Lost in a Maze of Males

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The Maze Runner, the new post-apocalyptic film based on James Dashner’s 2009 book, has a strong lead female and a diverse cast in terms of race (what a nice change from the too-white Hunger Games!). But, when I mention “a strong lead female,” I literally mean “a”—yes, as in one—one female among a gaggle of adolescent […]

Joan Rivers: Certainly Unforgettable, But a Paragon of Feminism?

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Since her death a week ago, a number of tributes to Joan Rivers have called her a “feminist icon“—mainly, it seems, because she was a trailblazer and door-opener for women who wanted to make it to the major leagues of comedy and because she was so unstoppably driven in her own ambition. On the other […]

Joan Rivers, Paragon of Feminism?

Since her death a week ago, a number of tributes to Joan Rivers have called her a “feminist icon“—mainly, it seems, because she was a trailblazer and door-opener for women who wanted to make it to the major leagues of comedy and because she was so unstoppably driven in her own ambition. On the other […]

Anna Freud, Papa Sigmund and Gay Conversion Therapy

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You may know Rebecca Coffey’s science journalism from magazines like Scientific American and Discover, where she has proven herself as a teller of real-life tales that pop with quirky humor. Now she’s done herself one better in her debut novel, Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story. It’s the fact-based, fictional autobiography of Sigmund Freud’s purportedly lesbian daughter, and it’s as funny and occasionally frightening as […]

Beyonce at the VMAs: Feminist and Flawless

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  If you missed the MTV Video Music Awards last night, there was only one image you really needed to see: Beyoncé literally putting the spotlight on feminism. And seeing the word FEMINIST emblazoned on a huge screen behind the singer was a galvanizing sight to behold. The millions of people who tuned into the […]

“Boyhood” Is Also a Film About Motherhood

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Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood has been widely praised for its innovative approach and its ability to handle a sweeping topic (growing up) largely without sentimentality. The movie is filmed over the course of 12 years, using the same cast and whatever cultural backdrop was handy in Texas at the annual time of filming. For instance, […]

The New (Feminist) Pornographers

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Pornography is one of the more controversial issues in feminism, and the Ms. Blog has published many posts on the topic. Here, a writer goes directly to a feminist pornographer to get her take on how the industry intersects with women’s issues. In her keynote address at the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, pornographer Courtney Trouble opened by […]

“The Giver” Delivers Powerful Pro-Choice Message in Slick, IKEA Package

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Translating dystopian texts to the screen is tricky business, as such texts rely so much on the reader’s perception of what a truly dystopian society would look and feel like. To some, the visuals of The Giver might seem ideal: cookie-cutter houses filled with sparse, functional, IKEA-like furnishings and a society that also has a straight-lined, minimalist, […]

Nicki Minaj: A Brown Sugar Sphinx Riddle

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Who knew that after the demolition of Kara Walker’s wildly popular “Marvelous Sugar Baby” art installation (see photo at left) at the old Domino sugar refinery in Brooklyn, the giant-sized booty of her 35-foot-high and 75-foot-long Sphinx would cast a long shadow this summer? At least that seems to be the case with the uproar […]

Lucy Is No Louise: Skip This Action-Packed Fail and Re-watch Thelma and Louise Instead

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Sure, Scarlett Johansson is a great actor. Alas, her lead role in Lucy does not do her justice. The premise of the film—that we only use 10 percent of our brains—is a faulty one and caused quite an angry buzzing across the Internet (as here and here) even before the film’s official release. The direction […]