The Herculean Effort Taken By One Group To Show Hollywood Is Sexist. "In dissecting the top 100 grossing films each year, Smith and her team have analyzed a total of 26,225 characters in 600 films for gender, body type, age, race and more. In their most recent annual review, released in July, they found that in 2013, only 29 percent of characters were female, and a mere 28 percent of the films had a female lead or co-lead." [more inside]
Britain's elite sportswomen fear that the way they look is judged to be more important than what they achieve in their sporting careers. [more inside]
Makers: Women Who Make America is a sweeping 3-hour documentary of the movement for women's equality in the last half of the twentieth century. Airing this month on US public television, it's accompanied by an online archive of videos of interviews with individual women in leadership across a variety of fields. Leaders and activists, celebrities and pioneers, and everyday women retell the story of their awakening, organizing, and world-changing efforts.
Does It Matter If the Heroine of 'Brave' Is Gay? [Contains spoilers for Brave]
"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."
The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
Just your classic corporation-meets-social-good, corporation-funds-social-good, corporation-dumps-social-good story. Cable giant Comcast meets ReelGrrls, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting young women in becoming filmmakers. Comcast funds ReelGrrls. Comcast buys NBC, giving their cable network (presumably cheaper) access to NBC's vast back catalog of content. FCC approves the union. FCC head Meredith Attwell Baker leaves and becomes head of Comcast. ReelGrrls tweets about her career move. Comcast yanks funding for ReelGrrls. ReelGrrls says, "OMG, you broke up with me over a tweet?" (SLYT) [more inside]
Last year, Marie Claire magazine made headlines by employing a plus-sized fashion columnist, Ashley Falcon, whose blog “Big Girl In A Skinny World” was proudly advertised as “proof that fashionistas come in all shapes and sizes.” Yesterday, a different Marie Claire blogger attacked the new CBS show “Mike & Molly” for featuring overweight characters. Her post received more than a thousand angry comments and the magazine reportedly received over 28,000 emails, prompting an apology from the blogger and a defensive response from the Editor in Chief. [more inside]
About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
Ever made fun of a commercial, a TV show, or a romantic comedy? Of course you have. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. But even shooting fish in a barrel can be done with style. Check out Info Mania’s Sarah Haskins’ Target Women spots in which Haskins dissects how the media types depicts we women types, especially when it comes to those matters so dear to the lady brain, like Botox, birth control, chick flicks, female political candidates, number two, cleaning, jewelry, diets, aging, skin care, the Oscars, Disney Princesses, vampires, The View, Michelle Obama’s arms, Lifetime programming, chocolate, lady parts, laundry, security, weddings, and of course that official food of women, yogurt. You can find a complete listing of Target Women spots here.
The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
"A paper around her neck said she was Ida, but Ida said nothing at all." So tells the story of the saddest, unluckiest girl that ever lived. [more inside]
The "Revolution" that isn't. The idea that well-educated women are leaving their careers behind and choosing to stay at home is a recurring story- notably in "The Opt Out Revolution", Lisa Belkin's 2003 essay in the New York Times. A closer examination [.pdf, long] challenges the idea that women are returning home as a matter of biological "pull" rather than a workplace "push", and argues that how the media portrays the personal decisions of a few obfuscates the real social needs of most American working families. In 2007, the United States is one of the few countries in the world without paid maternity leave.
You would think that with 4,000 women and 200 girls together, along with hundreds of NGOs and representatives of 45 governments the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women would be well covered by the media. Sadly, it is not: this year only 10 journalists demanded media accreditation to cover the international meeting, while pro-life groups are more than happy to send delegates arguing that "governments should protect girls from the moment of conception." The Commission however is no small event: it provided a legal frame protecting the rights of women and girls worldwide (those rights were officially adopted in the early 90s [!]). It also provides standards to which participant countries must try live up to. This blog takes us backstage, behind the CSW's scene.
A tale of two West Virginia soldiers: one named Jessica, one named Lynndie. Both are on opposite sides of the propaganda war. One is a hero, one is a monster. No, wait - actually, one is a fraud, one was just following orders. No wait, one is perky and blonde, the other is kind of butch and ugly. Now I'm all confused. Help me Metafilter, you're my only hope.
All The Nudes That Are Fit To Print: It's no exaggeration to say La Repubblica is Italy's finest newspaper. It's liberal, modern, intelligent and independent. Along with Spain's El Pais; France's Libération and Le Monde; the UK's Guardian; Germany's Die Zeit and Portugal's Público, it's one of the mainstays of the European Left and Centre-Left. And yet its website offers calendars in the, er, Pirelli tradition of time-keeping. Imagine the New York Times being similarly... liberal. Can soft prOn and serious reporting live together? Is it an Italian thing? The only other example I can think of is Spain's Interviú, a magazine which in its heyday mixed superb (again, left-leaning) investigative journalism with politically incorrect - and photographically retouched - tits and ass. (NSFW, obviously, unless you're somewhere in Southern Europe or Louisiana.)
Buffy and The Powerpuff Girls versus Pink and Ally McBeal: Can the modern women become anymore difficult to understand? Makes me yearn for Mary Richards.