ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: media

No More “White Knights”: On Plans for a Steubenville Movie and Silencing Survivors

Circling the feminist and progressive blogosphere the past few days has been the news that Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, is apparently making a movie about Steubenville—from the perspective of Anonymous, not Jane Doe herself. There was a considerable amount of dissent over the notion of a survivor being silenced in her own narrative, and it’s been discussed in detail about why making the members of Anonymous who raged a social media onslaught concerning the case the “heroes” (the subset of anonymous which the work operated under is known ironically as the “white knight operation”) is problematic. Yet there were afew voices that considered the angle of “White Knights” to be an acceptable one.

The Real Reason Students Are Fighting for Leggings

Most middle school girls learn the tricks of avoiding being sent home because of their clothing choices. They can scrunch up shoulders to avoid the fingertip rule, hide from the teacher that walks around with a ruler to measure tank top strap width, or sneak a sweater in a backpack for when the principal is around. Schools have had the right to implement dress codes since Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. Dress codes are put in place to decrease class room distractions. They also can help students from a lower-income background receive less shame if they cannot afford the expensive popular clothing brands. However, the intentions have mutated to have sexist connotations and lower a student’s self-esteem. Two years ago a principal in Minnetonka, Minnesota sent an… Read more »

Hey NPR: Stop Shaming Teen Parents!

Earlier this week NPR published an article detailing the success of comprehensive sex-education in lowering the teen pregnancy rate in Denmark, South Carolina. While I believe firmly in the power and importance of comprehensive, sex-positive, sex education for all young people  I was disappointed by the assumption that all teen pregnancies are unwanted and that all teen parents would be better off postponing their families. The article quotes Michelle Nimmons, an advocate for comprehensive sex-ed from Denmark, S.C., saying, “”Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen.” While I don’t doubt that Denmark’s sex-education was in dire need of a revamp, this kind of rhetoric shaming young parents has dangerous implications for families and the reproductive justice movement as… Read more »

Body Shaming One Ad at a Time

While much of the country is still covered in snow and ice, here in the Sunshine State the temperatures are slowly on the rise. And with summer already looming in the distance, there is excitement as well as nervousness in the air. As people push the idea of “summer beach bodies,” a lot of heavier people, like myself, are much more keen to slip on t-shirt before we go swimming. I understand the fear. The fear of showing your body because you aren’t comfortable with it sometimes overshadows our desire to have fun doing things we enjoy. And we allow ourselves to become slaves of a mindset that tells us that only certain body types can wear this or that, and only certain body types are good enough to be… Read more »

What Banning Books in Schools Says About Who Matters in America

I got into a lot of trouble as a teenager. But this time was different. It was spring of 2008. I was sitting by our desktop, my father was getting a cup of water in the kitchen. I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about but I remember distinctly saying “I don’t like people, I’d rather read.” My father’s face after I made this statement was…distressing. My father will gladly tell anyone how I distress him with the things I say, but this proclamation, me preferring the company of books over people was beyond distressing to him. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just like books better. Any time I have to socialize, I agonise over the fact that I’m losing hours I could spend reading. Nine… Read more »

“Hey Mrs. Carter”: Navigating Beyonce’s Feminism

The queen Beyonce unexpectedly dropped a new album and it has been a holiday gift for all. Her 17 music videos and 14 tracks on her self-titled album has had feminists chiming in on her new songs with messages of empowerment, positive sexuality, and changing what it means to be a feminist of color. We must first understand that Beyonce’s feminism, like most,  is not perfect and has a lot of growth, as do all the work done in the reproductive justice movement. Constantly criticizing each other can be detrimental, but we must give credit where it’s due and reinforce constructive criticism.

Twerking, Auto-Tune, and the “Bitch”: Lily Allen’s Feminism

Lily Allen, the quirky artist based out of the UK is back after a long hiatus with a new single entitled “Hard Out Here” and she’s back with a vengeance. Allen’s new hit deals with the sexism and misogyny in mainstream media and isn’t afraid to take jabs at rising artists. Her satirical video alludes to Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s videos and performances, but does her satire justify her mimicking the sexist and racist acts of those artists?

Reproductive Rights in America Have Gotten Worse After Tiller

I know enough about abortion politics in this country, but I still didn’t know what to expect going in to see the movie After Tiller. For anyone planning on seeing it, and I urge everyone to see it, you might want to bring a some tissues. After Tiller is a documentary film that looks at late term abortion in the aftermath of Dr. George Tiller’s murder. The movie follows the four remaining doctors who perform all of the late term abortions in America. Dr. Tiller performed late term abortions in his clinic in Kansas. He was murdered in church by the anti-choice extremist Scott Roeder in May of 2009. Dr. Tiller was performing usher duties at Reformation Lutheran Church when Roeder walked in, shot and killed him. In an article… Read more »

The Politics of Finding Yourself on the Page

The Toast did a lovely piece this week that filled my stomach with butterflies upon dizzying butterflies called “Annie on My Mind and the Books that Made us Gasp.” It’s one of those small gathering of words that quickens your breath a bit because you know these words somehow, even though this is the first time you’ve seen them in this particular order, by this particular author, on this particular day. It’s about finding your you-ness, in part or in whole, in the media, and the validation that comes with knowing you’re not alone. Or to quote the author and lovely editor —“where something said helplessly inside your chest ‘Oh, that’s me. That’s us, that’s us, that’s me, thank God, that’s us.’

CBS’s ‘Elementary’ is Back to Break New Ground

Last week, season two of CBS’s number one drama, Elementary, premiered. I, of course, was sitting attentively on my sofa, blanket around my shoulders and snacks in my hands, ready to greet one of the best, most progressive, and aggressively pro-women television programs I have ever seen.