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.
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.
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!