Today’s youth culture encourages females and males alike to embrace their sexuality and allows a freedom of expression. But it seems this freedom of sexual expression has ended up glamorising the idea that females are nothing more than sexual objects. Or at least, it seems that’s what girls our age think.
I have to wonder – how have girls our age not heard of the efforts made by Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragettes at the beginning of the 20th century? Or the women’s liberation protest demonstration at the 1969 Miss World beauty contest? I have discovered that there are very few teenage girls out there who fully comprehend the feminist movement and its effects on society, and, more importantly, its hopes and aspirations for the future generations of women.
Observations in Target: Mass Marketing and Young Females
“Mom, look! That’s Rocky and CeCe, from ‘Shake it Up‘! Can I pleeeeease get one of their clothes?” She stands on her tiptoes to reach the highest shelf and points to a t-shirt with an attached pinstriped vest that is almost identical to the one CeCe is wearing in the poster above the rack of clothes. “I like that one!”
My post-elementary school years have contained very little Disney Channel, which I consumed vigorously as a child. But after spending a week with a seven-year-old, I was fully informed on how Disney is functioning today. I know every person says this about the shows they watched when they were kids, but I truly believe that the shows were much better then, especially for girls. Or maybe it’s just that …
Elena Rossini is a film director, cinematographer and editor from Italy. She’s also a really awesome woman who is working on multiple feminist projects, including a documentary about the manipulation of women’s bodies in our culture (The Illusionists) and an awesome blog (No Country for Young Women) that works to connect women across generations (that I happen to have been featured on). One of my favorite works of Elena’s, however, is her short film “Ideal Women” which was commissioned by ARTE/the Louvre Museum’s project “4 Semaines” and which I was lucky enough to see at the Endangered Species Summit. Enjoy!
Feminism | Posted by Brenna McCaffrey on 04/25/2011
Violence in Baltimore Evidence of Transphobic Culture
(Warning: The following video link shows real and brutal violence.)
This video, which surfaced on the internet yesterday morning, shows a transgender woman being beaten by two female customers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland. The two young women appear to have attacked the woman after realizing she was transgender, brutally and violently kicking and hitting her as she curls into a ball on the ground. The physical violence, which eventually caused the woman to suffer a seizure on the floor of the same McDonald’s, is only a piece of the injustice. Out of the employees and fellow customers in the store, only two feebly attempt to help the woman. The others stand by, cheering on the two attackers and filming the whole order on their camera phones, …
Body Image in the Media: Glee Gets It Right, But Are We Ready?
Every once in a while, usually when 30 Rock is a re-run, I’ll flip over to the CW. And I kind of get the draw of the utterly escapist fantasies that shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl offer. Serena Van Der Woodsen / Blake Lively is like 14 feet tall with blonde hair that cascades over her shoulders as she effortlessly hails a cab on her way to a club – that just so happens to blithely serve the underage – in order to sabatoge another rich, white, tall, thin, personality-less girl in a plan that always seems to involve drugs or faked pregnancies or a trip to Geneva or something that probably could’ve been solved had she invited her nemesis to have a nice talk over Chai tea. But …
I was lucky enough to recently see Lady Gaga in concert–it was fantastic. She was fantastic (her voice is really good), the show was fantastic, and the world that she created onstage was fantastic. If you’ve ever seen her live or in a video, you know what I mean. If you ever, ever get a chance to see her in concert, go–it was that good.
One thing that stood out about her show was the way the she constantly reminded the audience of the fact that she–or at the least the version of herself that she is onstage–is fake. She is a reflection of what her listeners and audience expect and what from her; she is there to be whatever we want and need her to be. Towards the beginning …
We don’t live in a vacuum. Our ideas, our lexicon, and our beliefs are shaped by outside forces like society, culture, environment, and religion. Fields like sociology and anthropology prove that.
Words matter. You said something heterosexist because your parents / the media / your religion told you; you weren’t born a bigot. Forces like that reflect and shape your ideas. When people, especially celebrities, say transphobic things they fuel transphobia and other people think it is ok because their ideas aren’t challenged. Their bigotry is reinforced every day by outside forces like that. We are conditioned to say things that hurt other people, but we don’t change it because it seems like it doesn’t affect your reality.
That’s where privilege comes from. If the dominant culture constantly puts out …
When I was nine years old, I secretly dreamed of becoming a model.
I still wanted to be a writer, of course, but hey, a girl can dream, right? My family doctor had told my parents that because of their heights (my mom is 5’6” and my dad is 6’1”), my twin brother and I were likely to grow like bean sprouts to over 6 feet. I liked being tall for my age. Being my nine-year-old-self, I thought my potential height would be the key to becoming a model. (Also being young and naïve, I succumbed to society’s spoon-fed diet of telling girls that beauty is limited to certain numerical requirements. Thanks, society.)
I also liked the way models looked so serious as they strutted down the runway. (I distinctly …