Phenomenal Woman

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”


-Maya Angelou

The F Word

FEMINISTS UNITE! Here’s another video from the folks at Makers,

Feminism has received quite a bit of attention lately, as female celebrities seem to be asked more and more if they identify with the term.”

Makers asked some famous women about what it means to be a feminist.



Following the Isla Vista shooting tragedy on Friday, people are reacting in large volumes with the hashtag #YesAllWomen. Women and men are listening and sharing stories about how sexism and misogyny have affected their own lives. Twitter, the new medium for social activism, is responding to the attacks by 22-year-old gunman Elliot Rodger. Rodger had a long internet history of violent and angry feelings towards women. Misogyny is so pervasive in our society, it often leads to violence, like the ever rampant mass shootings. Despite the gunman’s mental state, misogyny is often considered the fault of the female. Thanks to hundreds of years of misogynistic ideology, men believe it is their right to female attention and sex. Violence against women is culturally acceptable in our sexist society and “dismissing violent misogynists as ‘crazy’ is a neat way of saying that violent misogyny is an individual problem, not a cultural one,” feminist blogger Melissa McEwan tweeted.

Feministing had the best “roundup” of articles about the Isla Vista shooting. Each expert on the topic truly speaks to all aspects of the shooting in relation to misogyny.

The New York Times also discussed the killings and the conversation about misogyny, sexual violence and deep-seated feelings of anger, horror, and sexual expectations directed at women.

Here is a link to the NBCNews article. I have also attached another article from Time: Opinion, “Misogyny Didn’t Turn Elliot Rodger Into a Killer” and an article from The Guardian, “Elliot Rodger’s California shooting spree: further proof that misogyny kills”

Another quote from Laurie Penny at The New Statesman, “Let’s call the Isla Vista killings what they were: misogynist extremism

The ideology behind these attacks – and there is ideology – is simple. Women owe men. Women, as a class, as a sex, owe men sex, love, attention, “adoration”, in Rodger’s words. We owe them respect and obedience, and our refusal to give it to them is to blame for their anger, their violence – stupid sluts get what they deserve. Most of all, there is an overpowering sense of rage and entitlement: the conviction that men have been denied a birthright of easy power.”

Sarah Kelly Shannon @thesarahkelly

Because sexual assault is so normalized that my sorority sisters called the poorly lit street behind our house “Rape Street.”

Natasha Scripture @natscript

because I live in a world where my ‘no’ signifies the beginning of a negotiation that shouldn’t have to take place.


Makers is a website that has the largest video collection of women’s stories. I often watch these videos of female leaders in the film industry. Here are some of my favorite: (unsurprisingly Nora Ephron is on there.) If you’re able, watch as many as you can.

Nora Ephron: Nora discusses the issues with feminism, writing, directing, and the state of female leaders in the film industry.

Callie Khouri: Writer of “Thelma & Louise”. Khouri dealt with great sexism in and out of the industry. T&L was considered feminist propaganda when it first came out, because of this Khouri was blacklisted from Hollywood for many years.



Cannes: Jury President Jane Campion Laments “Inherent Sexism” In Movie Industry


Here’s an article by Pete Hammond of Deadline: Hollywood. Jane Campion is the only woman to ever win a Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival in the 67-year history. Campion was quite outspoken about sexism in the industry, which has lead some to believe that is why this year’s jury is primarily female and that they may use this year’s Palme d’Or prize to “make a statement”. There are only two female directors in the category, which is causing some speculation that Campion and the jury will pick a female-directed film.

Here’s a quote from the article: “But Campion, who won her Palme d’Or for 1993′s The Piano, was quite outspoken when the subject of employment for women in the industry came up. “I think you would have to say there is some inherent sexism in the industry. (Cannes programming chief) Thierry Fremaux told us only 7% of the 1800 films submitted to the Cannes Film Festival were directed by women… It does feel a little bit undemocratic,” she said. “Time and time again we don’t get our share of representation. It’s not that I resent the male-directed films but there is something women are thinking of doing we don’t get to know enough about.” She added that it is often a surprise when a film does come about that really offers a strong female vision.”

Is Beyonce a terrorist?

beyonce-time_custom-99c02d6cff8f357a60b18a5c47a2c4a546a936c4-s6-c30Beyonce is always on pop culture’s radar, but not until recently has her self-declared “modern day feminist” title been called under question. bell hooks, an author and feminist, was recently asked at New York’s New School panel discussion about Beyonce’s stance on gender and she said, “I see a part of Beyonce that is, in fact, anti-feminist – that is a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls.” She goes on to say that, “I actually feel like the major assault on feminism in our society has come from visual media and from television and videos.”
hooks isn’t the only one to recognize how feminism has been repackaged under the guise of equality and sold as anti-feminist propaganda. The way society looks at gender, from all perspectives, from Bill O’Reilly to bell hooks, is still under debate. Especially when you factor in race, social class and education. What should be a set human right, is often redefined for the purpose of the individual.
An interview with TFW’s Heidi R. Lewis, The Feminist Wire and an article by the New Statesman, all weigh in on the Beyonce debate, opening up a larger and more intense discussion on how society interprets gender and feminism. Whether people are maligning or praising Beyonce on her ideas on feminism or her pop culture identity, we are ignorantly tearing away at feminism and what it means to be a feminist. Using her as an example to highlight the bigger problems that our society faces with gender inequality (by correctly using feminist theory from feminists) seems to be the only way to explain the problem to the pop culture consumer.