And The Emmy Goes To … Women Directors

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Women will make up half of all nominees for directing television at this year’s Emmys, making it the first time that women have reached parity with men for directing nods. Three women have been nominated for directing comedy shows and two for dramas, making up five of the 10 nominations for directing television shows (there […]

Katarina Witt: Diplomatic On And Off The Ice

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As part of their Nine for IX series, ESPN aired the new documentary The Diplomat last week, featuring figure-skating icon Katarina Witt. The film traces the career and legacy of the back-to-back Olympic Gold medal-winner from East Germany, placing her achievements on the ice in the context of Cold War politics. At a time when sports […]

“Orange Is The New Black”: Taking Privilege to Task

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Netflix’s brilliant new original series, Orange is the New Black, stars Taylor Schilling as TV’s most unlikely convicted felon. Piper Chapman is a white, upper-middle class, Smith-educated fish-out-of-water in the suffocating air of a low-security women’s prison. During an excruciating visit with her daughter, Piper’s mother tells her, Sweetheart, you’re nothing like any of these women. […]

Sen. Wendy Davis’s Fierce, Fictional Counterpart: Tami Taylor

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Following Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis’s epic filibuster of the state’s proposed abortion bill, and in the heat of Gov. Rick Perry’s ongoing push to pass the legislation, Planned Parenthood has done something wonderful: It partnered with Connie Britton, the woman behind TV goddess Tami Taylor. The result is a joint campaign to support reproductive […]

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

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The documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, currently being shown on HBO GO, provides a fascinating look behind the scenes at the feminist musical protestors who made international headlines last year. It tells the story of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Nadia), Maria Alyokhina (Masha) and Yekaterina Samutsevich (Katia), the three young members of the Russian punk rock […]

Top of the Lake: A Non-Watered-Down Depiction of Rape Culture

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Water has a complicated history in feminist thought. Women have been sometimes positively, sometimes negatively equated with water, with fluidity, with that which is not solid or tangible or rational and thus has the ability to flow, submerge, purify, gush … but also drown, pollute or erode. TV miniseries Top of the Lake builds on […]

Mad Men And The CLIO Awards: How Much Has Really Changed Since 1965?

While you prepare ingredients for an old-fashioned in anticipation of Mad Men‘s season premiere this Sunday, let’s take a quick look at how much the advertising industry has changed since the days of Mad Men. The CLIO Awards, arguably the world’s best-known advertising honors, will have its 54th annual ceremony on May 15. This year’s […]

Did “Girls” Romanticize a Rapist?

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Like many of us who have been following the show, I’ve had lukewarm feelings about Girls’ contribution to feminism. Though many commentators have raised valid criticisms about the show’s handling of race and class, it’s been refreshing to see a female lead with an “imperfect” body, and I’ve praised the show for focusing on young […]

We Saw You, Boob

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Seth McFarlane’s hosting of the Oscars has been roundly criticized.  As a man who works to stop violence against women, I want to add my voice to the chorus. I wasn’t upset because his humor was “risqué” or “too edgy,” as some critics charge. Quite the opposite – far from being edgy, his schtick was […]

When Ms. Had Its Own TV Show

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Back in 1974, the women’s movement was gaining nationwide momentum; Ms., of course, was at the epicenter of the revolution. Having gained respect and recognition as a print publication, Ms. wanted go a step further and reach a wider audience with a television special. In June of that year, the magazine collaborated with Dallas’s public […]