Straight Outta Compton and the Power of Black Women’s “Side Stories”

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When director F. Gary Gray chose to cut the scene depicting rap producer Dr. Dre’s infamous assault on journalist Dee Barnes, then-TV host of Fox’s hip-hop show Pump it Up! back in January 1991, he dismissed the incident as one of many “side stories” that distracted from the main one concerning rap group N.W.A.’s rise to fame […]

Top Films Fail to Feature Women and Minorities

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Surprise, surprise, women and minorities are grossly underrepresented in film. A new report by University of Southern California Annenberg’s Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative analyzed representations of gender, race and LGBT individuals in 700 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014. Some of the statistics aren’t surprising, though it would be nice if they were. Here’s […]

How Paper Towns Falls Short

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John Green once dubbed his 2009 novel Paper Towns an attempt to “disembowel the evil construction of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” So it’s more than a little disappointing that the sneakily sexist Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype is alive and well in the Paper Towns film adaptation. Coined by A.V. Club writer Nathan Rabin in […]

Proof That Jane Austen and Amy Schumer Would Have Been Friends

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[Spoilers ahead!] Jane Austen would have appreciated Amy Schumer’s blockbuster summer rom-com Trainwreck. With its flawed protagonist, who alternately feels superior to those around her and unworthy of love, the film draws on themes that could have come straight out of Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. Like Austen, Schumer knows how to give the people what they want: girl meets boy, […]

Advantageous: Feminist Science Fiction at its Best

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A sighting of that rare bird called feminist science fiction is truly a thing to celebrate. It does exist, sometimes by accident (see Alien), and sometimes on purpose (see almost anything by Octavia Butler). With Advantageous, a film written by Jacqueline Kim and Jennifer Phang, directed by Phang and starring Kim, the feminism is entirely purposeful. Influenced […]

Jurassic World is Prehistorically Sexist

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Jurassic World hit the big screen last week, breaking records for the biggest opening weekend in both North American and international markets and grossing over $500 million. That means around 50 million people watched Bryce Dallas Howard run away from—and sometimes fight—genetically-modified dinosaurs for two hours…in heels. I want to like Jurassic World, I really do. […]

We Have the Data, Hollywood, Where are the Results?

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Last month, the ACLU sent a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission smacking down Hollywood’s sexism and insisting something be done to get more women into top positions. It was a strong move, and a new report from San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film titled Independent Women proves that there […]

A Q&A With Transparent Creator Jill Soloway

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The following is a reprint from the Spring 2015 issue of Ms. Click here to get your copy! Jill Soloway’s series Transparent is changing the face of contemporary television in more ways than one. Previously known for her writing on HBO’s Six Feet Under and for writing and directing the film Afternoon Delight, Soloway introduces an unmatched variety […]

Bessie and the Musical Legacy of Black Feminism

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From the written page to the streets, and even to cable TV, black feminism is hitting its stride. Not only is a black feminist theorist like Kimberlé Crenshaw changing the political landscape—first with her policy brief, “Black Girls Matter,” and her article of the same name in Ms.‘ current issue, and later with her co-authored brief, […]

Why You MUST See Mad Max This Weekend

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A version of this article originally appeared on Skirt Collective Much has been made of the call by Aaron Clarey in his piece “Why You Should Not Go See ‘Mad Max: Feminist Road.’” As many articles have discussed Clarey’s ridiculous, hyper-macho douchery, (for example, here, here and here), I will instead offer a counter call: Instead of “mancotting” the film as Clarey […]