The rates of employment for women in film production are below what they were over a decade ago. Each year, the Center for the Study of Women In Television & Film at San Diego State University conducts a “Celluloid Ceiling” survey of who was employed behind the scenes in the year’s top-grossing 250 domestic films. The 2013 results found that among the films studied, 2,938 people were employed. Only 16 percent of those employees were women. This statistic is down 2 percent from the previous year, and down 1 percent from 1998′s employment levels. Yes, fewer women are employed in film production than in 1998. In the time it took for crop tops to go completely out of style and come all the way back around to trendy again, the film industry has not gotten any closer to gender equality. In fact, it’s actually gotten worse. Keep reading »
In the most recent episode of “Downton Abbey” to air in America, the lady’s maid Anna Bates — whose story through four seasons has almost exclusively focused on her romance with her husband — is raped by a visiting valet. It is not the first example of sexual misconduct on the show. But it is the most sexually violent act to occur to any character. Not surprisingly, the incident has been hugely controversial.
When it first aired in the UK, viewers complained about sexual violence on an otherwise fairly frothy PBS program. (I say “fairly frothy” in a nod to the deaths of Sybil and Matthew.) The UK’s media regulatory agency declined to investigate the over 400 complaints made to both the agency and ITV, the channel on which “Downton” airs, saying that it provided a proper warning before the show about the content. But now that it has aired on PBS here in America, a large share of the criticism is coming from feminist bloggers who take issue with how the rape was handled on the show. Keep reading »
Does this woman sleep ever? Ever? Beyoncé has written an essay for The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From The Brink, an investigation by journalist Maria Shriver in conjunction with the Center For American Progress, on the status of women in America today. Beyoncé’s essay, “Gender Equality Is A Myth,” can be read in the full report, which can be downloaded for free here.
After the jump, though, you can read an excerpt posted online.
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“That was something that my mom would always point out to my brother and me, that our culture does often portray women especially… like objects. For example, we would always watch Lakers games as a family, but my mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders come on, ‘Okay, so look, here’s the story that gets told: The men get to be the heroic skilled athletes and the women just get to be pretty.’ She didn’t mean any offense to any individual woman who was working as a cheerleader, but she wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies, and on magazines all the time. And if you don’t stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality. … I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely! It’s worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don’t have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be.”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has long been high up on our list of Dream Celebrity Boyfriends, thanks to his intelligence, talent, and good looks. But what really makes him one of our favorite men in Hollywood is his obvious respect for women. Keep reading »