Some people use their fame for evil (think: ridiculous hair-piece, dollar signs for eyes, not a fan of women/people of color), while others use their fame for feminism. We like these people. Take, for instance, Amber Rose--hip-hop artist, activist, and former stripper, among other things--who has been very vocal recently, speaking out against slut-shaming. On top of starring in a video that turned the "Walk of Shame" into the "Walk of No Shame" and identifying as a "feminist monster" (a good thing, btw!!) in a Cosmo interview this past summer, Rose organized a SlutWalk in LA over the weekend that, in typical SlutWalk fashion, celebrating sexual liberation and denounced the blaming of women for their own degradation and assault. The event was emotional (duh) and really emphasized how women with any sexuality (or lack thereof) suffer when their value is tied to external opinions about their sexual habits. Our fave signs from the day are tied between "Strippers Have Feelings, Too" and "Fuck Yo 30 Showers," held by Rose's mama. Multiple generations of lady-love have got us all giddy.
2. MART: Mothers Against Racist Textbooks.
Welcome to “Race Wars: Episode V - The Mom Strikes Back,” starring Roni Dean-Burren, a Texas mother who took it upon herself to correct textbook giant McGraw-Hill on the topic of slavery. Upon flipping through her son’s World Geography book to the section about the U.S. slave trade, Dean-Burren was confronted with major misinformation: the slaves were casually described as “workers” and immigrants. Holy misrepresentation, Batman! Not only does this imply that black slaves came over to the States willingly, but it entirely washes over the violent and horrific beginnings of modern anti-black racism. Of all the things to ignore, this is a bad one. However, the nice part of this story is that the publishing company saw her YouTube video and responded through their Facebook page saying they would make the appropriate changes. Moms: 1; racist re-writing of history: 0.
3. Suffragette Doesn't Gette It.
Disclaimer: we’re stoked for the release of Suffragette. Amen hallelujah for women telling stories about women! BUT. This does not mean that we aren’t highly critical of it (as per usual feminist-ing), particularly its white feminist bend. TBH, the film’s recent publicity campaign featuring Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan alongside two other white co-stars, all wearing t-shirts with the Emmeline Pankhurst quote “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave” written in bold was sort of the last nail in the coffin for intersectional feminists. This failed attempt at solidarity was frustratingly tone-deaf and participatory in the erasure of the voices of women in color within women’s movements and feminism--which is super unfortunate coming from this film in particular. Read more about that here.
4. ...But It Gettes Better.
Ok, so Suffragette is v white feminist. Can a girl get an upside, plz? Well, the film’s premiere in London’s Leicester Square was also the scene of a demonstration by an English group called Sisters Uncut, which was protesting the treatment of women in England. Cha-ching! Protesters took to the red carpet to disrupt the pageantry with cries reminding us all that the women’s movement is faaaar from over--which is evidenced by Britain’s recent defunding of vital government-sponsored “specialist services” that provide affordable and accessible care and counseling to women, particularly poor women and women of color (sound familiar, U.S.A.???). The protesters were sure tocriticize the film for its white feminism, as well. Also super cool: Helena Bonham Carter, one of the Suffragette stars, supposedly remarked that this demonstration was the “perfect” response to the film. Sweet success.
Image by Mario De Munck via Wikimedia Commons
5. Brilliant Filmmaker Dies Unexpectedly.
As any fairly-aware feminist knows, famous female filmmakers are few and far between. That’s why it’s extra sad when we lose one, like Belgian director Chantal Akerman, who died this week at age 65. She was a “pioneer in feminist and experimental filmmaking,” according to the NY Times. Most known for her 3-hour 1975 film titled “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles,” which delved into the life of a housewife (previously unexplored by the contemporary filmmakers of her time). Akerman feminist viewing party, anyone? We’ll bring the bra-burning blow-torches and chocolate ice cream!
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