This is an old video from Feminist Frequency, but I just discovered it. It talks about ‘the straw feminist,’ a character in media that is actually meant to demonize and confuse real feminism. It’s about 10 minutes long and worth the time.
Here’s the description of the video:
The Straw Feminist trope is a deliberately created, exaggerated caricature of a feminist that is used to undermine and ridicule feminist movements. . . . The Straw Feminist trope has many more facets and MANY more examples but I hope I was able to provide a general overview.
Lately I’ve been reading the book Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, which is why I found this video so compelling at this particular time. After reading this book, I could name dozens of examples of straw feminists meant to undermine women coming out of reality shows. Anita Sarkeesian didn’t get to reality TV in this video, but the book makes it clear that reality TV is one of the most effective backlash tools against women in the culture now.
Lifetime TV is behind an initiative called Broad Focus (what a pun!) that aims to put more women in creative positions behind the camera as directors, producers, writers, and content developers.
Here’s the announcement video.
Lifetime couldn’t be a more logical network to lead the way on this. It has an audience of women who are hungry for more great content by and about women. I applaud the idea and hope we see some great creative work on Lifetime as a result.
One of the first announcements from the Broad Focus initiative is a partnership with Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival. The Bentonville Festival showcases female and diverse filmmakers and guarantees distribution to winning films. The partnership makes Lifetime TV the Festival’s exclusive cable partner. At least one of the winning films from the Bentonville Film Festival will air on Lifetime, plus one of the winners from the festival’s script contest will be developed for Lifetime.
Women are taking control of producing, directing, and the entire creative process in numerous ways. I’m always happy to hear about these efforts and new organizations and initiatives surrounding them. I support and applaud them all.
The Golden Globe nominees for 2014 were announced last week. It’s worth mentioning the number of names in the female categories that are women over 40. There were at least 2 of the 5 nominees in each category who are over 40.
I have to confess that one of my favorites, Tatiana Maslany, is in the under 40 group. That said, I’m loving how many of the nominations went to women over 40 – some of them several decades over 40. I celebrate them all!
Look at the names of women over 40 who scored awards nominations this year.
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie: Helena Bonham Carter, Jessica Lange and Helen Mirren
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Emma Thompson and Judi Dench
Best Actress In A Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Julie Delpy
Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler and Edie Falco
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama: Julianna Margulies and Robin Wright
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Julia Roberts and June Squibb
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie: Jacqueline Bissett, Janet McTeer, Monica Potter and Sofia Vergara