Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Old Blog: Does This Movie Rating Make my Feminism Look Fat?


Thursday, November 28, 2013- Posts from my old blog.

Recently, Sweden began utilizing the Bechdel test to analyze its movies.  Invented by queer cartoonist Allison Bechdel, the Bechdel test asks three questions of a movie:

1) Are there two named female characters?

2) Do they talk to each other? 

3) ...About something other than a man?

Now, a few weeks ago I read an article in the Washington Post (I couldn’t find it online, sorry!) relating this information and criticizing it by mentioning that there are plenty of “feminist” movies that wouldn’t pass the test and plenty of degrading ones that would (most “chick flicks” come to mind- besides men, shopping and weight are favorite topics amongst today’s bimbos). 

So, to Washington Post reporter, I have to say this.  The Bechdel test is not a feminism sensor, but it does have a feminist message.  Firstly, it reminds us to look for where the women are. Feminism is the fundamental act of asking where and who “the women” are. This evaluation only determines if there is a minimal female presence in a film, not if those women are intelligent, respected or complex individuals.  However, when audiences see how few mainstream films really pass this test, I’m guessing that some hard questions will arise.

The root of this problem is not only what’s happening in the world and on the screen, but rather, who is behind the camera.  Call it the glass ceiling, call it the downfall of working mothers, call it personal choice, but it is undeniable that fewer women are telling the stories we read and watch and hear.  While a female director is not a cure all (trust me, women can spout internalized sexism as much as the next bigot misogynist), the more stories we consume that are created by women, the more likely it will be to have a female protagonist, or focus on women’s lives and struggles.  
So yeah, thanks for reading and I promise to post more!  Thanksgivvukah and the JOFA conference should be coming your way soon!

This Is A Problem Only I Could Have.


So recently, I gained some weight. Fifteen pounds from the weight I like to pretend to be and five to ten pounds actually  heavier than I was before.  Basically, since last spring during finals month I've eaten with pretty reckless abandon.  Chocolate makes me happy.  So does tofu. And pasta. And cake.  It's fine, I'm really cool with it.  I believe that my worth is not linked to my scale and I am a strong and independent feminist woman who don't need no beauty standards.  This is all fine.  So what's the problem, you may ask?

Well dear readers, let me give you a little history.  For all the girls,do you remember those times when your camp counselors/ school nurses/ gym teachers took you into one room while the boys got to play dodgeball?  They played Mean Girls clips and gave you compact mirrors and told you you were beautiful inside out, maybe read some Chicken Soup for the Teenage Girl's Soul?  Yeah, me too.  I was always into the empowermenty stuff. Pretty comfortable with how I looked.  My self- esteem issues have always been more like, "Okay, what matters is on the inside but what if what's on the inside of me is bad?"  This dilemma of only talking to girls about body image self- esteem is a discussion for a different day.  The conclusion you should get from this is that I've always been pretty cool with my body.

This has not changed since I've gained weight, in fact a strange thing has happened.  I like being curvy.  My facebook newsfeed shouts with "healthy at any size" inspiration and I enjoy being part of the larger community, shall we say.  It's super weird and I'm pretty sure no one else has ever felt this way.  The thing is, I'm not healthy at this size, I'm eating too much and am pretty damn sedentary.  I argue with myself about exercise because I don't want to lose my hips. Also, I'm not really very overweight at all, most people couldn't tell that I've gained anything substantial.  But I have.  I feel like a strange feminist social experiment- but in a good way.  I'm definitely going to get back into yoga though.

P.S. Welcome to my new blog.  I hope to write more regularly here.  Perhaps even weekly.  Junior year is kinda hard.