This weekend, I found myself engaged in an impassioned conversation over Twitter with several women, among them Australia’s “Bra Queen” Renee Mayne, about a 2004 Elle MacPherson Intimates ad which resurfaced online. The image, which was reportedly made for print, magazine and newspaper ads in Australia, depicts a woman in lingerie, thigh-high stockings and high heels lying on a shag rug on the floor. The photo is snapped either through a mirror or a door, only showing the woman from her shoulders down as she lays on the ground. Her head, which is hung down or bent over, is hidden from view. Given her headless-ness, it’s fairly objectifying as far as lingerie images go —compared with, say, Victoria’s Secret ads which depict smiling women looking directly into the camera.
My main complaint about the ad was that it’s voyeuristic. As a viewer, you’re not entirely sure the subject is aware she’s being photographed while sexily dressed because the image was taken either through a door or a mirror. That’s too creepy for my liking. But a lot of women saw this ad and thought it implied a victim of rape or domestic abuse. Keep reading »
The film industry is one that desperately lacks female influence, so Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ election as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a particularly cool victory. In its 86-year history, the Academy has only had two other female presidents — the most recent being almost 30 years ago. Cheryl Boone Isaacs is also the first ever African-American president for the Academy. Keep reading »
American student Gabrielle Turnquest was recently called to the Bar of England and Wales after passing her Bar exams. This is a great achievement for anyone, but Turnquest happens to be a little more impressive than the average person to pass the Bar exams. She just happens to be 18 years old, making her the youngest person to be called to the Bar of England and Wales in its 600-year existence. Keep reading »
“In real life, [Linda Lovelance's experience in porn] was much more violent. I don’t think people could have watched. For instance, there’s a gang-rape scene, in which [Lovelace’s husband] Chuck Traynor takes her into a room and she’s gang-raped. It’s portrayed as if this happened to her later. That was the first thing that happened to her. They really didn’t have a relationship. She always called him Mr. Traynor. She was terrified of him. I’m not sure anybody would have been able to sit in a theater and watch what really happened. I think [the filmmakers] did the best they could.”
– Hollywood didn’t get Linda Lovelace’s personal story quite right. That’s according to iconic feminist activist Gloria Steinem, who attended a screening of “Lovelace,” a new film about the infamous “Deep Throat” adult film actress. Lovelace later renounced pornography and came public about the abuse she suffered in the industry (notably at the hands of her husband, who effectively acted as a pimp). “Lovelace,” which stars Amanda Seyfried, apparently makes the sexual violence and physical abuse in her story less heinous and popcorn-friendly for movie-going audiences. Steinem penned an article for Ms. magazine called “The Real Linda Lovelace,” so she should know. While I haven’t seen “Lovelace” yet, I can recommend the 2005 documentary “Inside Deep Throat” as a realistic portrayal of what occurred. [NYMag.com]