It’s never really a good year for the Bechdel test. But is it possible that things are degenerating for women in film? According to a study done by USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, the answer is yes. A study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith found that over the five years that the researchers looked at — 2007 to 2012 — the most recent, 2012, was the worst for women onscreen. Annenberg’s study found that:
“Out of 4,475 speaking characters on screen, only 28.4 percent are female. This translates into a ratio of 2.51 males to every 1 female on screen. 2012 reveals the lowest percentage of on-screen females (28.4 percent) across the 5-year sample. Only 6 percent of the top-grossing films in 2012 featured a balanced cast, or females in 45-54.9 percent of all speaking roles. Just over a quarter of all narrators (27.5 percent) are female.”
Additionally, women who appear onscreen are depicted more sexualized, especially in the 13- to 20-year-old age group. Last year, over half (56.6 percent) the women in that age group was shown in “sexy attire.” Keep reading »
Gee, don’t you just love that in the battle to train men to not rape, you have the security secretary of Hong Kong, Lai Tung-kwok, stomping on all our efforts by suggesting women just drink less? I do. It’s my favorite. Having the government permit men to not taking responsibility for their actions and place the onus of avoiding sexually assaul on women is just fabulous. Especially when this was the knee-jerk reaction to a 60 percent rise in reported rapes and an 18 percent rise in reported sexual assaults. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the director of the Hong Kong Federation of Women’s Centers responded, “There’s a lot of stigma that’s given to the victims. The remarks he made are proof of a culture that blames victims for doing something ‘wrong,’ like drinking.” The fear is that women won’t report abuse because they fear being blamed and shamed. Rape culture, it’s great.
[Wall Street Journal]
This past Monday night, women and quite a few men brought their most honest queries to WNYC hoping to glean some wisdom on “How to be a Grown A$$ Women.” Lindy West, of Jezebel, fielded the questions (and threw in some of her own), and the panel included the expertise of bloggers Twanna A. Hines, Jolie Kerr and Logan Sachon talking about relationships, cleanliness and money, respectively.
Prior to the event I was trying to pinpoint when I felt like a grown-up. Was it when I got my first post-college job working for a U.S. Senator? Was it when I moved into a new apartment, actually washed my dishes and cleaned my toilet? I think it was when I built my own bookshelf. I certainly felt empowered as I stared at the squat, three-shelved product of my sweat and blood.
What I do know is that since going back to school, I stopped feeling like a badass independent working woman. It slipped away when I turned in my Senate I.D., and when I moved into student housing. It has been a slow decline ever since student loans instead of paychecks populated my bank account. I joke that I’m “not a real person” anymore.
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Welcome to Pakistan! Home to the second largest gender gap in the world, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report. Many women in Pakistan face violence, intimidation and sometimes death for wanting to receive an education. Sounds like a recipe for repression.
The AP reports that in 564 of 64,000 Pakistani polling districts women could not vote in the 2008 election. It is looking to be much the same for the upcoming May 11 election. Why? Because the village men deemed it so.
One of these 564 districts is the village of Mateela. There men gathered and decided that women would not be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections. Keep reading »
If you’re like me, you might be doing a double take. Take your time. Pause. Read the headline again. Your brain has not jumbled the words. It does say restore, not restrict.
If you’ve been following the gradual dismantling of access to family planning and women’s health services across the United States, you’re probably shocked and excited by this news. Texas is still trying to restrict access to abortion with new clinic regulations and a so-called “fetal pain” bill, but in terms of family planning and basic access to women’s healthcare, legislators are biting their tongues and working quickly and quietly to restore the funding that they dismantled in flamboyant fashion in 2011.
According to The New York Times, State Representative Sarah Davis (R) said, “The major difference is we’re not fighting about it. We’re just doing what’s right for women and the state.” Davis, who is against legal abortion, is the only Republican member of the House Women’s Health Caucus. She helped the two sides come together in a compromise. She attributes this compromise to the reaction of voters who were more than peeved that non-abortion providing clinics closed in their districts. Keep reading »
When Disney’s “Brave” came out last year, I was thrilled. So excited, in fact, that I went to see the movie at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, complete with a pre-movie live show!
I am a not-so-closeted Disney fan. Though I’d never take my love this far, I did grow up a mere 25 minutes from Disneyland, had an annual pass all through college, and, at 25, toted around a (somewhat embarrassing) Disneyland laptop sleeve given to me by my best friend.
So how could this ginger of Scotch-Irish descent not be stoked to watch the animated story of a stubborn, Scottish, redheaded princess? I couldn’t resist! I hadn’t lacked for a ginger Disney Princess to pretend to be while growing up, but Merida felt so much more authentic than Ariel. She had wild frizzy hair (no dinglehopper could comb that mass), and fierce independence — she’ll fight for her own destiny, thank you very much.
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