Category Archives: Documentaries and Films

Women’s News Internet Roundup

So many things have been happening online. Here’s a quick overview of somethings that stood out to me in July.

Boy Scouts: Have you heard about the anti-gay discrimination in the Boy Scouts? Read this article about what Boy Scouts can learn from Girl Scouts.

Tosh.0, Louis CK, and Rape Jokes: This Bitch article explains it well: Louis C.K. thinks “feminists can’t take a joke,” but his Daily Show interview wasn’t ALL bad. Rape jokes are never funny and Daniel Tosh got in trouble for his recently. I do like Louis CK but it’s no secret that he has some anti-woman jokes and sentiments. He has redeemed himself in some ways but I don’t agree with some things he says of course. Sarah Silverman does a good bit on rape jokes, check out the video from Feministing.

Men and the Media: A 3-part video series from an awesome blogger at Miss Representation. Great way to show how sexism and patriarchy negatively effect men as well, definitely something we don’t hear about enough. Topics cover body image, media, sex, pornography, stereotypes, and more.

Upworthy: Great site, recommended to follow them. Presenting important and relevant social issues in a compelling and visual way. They also have a Tumblr now.

Pussy Riot: A Russian feminist punk band was arrested and jailed for disorderly conduct or whatever ridiculous charge it was. They played a protest song in a church and have since apologized for their actions. In jail for months and hunger striking, their trial has finally started. Support Pussy Riot! Check out the Know-Nothing’s Guide to Pussy Riot, the Realest Punks Alive.

17 year old girl’s Photoshop petition: Thousands signed the petition asking major magazines like Seventeen to include one unaltered/un-Photoshopped photo per issue. It also called for more diversity. Unfortunately, it’s likely that many of these changes won’t be made but there is definitely a long-term effect on young people who see these images every day.

Niki Minaj – “Whether you love or hate Nicki Minaj’s music, this video is freakin’ fantastic — though I hate that she says she sounds stupid at the end. Expressing frustration with the sexism of your industry is never, ever stupid, especially when it’s done as eloquently as this. Plus, she’s totally right. Jump ahead to 1:28 for the best part.” – Upworthy

Amy Poehler’s new project Smart Girls at the Party: I’ve only actually watched one episode but plan on doing more. Cute interviews with young girls and Amy. Love the empowerment aspect. Amy Poehler is sooooo cool! “Smart girls are changing the world by being themselves.”

Jon Hamm ask a grown man video – This ask a grown man series is cute, not always worth the 5 minutes but this one is a great way to get acquainted with the series if you aren’t already.

Marissa Mayer is not a feminist: New Yahoo! CEO says she’s not a feminist, which angers those who want her to credit feminism for getting her to where she is. What do you think? Why does she say she isn’t a feminist? I assume it’s because she doesn’t know what that means like most people.

What other news stories have you been following lately? This is fun – more feminist round ups to come!

Round up: books, music, movies!

Books: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
Best book I’ve read in a long time, couldn’t put it down but didn’t want it to end. How could I not love the cowgirls? All of the characters are brought to life with Robbins’ amazing style and imagination: Indians, cowgirls, the hitchhiker, the concept of time, the hermit/prohpet, the Countess. His pro-female themes also made it easier to love. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Next up: Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. I hope to start dedicating more of my time to reading and another book my Tom Robbins is a good way to get into it.

Music: Los Headaches, Midnite Snaxxx, Wrong Words
Tomorrow, Wednesday 11/16 at 1-2-3-4 Go Records in Oakland (Facebook event page)
One thing I really missed while being abroad was music. I missed my record collection and seeing live music, especially since my taste is so particular. Los Headaches are an awesome garage band from Mexico City. Midnite Snaxxx is a local all-girl band, one that really makes me wish I knew how to play an instrument. I’ve never been to a show here so I am not only excited for the music but to also see how they set it up.

Movies: Thursday 11/17 in Berkeley Raiders of the Lost Ark is playing. It won’t be the first time I’ve been it on the big screen in the last year but it’s a hard one to say no to, especially when it only costs $5.

What a great week for being back in Oakland!

You can’t be what you can’t see: “Miss Representation” screening, Oakland

Yesterday was the first screening of “Miss Representation” in the East Bay at the Oakland Museum. One great thing about moving from San Luis Obispo to Oakland is events like this. The documentary, about the misrepresentation of women in modern mainstream media, has won many film festivals awards and gained attention nationally, even from Oprah and her new network OWN. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” as they say.

The screening was put on by Cinnamon Girl Inc., a great organization that “serves to empower and inspire girls of color to realize their highest personal and professional aspirations by offering leadership and self-esteem building activities, cultural enrichment opportunities and career development programs.” Go Cinnamon Girls!

The film was written, directed and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom to educate the public on the power and effects of media on our culture and especially the self-esteem of young girls and boys. With powerful statistics, facts and interviews (with teens, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Geena Davis, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinham and more) the film really illustrates the need to reevaluate who controls the what we see and believe. Media teaches us and is ingrained in us whether we acknowledge it or not and it is time more people acknowledge it and take a stand against it.

Some things that stood out to me: the number of women on the boards of corporations controlling what we see like CBS, Disney, TimeWarner were are 2/14 or 1/10; the idea of women blaming themselves and feeling the need to be in competition with each other and tear each other down; the small number of female protagonists (about 17% in mainstream films); the number of boys and girls who want to be president is the same when they are younger but by the time they are teenagers the number of girls with the same dream is cut in half; the way women feel about themselves; the general acceptance of these facts and the media the way it is. We all see extreme cases of women being used as objects but this dehumanization goes deep within all of our minds, deeper than most realize. Girls need powerful women role models that don’t get judged on their looks.

Following the film was a panel and discussion. I was so happy and lucky to be in a place where women and men could speak their minds about things mainstream media doesn’t talk about.

I even shared briefly, which was unusual for me: Just a few weeks ago I was visiting my mom and sister. My 19-year-old sister has always looked up to me and I never understood it. I worry about how impressionable and willing to please others she can be. I just want her to be strong and free of pressure from media created by our patriarchal society. Anyway, she asked me “why feminism is matters today” and we stayed up all night! I was so happy that she was interested. I am no expert – I only started to realize feminism’s importance a few years ago. I realized the effects media and sexism had in my life and that things I had been embarrassed about and self conscious about weren’t my fault- in fact, I wasn’t the only person feeling that way. There are a lot people out there who don’t understand why we need to fight for gender equality today.

I have so many ideas. I want to follow, support and even volunteer/work for women’s media organizations. I want to hold more open discussions about women in the media and women’s positions in the world. I want to have a documentary/film series of other films that will get the public talking about women’s and gender issues.

Awareness is so important. So let’s spread the word.

“Gloria: In Her Own Words” on HBO

You may not have heard of HBO’s new special “Gloria: In Her Own Words” but hopefully you know of it’s star and subject Gloria Steinham. But if you don’t know Gloria it’s never too late!

Gloria can be described in many ways: feminist icon, passionate writer, political activist, founder of Ms. Magazine (one of my favorite publications!), and much more.  (She once went undercover as a Playboy bunny and wrote about her experience and treatment throughout it.)

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch it since it premiered on Monday (no HBO or any cable for that matter); but the trailer makes me wish I did. WATCH IT.

It seems to me from interviews and article reviews from feminists and major magazines that it was made to inform about Gloria’s part in the women’s movement of the 1960s and 70s. Most active feminists are already well aware of Gloria and her impact on the movement but this documentary was made to inspire those who are new to Gloria’s role in feminism.