“I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education and healthcare. It’s a bit of an old-fashioned word. It’s used more in a way to minimize you. My daughter [Eva Amurri] who is 28, doesn’t even relate to the word “feminist” and she is definitely in control of her decisions and her body.”
– Susan Sarandon is probably the last celebrity I would have expected to use the “I’m a humanist, not a feminist” line. I wish someone with her clout and stature would take back the term from the negative connotations and not let it be used to “minimize” a person, as she put it. Anyway, I would argue Sarandon is a feminist, though, because later in the interview, she talks about her sons and how she’s proud both of them know how to cook. “The things I told them to do if they wanted a good woman were to learn to listen and to learn to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner,” she explained. “They can do that.” It seems to me like Susan Sarandon really believes one’s gender shouldn’t dictate their roles. To me, that’s feminism! [Guardian UK] [Photo: WENN]
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]
Men! Why get a shoe shine when you can get a seXXXy shoe shine? That seems to be the theory behind Star Shine NYC, a new New York City shoe shine shop in the Financial District. At the “Hooters” of shoe shines, as some have called it, for $7, a buxom woman in shorts and a tank top will lean over your shoes as she wipes off the dog doo and polishes them until you can see the reflection of underboob. That won’t appeal to creepy dudes or anything! “It helps that they are very pretty,” a man told DNA Info, refusing to give his name. (I wonder why!) “But the prices are a little high if you don’t get the discount.” Keep reading »
It’s rad when women are into comics, a sphere that suffers under the stereotype of being just for the Kevin Smith set. So you’d think Marvel might want to encourage to women and girls to dig their comics, right? Sometimes they do a good job, but sometimes it’s just an epic fail. Whoever made this juniors “I Need A Hero” T — a tight-fitting v-neck available in only girls/young women sizes — for “The Avengers” might want to go back to the drawing board. By way of comparison, an “Iron Man” T for girls sold by the Disney Store reads “Be A Hero.”
Boys, be a hero; girls need a hero. Yup, got it. And I have only one thing to say about that … HULK SMASH. [Huffington Post]
When I was in middle school, I was required to create a diorama illustrating a hypothetical synagogue sanctuary (as you do, at Jewish day school). All I remember about my project is that I glued a picture of Gene Siskel to one of the walls. My teacher rightly called this out for being inappropriately idolatrous, but in the moment, I’d thought that I’d been paying appropriate reverence to an important man. After all, Siskel was Jewish, he had just recently passed away, and, until his death, I watched him and Roger Ebert weekly on television. I loved movies and knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, so I valued the words of Siskel and Ebert as highly as any of the words I was reading in school. These men cultivated my already-growing passion for cinema, and I’m certain that their enthusiasm was a contributing factor in my eventual interest in writing and film criticism.
In the years that followed, I’ve paid attention to Ebert’s ever-expanding body of work, and though I knew of his illness, I was shocked and saddened by his passing last week. I’ve now read plenty of articles praising him for his accomplishments and successes, and I can’t disagree with anything that’s been said. His writing was prolific, his persona was friendly, and he made the general public give a damn about film criticism. His absence will be felt by all who love movies.
Where I begin to disagree with the accolades, however, is the claim that Ebert was a feminist. Keep reading »