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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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 …

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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 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/28/2015

An Interview with Melissa Silverstein

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

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