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Denim Day

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So, if my lovely readers have been involved in feminism and unbelievable rape culture for a while, I’m sure you have heard this story, as it is a bit dated. Nevertheless, it will always be relevant as long as these types of injustices remain.

A quick introduction, thanks to The New York Times, 1999

In the case on which the court ruled, an 18-year-old woman brought an accusation of rape in 1992 against her 45-year-old driving instructor in the small town of Muro Lucano, 60 miles from Naples. She said that during a driving lesson, he drove her to an isolated spot, forced her to get out, and raped her. He contended that they had consensual sex in the car.

A woman accused a man of rape in Italy. When it went to trial, it was decided that she could not have been raped, because she was wearing tight jeans. It was decided in a court of law that the woman must have assisted the man in taking off her pants. Therefore, it was not rape.

Ugh. Even if this shred of “defense” is true, does taking one’s pants off to avoid violence or death make it okay to penetrate someone without consent?

I bring this up because, in order to silently speak out against this atrocity, women are asked to wear jeans on April 27th. Though many of these clothing requests always seemed a bit arbitrary to me, I figured I would share the information. I wear jeans almost every day, but hey, for April 27th, I will be standing up against the rape culture in the world. If anyone will be standing with me, comment and let me know!

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Before & After Reddit/ Feminist Makeup Rant

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Last week, this photo on Reddit became the buzz of the Internet, at least in the crevices of the web that I frequent. It was posted by user “munner83” about three months ago. Though the photo had been available for a while, it resurfaced thanks to Reddit’s ability to vote up certain posts into relevance.

I found this picture intriguing, primarily because I had planned to do something similar. I don’t often wear make-up, but I would have done the following:

Half of my face would have been made up with mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and lip stick. The hair on this side of my head, my unruly curls, would be straightened and polished. Basically, my main point was going to be that being a feminist doesn’t discount femininity.

Now, on the subject, I’m not sure if this woman is a feminist or not but the truth is that this was a cool move on her part, even if I am only saying that because I wanted to do it too… Some people say that makeup is used to hide who you are. Others say makeup is to accentuate your qualities. Whatever way you may see it, make up is a HUGE business being pushed onto women. Sure, I wear my makeup sometimes, and I feel great. Most of the time, I can barely gel my frizzy hair down before leaving the house.

From the title of the post on Reddit, “The Power of Makeup,” I’d imagine that the subject of the picture (who may not be the poster) wanted the world to see what a shocking transformation makeup can have, and how deceptive it may be. (Not as deceptive as Photoshop, amiright?)

This post is a bit jumbled, as I am stuck between my original intention of femininity and feminism mixing, and the fact that I am SO impressed that there aren’t many negative posts on the picture. TBH, I think the woman is lovely either way.

Before I get further lost in my jumbled head, makeup does not define a person. Makeup is used as a tool to allow women to feel prettier, whether it be because of the beauty industry shooting its expensive products at us, or perhaps because we truly enjoy the look that makeup gives us.

As a feminist, I see nothing wrong with wearing makeup, and will wear it when I feel the time is right, or I want to cover the dark circles under my eyes after a night of partying. I think the problem is the amount of advertising and pressure put on women, saying that without makeup, we aren’t pretty, or aren’t pretty enough. I don’t like when companies, or entire industries, tell people what to look like or how to act. At all.

The advertising fools me all the time, and I have been purchasing makeup, if not experimenting with it, since I was about seven years old. I used to buy brown and orange lipsticks, and I would try to look SEXY at age seven. That sums up my feelings about the makeup industry. I was seven years old, caking on blush and lipstick, trying to look sexy.

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This was written by a friend and classmate of mine. Anne runs a blog based on fandoms, and this particular subject happened to cross our interests. Make sure to check her blog out, followers! http://angelshavethehorcrux.wordpress.com/

The Angels Have the Horcux

So this blog is a semester long project (that I’ve mostly ignored), which means I have classmates. A classmate (a friend), Laura, runs the blog MediaFem, which is about feminism. Before you run away screaming, just remember: we feminists don’t hate men… well at least Laura and me.

But something that’s rampant in fandom, especially fandoms where women are the dominant force, is the hateful spewing of  It begs the question: why do women, especially well educated women, spread hate for other, often fictional, women?

I’ll start with the Supernatural fandom, a place I called home for quite some time, and I didn’t really notice the sheer amount of hate for women until season two, when Jo Harvelle (Alona Tal) was introduced, originally, as a love interest for one of the main characters, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles).

Immediately, the fandom was in an uproar. How dare they cast a…

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HBO’s Girls

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Property of HBO

Last Sunday, HBO premiered the series, Girls, which chronicles the lives of four twenty-somethings trying to find lives for themselves in New York City. Though the show itself doesn’t necessarily parade its feminist features, I have to say that I am in love with this show. There has been some discussion about the diversity, or lack thereof, of the four white privileged characters.

Phoebe Robinson, author of Blaria.com (Black Daria), writes about her opinion of the show :

Girls doesn’t represent me nor the women I know who have matured in NYC. And I’m not stating that it doesn’t represent me because of race. Although, the complete lack of diversity on this show, while not surprising, is terrible given that it’s 2012.

However, Executive Producer Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad) states that it really isn’t supposed to be representative of New York City life.

Instead, it follows one group of friends who are having a hard time coping with the pressures of post-grad life, and finding a career, or at least a job to pay their rent after their parents, namely Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) cut her off financially.

Lena Dunham is the director, creator and producer of Girls, as well as Hannah Horvath on the show. Now, it should be known that I am a young woman, white, but not what I would call privileged. I have tens of thousands of dollars in loans, and you better believe that I will not be able to work as an intern, like Hannah did, for two years.

Regardless, I was able to accept the characters for what they are:  real. Maybe not likable or relatable to every young woman terrified of the future, but real. The dialogue is wonderful. It captures the youthful nature of the girls, while not going to lengths of utter nonsense as Diablo Cody’s Juno did. Dunham, only twenty-five, is able to capture the embarrassing moments of young adulthood perfectly, while balancing them with honest terror as the main characters must find their place in the “Real World.”

Episode Two, Vagina Panic, captures raw emotion and nervous energy during Hannah’s STI screening. For example, she overwhelms herself by mumbling about her fear of HIV/AIDS and when the nurse has nothing to add, she blabs on even more, in order to keep herself at ease.

The great thing about this show is the characters. Each character is not really meant to be a protagonist. In fact, the show is not set up with truly likable characters. Each girl is flawed or lost in her own way, which made the series truly enjoyable to me.

In this episode especially, I found the situations and opportunities unlike my own. If you are comfortable with suggestive language and situations, and are not easily offended by HBO programming, give Girls a chance. For a limited time, HBO is streaming the pilot episode for free here!

Missing In Action

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Hey everyone,

Sorry I haven’t been active lately. I am three weeks shy of graduation, so the work has been piling on. Starting Monday, I will be posting at least once a day, until at the earliest, May 1st. I will be bringing some TV/Film commentary, current issues, and whatever else grabs my interest. Thanks for your patience. If you would like to see anything in particular, please let me know in the comments.

Beauty Redefined

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GREAT SITE ALERT!!

Being a feminist leads me to a lot of articles and sites involving body image and “real beauty.” Though it should be common sense that women are not all created with ‘perfect proportions,’ the media still insists that we should be. Which leads me to this..

Beauty Redefined is awesome.

“Beauty Redefined is all about rethinking our ideas of “beautiful” and “healthy” that we’ve likely learned from for-profit media that thrives off female insecurity. Girls and women who feel OK about their bodies – meaning they aren’t “disgusted” with them like more than half of women today* – take better care of themselves. With obesity and eating disorders both at epidemic levels, this point is crucial!”

We are more than numbers on a scale. We are more than foundation-wearers. We are a HELL OF A LOT more than eye candy.

Beauty Redefined suggests a few options for women AND men to try to separate from the harmful media by going on a ‘fast’ of sorts. So put down those gossip mags, don’t compare yourself to 6’0” models. Stop the negative talk!

For men, BR suggests to ditch the ‘unreal ideals’ of 36-25-36 measurements. Not all women are built this way. Don’t be critical of real-life women, criticize the media instead!

This site caters to people who are willing to accept that the ‘beauty’ crap shoved down our throats does not come close to reality. Beauty Redefined writes blog posts on pertinent topics involving unrealistic ideals of beauty, including weight. My favorite post so far is “Facts and Figures,” portraying ten girls truthfully posting their ‘stats’ and posing confidently. Confidence inspires beauty, and these girls are proud enough to be posted online- no lies, no deceit.

Check it out, and comment your thoughts!

Wisconson Planned Parenthood Bombing

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There are some things that I will never understand. Physics. Cancer. Pro-lifers using life-threatening tactics to prove that they are against what they consider murder.

UMMM, sorry. We no longer live in the times in which Hammurabi’s Code was effective. In what way does bombing make your stance educated?! An eye for an eye?

On Sunday, April 1st, pro-lifers anti-abortion activists (pro-life is probably not the right term) bombed a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinic. Maybe it was just an April Fool’s joke when a homemade explosive device damaged the clinic? Not likely. This type of behavior is terroristic and abhorrent.

According to this Washington Post article, there are often more attacks on Planned Parenthood when abortion is in the news. This isn’t surprising, what with the Presidential candidates’ discussions, as well as various policies coming up, involving mandatory ultrasounds before abortions. The problem is that these people think violence is okay because it goes against what they believe in. What kind of sadistic nuts think this aggressive behavior is acceptable?

I think the end quote sums it all up:

“But violence against [abortion service] providers is still something we’re very concerned about,” she said. “There are still many extremists who believe that the use of force is appropriate to intimidate abortion providers to stop providing care to women.”

There are some things I will never understand.

 “Extremists who believe that the use of force is appropriate to intimidate”

What are your thoughts, fellow feminists?