Muted Explores What Happens When Black Girls Go Missing


What happens when a young girl of color goes missing? Who searches for her? Who tries to bring her home safely? Not the police, as the short film Muted shows. Even though it’s only 18 minutes long, Muted packs a serious emotional gut punch as the viewer is taken into the terror-stricken world of single black […]

He Named Me Malala Shows the Making of an Activist Icon


Due to the actions of a young girl from the Swat Valley of Pakistan, the name Malala has become synonymous with bravery and strength. What most people may not know is that Malala Yousafzai’s namesake already had that meaning. Malalai of Maiwand was another teenage warrior who rose to prominence in the late 19th century. Her self-sacrifice on […]

Twitter Reacts to Matt Damon ‘Splaining Diversity to Black Filmmaker

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Some of you may be familiar with the term mansplaining and its equally exasperating cousin, whitesplaining. But actor Matt Damon inadvertently created a whole new word last week on his HBO show, Project Greenlight, that the creative minds of Twitter have coined “Damonsplaining.” What’s Damonsplaining, one might ask? It’s when a black woman filmmaker is talking about how we need a more diverse […]

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


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


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


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


[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


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


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?


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 […]