100th Post!

This is my 100th posting on this blog! I of course want to thank all of my followers, on wordpress, Facebook and Twitter. You have no idea how happy it makes me when I get a new follower, on any form of social media.

As of writing this post,  have had just over 12, 500 views since I started this blog last June. I have been viewed in countries I have never even heard of and surprisingly have been viewed more times in the US (6,300) than my home country of Canada (1,700). I have received only one hateful comment which I did not publish because it was not constructive in any way. But it should be noted that I have not censored, or plan to censor anyone who disagrees with my views. This blog was started to facilitate a dialogue regarding women in entertainment and I welcome any discussions.

 

Having this blog has helped in shaping my views about feminism and has opened the door to a whole new realm on gender discussion. For instance, before I started this blog, I was blind to the negative views on feminism. I was an optimistic soul who thought that everyone who didn’t opening bash women believed in feminism. I was quickly corrected. I have also discovered a few pockets of the internet (I’m looking at you Reddit) where there are people with opinions polar opposite to my own and who actually wish violent behavior towards women.

As a textile major, we are constantly discussing gender in relation to craft and it has helped having the background knowledge to compliment what I am learning in school. I am currently writing a paper about men in craft, “Gender and Craft: Where Do Men Belong”. I have also taken a gender course, taught by a very open instructor who actually did a whole section on what masculinity is and our societies views on what it means to be a man (some of her views have influenced a few posts I’ve made).

 

Another good thing about this blog is that it has forced me to start writing again. Not only writing fiction, but opinion pieces. This has led me into considering a career in journalism or publishing of some sort.

 

For those of you who will read this that do not have a blog, I recommend you sign up as soon as possible. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, it is interesting what you can discover about yourself when you start to compile articles and websites that you enjoy and begin to notice certain patterns.

 

I am always looking for writers or comic book artists so if you know anyone who would like to contribute, please send them the link to this blog. I am thankful to the few that have already contributed and commented in the past and look forward to hearing any other opinions in the future.

mightydamsels@gmail.com

 

Carissa

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Feminism FTW!

http://jezebel.com/5992479/if-i-admit-that-hating-men-is-a-thing-will-you-stop-turning-it-into-a-self+fulfilling-prophecy

Follow the link to this amazing article. Its a bit long, but very well written and well structured. Basically the author is trying to take the heat away from modern feminism by pointing out that it is still required, not all feminists hate men and that feminism actually leads to equal rights for both genders. She also discusses the fact that we should all be humanists anyway, which I have recently started to identify as. Most of the time when I say I am humanist  no one really knows what that is so I typically add that I am a feminist as well.

I have written a post before about the negativity around identifying as feminists and how a lot of young people don’t like to claim that title. I have also mentioned awesome websites like Why I Need Feminism which have people send in pictures of themselves explaining why feminism is still relevant today.

As it is a long weekend, and I am a huge procrastinator, I have spent a fair amount of time on Youtube. Because I subscribe to Feminist Frequency, I also get to see a lot of counter-videos that dissect her opinions. Youtubers like the Amazing Atheist who have challenged Anita Sarkeesian, have been met with disdain from Fem Freq fans. Disdain being a gentle description of the verbal diarrhea posted on the comments for his videos.

This is a video dissecting Sarkeeisan’s beliefs, and is just one of the many who do so. While they all bring up valid points, I would also like to point out that they do it in a calm and educated manor.

The reason why most people discredit feminism is because when someone makes a bold, anti-feminist statement, they tend to be met with passionate and fiery responses from feminists. I myself am guilty of jumping the gun on a few occasions and making conclusions before someone has finished explaining themselves. To make myself clear, I do not condone the hateful things these feminists are saying, I just want to point out how easy it is to get angry and say something you might regret later.

To counter that, look at all the fiery anti-feminist rants on the internet  Feminism has been blamed for the fall of America, the decline of marriage, genocide etc. Its hard not to feel a little prickly about people who dislike feminism. Furthermore, the commenter’s on Youtube and Reddit like to fall into a habit of threatening violence against women in a really scary way. Even if a woman isn’t speaking to feminism, if she says something that certain people don’t agree with, she is often met with threats of rape or other gender specific violence (check out fatuglyorslutty.com, I have posted it on here before).

People on both sides of the issue can go a bit overboard with what they say, and the internet has allowed people to speak their minds without taking any responsibility. I doubt most people would be able to say the things they post online to someones face. But, sometimes they do make it to real life, specifically at rallies .

This is a video, specifically edited to showcase a few voices that instead of helping feminism, aimed to further demonize it. Have your opinions, believe in them, but do it in a calm and articulative way. The protesters that prevented people from attending a talk by Warren Farrell were bullies, hypocritical bullies. It made me upset that they believed that attacking the police was the right thing to do when they were just doing their jobs. One man in the video calmly explained that he had never heard of Farrell and just wanted to hear his side, something these protesters didn’t consider doing. If equality is to be achieved, then both genders need to be brought into the discussion.

We all have the right to our opinions, but share them without threatening others, please

Rape and Culture Don’t Belong in the Same Sentence

The Steubenville rape case has made a lot of people angry. For the acts committed against the victim? No, that the victim came forward in the first place. Steubenville residents are outraged that this girl accused a few good ol’ boys of sexual assault despite hard evidence in the form of tweets and video as well as verbal confessions and pictures. The day after the trial ended, two teenage girls were arrested for making threats against the victim and a slew of couches and other members of the community are under investigation for trying to cover up the situation.

I have a fire in my belly. Since hearing about this event a few months ago, I was disturbed beyond belief that a group of teenage boys could not only fathom committing the acts they did, but actually go through with them while simultaneously tweeting and photographing their actions. What could have been going through their minds when they were tweeting and snapping photos? I know if I commit a crime, I will certainly be wearing a full body glove and a hair net to prevent any sign I was ever there. But this is the important clue in this seemingly complex case: these boys did not understand the severity of their actions.

Football stars in their small dusty town, these boys have been put on a pedestal, probably sailed through classes despite any academic issues just because they had to be a part of the team. They thought themselves untouchable. They also probably did not see what they were doing was wrong. After all, all they had to do was turn on the television to see that women are just objects to be used and abused or read the newspaper to see how little jail time a sex offender gets compared to someone selling pot.

It is appalling to me that even though there is a video that shows a GROUP of boys talking about the events, only two of them were on trial. Furthermore, not one of them stood up for the victim. This could easily be dismissed as “group think”, going with the flow, but troublesome nonetheless.

Sunday saw the two boys found guilty of rape, one also guilty of distributing nude images of a minor. Yes, justice was served. But wait. They only received one year for the crime they committed and in juvenile court no less. Is this fair? No. Should people be angry? Yes. These boys should have been tried in adult court because they committed a very adult crime.

Their lawyers and supporters keep pushing the fact that they had been drinking and that somehow effected their judgement  If they had been so drunk that their moral judgement was so clouded that they committed these terrible acts, they would not have been able to articulate themselves properly in the “after party” video.

To add fuel to this overwhelmingly huge fire, CNN‘s broadcast from the courtroom moments are the conviction has sparked outrage because the reporters were sympathizing with the rapists. Claiming that these promising young men’s lives would never be the same while never mentioning how the victim will never again trust men or the adults that were supposed to be protecting her.

To say that I am angry is an understatement. Anger usually gets people nowhere, and there are certainly plenty of raw emotionally charged rants out there regarding this case. But, anger motivates people and something needs to be done. There is still a group of boys who have yet to be held accountable for their actions along with a plethora of education officials and coaches who tried to cover the assault up to save their precious football team.

What does this say about our society? What are we teaching our children about what is right and wrong? This happened in 2013 when things are supposed to be better for women and yet boys who weren’t even born when things like marital rape was still legal or date rape was just something that happened, committed such a heinous crime. Where did they learn that it was OK to rape a girl, think her dead and not care?

Watching the footage of the two boys tearful apologies, I felt no other emotion except disgust. Not because boys were showing emotion ( I believe in men and boys crying instead of holding in their emotions) but because I do not believe they were crying for the right reasons. They were sad they got caught and sad that their future employers will take their convictions into consideration before hiring them.

Rape and culture do not belong in the same sentence. Things like this need to not happen. Teach your sons not to rape instead of teaching your daughters how not to get raped.

 

 

Damsel In Distress: Feminist Frequency

The first installment of the controversial series that looks at women in gaming has been uploaded!

Check out Feminist Frequency on Youtube and subscribe!

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!!

Women have certainly come a long way in terms of basic rights; voting, reproductive(to a point) and job equality. However there will always be voices speaking against said rights so there is still a way to go.

The current fight for women it seems, is against rape culture and the overwhelming prevalence of abuse against women. The sheer number of sexual assaults against women in the span of a day is staggering. The jail time and even conviction rates are quite low, which sends the message that rape isn’t such a big deal. Aggressive porn also doesn’t often include disclaimers, giving the impression that these women are being abused, and liking it.

Assault against men is also prevalent but less likely to be reported on and carries its own stigmas.

Another interesting road block against equality is self-image. Women have been put up on such a pedestal and expected to look a certain way. The media has done an excellent job at keeping women docile and submissive to beauty products and form fitting attire. Anorexia and other forms of self-mutilation such as cutting and dieting are on the rise. Our culture gleans over this by promoting healthy living (working out and eating right). But the main focus is still on appearance and how you look in those jeans or bikini.

The women’s movement has done an excellent job at improving the status of women in the global north, but there is still a way to go. Specifically in the areas I mentioned, but also for our sisters in the global south. The men’s movement also needs to receive more attention in its response to the women’s movement. Men and the definition of masculinity has changed very little while femininity and expectations have been allowed to evolve. Even the idea of the men’s movement is seen as a threat tom feminism which is why it is rarely discussed. Paternal rights, gender expectations, male sexual assault issues still need to be addressed.

Bringing awareness to these issues, for both women and men is important. Although we have one day a year to collectively speak to them, women and men’s issues should be worked into  everyday discussions. Equality has yet to be achieved for both genders; make it happen. Talk, research and connect.

womens day meme

 

Creepy Scarlett Issue 1 Review

creepy-scarlett-398x600

Creepy Scarlett is back better than ever. Issue 1 delves into a bit more of her backstory which involves Samurai swords, mystical emeralds and of course, candy. Although not answering all of the burning questions as to who Creepy Scarlett really is, this first issue gives nice little hints as to what kind of character Scarlett  has the potential to be (good or evil?). Set in 1919, the issue tells the story of the Emerald of Lucifer and how Scarlett came to learn to perfect her weapon skills. Although slightly historically inaccurate, the issue flows nicely with humor peppered throughout. The action scenes are arguably the strongest aspect of the whole issue complete with swinging Samurai swords, fallen foes and epic showdowns.

As writer Graeme Buchan perfects the story arc for Creepy Scarlett, I find myself wanting more. There is so much to be learned of how Scarlett doesn’t age, her relationship with Mr. Ted (a teddy bear) as well as her fetish for candy. This sense of mystery is not a hindrance but rather a hook for potential fans to continue to support this independently made comic.

Masculinity: What is Society Teaching Men About Women?

As a feminist, certainly I am used to delving into women’s issues such as abortion/contraception rights, rape and how women are treated in entertainment (hence this blog). But, I only recently started looking at men’s role in the grand scheme of things. It takes two to tango and instead of telling women tips on how not to get raped, men should be told NOT TO RAPE. Domestic abuse is focused on getting women to safety and rehabilitating them, but why not teach your son never to raise his hand to a woman?

What are men being taught on how to be men? Masculinity is defined by aggression and dominance, even though gender roles are a complete social construct. There is an excellent documentary that I recommend everyone watch called, “Male Domination” (or La Domination Masculine). It is all in french so you will have to quickly get over that, but is a very well rounded film. Towards the end it gets very emotional as they speak about the Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique that happened in 1989 when a gunman stormed onto campus ad started shooting at women. Speaking to survivors as well as victims families was very hard to see. After these scenes, the directer seems to want to add fuel to the fire by including a few interviews with men who are against the “feminist agenda” and feel the need to fight back. That and a few mash-ups of domestic abuse victims telling a doctor how their husband knocked their head into a wall really gets the blood pumping. It also makes me question the logic behind the fact that people believe  we don’t need feminism anymore.

Tony Porter does an excellent job in this video of explaining how boys/men are raised and how society needs to change how the gender their parenting styles.

http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men.html

Colin Stokes also has an excellent video on the messages entertainment is telling children, specifically boys, about how to interact with the opposite sex. The hero always gets the girl, but what do they do after they ride off into the sunset?

http://www.ted.com/talks/colin_stokes_how_movies_teach_manhood.html

Feminism is all about equality for men and women by bringing women up to the place where men are in society. But, there needs to be some give and take here. In order to achieve equality, both sexes must be allowed to cross the barrier of “appropriate gender behavior/activities”. When was the last time a male nurse was able to get through the day without someone saying, “you aren’t the Doctor?” and immediately having his sexuality questioned. If women are expected to be taken seriously in male dominated fields such as politics and science, men must be allowed to participate in traditionally feminine roles such as child-care where they are often mistaken for pedophiles.

Masculinity and femininity are both made up constructs that have nothing to do with our gender. Sure, women have children so it would make sense for us to be chosen as caregivers, but that is the only reasonable justification. Other than that, being a man does not mean you are automatically dominant, something that parents should be teaching their sons, and daughters. Equality is having both genders acting how they chose, applying for jobs that they want, not society telling us what we should or should not due based on imaginary rules.

 

Star Wars Might Have a Female Lead After All!

Alert! Not only is the new Star Wars movie going to be directed by the insanely awesome JJ Abrams, it is rumored to have a female lead!!!

I feel overwhelming excitement right now and had to share the news! Spread the word!

Terra Nova

Terra-Nova-terra-nova-31843338-1280-1024

Haven’t heard of Terra Nova? Ch-check it out because its one of my favorite Sc-Fi shows. Set a hundred plus years in the future where the world is a grody, unbreathable living space, scientists have broken through the time continuum and traveled to the prehistoric. Here, specially chosen people have been brought back to colonize the shiny new planet which also happens to have dinosaurs. DINOSAURS.

 

Besides the fact that it has a totally wicked premise, this show has some pretty awesome female characters. The two main leads are men, which I can kind of get over just because the leader’s (Commander Taylor) go to person is a woman (Lt. Washington or “Wash”). The second male lead, Jim Shannon has his own range of issues, but the reason that him and his family are even at this new colony is because of his brilliant wife, Dr. Elisabeth Shannon who seems to have a Phd in, everything. Also, the leader of the baddies is a woman, Mira.

terra_nova_new3

 

Not only are there are awesome female characters but the male characters never make any snide comments about women. Mira is never referred to as “that bitch” or “that woman”. There is actually an episode where the Commander and Mira reveal that they respect one another as equals.

As many women that he has around him, it doesn’t ever seem like he would ever make a pass at them either. They are not there as objects to be fucked, but people to watch his back. The future seems to be a bit more egalitarian, which is hopeful. The only slight issue I have, and I’m still on the fence about this, is the budding relationship between the Shannon’s daughter Maddy and one of the soldiers, Mark. Maddy takes after her mother and has a brilliant mind. She’s also extremely nerdy and awkward which is really endearing. Mark, a young soldier takes a liking to her, and under the advice of his superiors,  must declare his intentions to her father. Now, this is where I have the issue. Its a throw back to times where men were expected to take care of women because they were so “fragile”. But, I don’t have an issue with the Terra Nova rule of being respectful when it comes to relationships and women specifically. So I am still conflicted.

 

Another exciting thing about this show is that some episodes are either written or directed by women, or both. It was also co-created by a woman.

 

Overall, i really enjoy the structure of the show. Certainly as a one hour program there isn’t a lot of time to work with so they are really smart in dealing with the passage of time, leaving out boring in-between details that do nothing for the plot. Unfortunately this show was canceled after one season. I really can’t imagine why as according to Wikipedia, it had really high ratings and viewership. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that this show was really female positive, something that is really hard to come by.

 

Heres hoping that another station will pick it up again, or it will undergo the Firefly-affect and lead to a movie….

Terra Nova TV series

Models and Eye Candy: A Young Girls Options to Getting Famous

skinny-model

Boys get the awesome job of head lining some of Hollywood’s greatest films, while girls pine away for the chance to be models, the most objectifying profession. In this short done by ABC, they showcase the insane standards required in order to become a model. The girls must be young, tall and thin, the latter the most important as in the piece two very scrawny girls get cut because they aren’t “thin enough”.

 

While watching this, I not only was perturbed by how thin these girls were and how little they were allowed to eat, but also by how young they were. Some were as young as 13 or 14 when they were discovered, and yet they are wearing clothes and posing in ways that are inappropriate and mature for young teens. This technically makes most men border-line pedophiles as I can imagine them being used as, ahem, inspiration for “stress relieving activities”.

It is also a bit odd that children are trying to sell clothing to adult women. Children whose bodies aren’t fully developed, but are also extremely thin to begin with, an issue most 20 to 30- something women struggle with.

The media portrays the life of a model as glamorous; full of wealth, great clothes and travel. But, all I see is the deprivation of food, education (most forgo post secondary in order to pursue their career) and most importantly, a proper childhood. Imagine being thirteen years old and being told by adults that you are too fat, your nose is not quite right and that you are too short despite the fact that you haven’t finished growing yet. Oh wait. This phenomenon happens to EVERYONE. Whether you are a model or the girl next store, society and the media are forever telling women, young and old, that they are imperfect whether it be as an agent , a picture in a magazine or when they showcase rail thin, big busted, pouty lipped, full haired women in movies and television.

Young girls need to be given options when it comes to being “famous” where currently the only choices are model or eye candy in films/television.

 

Female Armour Sucks

A Mighty Girl: Do a Little Holiday Shopping…

superfriends

Need to find that perfect gift for that nerdy little girl in your life? Check out A Mighty Girl, an online company that offers toys, books, posters, costumes and more, geared towards a young female audience (and perhaps a not so young audience…..).

The Hawkeye Initiative

hawkeye image

In the spirit of Tumblr’s such as The BrokeBack pose, The Hawkeye Initiative re-formats typical female characters from comics to showcase the arrow wielding hero, Haweye in these physically impossible poses. This blog took off over night and includes some pretty hilarious fan art.

A Plea to the Writers of the New Star Wars Movies……

This burn feels sooo good

Everyone seems to be up in arms about the fact that Disney bought Lucas films. There are people who are disgusted, annoyed, happy and at least, interested. I am one of the latter. Until the first movie trailer comes out and I get a feel for the type of movie Episode 7 will be, I will remain unbiased.

However, being me, I have a tiny request for the writers: make the lead character a woman/girl. It would be such a simple thing, making the lead have two X chromosomes instead of one. Seeing as how most films with male leads do not make the main role gender specific, it would be easy. Looking around at most films, men have ruled the roost (hence the need for this blog…) for too long.

Disney gave us Brave, an excellent film with a female lead and no romantic storyline. But, I think it is important to have casual gender switches without broadcasting the fact that this is a CHICK FLICK, meant to be watched just by little girls to improve their self-esteem. No. It is necessary to have films where both genders are given the chance to play the lead without their gender being an issue, and to be appreciated by a male and female audience. That is why I thought it would be an excellent idea for the writers of Star Wars to make their main character female. Its a fresh start to a series who already has a wicked-ass leading lady, Princess Leia. Why not continue the awesomeness?

I have no idea in what direction the writers/director (when they are chosen..) will go with these new installments. I for one am very excited, seeing as they know (thanks to outspoken fans) that the first three episodes were awful, and will hopefully steer clear of cheesy dialogue and unnecessary characters (here’s lookin at you Jar Jar..).

They have such potential to affect how mainstream movies are written in regards to who is cast as important characters. Star Wars has such an immense following that could provide an excellent test audience for what could be a groundbreaking movement in entertainment: having women as lead characters (shocking, I know…).

 

PS. I have just started a petition, please  sign!!!

Objectification of Women at Conventions

Booth Babes and Cosplayers who dress up as sexy character’s with very little clothing, certainly get a lot of attention. In the case of booth babes, they are just doing their jobs by reeling in horny nerds with bulging wallets. But what is their presence saying about how we all view women?

Objectification of women is seen enough in mainstream media, advertising and entertainment. But it is also present at Conventions. Sex sells, and the commodity is women’s bodies.

It is because of this that women who dress up as scantily clad characters are greeted with harassment by convention goers that think that just because they chose to show ample amounts of skin, that they are inviting inappropriate actions. Here is an account from a cosplayer from the website Nerd Reacter, of just how often she has had to deal with harassment just because of her costumes. It is interesting to note that she only gets harassed at conventions that are supposed to be a safe an open environment, compared to her everyday life.

Part of me wants to scold these women for wearing revealing clothing. They are feeding into this idea that women’s bodies are objects meant to be viewed, but another part of me doesn’t think they should be denied to dress up as a character they may genuinely like.

As I have said before, I get that women want to feel sexy and it certainly is flattering to receive attention for being attractive. However, it is the REST of the world I have an issue with, not women who choose to wear revealing clothing. Until society stops being a hypocrite by calling women whores but then going home to beat off to a chick in bond gear, nothing will change. We all live in a world where, as I said, sex sells. But, everyone conveniently has a moral streak when it comes to certain things like flesh, maintaining that it must be covered or denying that women are sexual creatures.

Conventions should be fun and safe. I remember my first, and could literally FEEL the acceptance pouring out from every inch of the exhibit floor. One half of the attendees shouldn’t have to afraid or ashamed of their bodies just because the other half feels the need to grope and stare. If you ever see this happening, do something about it; maybe one day if enough people stand up, it will finally be unacceptable to sexually harass a woman and not just frowned upon.