Women’s Bodies in the Oscar-Nominated Films

Katherine Hepburn's Best Actress Oscars, for" Lion in Winter" and "On Golden Pond"

  Jake Flanagin at Pacific Standard and Victoria Dawson Hoff at Elle recently floated an interesting idea: The Oscars should be entirely segregated by gender. Their proposal would create categories such as Best Female Director and Best Female Writer in addition to the already segregated acting awards. Though this would lead to recognition of more […]

How Much Do You Know About “Women’s Lib”?


During my years as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took as many classes as I could in their well-reputed women’s studies department. When I was required to take a sociology class, I took “The Foundations of Feminism.” For my philosophy requirement, I chose “Philosophy of Feminism.” A literature […]

Attacking Rape Culture with Gallows Humor


TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of rape and rape culture … When Jessie Kahnweiler started talking about making a comedic short film called Meet My Rapist about her personal experience with rape, everyone from friends and family to Hollywood insiders to feminists wary of offending victims urged her to rethink the idea. A P.R. consultant urged her to […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part Six: The Final Chapter


Already missing Halloween? Me too. Much to my dismay, this October featured only one horror movie release with Carrie. The next installment of Paranormal Activity (we’ve had one every October for the last three years) was moved to 2014, but moviegoers were able to catch a preview before screenings of Carrie, and it looks like […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 5: The Blood of “Carrie”


Carrie is largely about how women find their own channels of power, but also what men fear about women and women’s sexuality. Writing the book in 1973 and only three years out of college, I was fully aware of what Women’s Liberation implied for me and others of my sex. Carrie is woman feeling her […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part 4


When the film industry finds an idea that works, they tend to use it again and again. And again. In the realm of horror, once a franchise has spawned seven or so sequels, filmmakers capitalize on name recognition by simply going back to the beginning and starting over. This Halloween season’s Carrie represents the fifth […]

Rapture, Blister, Burn


If you are a feminist, are interested in feminism or are in a relationship with a feminist, you need to see the play Rapture, Blister, Burn, by Gina Gionfriddo, because it is about you. This West Coast premiere, currently running at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, features five characters: Cathy (Amy Brenneman), a 40-something […]

Three Ways to Virtually Role-Play Through Others’ Eyes

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 5.17.40 PM

Pretty much every new form of media provokes fears that this one will be the end of us. The rise of social media, the prevalence of smart phones, tablets that keep us connected no matter where we are and the Internet itself have all created speculation that we are losing our humanity—that digital connectivity is […]

All-Woman Shakespeare: A Dying Tradition?


Sarah Siddons did it. Charlotte Cushman did it with pants on. Sarah Bernhardt did it in prose. Eva Le Gallienne did it with Uta Hagen. As long as it’s been legal for women to appear on stage, they’ve been playing Hamlet. Next week the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company will become a part of women’s […]

Gender Flipping in Hollywood


It’s no secret that this summer’s movies suck for women. It’s been mentioned on Vulture. NPR did a story about it. The New York Times covered it. Even Fox News ran a piece about it. Yet Jodie Foster has a leading role in the new action movie Elysium. How’d she score it? Foster makes a […]