Category Archives: Celebrities

The Representation Project

I found an interesting video confronting gender norms. This video is an advertisement for a larger movement called the Representation Project. Lead by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a up and coming documentary film maker who has filmed Miss Representation (a documentary about misrepresentations of women in the media) and The Invisible War (a documentary on rape in the military), this project aims to bring awareness to the problematic norms that shape society and cause problems to the youth and members of our community. The video includes speaker Jackson Katz, who has his own documentary Tough Guise, about how hypermasculinity in the media teaches young men to rape and is a cause of the school shooting epidemic.

I think projects like this are really important. While individuals like myself can do small projects to affect our local community and promote education where we are located, individuals have limited resources and time. When big time stars such as Rosario Dawson and these well known documentary film makers take on an advocacy like this, they draw more attention on a larger scale. They have the resources to help make a grassroots movement across the country and hopefully make political and societal changes if enough people get involved. I hope you enjoy the video– it pretty much sums up what my advocacy project was this semester.

What do you think?

Sam

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Beyoncé: Modern Day Feminist Spokesperson

In a recent interview with Out Magazine, Beyoncé spoke out about the double standard that women face when expressing their sexuality.

She was quoted saying

“There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy.”

As well as:

“You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist – whatever you want to be – and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.”

In December, Beyonce released a new album, which she had hoped would open up a conversation to address this double standard and start sparking a feminist response. Well, she was right. Women can learn 5 things from Beyonce’s album.

1. Her song Pretty Hurts questions the beauty standards that women are held to; many of which are self destructive.

2. Blow tells women that getting sexual pleasure should be a two way street.

3. Partition- Women should enjoy sex just like men– that includes feminists.

4. Mine teaches girls that motherhood and relationships can be tough for everyone.

5. Flawless teaches girls to be your own independent women (and do more than just be a housewife).

I think Beyonce is an great spokesperson for feminism because she is a popular figure who can incorporate the feminist message into a way that will be openly accepted. Plus she’s pretty much flawless.

retrieved from: http://ryanseacrest.tumblr.com/
retrieved from: http://ryanseacrest.tumblr.com/

What do you think?

Sam

Lorde: Fighting the Photoshop trend

I recently came across an article about how singer, Lorde is combating the photoshop epidemic. Recently Lorde found a magazine posted her picture with her skin highly photoshopped and perfected. In response, she tweeted the photoshopped picture next to the originial:

retrieved from http://www.upworthy.com/
retrieved from http://www.upworthy.com/

Her tweet said “i find this curious – two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-)”

I think this statement against the photoshop epidemic in Hollywood is fantastic. I think it is a way that stars can help give regular girls confidence in their flaws when they accept that the pictures in the magazines aren’t real (which many young girls don’t realize). I think more star speaking out against this practice will help younger girls avoid unhealthy behaviors to make their bodies look like the pictures in the magazines and it will help show that everyone is against this harmful practice.

What do you think?

Sam

Ban the B-word

A new campaign has gained national attention recently: Ban Bossy. This campaign has gotten the support of many female celebrities, such as Beyonce, Jane Lynch, Condoleezza Rice and Jennifer Garner:

This campaign interrogates why we call assertive young boys “leaders” and “independent” but we call young girls “bossy”, “stubborn” and “pushy” as if they should be quiet and not try to assert herself in school or in groups with her classmates. This labeling of soley females leads girls to hold back and try to blend in with the crowd instead of stand out in the classroom or in other social groups. I think that this campaign is a good way to help to negate the terrible gender stereotypes on young women. I’ve always been outspoken and very assertive, and it always bothered me to be called bossy. I think that young girls should always be encouraged to speak their minds and try to excel and lead in groups.

What do you think? Good campaign? Good Message?

Sam

Academy Awards Ignorance? Uproar about Jared Leto’s lack of knowledge about the Trans* Community

Jared Leto has won several awards for his role as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyer’s club, however, members of the trans* community are very upset at the ignorance he has for the people of the community and the oppression and struggle they face on a daily basis. Many have problems with the script of Dallas Buyer’s Club itself, believing the film in and of itself does not accurately portray the story and that the portrayal of the characters are stereotyped and inaccurate

He’s been quoting saying he deserved to play the role as a transgender woman, as a cisgender (one who identifies with the gender they were born as) male, instead of a transgender woman playing the role he was given because “it goes both ways” despite the fact that members of the trans* community rarely get to play roles of cisgender characters. In fact, more often than not- cisgender actors portray transgender characters, and don’t accurately portray the lives of members of the trans* community.

His acceptance speech at the Golden Globe shows ignorance as well. Making inappropriate jokes about getting his entire body waxed and “ladies know what” he’s talking about (having a very traditional gender role script because only ladies get their bodies waxed). As well as referring to the trans* community as the Rayons (his character’s name) of the world instead of by their identity, which many view as problematic.

What do you think? Do you believe that Leto was insensitive to the trans* gender community through his role and his actions after the filming?

Sam

Woody Allen: Child Abuse Controversy

retrieved from: http://www.businessweek.com/
retrieved from: http://www.businessweek.com/

Recently, Woody Allen’s adopted daughter brought up her long-time accusation of the sexual abuse her father inflicted upon her during her childhood, after his life-time achievement Golden Globe. Dylan Farrow’s letter to the public was published on the New York times blog and has stirred up a lot of debate among the public, most of whom do not want to admit that one of our “most beloved” actors could have done something so horrendous.

Despite the facts of the case, which there has been a history of some sort of abuse and Connecticut police has enough probable cause to charge Allen with crimes, the American public continues to shame Dylan, trying to make her recant her long time statement. Celebrities like Stephen King say that these allegations aren’t true and Dylan is just being a “palpable bitch”. Sadly these sort of things aren’t unique to Dylan. Rape victims are often blamed and shamed into recanting their statements– this is very common in the United States where we put the victim on trial in order to discredit any chance that what she’s saying may or may not be true to get her perpetrator off. This perpetuates on of many rape myths that women make false rape allegations most of the time– when in reality, only 28% of rapes are reported. In a study, the FBI discovered that an 8% of rapes are “unfounded” meaning maybe they were falsely accused, but that label also includes situations where the women didn’t fight back, the attacker didn’t use a weapon, the attacker and victim had a prior relationship, or if the victim didn’t sustain injuries. When combining these two statistic- only 2.2% of rapes are false accusations (at best).

So when there is a history of abuse in this case and the likelihood of a false alligation is at best 2.2%, why do people continue to believe that Woody Allen didn’t abuse his daughter? Well, we don’t like to think that someone who is so beloved in our culture could truly be a monster. Take the example of iconic Bill Cosby– who was accused of drugging and raping women on multiple occasions, was never charged and settled out of a civil suit with one victim. We idolize these actors, and they get off because they have all the money and power to buy off victims or scare them into not reporting and scaring the cops not to touch them because it could ruing their careers. I think instead of blaming the victim we should take a look at the structures of our society that lets rich men with lots of power get away with horrendous crimes.

What do you think?

Sam

Lauren Conrad: Responding to Patriarchy like a boss

This is an old interview that just recently resurfaced today– Lauren Conrad was on a radio interview show called ‘Sway’s Universe’ and a radio caller called in an asked:

retrieved from: http://www.eonline.com/
retrieved from: http://www.eonline.com/

To which Lauren replied:

retrieved from: http://www.eonline.com/
retrieved from: http://www.eonline.com/

One reason why I truly admire Lauren Conrad is that she shows young women that you can have it all and be anything you want. She went from a tv star in The Hills to an accomplished author, fashion designer, and blogger, with her own websites that has everything from health/fitness tips to fashion trends to craft ideas. The other obvious reason that I adore her is that she took what was meant to be an embarrassing question to help define her by her sexual preferences turned into a quick and witty response that shows that she isn’t a sex object, but she’s a strong woman who can accomplish and do what most men hope to do.

You go Lauren! Do you like her response too?

Sam

 

Feminism– It’s for everyone

Hi I’m Sam and welcome to my blog.This blog is meant to show how both gender are told how they should act under patriarchal norms in order to be a “good male” (ie a tough guy) or a “good female” (ie a sexy, yet virginal women).

For my first post, I want to show that  that feminism is for everyone: men, women and any gender in between. Despite it being called “feminism“, depicting the idea that it’s ideals only advocate for women, the basic belief of feminism is that everyone should be equal, and most norms are problematic. Feminists advocate for the rights of all LGBTQ members, whether they identify as male or female, and they are one of the few supports for male victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Feminist understand that males are also affected by patriarchal norms, which force men to do things like keep emotions hidden from people or “over preform” masculinity.

I think something that’s important to note, it that many consider feminism a “dirty word” and its terrible to be known as a feminist. I think this is the case with many celebrities such as:

Katy Perry, who claims “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women”,

Carrie Underwood who says” I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am a feminist, that can come off as a negative connotation. But I am a strong female.”

Lady Gaga claims “I’m not a feminist! I love men! I hail men.”

 

retrieved from http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/2802089/beyonce-press-conference-complete-video-backstage-pics-02/
retrieved from http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/2802089/beyonce-press-conference-complete-video-backstage-pics-02/

And Beyoncé who claims that she doesn’t want to be called a feminist: “I need to find a catchy new word for feminism, right? Like ‘bootylicious.'”

It’s problematic that these awesome women deny the term feminism because they are role models which most women in the United States and even the world look up to. These women deny the term because (1) they mispercieve feminism as being a concept that condemns all men and (2) they don’t want to be associate with the stereotypical feminist who is seen as bitter, angry and unattractive because she doesn’t shave or wear a bra. When these role model celebrities use the term feminist as a four letter word, they hurt the movement as a whole because more people accept that feminist are bad and shouldn’t be listened to.

 

However, there are some celebrities who embrace the concept and the name feminist. For example:

 

retrieved from http://all-about-celebrty.blogspot.com/2013/02/ellen-page-bra-size-height-weight-and.html
retrieved from http://all-about-celebrty.blogspot.com/2013/02/ellen-page-bra-size-height-weight-and.html

Ellen Page says “But I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geena_Davis_(Cropped).jpg
retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geena_Davis_(Cropped).jpg

Geena Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, which analyzes how females are portrayed and advocates for equality. Geena says “It’s all about feminism. Feminism simply means equal social and political status for men and women. There’s nothing radical about it or about using that word or having that as a goal. We’re simply trying to elevate the status of the female characters to equal. We take up half the space in the world so it would be great to see roughly half of characters be female.”

 

 

 

Amy Poehler created the website “Smart Girls At The 

retrieved from http://bcgavel.com/2014/01/17/opinion-amy-poehler-for-commencement-speaker/amypoehler/
retrieved from http://bcgavel.com/2014/01/17/opinion-amy-poehler-for-commencement-speaker/amypoehler/

Party” whose mission is to “Our aim is to help young women and the young at heart with the process of cultivating their authentic selves. We change the world by being ourselves, and being ourselves is a life long quest. Smart Girls hopes to provide some fun reference materials along the way.” When asked if she was a feminist she replied, “Yes, I consider myself a feminist, and it informs my work only in that it’s just who I am, in the same way that I’m a woman, or I’m 5’2″ or whatever. I was lucky that I came through a system that had many people who did much more hard work and road-clearing before I got there.”

 

 

My favorite response to being asked if one was a feminist came from Joseph Gordon-Levitt when he was interviewed on Ellen recently.

 

retrieved from Equality for Women facebook page
retrieved from Equality for Women facebook page

When Ellen asked him if he was a feminist he responded “‘I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely! It’s worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don’t have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be.'”

The reason I love this answer is because it really encompassed the view of feminist that this blog emulates, which is that patriarchy isn’t about males being bad– it’s a dominate system which victimized both men and women to their norms and we should look to where we get the norms of our society and question their validity.

I hope everyone enjoyed my introductory post– stay tuned for more posts on representations!

Sam