TWIF: Vol. 25

Jan 14, 2016
This Week in Feminism

Here for you when you get tired of waiting for the "Angie Tribeca" premiere.

1. Golden Globes Had Feminist Moments.

If we’re being real, it’s pretty hard--damn near impossible--to host a memorable Golden Globes just a year after Amy and Tina won all the award shows forever and ever the way they did at last year’s Globes. We’ll give Ricky Gervais snaps for trying, however, and try to pay some attention to the more feminist moments of the night (though the end result of award distribution was rather disappointing). We’ll start with our personal fave: this magical moment when America Ferrera and Eva Longoria stepped out to present an award and simultaneously ridiculed the not-so-subtle racism that has led media outlets to confuse each of them with other Latina and Hispanic stars--ahem, like here. #Shade #Thrown. Then, there were the acceptance speeches, which ideally would have been coming from a more racially diverse group of winners, but managed to honor different minority groups all the same--like when Leo DiCaprio spoke out about protecting Native peoples and lands; when Kate Winslett sang the praises of “girl power” and went on to elaborate even more in the press room about the incredible power of women in the media; or when Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend highlighted the importance of telling diverse stories, like that of her Filipino co-star, Vincent Rodriguez III, on TV and in movies. Overall, #GoldenGlobes2016 didn’t make for a huge night for feminism, but we managed to squeeze in a few little wins amidst all the bleeps and booze.

Also, this happened.*Squeeeeee*


2. SOTU Wasn't Feminist Enough 4 Us but Obama is Still Nice.

Lovers of Barack “O-bae-ma” Obama huddled around TV sets far and wide this week as the 44th President of the United States delivered his final State of the Union (SOTU) address. Many were moved by his speech and by the significance of the entire affair--after all, it was the final SOTU address we weill hear from our historic first black president (though we look forward to more SOTUs from all the black presidents to follow, ja?). There was one tiny, little word that Obama left out of the speech, however, which has some feminists (hi) grumbling. Yup: as Cate from Bustle pointed out, the guy managed to get through his entire spiel without specifically uttering the word “women,” which is particularly wince-worthy at this moment in history, where women’s health and prosperity are increasingly becoming pawns for political power. It’s not as if his speech was devoid of any feminist buzz, though, because he did *briefly* mention equal pay, as well as reference a few, specific breakthrough women in STEM fields. But truly, that kind of lip service is never enough, especially while rates of violence against cis- and transgender women continue to climb; Planned Parenthood’s funding is constantly being threatened; Congress refuses to budge on a bill for equal pay; rates of sexual assault on college campuses remain at staggering levels; hardworking, poor women can’t afford to feed their children; and women are being stripped of their reproductive freedoms (among other things). Better luck next time, Barack! Oh, wait...too soon?


3. David Bowie Fans Mourn, and Some Criticize.

This week, the world mourned the loss of legendary musician and cultural influencer David Bowie when he succumbed to liver cancer at the age of 69. As a musician, there is no denying that Bowie was one of the most innovative and inspiring artists of the last 50 years; and even just as a human, Bowie’s counterculture presence shifted opinions about gender norms and racial injustice. He’s been lauded as a “feminist icon and liberator,” but there has also been some hushed talk about his “complicated sexual history” that is tainted not insignificantly by the alleged statutory rape of two 15-year-old “baby groupies” in the 70s, as well as a lesser-known sexual assault accusation from a Dallas woman in the 80s. Many feminists on the Internet have written pieces attempting to reconcile this apparent betrayal of sexual violence and irresponsibility with his otherwise heroic image; reminding us all that we need to be flexible in our idolization of celebrities. We’re well aware that fame comes with many complexities of scandal and allegation, but even if Bowie was a bellwether musician--or because Cosby was a beloved comedian, or because Lennon was a “revolutionary”--he is not to be held to lower standards of conduct, and for the sake of these women, these incidences shouldn’t be forgotten. In other words… we’ll be blasting “Life on Mars” ‘til the end of days, but we won’t erase his legacy--even these pieces--in the process. Rest in peace, Bowie.


4. Sophia Bush Joins Emma Watson's Feminist Book Club.

What happens when you put our bestie Sophia Bush in a room with Emma Watson, plus some other kickass ladies? They make a kickass feminist book club called “Our Shared Shelf,” and talk about it on Twitter and the red carpet--duh! In an interview at the Golden Globes this week, Bush spoke about her new involvement in the club, and how excited she is to have found other “like-minded” women in her industry. Plus, like any halfway decent feminist book club, their first read is Gloria Steinem’s new page-turner My Life on the Road, all about how traveling and speaking with real, diverse women is the most impactful and meaningful way to engage in feminism. SCORE. P.S., ladies: we’re still waiting on our e-vite… did you mark our email down correctly? ;)


5. Iowa Brown & Black Forum Made Space for Discussion.

With so much of the race for the presidency adopting the form of (kinda unproductive) debate and name-calling, something as civilized and constructive as the Iowa Brown and Black Forum is marks a noticeably refreshing shift. Held this past week at Iowa’s Drake University and conducted by students and commentators of color, this forum invited the three Democratic presidential candidates to the stage individually to answer questions that specifically pertained to racial minority (not a super accurate term anymore, folks!) group interests. Not only did the forum provide a brilliant avenue for intense discussion directed by voices of color, but each candidate was able to shine in her own way, and lay out specific plans for the future of her respective campaign. Some highlights included Bernie’s straightforward criticism of abstinence-only sex education (#FeelTheSperm), as well as Hillary’s promises to not be the next “Deporter-in-Chief” and to support the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars abortion services from receiving federal funding, therefore disproportionately hurting poor women and women of color. Plus, the woman gracefully answered the toughest question imaginable: “Who had a better 2015, Drake or you?"

More on this here.


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