L’Wren Scott was found dead this morning in a New York City hotel room, in what was apparently a suicide. Clearly, this is an awful situation, and one that we’ll no doubt hear more about in due course. But in the meantime, there’s something singularly depressing about the way that Scott’s death has been reported thus far — because to the news outlets of the world, apparently the most important thing about her wasn’t her successful career as a stylist and designer, or even her name. No, it’s that she was Mick Jagger’s girlfriend.
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“I’m a Fucking Indian Woman Who Has Her Own Fucking Show”: Mindy Kaling Fires Back at “Insulting” Diversity Complaints
AUSTIN, TX: When the question came, you could feel the room get just a little tense. The mood thus far had been jovial at “Running the Show: TV’s New Queen of Comedy,” a Marie Claire-sponsored panel discussion of The Mindy Project, spotlighting the show’s creator/runner/star Mindy Kaling, and the topics were fairly innocuous (her writing process, her next book, the recent Mindy/Danny cliffhanger). But when the time came to field questions from the mostly female audience, one woman posed this query: “You guys have a great, diverse set of characters, but was it a conscious decision for Mindy to be the only female doctor, and the only doctor color of show?”
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In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to start with an International example of complete and utter bullshit.
Jenny Collier, a comedian in the UK received this email on IWD of all days. Blogger Red Mister delved a little deeper to find who was actually performing on the night in question– eight men and one woman. Apparently having two female comedians would break the space time continuum or whatever.
For every stride we make, the overwhelming majority of the world still clings to oppressive patriarchal prejudice. A recent comprehensive report on the Status of Women in the US Media 2013 highlights the actual statistics on the ‘progress’ we’ve made.
- By a nearly 3 to 1 margin, male front-page bylines at top newspapers outnumbered female bylines in coverage of the 2012 presidential election. Men were also far more likely to be quoted than women in newspapers, television and public radio.
- On Sunday TV talk shows, women comprised only 14 percent of those interviewed and 29 percent of roundtable guests.
- Talk radio and sports talk radio hosts are overwhelmingly male.
- As newspaper employment continues to tumble, so does the number of women in key jobs.
- Newer, online-only news sites have fallen into the same rut as legacy media. Male bylines outnumbered female bylines at four of six sites reviewed.
- The percentage of women who are television news directors edged up, reaching 30 percent for the first time. Overall employment of women in TV news remains flat.
- Obituaries about men far outnumber those of women in top national and regional newspapers.
- Women comprised just 9 percent of the directors of the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2013.
- Women comprised 39 percent of documentary directors whose work appeared at major festivals in 2012-13.
- Across all behind-the-camera positions, females were most likely to be producers. However, as the prestige of the producing post increased, the percentage of female participation decreased.
- Forty-seven percent of gamers are women, but 88 percent of video games developers are male
- Even in coverage of issues of great importance to women, men dominated the conversations.
In another grim prediction by University of Denver’s Women’s College, women are projected to reach equal footing in leadership with men… in the year 2085.
Clearly we still have a long way to go. Basically, it’ll be at least another 100 years before we see any real, concrete change in our culture. But, instead of being grim on this International Women’s Day, we just have to keep pushing for change. Call out the assholes who bump us for lacking Y chromosomes, and slowly but surely shifting those statistics so that the blue and pink columns are level.
Sheryl Sandberg and Co. want us to start viewing women more positively. A lot of which starts with literally just seeing images of them as empowered, and not as neurotic, bitchy, housewife, corporate, skank hybrids. Partnering with Getty Images, they’ve introduced a collection of stock photos to use in lieu of said psycho female tropes. From the Getty website:
We are proud to present the Lean In Collection, a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them. Jointly curated by Getty Images and LeanIn.Org – the women’s empowerment nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg – the collection features over 2,500 images of female leadership in contemporary work and life.
A portion of proceeds from the Lean In Collection will go toward the creation of Getty Images grants for images showcasing female empowerment and to supporting the mission of LeanIn.Org.
These are some of the new stock photos you can look forward to seeing online.
I felt this year’s Oscar’s were a little low on pizzazz, but if it were between this and the Seth MacFarlane boob schtick or the Hathaway-Franco debacle, I’d take this year over those any day. Plus this year, we got Cumberbatch attending. But I digress…
My favorite parts of this years Oscars included: performances by Idina Menzel, Karen O and Ezra Koenig, and the dancing actresses during Pharell’s “Happy”. As awards go, everything sort of gelled with what I predicted/wanted. I was elated at Frozen’s wins (Robert Lopez- ‘e got an EGOT!), and extremely moved by both Lupita Nyong’o and Cate Blanchett’s speeches.
Nyong’o looked like Cinderella (#NairobiBlue), and has been wowing me all awards seasons with how spot on all her fashion choices have been. Truly, elegant. She recently celebrated her birthday (“I celebrated at the Independent Spirit Awards where I won”) and spoke about beauty during the Black Women in Hollywood luncheon.
She speaks very poignantly about how there was a lack of people who look like her, role models to look up to on TV. How upon seeing The Color Purple, and model Alek Wek was she able to feel more validated, more beautiful. It’s something I personally understand and have experienced, and so to hear it addressed was very fulfilling. Modeling behavior after others is very common, and it’s easier to feel important when we see people like ourselves represented in our media.
The color of our skin does still matter, when we’re still just breaking ground in an industry that’s been around for over 100 years. It is only this year that we’ve seen the first black female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, when we have the first Latino male to win for Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón, and the first Best Picture won by a black man, Steve McQueen.
The good news is the times are changing. People are being more vocal. Ellen jokingly called out the voters for being racist if they didn’t vote 12 Years A Slave for Best Picture. People are calling out sexist bullshit (Thank fucking Oscar that Wolf of Wall Street didn’t win shit. Newsflash: in this economy, don’t fucking parade the douchebags around who are partially responsible for millions of American’s fiscal struggles).
Speaking of, here’s a trailer for a gender swapped Women of Wall Street. I’m pretty sure people would still go see this movie. Proving that more women just need to be put into movies for there to be audience interest. Also, considering half the movie population is female, you might want to make more movies that appeal to us.
Last but not least, my favorite bit of the Oscars: Cate Blanchett’s awards sweep.
Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech was on point when she called it– Women are fucking dominating the shit out of Hollywood right now.
“And perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are ‘niche’ experiences- they are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money. THE WORLD IS ROUND PEOPLE!”
She said this to uproarious applause, as I stood in my own living room clapping and screaming SISTA PREACH!
She’s been amazing making her rounds, collecting her prizes. Earlier at the Golden Globes, she made a similar statement, saying “It’s been an extraordinary year, not only for cinema, but for roles, and women in particular- the last 10 years, really.”
I could not agree more. These are the stories that are touching, the stories that need to be told. Hollywood needs to adapt better to its global audience, and frankly, to the diversity ingrained in it’s own hometown of the United States/California/Los Angeles.
Stop marginalizing us and start sharing our stories. Sincerely, your captive audience.