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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Feminism | Posted by Hannah B on 07/2/2015

The Problem With The Supposed Feminist ‘Comeback’

Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road

Much lip service has been paid to feminism’s supposed comeback — especially in terms of more authentic representations of women in pop culture. Charlize Theron’s recent portrayal of the badass protagonist Furiosa Mad Max: Fury Road, for example, simultaneously inspired feminists while incensing various “Male Rights” groups across the country. Broad City has been lauded for its pithy dialogue and mold-breaking portrayal of female friendships. But though this proliferation of strong, multifaceted women taking over billboards and box-offices is encouraging, though comedians like Amy Schumer and writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly deserve the attention they’re receiving, we cannot ignore the fact that these successes don’t erase the persistent reality of global misogyny.

The truth is, this so-called feminist revival is occurring …

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Feminism | Posted by Molly H on 06/3/2015

Abercrombie and Ditch? Why Abercrombie and Hollister Are Ditching Sexualization

An Abercrombie model

Academics, parenting blogs, and activists have protested the media’s inappropriate and gross hypersexualization of girls. Nearly every TV commercial I watch or department store I visit reminds me of this — Target has a bra section for girls pre-teen girls, most of whom have yet to develop breasts, just to name one example. It’s a major problem in plain sight.

While it’s true that girls are probably sexualized in the media at a much higher rate than boys, a recent Buzzfeed article revealed how Abercrombie and Hollister are rejecting sexualization of all. In a statement made on April 24th, Abercrombie announced that they will remove all types of sexualization from their advertising and promotional events by July 2015 — including the hypersexualized, shirtless men they …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 05/27/2015

What Happens When Women Publicly Stand Up For Themselves

Rima Karaki

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 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Tara E on 03/27/2015

Meet The Comedy Duo Asking Strangers “What Do Feminists Look Like?”

What does feminism look like? If you identify as a feminist, you probably feel trained to not care about appearances and encourage others not to as well. But maybe you still wonder: What does my appearance tell the world about who I think I am?

The truth is we all judge people based on what they look like and they judge us, too. Shugs & Fats, the new comedy web series created by Nadia Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, is all about acknowledging this and dealing with it through irony and laughter. Doing so, their humor suggests, not only makes us feel better but also helps us understand why our preconceived assumptions are problematic in the first place.

Manzoor and Vaz — as South Asian, female comedians — also …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 03/18/2015

How Weightlifting Helped One College Student Overcome Her Eating Disorder

When Nika Shelby, a student at Union College, started weightlifting it wasn’t to get fit. She was fighting to save her life.

In high school, her friends knew her as a powerhouse. She was the strongest member of any team and a force to be reckoned with. But the parts of her body that gave her strength — the thick legs and strong arms that identified her as an athlete — were also her greatest enemies. Determined to attain the body that she wanted, Nika pulled away from sports and retrained her laser focus on getting skinny.

She was good at it too. She spiraled into a destructive eating disorder complete with food-free days and an Adderall prescription obtained with the intent of appetite suppression. She successfully sent her metabolism …

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Feminism | Posted by Trip E on 02/24/2015

The Major Problem With Patricia Arquette’s ‘Feminist’ Oscar Speech

Patricia Arquette was largely lauded for her Oscar speech Monday night. She called out the gender wage gap, stating, “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” But honestly, her speech—not to mention her subsequent comments backstage—have left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

“But Trip!” you say, shocked at my callousness, “Do you NOT care about the wage gap? Do you NOT spiritually identify with the GIF of Meryl Streep’s fist-pumping reaction? Have the meninists gotten to you?”

Listen, reader, I hope you know I care tremendously about the wage …

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