New York on a busy Saturday in 2011, running late for a hair appointment. She was walking so briskly that I struggled to keep up. But then she stopped dead in her tracks and made a sound of absolute disgust. I looked around, trying to figure what would make my mother risk being late for an appointment. Then I saw the massive billboard with a black child and the words “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb.” At the time I didn’t understand the message: I could think of hundreds of places that I felt unsafe as a black child. To me, volcanoes, tigers, …