Archive | January 2014

Nouveau Parfum

A Hungarian singer joins the ranks of speaking out against photoshop in her music video.

Life of a Muslim Feminist

I found this post about #lifeofamuslimfeminist trending on Twitter a while back. Here are some of the tweets:

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I’ve read my fair share of how feminists are divided among lines including color, socioeconomic status, cats and dogs. It’s important to remember people struggle with the same things globally, albeit in various forms. The point is we’re all trying for the same thing, equality for all. Let’s not confuse rights and religion which can work in harmony, as displayed by these tweets. When you start judging an entire gender by their culture or religion, it puts you firmly in the camp of ignorance and makes you into the very oppressors we’re trying to be rid of. Don’t confuse personal opinion with liberation; that’s why we’re in this mess in the first place.

Original post: #lifeofamuslimfeminist

Bechdel Test Wins American Domestic Box Office

As everyone is well aware, films have made very few strides in portraying women accurately, let alone even letting them onscreen. There are still simplistic one dimensional female characters dreamt up by male screenwriters who have yet to encounter real women to put in their scripts.

The Bechdel Test was thought up by Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist who drew the above comic strip. The rules are simple. A movie passes the test if–

  1. It has to have at least two women in it,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man.

On the surface, it seems like a good way to gauge gender bias in movies. In a lot of films, it serves it’s purpose. The Wolf of Wall Street would obviously fail this test whereas Frozen would pass. However it gets a little more complicated with other films. For example, all but one Harry Potter film passes the test (the movies with HERMIONE GRANGER). Sex and the City is all women chattering on about men. Movies that pass the test may still be sexist, and films that fail may still be very empowering.

Although I do agree it’s a simplistic look at gender bias, it’s one of the only sexist finger pointing devices that’s gotten any attention from the media. The comic has been out since 1985, but only in the past few years has it gotten major media attention.

Sweden is the first country to include the test in its film ratings. It’s a way to draw attention to the bigger issue of the blatant gender bias onscreen.

However Hollywood is still making slow, steady strides. As previous studies have proven that movies with more women make more money, this is still true today.  The Bechdel test was applied to the past year in film. The infographic below shows that Bechdel passing movies collectively brought in a bigger box office than their failing counterparts, even when the ‘dubious’ films were excluded.

Bechdel_BR

The lesson to take away here is simple. Your audience is 51% female. We’ve proven that we will flock to the theaters to see more of ourselves onscreen in various capacities. We want to see females portrayed as astronauts, thieves, cops, and ice queens alongside our mother and stripper tropes. If you want our money, give us more women.

On my last and final note, Catching Fire’s domestic gross has officially surpassed Iron Man 3 as the top grossing film of 2013. Seems like the odds were ever in our favor.

Sources:

SWEDISH CINEMAS LAUNCH FEMINIST MOVIE RATING

Films that Fail the Bechdel Test

Bechdel Test Films Triumph at the Box Office

Hollywood Movies With Strong Female Roles Make More Money

‘Catching Fire’ Catches, Passes ‘Iron Man’ as 2013’s Biggest Movie

Elle’s Women in TV Issue

It’s Elle’s fourth annual Women in TV issue.

 

When I first heard Mindy Kaling got a cover on Elle for the first time, I was elated. Then I heard that she was sharing the series with some other badass women. Still amazing. Then I saw the covers and facepalmed. Oh silly, stupid Elle. Was it your intent to look racist and fat-shaming? If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then your magazine is looking like you’re giving us mixed messages about women’s success. After all Kaling has accomplished, not only as a woman but a woman of color, she’s still not deserving of the full-colored space that these other women are allowed to occupy? Mindy is arguably the most normal sized woman of these four, and the only woman of color. She has accomplishments under her size 8 belt including: writer, actor, producer, showrunner, director, author, award-winning human being. She went against all Hollywood norms and literally carved out a space in the media for someone as unique as herself.

Yet the message I’m receiving from Elle is ‘yeah, she’s accomplished, but not a size 0 white female, so let’s go with a cover that makes her seem like the latter.’ The message I’m getting from Elle is ‘she’s done some stuff, but not enough because she doesn’t adhere to what we deem beautiful.’ I’m getting from Elle ‘we’re still a fashion magazine that is preying on the insecurities of women, and we don’t give a shit what you’ve accomplished unless it’s on the outside.’ Well fuck you Elle.

This isn’t the first time they’ve ‘unintentionally’ decided that anyone that doesn’t look like a size 0 model doesn’t deserves the same space. Back in November, I posted about Elle’s Women in Hollywood. That cover included Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Marion Cottilard, and Melissa McCarthy amongst a few others. The first three wore outfits that were body hugging and revealing. McCarthy got an overcoat that made her look glamorous but shapeless.

I couldn’t help but write to Elle that I felt they were irresponsible in how they portrayed Mindy against the other three women. I told them I wouldn’t be giving them another dime (I used to have a subscription) and that I’d dissuade others against their publication. Since the dollar is the only language these corporations understand, I’d urge others to stop buying into their (and generally other fashion magazines) bullshit. If you want to give them a piece of your mind, you too can write to them at: elleletters@elle.com

Related:

Mindy Kaling, Elle Magazine Respond to Cover Controversy (The Wrap)

Mindy Kaling’s Elle Cover Looks Different Than the Others (Jezebel)