My ultimate empowered female art heroine is a woman who made a career for herself long before the word "feminist" was in use. Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652/3) is a force to be reckoned with, taught by her father Orazio and following in the footsteps of fellow Italian, Caravaggio. She stood out not only because of her incredible talent, but also the obstacles she overcame in her personal life to make a career out of painting.
Full disclosure: I have had misgivings about Slutwalk from day one. "Slut" has never been a term used against me. Though the idea of reclaiming the word seems to resonate with many young, white heterosexual women, it is not clear to me that it's something that can unify all women. It felt alienating and exclusionary to me from the start.
Last night's episode of True Blood contained the usual outrageous plot twists and soap opera-levels of drama, which is great and which is why I (and probably you if you're reading this) look forward to summer Sunday nights. However, it also contained a totally fucked-up gang rape scene which the show's creators (and many media outlets) are calling anything but.
To five-year-old me, Counsellor Troi was more appealing than Disney princesses: beautiful and serene and intuitive, but also she got to go on cool missions and sit on the bridge of the Enterprise and tell the Captain the truth about his own motivations. Troi was the first action figure in my Trek collection, and when I started reading Star Trek novels in grade 6, I always went for the ones featuring her.
So as an adult feminist re-watching TNG and reflecting, I feel the need to complain about how Troi was treated, particularly around the instances when Troi was psychically raped.
Sometimes a situation is so horrible that a Douchebag Decree just doesn't cut it. However, I can think of nothing douchier today than the NYPD trial verdict, which found the two accused officers not guilty of rape.
Looks like some members of the GOP must have seen The Daily Show last night, because they've decided to give up on their ridiculous crusade to redefine rape in a bill banning taxpayer subsidies for abortions. Of course, they still want to ban taxpayer subsidies for abortions in most cases, so it's not exactly time to break out the champagne, but at least women who have been raped will not have to prove that the rape they experienced was "forcible" in order to get government assistance for abortions. (You know, because a lack of consent is what defines rape. We know you know.) We'd like to thank Kristen Schaal for tipping the scales in favor of women's rights in this instance. We're sure that her report on last night's Daily Show on the "rape loophole" in our government had something to do with today's decision:
TRIGGER WARNING: These conversations deal heavily with rape and consent and may be triggering (it was for Friedman).
There's a lot that goes on in this talk, but I wanted to link to the "Let's Talk About It" campaign Friedman (and some of our Twitter followers) have mentioned, which was started by Swedish women to talk about their own sexual assault experiences. If you're on Twitter, make sure to check out both the #talkaboutit and #Mooreandme campaigns still happening! (What's #Mooreandme? Read here and check Tigerbeatdown for updates). Click through for Part II!
Jim McKay's 1996 feature Girls Town came out at an interesting time. It was released a few years after riot grrrl was co-opted by the mainstream and Sassy folded, but a year before Spin Magazine attempted to capitalize on a cultural moment with their problematic Girl Issue and Alex Sichel's coming-of-age drama All Over Me received a limited theatrical release. It made its stateside cinematic debut two days before Annette Haywood-Carter's Foxfire, an adaptation of Joyce Carrol Oates' novel that also focused on a teenage girl gang, which helped launch Angelina Jolie's career, attempted to do the same for Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu, and represented a liminal period for former child actress and Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis. While Foxfire is better-known, I'd argue that Girls Town evinces more progressive gender and racial politics.