“The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler has been speaking out about violence against women and girls with her V-Day movement for years. But she took things to a whole new level on February 14 of last year: One Billion Rising, her call to action that made headlines all over the world and even prompted celebrities like Anne Hathaway to speak out about gender-based violence. The premise was simple: on February 14, all over the world, women and men were asked to stop what they were doing and dance in the name of ending violence against women. Last year, one billion people “rose and shook the earth” through dance to strike back against the startling UN statistic that 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime. One Billion Rising will be back in 2014 for a second round, and we are all invited to participate. This year, Ensler is screening a short film she created with Tony Stroebel about last year’s movement. “One Billion Rising” will be available to watch online on January 19, the same day it’s set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival. The film compiled footage of One Billion Rising from all over the world, and was put together with contributions of filmmakers from 207 countries. Check out the trailer and share it with everyone you know so we can make this year’s movement even bigger.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not yet said one way or the other whether she intends to run again for president in 2016. But that hasn’t stopped the chattering classes from dissecting every single item related to a “Hillary ’16″ run ad nauseum. The latest iteration is the TIME magazine cover this week: a coverline reading “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” over a photo-illustration of a huge, high-heeled woman in a pantsuit stepping past a miniature man who jumps out of the way.
See the full image after the jump: Keep reading »
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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