Carrie Fisher, actress, writer, feminist, badass on- and offscreen, has died.
Since the release of a video featuring Donald Trump unwittingly speaking into a hot mic about how great it is that his celebrity allows him to nonconsensually grab women’s genitals without consequence, Trump has thrice dismissed the celebration of sexual assault as “locker room banter” or “locker room talk.” Pro athletes across the U.S. have united to say that, in fact, such banter is not acceptable in any of the locker rooms they frequent. (You can take that with as many grains of salt as you choose.) But it raises the question: If that banter isn’t happening in the locker rooms of the Dodgers or the Falcons or the Clippers, in which locker rooms is it taking place?
There is still one more chilling but less-discussed aspect of the Trump video. Yes, his language is vulgar, and yes, his casual discussion of sexual assault is horrifying. But two reporters, in separate pieces, point out that there’s something even more disturbing about the video: the way they talked about actress Arianne Zucker, Trump’s costar-to-be, as she waited, unsuspecting, at the end of their bus trip.
[Content note for sexual assault]
On Friday, the Washington Post published a heretofore unseen video from 2005 in which Donald Trump, in the Access Hollywood bus on the way to a cameo on “Days of Our Lives,” gives us a good look at how much he really respects women. Talking with Billy Bush, into a mic that he didn’t know was hot (Donald, are you sure that a malfunctioning microphone isn’t the best thing for you at this point?), he makes it clear that no, women aren’t more than objects to be evaluated, disparaged, and abused at his whim.
[Content note for racism and child sex abuse]
I get that we’re supposed to love Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham on account of they aren’t thin, and that they’re proudly imperfect and not trying to be perfect, and that they’re bold enough to do raunch humor even though women aren’t supposed to do that, and whatever, I get it. They do catch a lot of criticism for being self-absorbed and self-unaware, for occasionally poking their head out of their hole long enough to do something shitty, double down ‘cause haters, and then apologize (sometimes) and go back to their self-absorption. But I have to posit that maybe Dunham’s super-white TV-Brooklyn is actually the best place for her. Because dress her up in a tux and march her out into real-life Manhattan, and she’s going to end up sitting next to Odell Beckham at a gala and assigning him misogynistic motives for not hitting on her like apparently he was supposed to. And then complaining about the “outrage machine” on Twitter (doubling down, haters)… and ultimately apologizing.
So I’m totally cool with being done with them.
On Monday night, Donald Trump’s wife Melania touched hearts as she addressed the Republican National Convention, sharing the lessons she learned growing up as a black girl on the South Side of Chicago. As first spotted by journalist Jarrett Hill, Melania’s speech bore more than a passing resemblance to another speech at another convention about eight years ago — Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention. The cribbed portion discussed the values that Michelle and Melania apparently share, including working hard for what you want in life and keeping your word.
Meryl Streep, what the fuck.
BERLIN (AP) — The Berlin International Film Festival became embroiled in the debate about diversity in the movie industry Thursday, with jury president Meryl Streep dismissing questions about the all-white panel by telling reporters that “we’re all Africans really.”
[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]
Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety.
[Content note: sexual assault]
The current cover of New York magazine is significant not just for who’s there — 35 of the women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape — but for who isn’t there — victims of sexual assault who are afraid or ashamed to come forward. Those individuals are represented by an empty chair, including those unspeaking individuals in the “unwelcome sisterhood” of Cosby’s alleged* victims.
In a 2005 deposition for his first sexual assault case, brought by Andrea Constand, Bill Cosby admitted that he did acquire — and deploy — drugs for the purpose of having sex with women.
This week, Caitlyn Jenner made her public debut via a stunning, Annie Leibovitz-shot Vanity Fair cover and profile. “Call me Caitlyn.” Yes, ma’am.
In honor of today’s U.S. release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (since we don’t do sequel numbers now, just subheads), I thought I’d share an interview with Scarlett Johansson about the nuances of her character, the Black Widow, in light of her backstory as an orphan, trafficked as a young child, brainwashed and forced into service but now using the skills that were imposed upon her for an arguably, but not entirely, noble cause.
J/K! It’s about whether or not she can wear underwear under her tight costume.