The new Ghostbusters remake has officially been named the number one most disliked movie trailer on YouTube. With 591,618 dislikes, it’s officially beaten out previous front runners the Fantastic Four and Ridiculous 6. There could be a number of correlations for this, including the public’s dislike of remakes, but the comments that accompany the trailer seem to tell a different story.
The majority of the comments question the equality of the cast if all of the leading stars are women.
It’s funny, and also completely not funny at all, that these commentators have such an issue with equality when the male gender is underrepresented but could care less when you look at almost every other movie ever made, where women are underrepresented.
The Bechdel Test was invented in 1985 as a way to test the representation of women in film. To pass the test, a movie must have 1) two named female characters 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. Only 200 movies of 2015 passed.
What the common YouTube commentator fails to realize is that the majority of movies are made to represent men, and when a movie comes along that doesn’t make men feel like they matter, they immediately call it sexist. Most movies are sexist, it’s just that they’re not sexist toward them, so they don’t have a problem with it. When you’ve always had privilege, equality starts to look a lot like oppression, and it’s important that we are able to know the difference.
The 2016 Wicked World Tour has landed in Dallas for a month, and the tale of two unlikely friends is enchanting new audiences across the Metroplex. Though the story has plenty of drama, romance and a lot of humor, the story at its core is much more than your typical Broadway trope.
The book on which the play is based was released in the early 90s, just when third wave feminism was at its highpoint. The story of a woman who challenges the status quo to do what’s right and is ostracized for it is a story we’ve heard countless times before, but it’s the relationship between the ambitious, outspoken and ostracized Elephaba and the preppy, optimistic and popular Glinda that makes this story so revolutionary.
The familiar stereotype that you can’t be beautiful and smart is a glaringly obvious theme, displayed through Elephaba’s green skin. Where Elephaba is smart and driven, Glinda is beautiful and dumb, but only because she thinks this is the only way to get what she wants. When she realizes that her popularity won’t allow her to achieve her life’s dream, to enroll in the sorcery seminar at Chiz Academy, she begins to realize that maybe being smart isn’t such a bad thing after all. At the same time, as Elephaba begins to know the real Glinda, she begins to understand that beauty and intelligence can come in many forms.
We women are sometimes our own worst enemy. We judge and leer and mock other women because we feel threatened, or we want to justify our own worth by demeaning theirs. This is the same problem the witches of Oz faced, but as their characters develop and they realize that they face the same adversaries of people who want to hold them back, they learn to understand and accept the other’s differences. This is a lesson that many women today could stand to learn.
California lawmakers shot down a bill to make May 26 of 2016 official John Wayne day by citing various racial comments Wayne made during his life.
The bill was proposed by Assemblyman Matthew Harper of the Orange County district, the same district that houses the John Wayne Airport.
Other members of the California legislature were quick to point out some of Wayne’s more racist comments, like the time he defended America for stealing land from Native Americans because they were “selfishly keeping it to themselves,” or when he said he believed in white supremacy because blacks are “irresponsible people” but he’d consider giving them some rights if they were educated.
The bill was voted down 35-20 in the end, which Harper claims is the same as opposing things like apple pie and the Free Enterprise system. Just un-American. And it’s true that John Wayne represents a culture of America, but is it a culture that we want to be proud of?
Wayne was at his peak at the same time as the Civil Rights movement. He was a white man who played an American hero with other white people (unless he was shooting them, then they might have been a minority). You could try and argue that Wayne was a product of his time, but there were so many men and women who were fighting racial injustice at the same time that he was making blockbusters, so why not give the day to one of them?
Wayne was a talented and successful actor, but one who used his platform to further injustice and mistreatment. Let’s just be glad he wasn’t successful about that.
The BBC has recently announced the newest cast member to replace Jenna Coleman on Doctor Who. Pearl Mackie, who is best known for appearing the stage version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, will be joining Peter Capaldi for the tenth season that will air in 2017.
Doctor Who has a loyal fan base that has being going strong since its premiere in 1963. Though Doctor Who may appear to have made significant strides in the representation of minorities in its cast, when it really boils down to it, it hasn’t come very far. William Hartell was the first Doctor of the series and his era held an all-white cast from the beginning. Now, this isn’t all that surprising for 1963, but what about the more modern Doctors?
Since the revamp of the Doctor Who series in 2005, we have seen significant strides in representation, for every character except the Doctor. Since 1963, only white men have played the main character of the story, even though it would be much more interesting and completely plausible when it comes to following the rules of the Doctor Who universe to have a person of color in the title role.
So why doesn’t this happen? Probably for the same reason that women on the show are treated as replaceable companions that are really just foils to show off the Doctor’s genius. That reason is current showrunner Steven Moffat.
Moffat has been cited numerous times for his sexism, but no one’s has ever looked into the possibility that he’s racist too. But why else would we still not see a person of color as the Doctor when fans have been asking for it for 11 years?
Mackie will surely add depth and interest to the show for season 10 and I can’t wait to see what she can bring to the table, but the show is over 50 years old and the old white guy solving everyone’s problems is getting old.
The New York state senate has passed a bill that will do away with the 4 percent tampon tax in 2017. The bill came into being after five women sued the state of New York for required a tax on tampons as “luxury” items. As many women around the world would note, tampons and sanitary pads are anything but a luxury. They’re a necessity.
Maryland and New Jersey are the only states in the country that do not tax tampons and sanitary pads by deeming them as a medical necessity. Though it varies from state to state, other items like prescription drugs, lip balm, adult diapers and dandruff shampoo are also considered necessary medical items and are not taxed. So what makes tampons different from these “necessities”? The fact that only women use them.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has proposed a similar bill in California. Even in the considerably liberal state, Garcia is struggling to make ground with her proposal. She blames the stigma on periods and the reluctance for men in government to talk about the issue, even when it affects half of their constituents.
But the United States isn’t the only country dealing with the tampon tax. Women in Great Britain staged a tampon tax protest, and Canada only recently repealed their own tax after thousands signed an online petition.
An issue that should be a no brainer and an easy fix has become complicated by the reputation of periods and, as a result, of women as well. We’re told not to talk about our periods, to hide our tampons deep in the furrows of our purse, to be ashamed if it’s mentioned in public. To fix issues like this, we first have to fix our attitudes. Periods are natural and affect half the population, and shouldn’t be a taboo topic.
When Vogue Spain put Aya Jones on the cover of their March issue, blogs everywhere started singing their praises. Aplus.com called the cover and spread pages a “majestic celebration of black beauty” and theroot.com said that Vogue had declared that “black really is beautiful” by using a black model featuring cornrows.
Jones’ pictures are taken against a backdrop of an exotic savannah, with one image even featuring her along side of herd of elephants. Though many black-oriented blogs deemed this a celebration of black beauty, Jean Kilbourne—the force behind the “Killing Them Softly” videos, which discusses the perceptions of women in advertising—would say that this is another example of the media “exoticising” black women.
The shoot took place in Botswana and Jones herself is of both British and Ivorian descent. Probably the most notable action of the shoot was that Jones’ hairstylists were all local women.
Is this shoot another example of black women being “exoticisied”? Or is it a declaration of black beauty? One of the differences here is the level of authenticity provided by the setting and the local participation, not to mention the model’s own ethnicity. Probably the most important difference, however, is how the black community decided that it would be perceived. They saw it as a celebration of black beauty rather than a mockery of their ancestral heritage. Kilbourne, who is a knowledgeable professional with research and experience to back up her theories, is still a white woman, and in the end the most important opinion is that of the minority begin affected.
Finn Jones, of Game of Thrones fame, has officially been cast as Danny Rand in the new Netflix original series Iron Fist. The show will join the hugely popular Marvel crossovers Jessica Jones, Daredevil and the soon-to-premiere Luke Cage. With the success of its predecessors, there’s no doubt that Iron Fist will be a big hit, so why are some fans so upset?
Fans have been lobbying for Marvel to cast an Asian-American actor in the role to add some diversity to their universe. Though Rand is depicted as a white man in the original comics, fans hope that changing his race will not only add diversity to a whitewashed world, but also create more depth to the character.
Representation in the media has been a hot topic recently, ranging from A-list events like the Oscars to issues involving the silver screen. Still, people wonder why it matters so much.
A study performed by two Indian University professors researched how the lack representation can affect preteen children. They found that these young children use the media to evaluate themselves, and when their favorite shows misrepresent or fail to represent them at all, the lack of something to compare themselves to can have a huge impact on their self-esteem. Overall, they found that television exposure leads to a decrease in self-esteem for white girls and black boys and an increase for white boys. Looking at the kind of representation these children are exposed to, the results really aren’t that shocking.
Choosing not to represent minorities in the media is a choice. There are many successful shows that make a conscious effort to emphasize representation, and some critics even claim that this is the secret to their success. As we continue into the 2016 season of television and film, we have to realize that we can’t ignore the minorities any longer. They’ve always been there, and now it’s time to bring them into the light.