Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/20/2015
These Students Are Sending A Powerful Message to the Oscars
It may be 2015, but women’s representation in the entertainment industry is still grim. According to the Women’s Media Center, a recent San Diego State University report, for instance, found that women accounted for only 16 percent of directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors for the top 250 domestically made films in 2013. This number is depressingly low on its own and, unfortunately, is even a decline of 2% from the previous year.
Such statistics demonstrate why events like the Athena Film Festival, which addresses the lack of representation of women filmmakers by devoting an entire weekend to honoring their work, are so important. Melissa Silverstein, co-founder of the festival as well as founder of the blog Women and Hollywood, works tirelessly to raise awareness …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 02/2/2015
The Real Reason Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Sexist
I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on NPR when I was 15. It was the tail end of the story, and all that I could glean was the name, that it was an immensely popular work of fiction, and that it was particularly popular among the elderly in nursing homes. Priding myself in being a well-informed and well-read individual, I decided I should be reading this seemingly topical and influential book. I pranced into Barnes and Noble on my high horse, bragging to my friend about how I was buying a very popular book to enhance my personal literature collection. When I told her what the book was, she blushed and said her Mom wouldn’t let her read it.
“Why?” I asked, thoroughly confused.
“Because it’s… porn!” She …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/28/2015
An Interview with Melissa Silverstein
It’s no secret that the film industry is hardly hospitable to women. The Women’s Media Center found that only six percent of the 100 top films of 2012 cast the sexes in equal numbers, and only 28.4% of those movies cast women in roles with speaking parts. Furthermore, men outnumbered women 5-to-1 in key behind the camera roles: women accounted for only 4.1 percent of directors, 12.2 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers of these films.
But Melissa Silverstein is trying to change that. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood and co-founder of the Athena Film Festival. Silverstein recently took a break from preparing for the fifth annual festival to talk to the FBomb about why women are underrepresented in the
Feminism | Posted by Martine K on 01/21/2015
The Case Against ‘Fad’ Feminism
Although feminism was once ignorantly considered a radical subculture full of man-hating, bra-burning lesbians, the movement has now arguably been integrated into mainstream culture. Pop culture icons like Beyoncé, Emma Watson, and Taylor Swift are encouraged and even pressured to identify with the “f-word” and to furthermore serve as feminist role models for young girls everywhere. While it’s encouraging that immensely successful women are publicly identifying as feminist and, by doing so, inspiring their fans to embrace the term as well, it’s important to remember that feminism is so much more than a trend. We must not forget that feminism is a social movement and, as such, requires much more than just a willingness to identify with the label.
Feminism might be about believing that men and women …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 01/9/2015
“So Popular!” with Janet Mock: The Feminist Pop Culture Show We’ve Been Waiting For
Many of us are fans of Janet Mock’s work as a transgender activist and her incredible New York Times Bestselling book Redefining Realness. Now we have a new medium through which to appreciate Mock’s fierceness: she’ll host her own MSNBC show, “So Popular!”
I applaud MSNBC for choosing a transgender woman of color to headline their new online show. Mock has been very vocal about her experience of accepting and owning her womanhood, including her choice to have gender reconstructive surgery. She states on her blog: “I was born in what doctors proclaim is a boy’s body. I had no choice in the assignment of my sex at birth…My genital reconstructive surgery did not make me a girl. I was always a girl.”
On “So Popular!” …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 01/2/2015
Why The Legend of Korra May Be the Best Cartoon Show Ever
On December 19th, Nickelodeon released the final episode of the series The Legend of Korra, a fantastical animated series set in a world where four tribes, each of which is associated with an element (earth, fire, water or air), co-exist. In this world some people called “benders” can control only one of these elements while the “Avatar,” named Korra, can control them all. The show was a spinoff from Avatar: The Last Airbender and was originally supposed to run for only two seasons, but became so popular that it was extended to four. The show was popular for many reasons, not least of which is its dedication to depicting diverse characters that represented a range of backgrounds along the lines of race, gender, socioeconomic class, religion and spirituality. Furthermore, …
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 Emma M on 12/29/2014
What Bill Cosby Has Taught Us About Sexual Assault and Power
Bill Cosby, the Jello pudding man and one of America’s most beloved and successful comedians, may have raped and assaulted at least 20 women – women who have, starting in 2002, publicly come forward with their stories.
Their accounts are hauntingly similar: a young, maybe up-and-coming, model or actress meets Cosby, usually on the set of The Cosby Show or at an event, and he invites her to his home for a meal or a drink to discuss her career. He is connected, experienced, a celebrity; she is eager, hopeful, flattered. At some point during dinner, he drugs her and, once her defenses are low, he is forceful, abusive, and violent in his assault.
The women go home or back to their hotels, reminded that America’s favorite sweater-clad Dad holds