Feminism vs. Media

I admit it: I’m a media junky.
I read a laundry list of blogs, watch a bunch of shows, and listen to more than my share of podcasts. I will dive into a full day marathon if I want to get away from homework or other college woes. And, in our media-soaked culture, I bet I am not alone.
Recently, however, when I’ve sat down to read/watch/listen to something, I felt a twinge of hesitation. Often, I found myself asking the difficult question: does this fit with my values? Or, even more shaky: is this feminist? Continue Reading

Paglia on Gaga

via dollarish

Recently, cultural critic and provocateur extraordinaire Camille Paglia wrote an article for The Sunday Times entitled ‘Lady Gaga and the death of sex.’ I know, intense. According to Paglia, Gaga isn’t actually killing sex with her own hand, but rather is emblematic of the sad, cold, digital end of the hot and juicy sexual revolution that Paglia, even though she seems to never have participated, romanticizes intensely.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I find Paglia fascinating and her work totally thought-provoking. But it is clear to me that she often chooses provocation above the best and most truthful analysis. Okay, I’ve been provoked. She wins. But I’m going to respond a little to what she says about America’s First Lady of Fame. Continue Reading

If you watch hip hop or R&B music videos I’m sure you are all too familiar with the romp-shaking, bumping and grinding that has become the norm within them. While I was growing up, as I’m sure is the case for many, I saw these, slim or ideally curvaceous, barely-clothed women almost every time I turned on my television. Naturally, I began to idolize their chemically straightened hair with the weaves that almost always followed. Their hair came as a side to the skin tight dresses and booty shorts that they wore as they performed the most provocative moves imaginable as guys ogled, of course (that is if there is no explicit “sexing” involved). The important question is, where are the various (and more realistic) standards of beauty represented within these videos and throughout media in general? Even more importantly, where are the female role models that growing girls need?

My hope was partially restored as I stumbled upon a new artist a while ago named Nneka ( a Nigerian native). While her music has been gaining some popularity within the United States, Nneka’s video speaks volumes about her personal values and clearly sets itself apart from many other more conventionally appealing music videos. She’s a great role model in my book. You can find one of her more popular singles here.

Watch the “Target Women” video series. Now.

Someone else shares my disgust with most dating self-help books and their blatant anti-women messages… but whereas I  just scoff out loud every time I pass a stack of Why Men Love Bitches in Barnes and Noble, Sarah Haskins has turned her anger into a hilarious video. Check out some of her other segments in the Target Women series on infoMania (my favorites incude  “Jewelry” and “Your Garden“- one of her best).

(Thanks to my suitemate Lily for getting me hooked!)

A Sweet Resolution

I don’t know about you, but I always associate holidays and festivities with food. In fact, there’s a saying in my family that we don’t celebrate anything without preparing some sort of feast. Thus, one can understand why I am excited about tomorrow, September 22, 2010: it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival!!!

24 hours ago, I was in a state of bliss: I was going to hop on the 1 train after my last class on Wednesday and journey home so I could stuff my face with my Mom and Dad’s homecooked meal. I would fill my bowl with fluffy white rice and dive into the spicy prawns and savory chinese broccoli; I would munch on crispy pork and salted peanuts with wild abandon. And to top it all off, I would finish my dinner with one (or possibly two?) sweet mooncakes. Mmmmm!

But my bubble of a daydream was unfortunately popped by my suitemate when she mentioned that mooncakes are too fattening and unhealthy to eat. Call me naive, but I never really thought about the caloric value or grams of fat in food. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are drinks that are filled with artificial nonsense and that twinkles (fried or otherwise) don’t do wonders for anyone’s health. It’s just that from as long as I can remember, my food motto has always been “eat what you like if you do so in moderation and exercise.” So when my friend brought up the “mooncake issue,” I began to question myself. Should I not eat the mooncake when I get home? Should I tell my family not to eat mooncakes? Are there low-fat/fat-free mooncakes? Continue Reading

Colin Powell supports the DREAM act, is dreamy

Man, I love Colin Powell, you guys. Do you remember how awesome he was when he endorsed Barack Obama for president? Powell was really the first government fancy pants of ANY political party to say that, well, no, Obama isn’t a Muslim, but the important thing is that it doesn’t MATTER what his religion is. Anyway, he’s at it again, backing the DREAM act which would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth.

It’s good stuff, people. The next time you feel the urge to start hating on Republicans, remember: Colin Powell is one of them.

Pretty & Fat

Slam poetry is one of those things that gets my blood running and my heart hammering. I laugh, I cry… but most of all, I get to thinking about conventional definitions of womanhood and whether we really need to buy into them.

I’ll let the videos speak for themselves; here are two of my all-time favorite slams about body image:

Pretty



I’d Rather Be Fat

(this one would not embed properly, so please click on the link!)