Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 03/21/2016

Bust Ghosts, Not Women: Sexist Responses To The ‘Ghostbusters’ Trailer Have Got To Go

The new Ghostbusters cast.

The new Ghostbusters cast.

From Fantastic Four, to Zoolander 2, to Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, it seems that 2016 might be the year of cinematic reboots, remakes and sequels. Perhaps one of the most anticipated reboots of the year, however, is the all-female Ghostbusters. Yet the response to the recently released trailer was more critical than were previous, celebratory headlines about the film — for reasons both valid and upsetting.

Plenty of people feel a unique sort of discomfort about sequels or reboots of beloved movies. It’s easy to feel unsure how the new film will be unique without losing the essence of the original on which it’s based. Nobody wants a new addition to ruin or taint their memory of the original.

As …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 03/14/2016

Why ‘Formation’ Is The Most Important Cultural Event of 2016

“Formation.”

As one of the most beloved performers in the world, the release of any new Beyoncé song would have been cause for widespread celebration. But the recent release of “Formation” was something else entirely. The song highlights critical issues facing the black community, like police brutality, the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and even the natural hair movement. Beyoncé’s choice to pair the video release with a subsequent Super Bowl performance, which featured dancers in outfits paying homage to the Black Panther party, made the experience one of the most timeless and significant cultural moments of our generation.

“Formation” is, overall, a clever exploration of black culture that not only acknowledges but champions the beauty and diversity of black experiences. One of my favorite lyrics, for example, is Beyoncé’s …

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Feminism | Posted by Danika K on 03/7/2016

Why Are Women’s Sports Still Not Covered In The Media?

The 2015 Women’s World Cup

More people tuned in to watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 than any other soccer game shown on English-language television in this country in recorded history. The entire event garnered a record 750 million viewers — a seemingly clear indication that women’s sports are worthy of receiving as much televised coverage as do men’s sports.

Even though viewers are clearly interested in women’s sports, however, coverage of these events has only decreased since 1989. One University of Southern California study aptly titled It’s Dude Time! analyzed 25 years of sports media coverage and discovered that women were covered less in 2014 than in 1989. In fact, less than one percent of network television coverage included women’s athletics in 2014 and ESPN’s SportsCenter featured …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 02/15/2016

Are Diverse Barbies Really Progress?

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 12.07.14 PM

Diverse Barbies

I played with Barbies a lot as a little girl. I remember looking at the nude body of one plastic, blonde doll and marveling at her wrinkle-free knees, being baffled by her hard breasts, and wishing my waist could be as narrow as hers. I was only seven years old.

In late January, Mattel released a line of new, diverse Barbie dolls. These dolls now come in three body-types — “curvy,” “tall,” and “petite,” although the original model, complete with large bust and tiny waist, is still available — seven skin tones, twenty-two eye colors, and fourteen “face-sculpts.” Altogether, there are now thirty-three versions of Barbie.

It didn’t take long for the media to react to and pose explanations for this significant change. Writer Megan Garber, for instance, …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Anne Girard on 12/25/2015

These Actresses Broke Down Barriers In Hollywood

Katherine Hepburn

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.

Jean Harlow

When Harlow burst onto the scene in 1929 at the tender …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Dave M on 12/16/2015

Jessica Jones’ Handling of Abuse Offers Empathy and Hope

Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica Jones

Comic books and their adaptations have rightfully been criticized for their portrayal of women for years. All too often, female characters are shallowly depicted as sexualized damsels in distress with unrealistic bodies intended for the male gaze. Jessica Jones, the protagonist of the new Netflix series based on the Marvel comic Alias, manages to not only avoid these overused tropes, but presents a complex, nuanced character who offers representation for a frequently marginalized group: survivors of trauma.

Jessica is a fiercely independent woman who rejects objectification and belittlement. Her strength catalyzes the series’ very plot: The villain, Kilgrave, witnesses Jessica stop a mugging and is immediately enamored by her strength and stamina. Kilgrave, whose superpower is his ability to make others obey …

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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 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Claire B on 11/30/2015

In Defense of Mellie Grant: Why Scandal’s Scorned First Lady May Be It’s Most Feminist Character

Bellamy Young, who plays Mellie Grant on ‘Scandal’

Writer-director-producer extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes’ hit show Scandal has too many feminist moments to count. Each episode of the show declared “the most feminist show on TV” by the New York Post seems to tackle an important issue, from sexual assault, to domestic violence, to women in the workforce and beyond. The most powerful message this show sends to over one million viewers per week isn’t found solely in the actions of the glass-ceiling-shattering protagonist Olivia Pope, but the ways in which the show demonstrates the glass ceiling remains for all women.

This message is most clearly revealed by the juxtaposition of Olivia —the President’s strong, independent mistress — with Mellie, the president’s “bitchy” wife. The portrayal of the equally ambitious women makes …

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