“We had lots of battles with the ratings board on the movie. There was the line, ‘Amber D’Alessio gave a blow job to a hot dog,’ which eventually became ‘Amber D’Alessio made out with a hot dog.’ Which is somehow weirder! That’s the thing we found: When you’re trying to make a joke obey the rules and not use any bad words, it can actually become seamier, even. … The line in the sand that I drew was the joke about the wide-set vagina. The ratings board said, ‘We can’t give you a PG-13 unless you cut that line.’ We ended up playing the card that the ratings board was sexist, because ‘Anchorma’n had just come out, and Ron Burgundy had an erection in one scene, and that was PG-13. We told them, ‘You’re only saying this because it’s a girl, and she’s talking about a part of her anatomy. There’s no sexual context whatsoever, and to say this is restrictive to an audience of girls is demeaning to all women.’ And they eventually had to back down.”
In honor of the 10th anniversary of “Mean Girls” (gah, I’m old), director Mark Waters shared 10 juicy behind-the-scenes tales from Tina Fey’s best movie ever. In addition to sharing that Rachel McAdams was almost cast as Cady Heron, Amanda Seyfried was almost cast as Regina George, and Amy Poehler was almost not cast at all, Waters shared a particularly sexist struggle that the filmmakers had with the MPAA board. The movie ratings organization is notoriously more condemnatory when it’s female sexual pleasure onscreen (rather than male) as well as slang words about female anatomy. (Watch the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” for so much appalling shit about the MPAA.) Not surprisingly, the latter was absolutely true in the case of “Mean Girls,” where the filmmakers had to fight valiantly to keep in the phrase “wide-set vagina.” Oh, Tina Fey. Keep on fighting the good fight. [NYMag.com]
We don’t live in a world where men experience the same day-to-day sexist micro-aggressions that women do. But “Oppressed Majority,” a short French film by Elénore Pourriat, does a pretty good job illustrating it. Pierre is a father and husband who lives in France. Going about his day, he’s catcalled on the street by women and on the receiving end of casually sexist remarks — as well as doling sexist remarks out to his child’s caretaker, a Muslim man wearing a veil. It goes from bad to worse when he’s sexually assaulted by a group of women while alone in an alleyway. No one should have to be treated the way Pierre is by the police or his partner. But millions of women are treated exactly like this every day. Pourriat’s short film is a simple, yet impactful, conduit for showing what women and girls experience in our supposedly “equal” society. It’s only 11 minutes long but well-worth watching. [YouTube via BuzzFeed]
You know Avital Norman Nathman as the columnist behind Mommie Dearest, our feminist parenting column. But Avital is also the “mom” of her first book, The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood To Fit Reality.
The anthology explores the same ground she writes about here on The Frisky, like teen parents, postpartum depression, the changing face of the American family. Contributors included maternal health advocate/model Christy Turlington Burns, New York Times Motherlode blogger K.J. Dell’Antonia, Feministing co-founder Jessica Valenti, Manifesta co-author Jennifer Baumgardner, The Radical Housewife blogger Shannon Drury, and many others.
I’m not saying this just because Avital is one of our columnists — I genuinely loved The Good Mother Myth. It provoked me to think about feminism and motherhood in ways I hadn’t before and opened my eyes more to how gender identity, race and class alter the experience. I gave Avital a call over Skype to chat about her book, myths surrounding motherhood, and how to know when you’re ready to have kids. Our interview, after the jump: Keep reading »
Just in case you were under the assumption “we don’t need feminism anymore”: today brings us an analysis study by Media Matters For America about the demographics of the Sunday morning talk shows during 2013.
You’ll be shocked, shocked to know that white men are still the most common guests for seven of the shows studied. Keep reading »
When a woman attempts to find some semblance of “having it all,” she automatically becomes demonized. We can’t seem to rise up in the ranks — whether it’s in the corporate world or in politics — without our personal lives, particularly our mothering skills, being called into question.
The latest female politician in the hot seat is Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who is running for governor on the Democratic ticket. She has recently been skewered (again) for having been both a young mother and a single mother. The focus circumventing her actual politics (like her support for women’s reproductive rights) and instead revolve around how she is as a mother. A reporter for Fusion even asked Davis to respond to a blog post by Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin — seriously, her — that called Davis a woman “whose ambition and ego were so big she couldn’t have both a career and kids at the same time.” Both Jessica Luther and Carolyn Edgar wrote insightful pieces this week explaining why these allegations are egregious, erroneous, and just plain clueless.
I could spend hours picking apart what is wrong about these attacks. Instead, I’d like to note that we hardly ever see male politicians skewered for their parenting. We look past that aspect of their personal lives — for the most part, barring a mistress or financial scandal — and focus on their politics. A male politician who is also a father gets to be, first and foremost, a male politician. But a female politician who is also a mother? It’s completely different. Keep reading »
Many Frisky readers are too young to remember the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Clarence Thomas, then a federal circuit judge. One name you might recall is Anita Hill. She was the Black woman who came forward to publicly testify that Thomas, her boss at the Department of Education and the EEOC, had sexually harassed her in a gross, relentless manner. The accusations against Thomas were a powderkeg, taking on a life of its own and igniting racial, sexual and political tensions. Anita Hill herself became the one put on trial in the court of public opinion. For a lot of women, how her behavior was picked apart and the violent threats she endured were a chilling reminder of what could happen to any woman who speaks out against sexual harassment at the hands of powerful men. (Thomas was confirmed and remains on the Supreme Court to this day.) “ANITA” looks like an absolutely gripping documentary and a must-see for all working women. It will be released across America in March 2014. [YouTube]
Any “Girls” fan worth her battery-operated boyfriend knows that Jemima Kirke, who plays Jessa, is first-and-foremost an artist. In this new short film presented by the Tate galleries and Le Méridien hotels, Jemima takes us back through Western civilization’s long history of ignoring female artists. (Obviously such a conversation could not exist without the feminist activist group The Guerrilla Girls, who are front and center in the short film!) “There were always women who were artists, but men who wrote the history books,” says Jemima. “And somehow, they forgot to mention them.” I do recommend you watch — it’s a must see for any feminist or art history buff. [Unlock Art]
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government then so be it! Let us take that discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be … [Democrats] think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”
This is former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, finding new and creative ways to insult women. Uncle Sam as sugar daddy? Women who use birth control can’t keep their legs together? What about women impregnated by rape***? I guess us ladies should be controlling our reproductive systems with our God-loving minds and the power of prayer, not with contraception and medicine and SCIENCE. Just keep talking, old white Republican men! Keep talking all the way up until the 2016 election. (***They’re probably sluts who were asking for it.) [Talking Points Memo]
On Monday, 19-year-old Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal became the first Canadian tennis player in history to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. That’s pretty cool, right? But what inquiring minds really want to know is what celebrity this teenager would like to date. Keep reading »