This week in feminism was certainly an epic one, thanks to awards ceremonies, Swedish politics, a couple of kick-ass pop stars and more.
Beyoncé has long called herself a feminist (because Beyoncé is EVERYTHING) but she really took owning the word to a new level when she had “feminist” projected in ginormous letters behind her while she performed her song “Flawless” to 14 million viewers at the MTV Video Music Awards this week.
Anita Sarkeesian has dealt with her share of misogynistic WTF-ery from the gaming industry before, but the insanity escalated this week when Sarkeesian released her new web series “Tropes vs. Women,” depicting how women are portrayed in games and pop culture, and the harassment got so bad, Sarkeesian was forced to contact law enforcement and leave her home. What kind of person threatens someone’s safety based on her OPINION OF A VIDEO GAME???
Sweden’s feminist party “Feminist Initiative” is poised to make history by becoming the first political group to get into the nation’s legislature with the number one goal of taking down institutionalized gender inequality. And the group is backed by Benny Andersson of ABBA fame, so their campaign song has got to be off the chain. You guys, let’s all take a field trip to Sweden like, yesterday.
Andrew Lohse recently came out with a memoir Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy, and in press for the book, he’s been pretty critical about Greek life and the problems of sexual assault on campus, referring to his frat as an “emotional, psychological pyramid scheme” and going on record saying, “If being a feminist means speaking up about these issues and equality, then you could call me that.” Welcome to the club, dude, it’s awesome here, you don’t have to spend fifty grand a year to even be considered and also, bonus plus, we don’t haze.
Women won writing and directing awards, Stephen Colbert reminded us that of the 19 writers on staff, only one is a woman, and then there was that whole pedestal thing. The Emmys were so confusing for feminists, it’s tough to say what side of the fence we landed on at the end of the night.
Julie Sygiel, CEO of underwear company Dear Kate, came up with an ad campaign for her Ada Collection (named after the world’s first computer programmer Ada Lovelace) celebrating real-life female technologists, who just happened to be pictured coding in their undies. The reaction to the campaign was strong, to say the least. One tech exec said it “undermined” women in the industry, but Sygiel stood by the campaign, calling it “powerful.”
She just didn’t know it, but she’s recently had a feminist awakening and Lena Dunham helped! Helping you realize you’ve actually been a feminist all along of course, IS what friends are for.
On Tuesday we were reminded that it wasn’t so long ago that women didn’t have the right to vote. We thought about how we’re standing on the proverbial shoulders of female activists who came before us, and how there’s still lots of work to be done.
See? It was a big week.