Recently, students at England’s Cambridge University took part in the “Who Needs Feminism” campaign, a public awareness campaign aimed at asking people why and how feminism is important to them. As a women’s studies major in the ’90s, I was continually frustrated by women in my classes who believed that feminism was no longer necessary, because women had achieved “equality” with men. So it’s cool to see in 20-frickin’-13 that feminism is still a vital topic on college campuses. The CUSU partnered with the ARU Feminist Society and asked more than 600 students why feminism is necessary to them. The results? Cambridge students are remarkably smart and savvy when it comes to understanding the intersections of feminism, racism, and classism. Take a second to look at some of the amazing responses from the Who Needs Feminism campaign after the jump and check out all 600 responses on the CUSU Women’s Campaign Facebook page. Keep reading »
I do a lot of interviews and stuff where they ask me about it and I feel like the nostalgia is this happy thing where it’s like, “oh, I wish I lived in the ’90s, it would be so awesome! There was this community and it would be so great. My experience of it was that it was not that great, and a lot of people don’t know about the violence at shows and how much shit bands with women in them — especially explicitly feminist bands — took. And so when people are nostalgic about it, I’m like, oh, you want to go back to a time when if you were onstage and you said, “there’s a pro-choice rally happening,” there could be a guy who’s yelling “shut up!” while you were talking, and possibly had a knife in his jacket. And nobody would do anything about it. You know, and a lot of times girls just weren’t safe at shows. And I don’t know if they are now, I definitely know that at some shows they’re not. The nostalgia erases a lot of the negative things that happened and when I talk about that in lectures people are very shocked.
––Fun fact: In the ’90s, girls at hardcore shows were often jokingly referred to as coat hangers, because they were often on the edge of the crowd, “holding their boyfriend’s coats.” Hahaha get it? Ugh. Kathleen Hanna, whose writing and time in Bikini Kill is heavily featured in the new Riot Grrrl Collection (released via the Feminist Press), touches upon the false dichotomy of the ’90s as some magical glitter pony time when women were really powerfully asserting themselves and men were supportive and responsive to the desires and demands of Riot Grrls for safe shows and safe dialogues. Not necessarily true. Keep reading »
“I was asked to lose weight by a network for a TV pilot. The conversation happens because you get a job and your agent or manager calls and they say, ‘They are so excited about you. They just think there is no one better for this part and they want you to look and feel your best — they really feel that that could include losing 15 or 20 pounds’. … I feel like it’s the last frontier of feminism — the weight thing with women — even for myself. I identify as a feminist. I have so many feminist beliefs — and then I’m so mean to myself about my body sometimes. Or I can be judgmental about other people for their bodies, and I don’t know how to get over it.”
The attitudes Busy Phillips from “Cougar Town” espouses on “The Conversation” about feminism and her body sound a lot like mine. Even being a feminist who realizes there’s an entire corporate culture dedicated to profitting off me feeling bad about my body, it’s a struggle not to be mean sometimes. Obviously it’s that much harder for actresses in the public eye. It would be hard not to be, when a TV network had the gall to ask her to lose 20 pounds under the guise of wanting her to “look and feel” her best. Uh huh. Right. [The Conversation TV via Women & Hollywood] [Photo: Splash News]
Take a good look at the picture of the two men posted here. Would you want the two of them to judge your naked body? On national television? Because that’s exactly what’s happening on a new show in Denmark. TV host Thomas Blachman (the bald, pot-bellied one) and a rotating male guest (in this episode, an unkempt hairy one), openly ridicule, judge and comment on women’s naked bodies. And yes, that’s the entire point of the show. Called simply “Blachman,” the show is intended to helpfully give women an honest earful about what men truly think about their bodies.
Women, says Blachman, “‘thirst for the words of a man.” You’re thirsty right now, right? Keep reading »
“My goal is to keep breaking the door open wider so Hollywood doesn’t say, ‘No, you can’t star a woman in this.’ It’s not about whether or not it’s a women’s comedy or a men’s comedy … it’s just a comedy. I want the audience to go, ‘They’re funny, and I don’t care if they’re a man or a women, I’m going to go see [the film].’ Then we would have truly achieved something.”
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
“Yeah, oh very much so. Most of my friends are women. I’ve always just kind of hung out with them my whole life, to the point where I don’t even mix that well with guys who are hardcore, guy-ishness, I get very uncomfortable. I’d rather hang out with the ladies.”
– I’m not surprised to hear that “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig identifies as a feminist. I mean, the man spent all his days on set with Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy! But I am super-pleased that a male director in Hollywood will say this. Hollywood isn’t exactly known for its declarations of feminism, from men or women, so the fact that Feig would call himself a “feminist” is significant. Even better? His next film will be “the female James Bond.” We like. [The Daily Beast]