Pop-Culture | Posted by Natalie H on 07/9/2015

‘Miss USA’ Switched Networks, But Should It Be Retired Altogether?

Miss America 2014.

NBC recently dropped the Miss USA Pageant, but the pageant quickly found a new home with cable network REELZ. However, it seems like this could have been a good time to stop televising the pageant altogether — and probably should have been.

Although the pageant often highlights the fact that it provides scholarships to its contestants and is thus an academic opportunity, this argument is undeniably incompatible with the contest’s emphasis on beauty. If the pageant is truly a contest of academic achievement, appearance should not factor into whether or not participants receive a scholarship or have any chance to enter the so-called ‘academic’ competition in the first place. How does the way one’s body looks in a bikini relate to their academic capability?

What’s more, the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 06/29/2015

“Hot Girls Wanted”: White Respectability and the Erasure of Men

Credit: Netflix

Hot Girls Wanted  — a new documentary produced by actress Rashida Jones — follows five amateur porn actresses between the ages of 18 to 25 and details their experiences filming porn and living together. While the documentary’s subjects spoke freely, it seems like the filmmakers still crafted the work based on their preconceived notions about porn: Namely, they chose to portray the young actresses as innocent, exploited victims. The film fails to present the possibility that these women have any agency, erases the experiences of women of color in the industry, and arguably most problematically of all allows the men that drive the demand for this industry to remain invisible.

The character whose narrative anchors the film, Tressa, exemplifies this victimized narrative. Tressa is coded as white (although …

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah Landrum on 06/24/2015

5 Ways to Shut Down Sexist Comments at School and Work

Sexism in schools has got to end.

Although we have made a lot of progress towards achieving gender equality, there is still much work to be done. One still-pervasive form of sexism women face is being subjected to sexist comments while doing everyday activities. 87 percent of female respondents to one survey, for example, reported having received a sexist comment, and 45 percent said they have received these comments in public at least 25 times over the course of their lifetimes. And, unfortunately, few environments are free from these remarks — women hear them everywhere, including educational environments and/or workplaces.

Ultimately, we need to create a society in which individuals know better than to make sexist comments in the first place. But, as we work towards that goal, here are …

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Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 06/23/2015

Does That T-shirt Match Her Headscarf?

Samantha Elauf

Samantha Elauf

In 2008, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf was denied a job at a Tulsa, Oklahoma Abercrombie Kids store. Why? The retailer believed her hijab did not comply with their “look policy.” Her headscarf was apparently an immediate indicator that she did not align with the “East Coast collegiate image” Abercrombie cultivates in its branding, the New York Times reported. Elauf was effectively informed that her Muslim identity was un-American.

Elauf fought this notion. She brought her story to the Council on American Islamic Relations, which then brought it to the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC sued Abercrombie & Fitch on Elauf’s behalf and the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. In appellate court, Abercrombie’s defense argued that Elauf had not explicitly stated in …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Holly L on 06/12/2015

Sexism At Music Festivals Needs To End

Where are the women on stage?

Music festival season is just beginning, and with it comes yet another reminder that women still have a long way to go before we achieve equality. Although there are plenty of female acts to choose from, and they clearly deliver when included — some even argued the female acts stole the show at SXSW, for example — one need only look at lineup posters to see the persistent imbalance of men to women at these festivals.

This is not a new phenomenon: Men have long outnumbered women when it comes to festival lineups and headline performers are almost always male. Among the most popular British music festivals last summer, for example, all but one festival completely excluded female acts — and that single female …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Morgan K on 05/15/2015

Margaret Keane and the Countless Invisible Female Artists

A Keane painting

A Keane painting

Our generation may not be too familiar with the haunting “Keane Eyes” which were ubiquitous in the 1950s and 60s. Those dark, doe-eyed figures found their way into print and media, living rooms and coffee shops countrywide. But it wasn’t until Tim Burton brought light to the reality in his biographical drama Big Eyes that the truth about those paintings supposedly created by Walter Keane was made clear to young people.

Margaret Keane – Walter’s wife – spent years painting the “Big Eyed Waifs.” The artist’s husband convinced her that using his name would increase the paintings’ popularity. But as the fame of the paintings — as well as Walter himself — grew, so did Margaret’s anger and isolation. She finally reached a breaking point and came

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Feminism | Posted by Maddie J on 05/6/2015

The Truth About Being A Woman On The Internet

The ugly truth about the Internet.

The Internet is incredible. Our generation has seemingly limitless access to information and can connect with people anywhere in the world in an unprecedented way. It has given people the opportunity to have a voice with which to speak their minds to a potentially huge audience and has enabled people to find their purpose in life. The Internet creates opportunities for learning, discovering, meeting, and helping others: In fact, according to the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee the Internet was created for everyone — as a place for all, no matter their race, gender identity or sexual orientation.

But while the Internet is ideally a place of equality, it has in practice also enabled some to hurt, mislead, and exploit. …

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Feminism | Posted by Marina Arcuschin de Oliveira on 04/27/2015

#SpreadFeminisim: Should Feminism Go Viral?

Feminism is going viral

Feminism is going viral

A friend of mine recently shared #SpreadFeminism, a challenge campaign encouraging fellow feminists to post a video, picture, poem, or anything else related to feminism on their Facebook page for five days and invite three friends to do the same. then continue the trend.

Initially, I was excited. What a simple, powerful idea. At the same time, I couldn’t shake my doubts. I love the idea of spreading feminism, but what notions of feminism will be spread? What if this campaign affirms the struggle but erases its underlying complexities? What if it does more harm than good?

Here’s why I’m worried:

Feminism is beautiful because it is complex. I love the idea that there are so many ways to understand and practice feminism and that it …

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