ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: media

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Disney’s Casting of Johnny Depp Hurts Abuse Survivors

When we consume media, particularly media produced by individuals like musicians and artists, we have a choice to make: do we appreciate/not appreciate that person’s art separate from who they are as a person, or do we judge that person fully, taking their actions and views into account when we enjoy their art? While there is no clear-cut answer, I typically don’t mind if a musician or actor I like doesn’t have the same values or opinions I do; that’s part of life. Chris Pratt, for example, is Republican. He’s not discriminatory or anything of that sort, so I still support his work. However, I will not support a celebrity if they have committed violent acts, especially against women. This value aligns with what the #MeToo movement means to accomplish:… Read more »

3 Feminist TV Shows You Need to Watch in 2016

Let me just preface this by saying, I really love feminist media, but there is no real way to define what is and what isn’t considered feminist. I recognize that it’s subjective, but for the sake of this piece, I’m defining feminist media as shows with diversity, strong female characters (generally protagonists), and views about reproductive/sexual health addressed in the show. And I also recognize that some of the shows mentioned may do great in one or two aspects of those listed above, but be really awful in one, which is why I’m starting with… 1. Gilmore Girls Although this show has very few people of color in the cast (I can only think of Lane Kim and Michel), it had some really great feminist moments. (Note: I do NOT… Read more »

From One Caitlyn to Another: You Can Do Better

My favorite thing about Caitlyn Jenner is her name. Maybe I’m a little biased, but the name Caitlyn just has a certain ring to it. When she first came out as transgender, I was looking forward to a well-known celebrity voice bringing more visibility to the underrepresented and often ignored trans community. When she unveiled her new name, I was excited because I saw the potential for her to have a huge impact on how the world views the LGBTQ+ community and wouldn’t it be cool to share a name with someone like that? When she gave her speech at the ESPYs, I applauded from the couch. But now, those initial feelings have worn off and I have become disenchanted with Ms. Jenner. There are so many reasons that I… Read more »

Straight Outta Respect: Hip Hop and Domestic Violence

In late August of this year, Straight Outta Compton, the film biopic that told the story of the famous ‘90s hip hip group N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitude), hit theaters nationwide. The film was met with a widespread positive response from hip hop historians and fans of traditional Black rap music as well. I still have not seen the film, and in some ways, I’m glad I didn’t. N.W.A is a rap group from the late 80s, early 90s that first brought gritty, inner city gangsta rap to the forefront of mainstream music. The group was primarily comprised of O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, and Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. The group released the album “Straight Outta Compton” to the tune of 750,000 copies in 1989. The film documents critical moments… Read more »

Reflecting on #BlackGirlsRock

View image | gettyimages.com Last night, I watched the airing of the Black Girls Rock Award Show on BET. It was lovely seeing the women I look to as current icons of black women excellence in the world of entertainment. The quirky Tracee Ellis Ross, the funky Janelle Monae, the soulful Jill Scott,  the mesmerizing Jada Pinkett, and the intelligent First Lady Michelle Obama. In the days leading up to the event. other hashtags like #allgirlsrock and #whitegirlsrock, emerged. Apparently, these same hashtags emerged two years ago in the lead up to the previous Black Girls Rock Award Show. The President and CEO of Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond, addressed the hashtag in an article titled, “Exclusive: Black Girls Rock! Founder Hits Back at Insulting #whitegirlsrock“. She states: “As a… Read more »

The problem with Franco’s conversation between his “two sexualities”

Earlier this week I stumbled across an interesting interview with James Franco entitled “The straight James Franco talks to the gay James Franco.”  The title alone was enough to get me to click on the article and after reading the piece I was left with a lot of frustration to say the least. Franco was asked to do the interview by a relatively new magazine called FourTwoNine which according to the Kickstarter campaign that helped fund it in 2013, is magazine that covers “the latest news and innovations in technology, entertainment, design, media and politics, and showcases how LGBT people are living in the context of the larger world.” Sounds promising enough, but being that Franco’s article was the first I’d ever heard of the publication and considering how dissatisfied it left me I’m not feeling too… Read more »

Podcasts for Reproductive Justice Activists

Radio is one of my favorite ways of hearing peoples stories. Sound can be a beautiful and intimate medium, allowing you to free up your other senses to do work, make art, or just chill while you are listening. RH Reality Check Possibly the most relevant podcast to this blog, Reality Cast, released by RH Reality Check covers everything related to reproductive health. From politics to media, RH Reality Check’s podcast discusses reproductive justice and also features links to other podcasts like this episode of Making Contact that talks about abortion stigma and the ways in which pop culture is shaped by discussions of abortion. The Heart The Heart is a podcast about all different types of amazing love stories. Released in partnership with sound story consortium, Radiotopia, The Heart… Read more »

Feminist Hacktivism on Wikipedia

Last Saturday morning, many Oberlin students gathered at a local art venue with their laptops, chargers, and desires to tell the world about more women artists through Wikipedia. Students of all types of gender expression woke-up early on Saturday morning to drink coffee and eat breakfast together while communally editing Wikipedia’s art pages. Oberlin’s edit-a-thon was part of an international event hosted by Art + Feminism to revamp Wikipedia’s pages to close the huge gender gap that is visible in it’s content. This was the second annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon. The gender trouble with Wikipedia’s coverage has been well-documented. Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Saturday’s event noted that, “In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of contributors on Wikipedia identified as female.” It is difficult to… Read more »

Biden, Travolta, and Entitled Touching

For whatever reason, some people feel the need to touch other people without their permission. We see this all over in society, but it seems to be common among men. More specifically, men touching women without permission. This may seem harmless to most people, but there is a very troubling nature to this kind of touching. On February 17th, our Vice President Joe Biden was doing a swearing in ceremony for the new Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter. After administering the oath of office, he stepped to the side to allow Sec. Carter to speak, and placed his hands on the shoulders of his wife, Stephanie. He left his hands there for over 20 seconds before whispering in her ear and stepping back. Of course, this is nothing new for… Read more »