The Fantasy of Mammy, the Truth of Patsey

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It was not lost on some that, 75 years after Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, the beautiful, poised and talented Lupita Nyong’o would become the sixth black woman to win that same Oscar—and for playing the same type of role, a slave. If we count Halle […]

While Loving Lupita, Don’t Forget Gabourey

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Like most people who have souls, I teared up listening to Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress during Sunday night’s Oscar telecast. I admire Lupita not only for her obvious talent, but for her honesty and willingness to defend black beauty. Her inspirational speech on the intersection of race and beauty at Essence‘s […]

Celebrate Women’s History Month With #SheDocs

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To celebrate Women’s History Month, Women and Girls Lead and Eileen Fisher Inc. are launching #SheDocs, an online film festival that gives anyone with a computer the opportunity to watch inspiring, women-focused documentaries. Twelve acclaimed independent docs will be available for free during the month of March, one of the most prominent being director Pratibha […]

Is a Vote for Leo’s “Wolf” a Vote for Sexism?

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The campaign to assure Leonardo DiCaprio of his first Academy Award has filled many a full page in The New York Times and Variety. The ads laud his all-out portrayal of stock hustler Jordan Belfort, framing The Wolf of Wall Street as a modern financial morality tale and DiCaprio as its coked-up bard. But the […]

Is “The Wolf of Wall Street” Punk Rock? Hardly.

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It’s not that Martin Scorsese’s most recent opus, The Wolf of Wall Street needs yet another review or another debate on whether it’s misogynist. It’s the attempt by the film’s star, perennial Scorsese muse Leonardo DiCaprio, to qualify it and Scorsese as “punk rock” that drew our ire and forced our pens. Punk rock (or […]

Women’s Bodies in the Oscar-Nominated Films

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  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 […]

Remembering Wilma: The Cherokee Word For Water

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Wilma Mankiller, the first modern woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, died four years ago this spring, but thanks to a determined effort by her family, friends and the communities she spent her life advocating for, her legacy lives on in film. The Cherokee Word For Water, a docudrama directed by Wilma’s husband and longtime […]

TRICKED: A Chat With The Filmmakers

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A shocking 20.9 million people are victims of human trafficking around the world today—more than the populations of New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston and Los Angeles combined. In their new feature-length documentary TRICKED, filmmakers John-Keith Wasson and Jane Wells follow pimps, johns, sex-trafficking victims, parents and law enforcement agents in several U.S. cities, paying special […]

Thankful for Tauriel in Hobbit Tale

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SPOILERS ALERT …. Though The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is, in the main, a dwarf and orc sausagefest—with key male wizards, hobbits, elves and dragons at the center—there is, thankfully, Tauriel, a female elf. While many feminist-minded lovers of J.R.R. Tolkien have made worthy arguments regarding the importance of female characters in The Lord […]

Last Chance to Score Goals for Gender Equality!

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The women in the film are not just unbelievable athletes. They use soccer as a way to challenge gender-based violence, gender discrimination, and cultural biases. —(Ms.) Danny Turken, The Beautiful Game director and producer … Women are campaigning for some amazing projects on Kickstarter, and we can’t publicize them all—but considering how much the world […]