Virgin = Good Girl — Even When Pregnant

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Growing up in a Mexican household, sex was never talked about. It was considered common knowledge that good daughters don’t do “it.” So while watching the premiere of Jane the Virgin last night, it reminded me of my family and childhood. The new comedy series stars a young Latina, Jane Villanueva, who is saving herself for marriage. […]

The Mindy Project “Slips” Up on Consent

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In last night’s episode of The Mindy Project, the title, “I Slipped,” was an unfortunate harbinger of what was to come. The writers aimed high, covered the ambitious topic of consent, but ultimately fell down a slippery slope. After reading that Mindy and Danny were set to face a major relationship hurdle, I expected in-law meet-and-greets, […]

Movers, Shakers and “Makers”

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Beginning tonight, six new documentaries in the Makers series (a project of AOL) will be broadcast weekly on PBS. Each one focuses on “women who are trailblazers and have served as groundbreakers in their fields.” The new docs are follow-ups to last year’s three-part documentary on the women’s movement, Makers: Women Who Make America. The […]

How to Get Away with Dynamic Black Women Leads

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After the weeks of hype and speculation leading up to the premiere, How to Get Away with Murder was the show to watch Thursday night. Viola Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a law school professor and criminal defense attorney, whom you can tell from the get-go is not a person to be crossed. She expects 100 […]

Angry or Complicated?: Misrecognizing Black Women

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Anyone who may have seen interviews with Shonda Rhimes, read her forthright speech on diversity on television, or watched her hit TV show Scandal, would not recognize her in Alessandra Stanley’s description of an “angry black woman.” It would be easy, actually, to become an “angry black woman” after reading Stanley’s New York Times review, but what such descriptors […]

Women on TV Making Headway? Not So Much

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If you think that there’s a gender disparity between women and men characters on TV, you’re right—and Martha Lauzen, Ph.D., can prove it. In her 17th annual Boxed In report, Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, shows that on broadcast networks, cable […]

Dorothea Lange’s Unforgettable Social Truths

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You don’t want to miss Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, which premieres this Friday, August 29, on PBS’s American Masters series. You probably know Lange’s work from her photograph “Migrant Mother,” taken in 1936 at a pea picker’s camp in Nipomo, CA. The photo of a migrant working mother, stranded with children in […]

Honoring History’s Forgotten Women, One-Too-Many Chardonnays At A Time

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There’s something strangely empowering about hearing that Mary Dyer, the 17th century Quaker who dared to challenge the Puritans’ religious intolerance, “freaked their dicks off.” On Comedy Central’s Drunk History, which premiered its second season this month, crass is king as comedians rely on a little liquid courage to help them retell overlooked episodes in […]

The American R/Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

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Activist Grace Lee Boggs is finally getting the national attention she has long deserved, thanks to a new documentary, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, airing tonight on PBS’s POV series (and then streaming on POV’s website from July 1-30). At age 99— her birthday was this past Friday—Boggs is still going strong. […]

The Case Against 8: Love Conquers All

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This time last year, the nation held its breath waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on two major marriage equality cases—and on June 26, 2013, SCOTUS declared both the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. In the months since that decision came down, support for marriage rights for […]