“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 »
“I think it’s great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had [about feminism], as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, ‘Oh, fucking shut up.’ Somehow, it [feminism] became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it’s great that we’re coming out of that.”
I heartily agree, Keira Knightley! The actress talked to Harper’s Bazaar UK about, amongst other things, her feelings on feminism and her relief that feminist discussions have become more frequent and open. Check out the full interview at the link! [Harpers Bazaar UK]
Beyonce dropped her fifth solo record without warning last Friday around midnight, and the only post-release promotion she’s done thus far has been a couple of explanatory, behind-the-scenes-esque videos about the making of the album. The first, “Self-Titled #1″ was posted the night of Beyonce‘s release, and a second was posted on YouTube and Bey’s Facebook page last night. “Self-Titled #2″ goes into the thinking behind the first track on the album, “Pretty Hurts,” as well as the song’s accompanying music video. Beyonce gives a pretty clear explanation for what all those trophies represent — her many, many achievements and accolades — especially in the context of a song about picking on flaws, being someone you’re not, and being judged based on how perfect you are. Fame, “beauty,” fitting in … it all comes at a cost. Bey explains that this album is about embracing those imperfections. Keep reading »
On Monday night at a media industry event, a reporter from Capital New York asked Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles about her magazine and feminism. Coles responded that Cosmo is “deeply feminist,” and covers issues like “equal pay for equal work,” “sensible control for guns,” and “access to contraception and access to abortion, should, God forbid, you need one.”
“There’s nothing more mainstream than equal pay for equal work. I mean, it’s completely obvious that’s what feminism should be for, and for women’s right to choose what happens to their own bodies. It’s unbelievable in 2013 we happen to be talking about this, but the battle over healthcare, the battle for women’s right to choose their own contraception, that ludicrous panel full of old men in Washington ruling what women could and couldn’t do—where is feminism then? Where are all the left-wing academics? Actually, Cosmo has been out there clamoring all along for this.”
Some feminists are not so happy about this, perceiving Coles’ remarks as dismissive of academics in areas like gender studies, race theory, history and others that have had a direct result on feminist advances of the 20th and 21st century. But I’m actually happy that the editor of the most major women’s mag in America didn’t run screaming in the other direction when the F-word came up.
Keep reading »
”It seems young actresses are under pressure to look a particular way. They look the same, that’s the thing. And they’re all being photoshopped in adverts for all sorts of (products), so maybe that’s difficult as well — because you’ve got pictures of yourself looking perfect. They have to be this specific model size, and if they get on to the red carpet, they’re all having to walk like models and dress like models. I think the pressure is terrible. If you’re invited to re-invent yourself, in the language in which that conversation is couched, it’s difficult to resist: ‘You’ve got to be thinner.’ ‘You’ve got to be prettier. Because we need to sell you, and we won’t be able to sell you if you don’t look like this.’ It’s not about acting. They don’t care if you can act or not. I can only imagine what the pressures must be like. [If someone had tried to police my body in my 20s] I’d have told them where to shove it. I’ve always been a card-carrying feminist. But in those days, I was fierce, fierce, very angry. So I wouldn’t have put up with a single bloody minute of that.”
Damn straight Emma Thompson is a feminist! But wait — Emma, where do we get these official feminist cards? I need one for my wallet to whip out at appropriate moments. Please advise. [Telegraph UK] [Image via WENN]
Dear Variety Columnist Brian Lowry,
You wrote a negative review of Sarah Silverman’s new comedy special, “We Are Miracles,” which aired on HBO Saturday night.
And I get it.
The special felt stale, pointlessly antagonistic, and lacked actual jokes. But worse than the program itself was the bizarrely-gendered language you used to smash it.
The title of your piece, which I can only assume was approved by a Victorian-era ghost, was “Sarah Silverman’s Bad Career Choice: Being as Dirty as the Guys.” In the review, you claim Silverman appeared, “determined to prove she can be as dirty and distasteful as the boys.” Keep reading »
Over the last few days, a bunch of ink has been spilled discussing the topic of selfies — officially the word of the year! — and whether or not they’re good or bad for women. First, at Slate, Rachel Simmons suggested that selfies are a powerful self-esteem builder for girls. Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel took the opposite point of view at Jezebel, writing yesterday selfies are not empowering or feminist and are, in fact, a “cry for help.” Many women on Twitter were angry with her piece, because it failed to recognize that for women who don’t fit the white, cisgender, thin, able-bodied norm, posting selfies can be a radical act. Twitter user ConvergeCollide started the hashtag #feministselfie and encouraged women to start posting their selfies and before you knew it, the topic was trending.
I take a ton of selfies, for a variety of reasons, because most people who take selfies take them for a variety of reasons and not simply because we are A) making a feminist statement or B) crying for help. I take selfies because I used to feel like I was ugly and now I don’t anymore. I take selfies because my dog can’t take pictures of me. I take selfies because I like to spend most of my time alone but I still want to document that I exist. Here are 13 of those selfies, judged on how feminist they are.
When I arrived at the basement of the Calvin Theater in Northampton, Massachusetts, I found folk musician Ani DiFranco in the midst of trying to get her six-month-old son Dante down for a nap. Minutes later I spotted the young baby — still very much awake — strapped into a carrier about to head out on a walk. This meshing of work and life happens daily for DiFranco, who is back on the road after having taken some time off to have her second child. Like his sister before him, Dante has joined DiFranco on tour, and the singer has been relearning how to split her time between motherhood and music.
While her son (hopefully) walked his way into a nap, DiFranco and I discussed everything from hitting the road as a mother of two, the notion of “having it all,” her ever-growing relationship with her fans and so much more. Keep reading »
“I think that whether a woman or anybody quite frankly wants to wear combat boots or eight inch heels, I think that’s their prerogative. I think if somebody feels comfortable a certain way with their life choices, how they look, regardless of what it is, if they are not hurting themselves or other people I think it’s fine, it’s fair game. Have at it, enjoy your life, look the way you want to look. I happen to feel comfortable like this, I like the way I look, I love the way I look. I think that’s all that matters. I think that can empower other people too from hearing that. I know people might think this is funny but I actually feel that I am a true feminist because I believe in women looking the way they want to look, I think real women support women.”
This is how Courtney Stodden, Patron Saint Of Frosted Lip Gloss, responded to Bethenney Frankel’s question, “How are you going to take back your youth?” on an episode of her talk show. On one hand, I’m totally with Courtney on not shaming women for how they choose to dress or alter their appearance. On the other hand, “I choose my choice” feminism is kind of a cop out. Also, I have a hard time accepting Courtney Stodden as a bastion of feminism when, in the same interview, she claimed, “I don’t read or write.” Maybe Courtney and Miley Cyrus should start a Biggest True Feminists In The World Book Club and read some, like, bell hooks and The Beauty Myth and shit. Just a thought. [Celebitchy]