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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.



BEYONCÉ

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.


AND THIS ONE OMG


#BowDownBitches


~ 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 MissRepresentation.org) 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!
Corinne


#LeaveMeHereToDieInMyPilesOfBooks