Media & Media Literacy
[Trigger warning for rape]
In January, the Obama administration created a task force to address the sexual assault epidemic on college campuses. This, according to George Will in the Washington Post, is just another example of the progressivism that has created a privileged status for sexual assault victims. Kind of like a private party that’s only open to sexual assault survivors, and everyone else is looking in through the windows going, “Are those shrimp puffs? And Bellinis? Y’all, I’m totally telling people I was raped so I can get some shrimp puffs.”...read more
Currently circling the social media globe with the force of impassioned clicktivism is the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Sometimes it’s accompanied by photos of African girls (not always Nigerian), sometimes by photos of Nigerian mothers gathered in protest, sometimes by links to news stories, sometimes by nothing at all. It offers solidarity and raises awareness — but it isn’t without issue. We need to show solidarity, raise awareness, and hold those in positions of power accountable. We also need to understand what we are and aren’t accomplishing when we retweet....read more
Alexis Okeowo in The New Yorker: Nigeria’s stolen girls.
If this were happening anywhere else in the world, there would have been non-stop mass media coverage of the burnt school and the grieving families and relentless questioning of the relevant officials as to the inadequacy of the search and rescue operations....read more
Guest Blogger: Rachel Glasser
Through their fictional narratives, each show points directly at a corrupted government system, a racist society, and a gender stratified world in a way that is impossible to ignore....read more
The Sheryl Sandberg-driven movement that is #banbossy has its fans and its detractors — and rightly so. There are those who agree that yes, language like “bossy” is often applied to girls in response to behavior that would otherwise be seen as strong and assertive. Then there are those who point out that “bossy” can also be applied to overbearing, inflexible, rude behaviors that aren’t conducive to leadership. In the end, though, if you really want to know how “bossy” affects girls, do what SheKnows did and just ask them....read more
What do we mean when we define a female character as “strong”? When an actress is the protagonist, her conflict is decidedly different than the average male protagonist’s: In literary terms, we often see the female protagonist engaged in a “man vs. self” struggle, while male protagonists wrestle with outside forces. The point is not at all that any one iteration of female “strength” is more admirable – more worthy of depiction on-screen – than another, but rather than our female characters consistently demonstrate one kind of strength while our male characters demonstrate another. Furthermore, when our female characters demonstrate stereotypically “male” strength, they do not win the awards.
These complications of storytelling are all exacerbated by Hollywood demographics :...read more
[Trigger warning for eating disorders]
This week has been designated National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and the tagline for 2014 is I Had No Idea. It recognizes the fact that eating disorders are more prevalent and more dangerous than many people recognize and that they touch every aspect of life. Talking about eating disorders is always a question mark for me — for some women, simply discussing it can be immensely triggering, and in areas of education, one girl’s cautionary tale can be another’s instructional video. (I’ve mentioned in the past that my introduction to bulimia came through educational efforts.) But for a week like this one, raising awareness — and, as part of that, dispelling myths — makes it worth the risk. Because a lot of people really do have no idea....read more
Mainstream women’s magazines, despite their protestations to the contrary, are rarely an outright bastion of body positivity for any woman of non-model proportions and facial features. So it’s admirable that it was Marie Claire Australia that commissioned six ad agencies to create print ads encouraging women to love their bodies. But is it enough?...read more
Heard that there was something going on with Jezebel and Vogue magazine and Lena Dunham, and you were quasi-curious but not really curious, or you were semi-demi-curious but not inclined to give Jezebel the clicks? For your reading pleasure: the condensed version....read more
Season 3 of HBO’s Girls premiered Sunday night, Lena Dunham is on the cover of next month’s Vogue, and after a reporter from The Wrap asked her why she gets naked so often everyone is talking about how often Lena Dunham gets naked. So I am too! Over at the Guardian, I say that Girls is an imperfect show, but Dunham’s nudity is powerful: Not just because she looks more like the average American woman than most women on television, but because her nakedness isn’t primarily ornamental, purposed for titillation and aspiration....read more
I’m not a Cosmopolitan reader. There are endless reasons to leave it on the magazine rack. And then there’s Cosmo fashion editor Charles Manning, who is both a dude and the fashion editor for Cosmo. In an editorial on the magazine’s site, Manning points out that teaching women to “fix their figure flaws” and camouflage their bodies to fit traditional standards of perfection doesn’t exactly promote a positive body image....read more
Writer and activist Suey Park has sparked a cluster of conversations about race, stereotypes, feminism, privilege, intersectionality and more with the
#NotYourAsianSidekick hashtag which trended globally for over 24 hours.