In the past several years, women have used various platforms and organizations to draw attention to the gender divide that persists in media. We've only made a little progress.
In the new annual report from the Women's Media Center released last week on the status of women in American media, there is evidence of slow progress for women in film, print, television and radio. Aside from the lack of opinion writers, the overall tally of women staffers continued to hover at 36 percent—a figure largely unchanged since 1999.
It’s official. The days of people thinking of Comedy Central as just a network for men are over. The smash hit Inside Amy Schumer is returning in April and there’s even more exciting news: today Comedy Central announced that critical darling Broad City has been renewed for a second season.
Two weeks ago, women incarcerated at Estrella Jail in Phoenix, Arizona staged a hunger strike. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who runs the jail, told media that the women were striking over the all-vegetarian meals being served. His direct quote was actually: "They ought to shut up and eat what they have, they happen to be in jail and I'm the sheriff and I'm the chief chef I decide what they eat.” Spinning the women's actions as just a knee-jerk response to having to eat vegetarian food helps turn a serious hunger strike into a punchline.
Sifting through the archives of Bitch, I happened upon a big, bad pile of the other Bitch: a newsprint zine from the '80s that called itself "The Women’s Rock Mag With Bite." To a metal fan like me, this zine is gold: one issue even featured Rude Girl/Chastain screamer Leather Leone on the cover! Inspired by this lucky find, "Hail to the Metal Queens" is a righteous, rip-roaring mini-compendium of some of the most powerful—and underrated—voices in heavy metal. Let loose your hair, throw your fists in the air, and get ready to get loud!
When Princeton alumna Susan Patton garnered national attention last week for her “straight talking advice” letter imploring the young women of her alma mater to spend their college years “finding the right man to marry,” many of us female Princeton students rolled our eyes.
• Arizona's legisalture passed a bill allowing private businesses to discriminate against people so long as they can justify their discrimination based on "sincere religious beliefs." [NPR]
• Michele Bachmann says the US doesn't have a "pent-up desire" for a female president. She went on to say she thinks people elected Obama out of guilt, but that "people don't hold guilt for a woman." Ack. [Politico]
• Some people had a disturbing reaction the to rape charges against NFL star Darren Sharper: they say he is "too sexy" to rape someone, despite accusations that evidence that he drugged and raped at least seven women. [Jezebel]
Sad as I am to write this, it must be said: the Olympics are almost over. Part of me is thankful for this, as I’ve watched more hours of TV in the past week than my body or brain can adequately handle. As always, I have found the Olympics to be patronizing, exhausting, and simultaneously bloated and skimpy. And I also know that I will be desperately sad to see them go.