How Pop Culture Nostalgia Privileges Some and Excludes Others

Ghostbusters

Nostalgia is not the problem, at least not the main one. … The central issue is that the feeling of nostalgia is often a privilege, and a form of exclusion.

‘Artemisia’: The Romantic Roots of Rape Culture

Artemisia

The impulse to erase a woman’s testimony, to deny her agency and perception of the crime, while denying society’s victim blaming and bias against survivors of rape — this is the basis of what feminism describes as rape culture. Yet here it is practiced not by a misogynist man, nor by a loyal friend of the alleged rapist, but by a female director aiming to create “emphatically a feminist film.”

The Women Men Rescue (or Choose Not To): ‘The Witness’ and ‘Disorder’

The Witness and Disorder

Saving a beautiful woman from danger is such a pervasive male fantasy that right now, no matter where you are you could probably see an example of this trope by randomly flipping through channels or wandering into a multiplex. But what if the man was never able to save the woman? Or what if he has problems of his own that keep him from being a stereotypical hero?

‘The Neon Demon’: Objectification and Rape Culture

The Neon Demon

‘The Neon Demon’ brings to light the dual narcissism of our culture: the simultaneous, reciprocal reality created when consumers come into contact with images. The images exist so long as we look at them, and all Refn has done is reify our culture’s unhealthy obsession… I’m glad for ‘The Neon Demon,’ because it solidifies something that was already there: a hundred ornate mirrors reflecting back a society complicit in rape culture.

Girly Girl Vindicated: The Rise of Sansa Stark on ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones_Sansa Stark

Strength is more than fighting with swords, and no one has proved that more often than Sansa Stark. She’s gone from being a (honestly, pretty annoying) starry-eyed teen to a brave and complex heroine, capable of making tough decisions in the face of tremendous personal pain. Perhaps most importantly, she’s done it without attempting to remake herself in the image of men or by diminishing the strongly feminine traits that set her apart from many of Game of Thrones’ other women.

‘Glitter Tribe’ Reminds Us That Burlesque Is Far More Than Just a Peep Show

Glitter Tribe

‘Glitter Tribe’ (directed by Jon Manning) lays out the argument that neo-burlesque should be considered a bona fide art form within itself and the ensuing 75 minutes certainly make a compelling case. The beating heart of the documentary is evident in the profiles of several Portland-based dancers, who each derive a different meaning and perspective from their performances.

How Feminist Is ‘Beauty and the Beast’?

Beauty and the Beast

Belle saves the Beast – not just physically by breaking the spell, but emotionally and psychologically by changing his behavior and smoothing his sharp edges. … Both of them begin as loners and societal misfits, but they end as the perfect fit in each other’s lives. However, this nice, mushy message comes at a cost: Belle’s agency as a character. …When we are introduced to Belle she has no more growing left to do in this film other than learn to be less judgmental and find a suitable husband.

Women in Film at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

Parched

The theme at this year’s Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is “women’s empowerment.” If you will be in the Melbourne, Australia area, here are all of the women-directed films and women in film panels you should check out at the 2016 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, which runs from August 11 through August 21.

Call For Writers: Sisterhood

Call-for-Writers-e13859437405011

Despite what the multitude of Bechdel-test-failing media would have us believe, relationships among women can be complex and about much, much more than men. The sibling relationships of sisters, in fact, can be particularly rich, nuanced, and worth contemplation. Sibling rivalry, as it appears in ‘A League of Their Own’ and ‘Sixteen Candles,’ examines competition for recognition, birth order conflict, and self-doubt when faced with perceptions of sibling superiority.

Women Scientists Week: The Roundup

Women Scientists Week Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Women Scientists Theme Week here.

Rise of the Women?: Screening Women in Science Since 2000

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I am interested in thinking about how women have been represented in recent Hollywood/American science-based fiction cinema and whether we have really moved beyond relying on stereotypes, sex, and spectacle. Female scientists are increasing in frequency in Hollywood, but they are not being given adequate representation – they are often secondary to their male partners.

In Rewatching ‘The X-Files,’ One Thing Is Clear: Mulder Is a Real Jerk

The X-Files miniseries

I realized something even worse: Agent Mulder is not a dreamboat. In fact, he’s an asshole. An asshole who spends most of the series mansplaining to Agent Scully. … Twenty years after ‘The X-Files’ debuted, it’s still rare to see a female character who’s as complicated and resilient as Scully — especially who works in science.