The Personal is Political

The Global Feminist: Acknowledging Nicole Kidman’s UN Role

Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman is one of the most accomplished actors working today and one of Hollywood’s most fashionable stars. Since 2006, she has also been a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. Formerly known as UNIFEM (the United Nations Development Fund for Women), UN Women promotes gender equality and female self-empowerment around the world. It advocates both economic and political advancement and works to end violence against women.

Seed & Spark: It Just Got Better

Casablanca (reimagined)

Although I don’t share a common background with many people that I meet, I can relate to them thanks to my shared vocabulary: the lexicon of water-cooler moments provided by Bright/Kaufman/Crane, Angelou, Sorkin, Kaling, Chaiken, Fey, and so many others — and I will always be grateful for that. Entertainment and popular culture are universal languages that anyone can buy into as long as she’s willing: social capital as accessible as cable (and the Internet). That the same 35 lesbian-related films are available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime — which is only about 20% of the overall “Gay and Lesbian” Genre tag — is frustrating because we’ve made so much progress offline. The fact that there are fewer than 200 films total that we can rent, stream, and buy on major platforms is discouraging, but it doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be forever.

A Role of Her Own: A Celebration of Satyajit Ray’s ‘The Big City’

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Arati is, in fact, a great screen heroine. She is elegant, giving, gritty and spirited. Committed to supporting others, she has a strong personal and public moral code. She cares for both her loved ones and her fellow female co-workers. She buys presents for every member of the family when she gets her first salary and, although he has hurt her, she does not hesitate to praise her failing husband when she is with others. At work, Arati is not frightened of asking her boss for a raise and she learns to bargain with her colleagues for extra commission pay. When Edith’s virtue is slighted at work (the boss believes Anglo-Indians to be inherently promiscuous), she speaks out against the injustice and makes an extraordinarily risky yet heroic move. It is important to note that Arati is not regressively presented as a maternal martyr but as a dynamic, engaged worker and citizen.

In Praise of ‘The Fall’s Uber Cool Feminist Heroine: Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson

Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson)

The Fall is one of 2013’s television success stories. The five-part BBC crime drama is a compelling, well-crafted production with a fine cast and a terrific lead performance by Gillian Anderson. Set in present-day Belfast–and also shot on location in the Northern Ireland capital–The Fall chronicles the police hunt for a serial killer of attractive, professional women in their thirties. It is created and written by Allan Cubitt–who scripted Prime Suspect 2 (1992, UK)–and directed by Jakob Verbruggen.

Speaking with a Woman’s Voice: ‘The Future Starts Here’

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Bitch Flicks was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the premiere of Tiffany Shlain’s new webseries The Future Starts Here in New York City last week, and your humble correspondent was lucky enough to be the one to attend it. Shlain is, as her series’ voiceover states, a mother, filmmaker, and founder of the Webby Awards, and The Future Starts Here is an AOL-produced miniseries about being human in the digital age.

Women in Politics Week: Roundup of Feminist Celebs’ Political Videos

Screenshot of Amy Poehler in the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Draw the Line campaign This post by Megan Kearns originally appeared at Bitch Flicks on November 5, 2012. Many assume Hollywood is a liberal nirvana (or I guess a hellhole if you’re a Republican). But that’s not exactly true. Not only do films lack gender […]

Up with Chris Hayes: News Program Has a Conversation about Women and Media That Lasts Longer Than 90 Seconds

Last week Megan wrote an excellent post in response to Ashley Judd’s op-ed piece in The Daily Beast and the national conversation started by the actor speaking out about the treatment of women’s bodies, in particular, in the media.  Of the many conversations sparked by Judd, this roundtable discussion on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes […]

Why Should Men Care? An Interview With Matt Damon

Matt Damon narrating Women, War & Peace At Bitch Flicks, we’re featuring reviews of the five-part PBS documentary Women, War & Peace—all by the fabulous Megan Kearns—the first of which we published on October 19th. (Megan’s review of Part Two will appear later today.) Matt Damon narrates the series, and he was interviewed about his […]

Why Facebook’s "Occupy a Vagina" Event Is Not Okay

Last week, a Change.org petition urged Facebook to remove pages that promote sexual violence. Some of the offending pages included, “Kicking Sluts in the Vagina,” and “Riding your Girlfriend softly Cause you dont want to wake her up.” The following passage from the petition explains the overall goal: First, Facebook needs to clarify that pages […]

Preview: Miss Representation

Miss Representation (2011) Back in February of this year, we were fortunate to attend the Athena Film Festival and see the documentary Miss Representation. Since then, the film has traveled to different festivals and been shown at numerous screenings around the country. If you haven’t been able to attend one of these showings, however, you […]

In Appreciation of Fathers Who Have Daughters

Joel and Heather, New Year’s Releasing Balloons for Joel On Wednesday, May 25th, my brother-in-law committed suicide. (Yes, I know the obituary says he died on March 25th, and if Joel were here, we’d be laughing our asses off at that completely unacceptable typo. He’d be like, “Did the funeral home seriously screw up my […]

The Grass is Not Always Greener: On Body Image and Illness

Originally published at I Will Not Diet and reprinted at The Opinioness of the World. An alternate version appears at Shakesville. People have often told me—throughout a lifetime of being underweight—how great I look. I confidently wear a bikini. I’m one of those people you might love to hate: I can eat anything, and as […]