Archive for ‘Feminism’

July 24, 2012

Ameila Earheart: Well-Dressed Feminist

Today on Ameila Earhart’s birthday, we celebrate the accomplishments of  an inspiring woman who made history.  As a pilot and author, her journeys set records and won her distinguished awards. She helped women achieve their dreams of entering the aviation field by helping establish The Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots and as a counselor at Purdue University. Amelia was able to break the barriers of gender and gain the respect she deserved in a male dominated field.

Here’s how you can recreate the look of the “queen of the air,” who has become such an American icon.

(Haute Hippie Pants, The Row Jacket, Topshop Scarf, Rag & Bone Shirt, MICHAEL KORS belt, LeBunny Bleu Oxfords, Belstaff Jacket)

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July 24, 2012

Is this real– Period Tracker Lite?

Ok, so if anyone follows my blog you could probably guess that I am not that hip with technology, yes I can navigate my macbook enough to successfully maneuver the Adobe Suite, but I recently got my first iPhone, which is sadly just a 3GS. Anyway, the other day when I was at work, my coworker announced that there were 5 days left until her period. This particular statement did not seem strange to me until she showed me her iPhone screen that was covered in pink hearts and a tracker that clearly said “5 days left until your period.” My first reaction was, what the hell? I was totally put-off by the happy faces and butterflies. I mean first of all if my period is in five days I better have some stormy clouds and trolls, amiright?

Another comical aspect of this app is that the description says it is “simple and cute.”  Let me reiterate that there is nothing cute about a period.  I also don’t understand the relevance of the tree branch, but clearly I don’t get this, and as I researched this app I found there is a Lite and Deluxe version.  I understand that some ladies need to track their monthly visitor, but why does it have to look like this? I think it is a true reflection of the weird culture we have developed around menstruation– from “girly” Kotex commercials to “cute” period apps.

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April 20, 2012

Another Post About the Whiteness of Girls

Even before the premiere of ‘Girls’ last Sunday, the show seemed to be hyped up by every media outlet.  Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy was even named “the ballsiest show on TV” on an April New York Magazine cover.  Although the show stayed true to the awkward and ironic style of her film Tiny Furniture, it sure disappointed a lot of people.

It is almost kicking a dead horse to keep posting about the whitewashed portrayal of Dunham’s group of friends and well, New York as whole, but of course I have to weigh-in. The first time I stumbled upon an article addressing the lack of racial diversity in the show, I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it myself. I spent hours writing a final paper in college about the lack of nonwhite characters in Sex and the City during my final semester in college.  I think it was necessary that people were criticizing what could potentially be a show of that stature for our generation.

Anyway, I guess the true controversy comes with the backlash that readers and writers have had defending the show. Things like “why does this have to be a representation of your life (nonwhite person)?” Lesley Arfin, one of the writers behind the show, was brilliant enough to tweet “What really bothered me about Precious was that there was no representation of me.” I love sarcasm.

I mean I don’t think that there needs to be one person of color to every white person, but is a group of all white friends and a cameo from an Asian that’s good at Photoshop really represent our generation? Definitely not mine. To be completely honest, most of my friends can’t even afford HBO to watch the show.

At least MTV’s ‘I Just Want My Pants Back’, which also revolves around 20-somethings in Brooklyn had an interracial couple.  Some people can’t understand why it is important to incorporate underrepresented groups in shows. They name all the other shows that have all white casts, only making the point more obvious. I think  with all the high expectations that people made surrounding ‘Girls’, the fact that is wasn’t more ballsy, when it came to going beyond an all white cast, is pretty disappointing.

March 27, 2012

Do The Hunger Games Critics Hate Women?

Okay, so maybe saying they hate women is a strong statement, but the reactions made public by critics and fans seems to hate on the women in the film. Yesterday, I shared the backlash that came from fans as they shared their disappointment that Rue was played by Amandla Stenberg due to the fact that she was black. The feedback shared on Twitter revealed very hostile comments about Rue, even mentioning that her death wasn’t as sad because she is black.

Well, critics seem to have it out for the leading lady too, claiming that she was not skinny enough to play the emaciated 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen in the film. The New York Mag article,quotes reviews pointing out Jennifer Lawrence’s “lingering baby fat.” What? Of course the physiques of the men in the film don’t happen to be pointed out.

With such an anticipated film, it seems almost unbelievable to me that these are the critiques that viewers have to offer. I personally have not seen the film or read the books, but I definitely think the experience will now be a bit tainted.  It seems that whenever a strong woman is present, Lawrence does kick-ass in the film, there are always others trying to bring her down.

March 27, 2012

16 and Pregnant.. Again?

Tonight MTV will premiere the first episode of the fourth season of  16 and Pregnant. The reality show which first aired in 2009, follows 16 -year-old high schools girls who face the difficulties of teenage pregnancy. I must admit that I love reality television as much as the next person, but when does exposure turn into exploitation? The first season did provide a surprisingly honest look into what teenage pregnancy can be like– and it wasn’t pretty, but how did this documentary based series turn into an enterprise?

Since the first season, the network has developed the spin-off series Teen Mom, which attracted 2.1 million viewers the night of its premiere in 2009, and follows four of the original girls. Each episode provided a deeper peek into the train-wreck that had become their lives. From domestic abuse to divorce, the series has attracted a following that can’t help themselves, but tune in to these somewhat depressing situations that come off more like a soap opera than a reality show. According to a report by MSNBC.com Amber Portwood, arguably the most drama-filled mama, makes $280,000 a year from the network.

The drama hasn’t stopped after the seasons either. Tabloids have loved featuring the Mom’s on their covers, wallowing in their twisted and complicated lives. Jenelle Evans, has landed herself in jail for drug use, Amber Portwood has been caught sending nudie pics and Farrah Abraham had a boob job, just to name a few.

I am definitely not here to judge these women, but as MTV prepares to delve into the lives of a new set of teenage mothers, it really makes me question what their motive is. Yeah, they feature a little clip of the itsyoursexlife.org website at the end of the episodes, but are they really helping raise awareness about the issues of teen pregnancy? I cannot tell you how many times the issue of teen pregnancy was raised in one of my college classes and a girl would raise her hand and claim that 16 and pregnant was helping bring light to the problem, but I really can’t agree. MTV has been progressive in addressing issues that other networks haven’t, which can be seen in their recent special “It Gets Better,” that was created in order to lend support to gay and transgender teens. But, after the first season of 16 and Pregnant was it really necessary to keep the bandwagon going on this one or are we just preparing to exploit another set of young mothers?

March 26, 2012

Breastfeeding Riot!

Breastfeeding in public has always been a controversial topic. Although this a natural process, that has many benefits for the nursing child, many people seem to look down upon public breastfeeding. But as we all know you cannot tell a child when or where not to be hungry. Private areas for breastfeeding are not always provided to mothers, so they are expected to cover-up while tending to their child’s needs.

Well, in Sweden last week, Natashja Blomberg took to Twitter in order to start a Breastfeeding Riot. Tweeting that she refuses to be shamed by others that are disgusted by her public breastfeeding. Other women have also joined the riot, tweeting and posting pictures of them feeding their children. The Huffington Post covers more on the story here.

March 26, 2012

Hunger Games Disappoints Racists?

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The Hunger Games was one of the most anticipated films of 2012 and raked in $155 million during this past weekends opening. Considering the film was based on the novel written by Suzanne Collins and features a strong female lead, Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence, this seems like a big accomplishment for females in film.

Unfortunately, the release has also created a backlash from fans who were shocked and disappointed by the casting of the character Rue, who is played by actress Amandla Stenberg. The very vocal disapproval of Rue was not due to her acting, but the fact that she is black. Yeah, the book mentions she is dark-skinned, but fans cannot believe she is black?

This article on Jezebel breaks down some more specific reactions on Twitter. Unbelievable.

February 21, 2012

Jane Fonda: Well-Dressed Feminist

To be a revolutionary you have to be a human being. You have to care about people who have no power.

Most people who think about Jane Fonda, probably recall the 1980s image of the fitness video guru in a unitard that left little to the imagination.  But, before becoming a workout icon, her early acting career was launched by movies like Barberella, which worked to, in a very interesting way, change the way women were viewed. Forty years later, Fonda co-founded the Women’s Media Center and has spoke out against female genital mutilation. In 2001, she even established her own organization called the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health.

During her many efforts to fight against patriarchy and improve the plight of women all over the world, it is no secret that Jane Fonda has also continued to have a great personal style. Making her obviously, a well-dressed feminist. Check out this interview with Fonda on feminist.com and this timeline of her iconic looks.

February 21, 2012

Flashing for Beads?

Today is Fat Tuesday the start of Mardi Gras in the good ol’ New Orleans. This occasion is significant in many ways, it marks the day before the start of Lent and is filled with feasting, parades and well, boobies. As I thought back to my childhood, Mardi Gras meant that my grandparents would send me an envelope full of colorful beads that they had collected during their time in Louisiana, how exactly they got them.. well I do not know. Anyway, the point is, Mardi Gras is an excuse for men to nag women, “show me your tits” to give them a five second show, 7th grade style, on Bourbon Street. So of course I wanted to find out, how did this become a tradition at Mardi Gras?

Here is an explanation from the Mardi Gras website:

Answer: As a fifth-generation New Orleanian, let me say this was never and is still not a tradition.  Saying it is “tradition” is like saying that people who get drunk and pass out on Bourbon Street are following tradition as well.

Thankfully, this does not occur everywhere in New Orleans during Mardi Gras — but just on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter area. An area known for its strip joints (where those interested in this sort of thing can see it year round). Let me explain why you may have heard this rumor. Within the last 10 or so years, a few spring-break age tourists visiting our city get drunk after the parades, go to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, and lose their inhibitions. The others are onlookers. The end result is that certain types of individuals are now attracted to the French Quarter in the evenings after the parades.

That was about the best explanation I could get. Unfortunately, this ten-year-old “tradition” can lead to exploiting women all in the name of 10 cent beads, which I must say are extremely tacky.

During my searching, I also stumbled upon a website that explained flashing as empowering to women? Oh yes, how empowering to show your boobs on command. It’s not women throwing beads to women, I am pretty sure this just another situation where patriarchy is in full-force.

To be sure, as Wilkie points out, Carnival has long provided a forum for women to express and celebrate their sexuality, thereby contesting society’s gender ideologies and hypocritical views of femininity. And, indeed, many flashers do seem to find the ritual empowering, even addictive. “Enticing the men to solicit them becomes a form of sexual control for the women…,” writes Wilkie. “While some women perceive the display of breasts to be merely a transaction to earn beads coveted within the Carnival atmosphere, men may perceive this willingness to mean that the women are symbolically for sale, that their bodies can be purchased. Likewise, women are just as likely to perceive men as easily manipulated into providing bead wealth. Through the control of her body, a woman can exercise sexual control over men.”

I think I could probably write a book on why this quote is so utterly disturbing, but I will forgo that for now. I would really like to know how do women feel about this..?

February 18, 2012

Zelda Kaplan: Well-Dressed Feminist

“I hope to let every girl know that she is somebody”

Zelda Kaplan, New York City fashionista and socialite, was sadly pronounced dead shortly after collapsing in the front row of a runway show during New York City Fashion week. At 95, Ms. Kaplan was known for her young spirit and endless partying. But, as we mourn the loss of an NYC fashion icon, it is also important to remember the other accomplishments of Kaplan’s life, including her work towards women’s rights.

According to a New York Time’s article, “Ms. Kaplan expressed a less-frivolous side during frequent trips to remote villages in Africa, speaking to tribes about the perils of female genital cutting and lobbying for a woman’s right of inheritance.”

This passion for women’s rights was inspired after hearing anthropologist Margret Mead speak, ultimately influencing her several trips to Africa to educate women.

Ms. Kaplan was definitely the embodiment of a well-dressed feminist, a powerful woman who knew how to dress and how to make a difference. She will be missed.