In Praise of the BFF’s on OITNB

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It’s a goal of mine this year to publish more positive & lighthearted pieces in addition to thinkpieces and feminist critiques. This one felt good to write and I’m looking forward to publishing more on The Frisky.

From the jovial opening scene of Pennsatucky driving with Bell and Maxwell, the two female guards, to the final rush of freedom among the entire group, season three covers a lot of emotional territory, most of it compelled by the unique friendships the women have forged with one another. There is a fragility and vulnerability that informs the way the characters interact with one another and it’s the tenderness, and not the ways the reproduce traditional masculine power dynamic, that make their connections all the more powerful.

Read the full article here.

The Blessing And The Curse Of Famous Male Feminists

Originally published by RoleReboot

In a culture where a woman’s worth has been constructed through the male gaze of desire, where female credibility is constantly questioned, where self-defense gets you incarcerated or worse, it’s really no surprise that women may only come to feminism on a road paved by men.

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The Internet erupted this week when a two-month-old Tumblr post by Mark Ruffalo went viral in which the Avengers star re-posted a passionate statement by blogger Libby Ann Bruce. The original post was written last year as a response to the “Not A Feminist” Internet movement, calling out the ignorance of its participants, primarily women.

When you grin with your cutesy sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”

It’s a provocative statement that has earned Ruffalo both credit and critique for being an outspoken feminist, though little has been said about the actual author. As someone who has spent her life as an outspoken feminist, this post and the responses to it have me feeling a little incensed. For one thing, Ruffalo did not write this post but, for better or worse, multiple outlets are reporting as if he had. Cosmopolitan UK cited his response as “incredible,” Huffington Post Women dedicated an entire article to identifying the actor’s most feminist moments while those in the “Not a Feminist” camp have condemned Ruffalo for mansplaining feminism and shaming their choices, an inherently anti-feminist move.

Why do we care what Mark Ruffalo has to say about feminism? Because he has the power to instigate change. This is what makes this moment so frustrating and yet so powerful.

Read the full article here.

Why ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Is A Feminist Film

Originally published by Role Reboot

Mad Max: Fury Road is not a feminist film simply because it has a female protagonist or because it passes the Bechdel test. It is a feminist film because it was consciously constructed to expose grave injustices in Hollywood and the broader culture by making non-traditional choices that resulted in feminist acts.

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Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is a giant fuck you to Hollywood from the soldiers on the front lines. There is no denying that Hollywood is a dark and twisted place where women struggle to exist within a web of gender norms and cultural myths: the myth of youth, the myth of beauty, and the myth of power. In Hollywood and throughout the world, the battle to both destroy and maintain those myths is enacted on women’s bodies. Fury Road takes down all of these myths starting with the misnomer that stories about women aren’t interesting or worthwhile.

Read the full article here

Upcoming Event: “Am I a Feminist?”

The word FEMINIST gets a lot of attention these days. Time Magazine dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Feminist” and then later included it on its list of proposed words to ban from our pop culture vocabulary. Beyonce and Jennifer Lawrence openly embrace the word while Lady Gaga and Shailene Woodley strongly resist it.

What gives?

If you’re confused about the word FEMINIST and wonder, “Am I a feminist?” OR “Should I be a feminist?” then this event is for you, no matter your age or gender. Teens & parents especially encouraged to attend!

Friday, May 1st  //  7PM  // Women & Children First  //  $10 donation

Alicia Swiz is both a professor and performer. Drawing from her personal experience and her academic training, Ms. Swiz will facilitate a conversation about what it means to be a feminist in 2015. One part lecture, two parts Q&A. Expect humor and candid observation that will help you gain new insight on an often misrepresented identity.

Questions? Email Ms. Swiz {msswiz@popgoesalicia.com}