Saturday, December 28, 2013

What the Media Did Well for Women in 2013

If you haven't already seen it, you need to check out The Representation Project's video, "How the Media Failed Women in 2013." It's an excellent video that showcases some of the media's biggest failures in its representations of women this year.

The beginning of the video acknowledges some of the wins for women in the media this year. Among others, they mentioned how GoDaddy finally promised to get rid of its sexist ads, Sweden decided to use the Bechdel test in movie ratings, Kerry Washington became the first African American woman since 1995 to be nominated for a best lead actress Emmy, and how the female-driven movies Catching Fire and Gravity soared at box offices.

Although the fails that the video focuses on are important to think about, I have decided to end 2013 in a positive note and highlight some more wins for women in the media this year. We must be hopeful for a better future, and the only way to do that is to focus on what the media is already doing well.

Here are some of my personal favorite moments of 2013 in which women won in the media:

Kathryn Bigelow and Zero Dark Thirty

I had the amazing opportunity to see Kathryn Bigelow speak at my school (GWU) this semester. She discussed her career, focusing a lot on her two blockbusters, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. In her discussion of Zero Dark Thirty, she mentioned how people often ask her why she decided to make the lead character a woman. She said that it was not an artistic decision, for a woman really did lead the search for Osama bin Laden. Although we will not know that woman's name for another 20 years or so, it is inspiring to know that a strong woman led the greatest manhunt of the past decade.

Jennifer Lawrence

Where do I even begin? From her Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook to her highly successful sequel to The Hunger Games, JLaw was on fire this year (haha get it?). She also proved herself to be a role model for girls worldwide, with her interviews promoting positive body image and feminism. Also, she's fucking hilarious.

Lily Allen's new single, "Hard Out Here"

Despite all of the controversy the video faced for its use of black dancers, I find this song to be a wonderful satire of the situation that women face in the media. From Miley Cyrus to Lady Gaga, female pop stars feel pressure to overly sexualize themselves in order to receive attention. In "Hard Out Here" Lily Allen pokes fun at this situation while encouraging us all to break that glass ceiling. For those of you who haven't heard the song yet (or if you love it and want to listen to it again!), I've included the lyrics video, as the controversial official music video can distract from the lyrics.

Kinky Boots

Cyndi Lauper's hit new musical, Kinky Boots won many awards at the Tony's, including Best Musical and Best Score, making Cyndi Lauper the first woman to win the Best Score award solo.


In last week's post, I discussed how Beyoncé pretty much runs the world. Her latest surprise album is flawless and rounds out the year on a positive note for women.

Happy New Year, everyone!

~ Corinne

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Who run the world? Beyoncé.

So Beyoncé has ruined Christmas for me.

Why? Because I can't listen to Christmas music since I only want to listen to her new album.

Queen Bey's surprise album is, well - to say the least - flawless. Not only is it filled with some great party jams, but it's also deeply thought-provoking. It's Beyoncé's most intimate album yet. From describing in detail what her and Jay Z like to do in the back of cabs to admitting that even divas feel jealous sometimes, Beyoncé shows us that she is much more than what she appears to be on the surface.

The album is sex-positive, promotes self-love, and is - above all - feminist.

As Queen Bey says, "My message behind this album was finding the beauty in imperfection." She sure got that message across.

In her post "That Time Beyonce's Album Invalidated Every Criticism of Feminism EVER," blogger Christina Coleman provides many examples of how the album smashes all the stereotypes that people often associate with feminism and shows how important it is for women of all ages to identify as feminist. Coleman writes:

It [is] Beyonce’s emancipation from social chains, from criticism, from the lines media drew that illustrate her as something manufactured or “polished” in comparison to the alternative, her sister Solange. These are boxes, they are inaccurate and Beyonce crushed them, quite literally, in this new album.

Without a doubt, my favorite part of the album is the sound clip from Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi's powerful TED Talk, "We should all be feminists." I had never seen the talk but I was so intrigued while watching this part of the "***Flawless" music video that I had to pause the video to look it up. I've never heard a better speech in favor of feminism:

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are...Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, economic equality of the sexes.

Now I could go on for hours deconstructing every solitary detail of this album, but I'd rather hear what you all have to say about it. Am I biased as a Beyoncé superfan or does it truly merit all this acclaim?

I'll let you all ponder on that while watching this flawless GIF 10,000 times.



~ Corinne

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hating on Carrie isn't doing anything good for feminism

Now I know that I am over a week behind on this, but now that I am done with finals, I FINALLY got down to watching "The Sound of Music Live!" tonight. Being a week behind meant that I got to see what my friends, critics, and the Twitterverse got to say about it before actually watching it. Unfortunately, the only posts that I saw were negative ones about the program's star, Carrie Underwood.

Yes, Carrie is not a trained actress and there are plenty of professional actresses who could have done the role better, but it's not fair for us to be so critical of Carrie. The worst part is that many of these negative reviews came from women. As a woman and feminist, I personally do not think that it is right to hate on other women. We should look at Carrie's performance from a positive lens because it is her presence - not any of the male performers' - that brought in many of the 21.3 million viewers.

I'll admit that there were some parts where I was yelling at the TV screen, "Come on, Carrie! Stop being so monotone, pleae!" But thankfully most of the words that came out of her mouth were lyrics, and there's no doubt that Carrie has a wonderful voice. She must have worked very hard to get rid of her country twang, and it certainly paid off. She sounded amazing. And while she was singing, her eyes lit up and she told the story beautifully.

So let's stop it with this girl-on-girl crime. Carrie's voice is fantastic and although she may not be the best actress, she still did a fantastic job.

And if Carrie was not enough for you, Audra KILLED IT so just calm down and listen to this:

But alas, critics will be critics... :-P

~ Corinne

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finals are hard

Hey Feminist Felines!

I wanted to apologize for not posting recently. I've been crazy busy with final projects, exams, and I worked all of Black Friday weekend (#slayme).

So instead of writing a whole post this week, I'm going to suggest that you all check out this preview for "The Mask You Live In," the newest documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and The Representation Project. The Representation Project (formally called is an organization that works towards ending unfair representations of men and women in the media. Two summers ago, I participated in their "#KeepItReal Challenge," asking women's magazines to stop using Photoshop to unrealistically alter the bodies of their models.

Newsom's first documentary, "Miss Representation" received critical acclaim for its examination of the media and how it represents women. "The Mask You Live In" analyzes how the media represents men and how societal pressures to be masculine can negatively affect young men and boys.

Here's a preview:

I'm really excited for the documentary to come out and will be sure to notify you all on its release date!

Talk to you all soon!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lily Allen's Controversial New Music Video


This week, British pop sensation Lily Allen came out with a new single called "Hard Out Here." The song's music video, which is intended to be a satire of Robin Thicke's infamous "Blurred Lines" (check out 3:07 in Allen's video), has received a lot of backlash for what some people perceive to be an objectification of black women through the movements of its scantily clad black dancers.

What some people see as racism, I see as Allen poking fun at Miley Cyrus' controversial VMA performance in which she used black women as props. But looking beyond the images in the video, I personally think that the lyrics provide a great critique of the pressures that women feel to be thin (“You should probably lose some weight / Because we can’t see your bones”) and of the double-standard that exists in society's view of sexuality (“If I told you about my sex life you’d call me a slut / When boys be talking about their bitches, no one’s making a fuss”).

People are entitled to their own opinions, but I think that you need to trust the artist on this one. Allen clearly had a point to make in her video about the sexism and objectification of women that is all too present in the media, but she certainly did not intend to objectify black women in her critique.

Allen defended herself on TwitLonger with the following:

Privilege, Superiority and Misconceptions
1. If anyone thinks for a second that I requested specific ethnicities for the video, they're wrong.
2. If anyone thinks that after asking the girls to audition, I was going to send any of them away because of the colour of their skin, they're wrong.

3. The message is clear. Whilst I don’t want to offend anyone. I do strive to provoke thought and conversation. The video is meant to be a lighthearted satirical video that deals with objectification of women within modern pop culture. It has nothing to do with race, at all.

4. If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens; I actually rehearsed for two weeks trying to perfect my twerk, but failed miserably. If I was a little braver, I would have been wearing a bikini too, but I do not and I have chronic cellulite, which nobody wants to see. What I’m trying to say is that me being covered up has nothing to do with me wanting to disassociate myself from the girls, it has more to do with my own insecurities and I just wanted to feel as comfortable as possible on the shoot day.

5. I'm not going to apologise because I think that would imply that I’m guilty of something, but I promise you this, in no way do I feel superior to anyone, except paedophiles, rapists murderers etc., and I would not only be surprised but deeply saddened if I thought anyone came away from that video feeling taken advantage of, or compromised in any way.
6. Ask the ladies yourselves @shalaeuroasia @monique_Lawz @ceodancers @TempleArtist @SelizaShowtime @melycrisp

Although Allen did not mean to come of as racist, it does not necessarily mean that her video is okay. Sometimes people can be unintentionally racist. Black feminist blogger Mia McKenzie brings up a great point in her recent post, explaining that just because the video is meant to be a satire does not make the content of the video acceptable by any means. She writes:

I like satire as much as the next person. I write a lot of satirical stuff myself. And you know what? Satire works best when you are flipping the script on the oppressor, on the system. When you are calling attention to the ways that the system is jacked by amplifying the absurdity of that system. Not caricaturing and otherwise disrespecting the people who are oppressed by that system...[Lily Allen], why the fuck does your feminism look like this?? Why do you need the bodies of women of color as background for your points? Why do you think slapping the asses of black women on national stages makes you smart or edgy or anything but an asshole? Why do you feel like you are entitled to use our bodies in these ways?

That's both sides of the issue, and I'm curious as to what you all think. Please feel free to watch the video and comment below!

On a lighter note, check out this adorable cat dancing to Sage the Gemini's "Gas Pedal." This cat would LOVE to be a backup dancer for Lily Allen someday!

~ Corinne

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" from a Feminist Perspective

As I said in my "RENT" post two weeks ago, I am very involved in theatre at GW, serving as Executive Producer of Forbidden Planet Productions. This weekend we produced our annual production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Rocky Horror is an important tradition for FPP, as it is where we get our name. The year marked the 19th year of FPP and of FPP's Rocky Horror.

FPP's Rocky Horror is especially meaningful for me because it has been a huge part of my college experience. I have been involved in the production since my freshman year, first playing the role of Columbia (the eyebrow-less groupie) and then directing the show last year.

Rocky Horror means a lot of things to a lot of different people. 2013 marks the 38th year since the movie first premiered, and it is the epitome of a cult classic. Rocky Horror teaches people to be comfortable in their own skin. It's a safe place to cross-dress, wear fishnets and heels, and scream profanities in front of complete strangers. And most importantly, it's A BLAST!!

The following quote from Richard O'Brien (the creator of Rocky Horror who plays Riff Raff in the movie) is one of my favorite quotes (it's literally in my Facebook "favorite quotes" section) and really describes the unique experience that is "The Rocky Horror Picture Show":

"I think perhaps because I didn't know what I was doing explains some of the success. I've seen and met so many people who want to write and whatnot to do this kind of manipulative work. Ahead of time, (they'll say) ‘Oh they're going to love this.’ Who are they? ‘No, do you like it? Does it work for you?’ It's not about them. I think whatever came out of Rocky was because of its expression of freedom, its adolescent kind of drive gave its edge really and the longevity in the end of the day…I'm just so grateful that I've been part of something that has so uniquely left its mark."

I cannot be more proud of this year's cast of Rocky Horror. They all worked so hard and since day one of the rehearsal process, they have reminded me of why I love this show and why I love FPP.

Probably one of the best cat videos ever made. Check the original number from the movie here.

~ Corinne

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On "Sexy" Halloween Costumes

"Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."

Cady Heron knows what's up. Girls love to dress "slutty" on Halloween. Walk into a costume store and you are bombarded with a wall full of "sexy" costumes for women. From "Sexy Corn on the Cob" to "Sexy Fox" and "Sexy Pizza," you can pretty much take anything and turn it into a skimpy costume for Halloween.

Now I don't care if a girl wants to show a little skin. Women have the right to wear whatever they want and they shouldn't be slut-shamed whenever they choose to wear a short skirt. What I have a problem with is that an entire wing of the costume industry is marketed to be "sexy," when true sexiness comes from within, not from the (lack of) clothes on your body.

In an interview with Bitch magazine, independent fashion designer Adam Arnold and Portland fashion designer-manufacturer Cassie Ridgway discuss the obsession with sexy Halloween costumes.

Arnold discusses why many women feel that Halloween is the one day a year that they are allowed to look sexy:

It's the one day of the year that every person has the permission to express something that is inside of them that they cannot express in their daily life. Obviously, you can express yourself in what you wear every day. But it's almost like there's this permission on Halloween. It is too bad that a lot of the options that are available, if you're not handy with your hands, seem trashy. There are a lot of people that feel there's a part of themselves in this society that is, for a lack of a better word, sexy and sensual. Our society as a whole downplays that and makes it seem unnatural when I believe it's a completely natural feeling to feel sexy. It's a great feeling, being comfortable in your body. On Halloween, maybe that becomes kind of stretched in a way in a person's mind and they're able to think of themselves as a crazy sexy animal, piece of toast, or circuit board.

A woman can dress up as a sexy circuit board if she so pleases, but some of these costumes are just outright offensive. Browsing through the costumes on lingerie website, Yandy, I found some of your typical racist costumes ("Indian Princess," "Native American Royalty," "Sexy White Eskimo," "Asian Persuasion," etc.) as well as one that made my jaw drop, the "Sexy Straight Jacket" costume.

Are these "designers" TRYING to offend people? I just don't get it. These disrespectful costumes bring up a whole other issue with Halloween costumes. And don't even get me started on the fact that some people thought that it was okay to dress in blackface this year. Halloween is not an excuse to be racist.

All in all, there is nothing wrong with a woman trying to show some skin. As long as she does not offend a whole demographic with her costume and she knows that true sexiness comes from within, she wear whatever she wants!

Check out some of the best Halloween costumes for cats!

~ Corinne

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Take Me Or Leave Me: RENT from a Feminist Perspective

The cast of Forbidden Planet Productions' RENT performing "Seasons of Love." 
Photo credit: The GW Hatchet

As a student at The George Washington University, I am actively involved in the student-run theatre organization, Forbidden Planet Productions, and I currently serve as the company's Executive Producer. FPP is known for putting on musicals and straight plays, as well as its annual production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," I have performed and/or worked backstage in 13 FPP productions since my freshman year, but the past eight weeks have been the most meaningful, as I got to work on my all-time favorite show, RENT.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show (shame on you!), here's a little background on it taken from Wikipedia:

RENT is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It. tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York City's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

RENT has connected to millions of people since it first premiered on Broadway in 1996 and is the ninth longest-running Broadway show in history, closing in 2008 after a 12-year run. The show has not only connected to people suffering with AIDS or people who know others who suffer from the disease and/or died from it. The show connects to artists, loners, LGBT people and allies, as well as people of all ages, races, classes, and sizes from all over the world.

I was a little late on the band wagon, as I did not fully discover the show until my sophomore year of high school. I had been familiar with the songs from an early age since it was my mother's favorite show and she would play the soundtrack all the time, but I had never seen a production until I saw the movie when I was 16.

That first time that I watched the movie was around the time that my grandfather died. He was the first person close to me that had ever died, and RENT helped me to cope with my grief. To this day, I cannot watch or listen to "I'll Cover You (Reprise)" without thinking of him.

Another reason as to why RENT means so much to me as that it is considered by many to be a feminist work of art. With cross-dressers and LGBT characters, RENT celebrates freedom of expression and praises openness. In "Modern Feminism: Taking a Cue from Broadway's RENT," Yahoo blogger Kaira Williams discusses why the character Joanne Jefferson is "one of the strongest female characters on stage and film." Williams writes:

Joanne Jefferson is a character that stands out as really breaking out of the typical Hollywood gender, race and sexuality restrictions. Joanne is a successful black, lesbian lawyer who comes from a well-to-do family and constantly comes through for her friends and life-partner throughout the film. She exhibits characteristics of any protagonist male character that one would normally see in a Hollywood movie, and she accomplishes these feats with her clothes on. Joanne is a strong woman because not her race, sexuality or gender is touched upon as being an issue in the movie. She is female to the core, and does not hesitate to show more "female aspects" of her personality, but never wavers in her strength throughout those moments.

Joanne is pretty kick-ass and is one of my favorite characters in the show. She sings the duet "Take Me or Leave Me" with her girlfriend, Maureen, and the song is one of, if not the most powerful female duet in all of Broadway. 

All in all, RENT speaks to me not only on a personal level, but also on a broader level, as it is a work of art that works towards a cause that I care deeply about: feminism. I am beyond proud of the cast and crew of Forbidden Planet Productions' RENT and I am honored to have been a part of the production.


In this spoof of Bad Lip Reading, the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" performs "Out Tonight," from RENT!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Is Teach for America Really the Best Way to Fix America's Education System?

A lot of my friends are applying for Teach for America this year. I see why they want to do it. It's a great cause and it gives you another two years before you have to enter the "real world" and throw yourself into the scary job market. However, I am not sure if working for Teach for America is really the best way to help our country.

Though I believe that the organization has great intentions, I do not think that it is truly solving the problem of educational inequality in America. Children in inner-city schools need special attention and I find it hard to believe that a person who is straight-out-of-college and who has only been trained in teaching for five weeks is more qualified to teach children than a person who has done hours upon hours of observational training and who has a masters in education.

Yes, years of training does not necessarily make someone a great teacher, but how would you feel if it was your child who was being taught by a teacher who was not certified?

I know that not every one will agree with my opinion and I really do not mean to offend anyone who is applying, but I strongly recommend that those of you applying or considering applying for the program read a very insightful piece by Katie Osgood. She discusses how TFA has a history of busting teachers' unions and that the organization uses archaic research to determine which schools need help, and that the schools are almost always ones with predominately black communities.

Another great piece on this issue is by Catherine Michna, who is a former TFA corps member herself. She discusses how the organization de-professionalizes teaching and that the schools who hire TFA corps members often fire their professional teachers for TFA's cheap alternative.

We certainly need to reform education in America, but I do not think that Teach for America is the answer to our problems.

But what is the answer? First of all, we need to stop corporatizing education. Teach for America is funded by giant corporations, including Walmart, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase. As a student at GW, I have seen first-hand how private universities love to jack up tuition in order to fund their president's $1 million salary. Only once we start treating education as a right and not as a way to make money can we actually begin to fix educational inequality in America.

So to all of you applying to Teach for America, I know that you have only the best intentions, but please consider this: Is working for an organization funded by some of the most corrupt organizations in America and that encourages schools to fire their professional teachers really the best way to make a difference in the education system?

This cat for sure wants to ensure that all children in America get access to quality education!

~ Corinne

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Malala Yousafzai: Teenage Heroine

Two days ago, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner was announced. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen activist who made headlines last year when she was shot in the head by the Taliban, lost the prize to The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Even through she lost, the fact that she was nominated gives great hope to women and girls worldwide. At age 16, she would have been the youngest recipient of any Nobel Prize. 

Since age 11, Malala has risked her life fighting against the brutal Taliban. She is also a strong activist for women's rights, working hard to fight for a girl's right to education.

Malala was an international favorite for the prize, but just because she lost this year does not mean she has lost forever. Malala is an inspiration not only for girls and women, but for people of all genders worldwide. I would not be surprised if she gets nominated again in the near future and wins.

Check out this amazing interview with Malala on The Daily Show this past Tuesday.

Congratulations on your nomination, Malala!

~ Corinne

Friday, October 4, 2013

The End of "Breaking Bad" And Why Skyler White Rocks

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you don't want to know the ending (yet)!!

This past Sunday, my favorite show came to a close. I am referring to "Breaking Bad," of course. Since 2008, "Breaking Bad" has changed the way we look at protagonists. Walter White starts off the series as a nerdy high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer, and he ends the series with his well deserved death. At first, he is a sympathetic protagonist, and at the end, you cannot help but find yourself cheering for his death. He is the ultimate anti-hero.

Many people will disagree with me. One of my friends told me he cried when Walt died. I personally cried tears of joy. What started off as innocent chemistry in a van with a former student turned into Walt becoming an evil drug lord who took many lives. I lost all sympathy for Walt when he watched Jesse's girlfriend from the second season, Jane Margolis, choke on her own vomit and die.

Since Walt is the main character and originally gets himself into the meth business for good reasons (to support his family), many people could not help but sympathize for him throughout the entire series. Aaron Paul, who plays Jesse Pinkman (Walt's original partner and junkie-turned-into-meth-cook) in the series, said in a 2012 cover story with "Rolling Stone," "I mean, he does so many horrible things and yet the fans are still like, 'Yeah, Walt! Fucking poison that kid! You're dying of cancer. I understand!'" He is referring to when Walt poisoned Jesse's ex-girlfriend, Andrea Cantillo's son, Brock in order to convince Jesse to help him kill their former boss, Gustavo Fring.

As a result of fans' ultimate devotion to Walt, many have viewed his wife, Skyler White, to be the series' antagonist. Yes, I will agree that at times Skyler's actions have frustrated me, yet I do not understand why she gets such a bad rep. Many times I found myself on Skyler's side. She was disgusted by her husband's actions and his dirty money, but she still managed to stay by his side for most of the series. Yes, she cheated on him for a very brief period, but that was when they were separated and can you blame a woman for cheating when her husband refuses to stop engaging in dangerous, highly illegal activity?

Fans' hatred of Skyler got so intense that many "I Hate Skyler White" pages surfaced Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social media sites. This hatred for Skyler even turned into hatred for the actress who plays her, Anna Gunn. In fact, Gunn received so many threats that this past August she wrote an op-ed in the New York Times voicing her concerns that perhaps the reason that so many people hate Skyler is just because she is not the stereotypical submissive wife.

She wrote, "I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender."

I completely agree with Anna Gunn and I do not understand how so many fans can love such a horrible main character and hate the strongest female character in the show just because she does not fall for his crap.

To all of you who hate Skyler White, I want you to consider this. Skyler stood by Walt's side even when she hated his actions and was disgusted by his money. She stood by him, but more importantly, she stood by herself and her children. Walt did not deserve the wonderful family he had. In the final episode he admits that he did it all for himself, not for his family. And let us not forget that he was responsible for 32 deaths, including his own.

Skyler doesn't seem that bad now, does she?

Even though this cat does not have the most favorable opinion of Skyler, he's still pretty funny.

Also, this: 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why Barilla Doesn't Appreciate Its Spaghetti After It Cooks

Really, Barilla pasta?

It's 2013 and CEOs still have the audacity to say that they are anti-gay. Guido Barilla, CEO of the popular pasta company of the same name, made a comment on La Zanzara, an Italian radio program, that caused much controversy.

I would never make a spot with a homosexual family. Not out of a lack of respect but because I do not see it like they do. (My idea of) family is a classic family where the woman has a fundamental role…If [gays] don’t like it, they can go eat another brand.

All right Guido, way to alienate a huge chunk of your customers. According to a poll conducted by ABC/The Washington Post, 57% of Americans approve gay marriage. That's a lot of people. And according to a poll conducted by Italy Eurispes, 59.8% of Italians support legal recognition of same-sex couples and that number is still growing.

Barilla's comment has caused many people to boycott the brand. Petitions have also been made to stop grocery stores from carry the brand. As ridiculous as the comment seems to us, the comment isn't unusual for people in Italy. Anti-gay comments are spewed daily from government officials, actors, athletes, and now CEOs.

When is the world going to move into the twenty-first century? Some people are gay. Get over it. Plus, spaghetti never stays straight after you cook it.

These cats love eating spaghetti, but they will never eat Barilla ever again!

~ Corinne

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GoDaddy Finally Gets Rid Of Its Sexist Ads

GoDaddy, the web hosting company known for its offensive and sexist advertisements, recently made a promise to make all future advertisements more friendly to one of its main consumers, women.

In an interview with the New York Times, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving admitted that the company's past ads were "on the edge of inappropriate." Their newest ad features the action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme doing his famous splits and exclaiming, "it's go time." Regardless of what you think about this new ad, I think we can all admit that it's a step up from the infamous "BodyPaint" ad from the 2012 Superbowl, in which fitness guru Jillian Michaels exclaims, "Who won't notice a hot model in body paint?" while painting GoDaddy logos on a model's legs.

I really hope that GoDaddy keeps its promise and actually strays away from sexist ads. If it doesn't, it risks losing a lot of potential customers, because more than 10 million businesses are owned by women.

In other advertisement news, Grumpy Cat has been signed as a spokescat for Friskie's cat chow!

~ Corinne

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why Women's Magazines Never Appeal To Me

Drop two sizes!

Resize your thighs

Perfect skin secrets!

Fabulous fall fashion

The hunger fix that sheds pounds fast!

Love your closet!

Flat abs, great butt

These are just a few cover stories in the September and October 2013 issues of some of the most popular women's magazines.

What do these headlines tell me? They tell me that I'm fat, I eat too much, and that my skin sucks.

Typical women's interest magazines have never appealed to me. They are 95% advertisements (the first story in the 902 page September Vogue issue isn't until halfway through the magazine), they're filled with clothes I can't afford, and they're always telling me that I need to lose weight. After reading one of these magazines, all I want to do is take a nap.

It bothers me that in stores, intelligent magazines like The Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, and National Geographic are always in the same section as the men's magazines.

I'd prefer that Rolling Stone were not right next to Maxim, thank you very much. Just because I like music does not mean that I also like "badass blondes!" (one of the cover stories in the September 2013 issue of Maxim).

Gender stereotypes are spelled out in magazines. Just read the covers. Women are supposed to be thin, have perfect skin, eat well, and be interested in fashion and beauty. Men, on the other hand, are supposed to be muscular and lean, attracted to big-boobed, blonde women, and obsessed with the NFL. But what if I don't want to read a story about herbal face masks? Am I not a real women?

Not all women's magazines are horrendously stereotypical though. A couple of years ago I discovered Bust magazine buried behind Cosmopolitan and Seventeen at my local Barnes & Noble. Bust gives a feminist spin to your traditional women's magazine. There still are fashion spreads and beauty tricks, but there are also stories on current events, body-positive articles, and DIY crafts. In fact, the August/September 2013 issue had a story about plus-sized fashion and why it is always cast aside. The online blog is also great too.

Bust is not feminist magazine out there. There's also Bitch, off our backs, and Ms. - the feminist magazine that started it all. Without these magazines, I'm not sure what I'd do on planes because God forbid if I have to read another article on how to get a sexy butt. I like my butt the way it is!

Cat Fancy is another one of my favorite magazines.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Every Bigot Shut Up

Those are the first lines of the hilarious feminist parody video to Robin Thicke's summer jam, Blurred Lines. The parody is called Defined Lines and is performed by Auckland Law students in New Zealand.

Thicke's song received a lot of backlash this summer for celebrating the blurred lines between rape and consensual sex that are often present with alcohol. The video is what received the most backlash, for the unrated version contains naked women that are prancing around the screen while being ignored by Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. The lyrics are also pretty sexist, for the most repeated line is "I know you want it."

But what if she doesn't.

The ladies at Auckland Law School decided to take their own spin at the song and switch gender roles. The video's creators, Olivia Lubbock, Zoe Ellwood and Adelaide Dunn, who call themselves the Law Revue girls, are all fully dressed while accompanied by three men in their underwear wearing dog leashes around their necks. In the video, the men get whipped cream squirted in their faces and dollar bills stuffed into their underwear. Despite this equally explicit video, the lyrics fight the misogyny.

The three ladies sing:

"So we can fuck this man's world
With all its bullshit. 
Girls don't deserve it
And that's why we quit. 
We ain't good girls.
We are scholastic,
Smart and sarcastic, 
Not fucking plastic."

These lyrics criticize the "man's world" that is the media as well as commend women who are smart and scholastic.

The video is hilarious and has received a lot of praise from feminist sites as well as news sites, despite the fact that the video was removed from YouTube for being deemed inappropriate  However, the "clean" version of Blurred Lines (in which the women are scantily clad instead of topless) still graces the pages of YouTube. This fact presents a clear double standard that is all too common in our society.

I hope that R&B artists learn something from this parody because us women are sick and tired of misogynistic lyrics and music videos. As the last lyrics of the parody read, "Yeah we don't want it. It's chauvinistic. You're such a bigot!"

Check out the video here:

Another great parody of "Blurred Lines," called "Blurred Lines and Naughty Cats and Dogs."

~ Corinne

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Miley's Twerking Wasn't The Problem

I'm sure that we've all seen - as well as thoroughly deconstructed  - Miley's performance at the VMAs last week. Many blogs and other social media sites have discussed Miley's lack of taste in her performance as well as her hyper-sexualized dance moves.

I agree that her dancing was a little distasteful, but that was not what made me angry with her performance. Though we might not all like the way she presents her sexuality, Miley does have the right to do what she wants with her body. "Third wave" feminism focuses a lot on sexual freedom and the freedom to choose what one does with her body.

So going along with this logic, if Miley wants to twerk, let her twerk. Her dance moves were not the biggest problem with her performance. The real problem was the way that she used African American women as props. All of her dancers were black, which presents a somewhat racist picture when Miley - the only white girl on stage - is at the forefront.

Not only did these dancers essentially act as backdrops, but Miley also played with them as if they were objects. The dancers were dressed as teddy bears that Miley could play with, and she made it clear that they were nothing more than her playthings when she motorboated one of the dancer's butts.

Why were all the dancers black? Is it because African American women tend to have larger butts? That's what we call a stereotype, Miley. Throughout history African American women have been hyper-sexualized and treated like objects. As far as we think we have gotten in terms of civil rights, Miley took us another step backwards with her performance. She showed us that African American women are just her teddy bears and nothing more.

~ Corinne

Cats can twerk too!