Ableism

Call For Writers: Unpopular Opinions of Film and Television

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Feminists know a good deal about having and voicing unpopular opinions about films and television. There are often uncomfortable truths about well-loved movies or series. While many people prefer to either ignore those uncomfortable truths or deride those attempting to expose them, it is imperative that we remain active participants in the consumption of media.

Can a Dystopian Society Be Redeemed? Lessons from ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

The Wives have been specially chosen to breed a “perfect” son

And, although The Citadel is ruled by powerful men with disabilities, we understand it to be a fundamentally ableist society. Immortan Joe is questing for a “perfect” son and has clearly chosen The Wives for their beautiful, unblemished, able bodies in an attempt to breed one. We understand that this is a patriarchy in its most extreme form where women have no personhood at all.

‘Parks and Recreation’: How Fatphobia Is Invisible

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I don’t think it would be quite the same barrel of laughs if the motto of Pawnee were “First in Friendship, Fourth in Poverty.” Fat shaming and fat jokes like the People of Walmart photos are often a socially acceptable stand-in for the classist shaming of poor people. Poor people are more likely to be fat, after all. We get paid less and we’re more likely to be fired. Oh, the comedy!

Women with Disabilities: The Undiscussed Horror Staple of Female Characters

"God closed my eyes so I could see only the real Gwynplaine"

The slut, the virgin, the bitch, the girl next door, the mother, the creepy old lady, the evil little girl, and the final/survivor girl. Female archetypes and stock characters within the horror genre are rampant and well known. From a movie poster alone, we can often times figure out exactly what a woman’s place and purpose is in a horror film. However, there’s another “type” of woman that we frequently see in horror films that no one seems to want to talk about.

Maria Bamford: Challenging Mental Health Stigma Through Comedy

Luckily, there's at least one.

For whatever reason, all the reactionary tropes inherent in pop culture seem to get amplified in comedy. If it’s still rare to find a mainstream comedian with openly feminist leanings, finding one who speaks openly and progressively about mental illness is almost impossible.

‘Switched at Birth’ and Ableist Romance

Switched at Birth promotional poster.

It’s safe to say that you’d be hard-pressed to find a more disability-friendly show on television. That level of representation for disabled actors continues to be virtually nonexistent, not to mention fleshing them out as actual characters instead of forcing them to be background token minorities.

‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ Explores Disability in "Melora"

This is a guest review by Jarrah Hodge. An earlier version appeared at her Tumblr, Trekkie Feminist. “Melora” is one of many Star Trek episodes that uses an allegory about an alien to comment on an issue in our human society. In this case, Ensign Melora Pazlar comes to Deep Space Nine. She is unable […]

Disabilities Week: ‘Glee’s Not So Gleeful Representation of Disabled Women

Glee poster, Season 3 This is a guest review by Erin Tatum. It’s no secret that Glee is offensive to pretty much anyone who isn’t an able white male. While Glee has justifiably received a lot of flak for its treatment of certain communities – notable examples include Brittany breaking up with Santana only to […]

Am I the Only Feminist Who Didn’t Really Like ‘The Heat?’ Or Why I Want My Humor Intersectional

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in ‘The Heat’ Written by Megan Kearns. I was extremely excited to see The Heat. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, both of whom I love, headlining a comedy? As a huge fan of Bridesmaids, seeing self-proclaimed feminist Paul Feig direct another lady-centric comedy got me giddy with excitement. AND with […]

Horror Week 2012: That "Crazy Bitch": Women and Mental Illness Tropes in Horror

Vivien (Connie Britton) in American Horror Story Ladies, how many times have you been called a “crazy bitch?” Once? Twice? 5 thousand times?? Or is that just me? This oh-so-not-lovely term of endearment gets tossed around waaaaayy too often. It’s bad enough when we get labeled the sexist term “bitch” — and it’s very different […]