Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/14/2015
Is The Media’s Representation Of Sexual Assault Doing More Harm Than Good?
One show doing it right.
Trigger Warning: Mention of sexual assault.
Out of every 6 American women, at least 1 will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. This horrifying yet all too common experience is depicted in mainstream media: Many popular drama series have story lines involving rape, for example. But the question remains: Is sheer volume of this coverage truly beneficial?
The vast majority of TV shows that depict narratives involving assault seem to do so in order to heighten tension and create scandal. Especially considering it’s statistically inevitable that a significant portion of a show’s viewers will be individuals who have survived assault, the phenomenon should ideally be carefully and purposely portrayed in order to show its severity, not to …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 09/21/2015
How These Emmy Winners Are Changing the Game for Women in Hollywood
It’s no secret that Hollywood is sexist. Studies, industry insiders and even the ACLU all confirm this. But as the many female creatives who won in their categories at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards just proved, the problem is not due to a lack of talented or capable women in the industry — but the previous refusal of the industry to produce the stories they want and need to tell.
Many are aware that women are quantifiably underrepresented in the entertainment industry. A recent 2015 Women’s Media Center’s report found that studio senior management is 92% white and 83% male, and that for the 250 most profitable films made in 2014, 83% of the directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors were men. It’s a problem also evident in …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 08/25/2015
How Television Continues to Normalize Eating Disorders
“Please don’t hurl too much, because if you get any thinner I’m gonna start looking fat,” Brooke, the head cheerleader in the show One Tree Hill, nonchalantly says to her best friend in an early episode. It’s unclear if her friend really is bulimic, but regardless, viewers learn that purging isn’t the issue — making your best friend look “fat” is.
Even young viewers are targeted: The seventh episode of the Disney Channel show Shake It Up portrays a model who, in awe of the two thirteen-year-old main characters, declares that she “could just eat you guys up! You know, if I ate.” The entire cast laughs. Refusing to eat is normalized, not raised as a point of concern or serious issue.
The truth of the matter is …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Lexi V on 08/18/2015
How ‘The Bachelorette’ Proves Slut-Shaming Is Alive and Well
Ok, I’ll admit to watching an episode or two (or six) of The Bachelorette this season. For those who haven’t watched, the show focuses on one woman’s quest to find a perfect match among a group of male suitors. Like The Bachelor — the show on which this one is based — she eliminates men every week until she finds the right partner. As a feminist, I certainly have many issues with the show, but one of the biggest (and perhaps most prominent this past season in particular) is the intense slut-shaming the Bachelorette faced.
Slut shaming has been evident in past seasons, but when Kaitlyn Bristowe, the star of this past season, decided that she wanted to have sex with one of the contestants, she faced a …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 08/11/2015
It’s 2015. Why Is Male Nudity Still Funny?
“There’s a big problem in Hollywood today,” Kevin Bacon says at the start of a recently released video. “In so many films and TV shows we see gratuitous female nudity, and that’s not okay.”
While raising this excellent point (albeit one feminists have made before) seems like a promising start, it quickly becomes clear that this is not an earnest message, but a satirical PSA.
“It’s not fair to actresses and it’s not fair to actors,” Bacon continues, “because we want to be naked, too. Gentlemen, it’s time to free the bacon.”
This video thus joins a legacy of efforts to capitalize on the pervasive double standard in the entertainment industry in which men’s naked bodies are funny while naked women are sexual objects to be exploited. While …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/10/2015
Why We Need To Be Careful About Emphasizing Women’s Progress in STEM
Intel / YouTube
I saw it in middle school, and later in high school: If the girls in my class didn’t excel in science, no body was surprised, since girls are never expected to excel in the subject. But if they received a low grade on a paper in English or History, they faced far harsher backlash than did any male student who had also done poorly.
This double standard — that girls will excel in the humanities, and boys in the sciences — has roots in an antiquated past and has ramifications for the future. In my experience in the United States, values in schools and in families still largely align with the Colonial or Victorian idea — adopted from European court and estate cultures – that girls should …
Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 08/5/2015
We Need To Stop Trying to Convince Girls They’re Beautiful
I was lucky enough to have a healthy body image for most of my childhood. I consistently played on various soccer and basketball teams, and between going to practice and scrambling to finish my homework, I did not have a spare moment to think about whether I was too skinny or not skinny enough. I cared about my strength and speed, not my looks.
This past year, however, I have thought more about my appearance than ever before. Last August I sustained my fourth concussion and was forbidden from exercising. For four months, I did little more than sit on my couch and ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. I always preached that everybody is beautiful no matter what, but suddenly found myself horrified that I was …
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 …