new wave feminism

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A quasi-academic look at Feminism, politics & race relations through the lens of a 20-something year old Nigerian American who was born & raised up in the (still) segregated south but has relocated to the "liberal" yet historic & traditional north.
This blog is my space for an interdisciplinary examination of race, gender, class, sexuality - all things intersectional & multi-dimensional.
Feminism the way I see it...

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Posts tagged "Movies"
As white people, we are used to representations of ourselves crowding the covers of magazines, crowning the posters of newly released films. The good guys are white, we have learned, after eons of our faces being plastered under cowboy hats and in impeccable Bond suits. White men are Superman, we have learned. White men are Ethan Hunt and Neo and white men are hobbits. Bad men, we have learned, are black. They’re gang bangers and thugs and talk loud and sometimes deliver funny lines where we laugh at their Otherness. Black men aren’t heroes, we learn. Our imagination and subconscious are so saturated with white supremacist notions of goodness, beauty, and heroism, that when confronted head-on with an image of a black man who is brilliant and kind and normal and who saves the day, we transform into robotic versions of ourselves: Does… not… compute. Hero… must be… white. It’s this line of thinking that turned Disney’s Princess Tiana into an animal for 95 percent of the movie. The collective white imagination had difficulty imagining a black girl as a princess… and so she became a frog.
Olivia Cole - “Hunger Games and the Limits of White Imagination”

Being a 2nd generation kid you never really understand Americans obsession with these type of things… But my friend is watching it for a class so I’m following along…

It’s amazing how much movies from the 50s depended so heavily on depiction of native americans as brute savages and wild west machismo…

No wonder these type of movies are “classic” pop culture icons…

The specter of violence surrounds them, though it all occurs off stage whether it’s the assassination of a black leader or domestic violence visited upon a maid by her husband. The total lack of physical consequences for the maids’ courageous act of literary civil disobedience is historically absurd though it does fit with the sanitized tone of the movie. People who argue that it’s a realistic movie are incorrect: the men of Jackson would have killed several of these maids. The happy ending we get—Viola Davis’s Aibileen walking home unharmed as the screen fades to black—is fraudulent and so surreally absurd as to be Dali-esque.
For me, watching The Help was like visual waterboarding. Still, Viola Davis should win the Oscar for Best Actress

Based on this weekend’s box-office totals, a fair number of you might already have seen Red Tails, but for those who want to proceed without major spoilers, the basics:

* The summary, as provided by IMDB: “A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard,” is fairly accurate.

* There hasn’t been a movie screaming, “GEORGE LUCAS MADE ME!” this loudly since Attack of the Clones. Sometimes, it isn’t a bad thing. (And since Lucas, the film’s executive producer, recently claimed this is as close to Episode VII as we’ll ever get, maybe that’s what he was aiming for.)

* Red Tails features a wonderful young cast of black actors who should be on all our radars. You’ll feel better for having a little Nate Parker in your life– and don’t be ashamed if you have flashbacks to the first time you saw Will Smith in Air Force gear in Independence Day. It’s okay, you’re not alone.

For all the red tape and controversy surrounding its release, Red Tails doesn’t explicitly touch upon race as much as it could. Yes, there are the requisite scenes where older, white members of the army tell Bullard (Terrance Howard) that negro pilots can’t ever be expected to fly proper cover for his white bomber pilots; a scene where one of the Tuskegee crew, Joe “Lightning” (David Oyelowo) Little, gets into a fight with white airmen inside their Whites Only soldiers’ bar; and be sure to listen for any and all references of “Black Jesus.” Race is certainly mentioned, and important part of the film. But given the time period, are there other racial issues they could have given a platform? And should the film be chastised for silencing the experience of all African-Americans of the era – specifically women?

The R’s TV co-critic Kendra James goes to the movie and came back with this: On A Wing And A (Box-Office) Prayer: The Racialicious Review Of Red Tails, 1/24/12 (The spoilers are at the link.)
Anything all black is for black people. But things all white are for everybody!
My friend said this once and I never forgot it. But it definitely applies to the sentiment of the article i just posted: Even George Lucas Had a Hard Time Finding Funding for Film With Black Leads



who’s surprised? *crickets*

Can we also talk about how there have been black artists, writers, and directors trying to do this for years but no one cared until a white hero showed up to do it?

right? “we can ignore all those other attempts but come on guys - GEORGE LUCAS. He obviously knows what’s best for POC! Geeze!”

But yeah, it reveals the nature of erasure. This happens every single day and has been happening in the history of fucking media, but it only gets noticed when a very privileged individual - the person who fucking created star wars - can’t even get past the barrier.

(via thewhiskeypropagandist-deactiva)

Kim Wayans: "I didn’t think we’d still be having this same conversation so many years later …The 90s were so bright and promising for people of color in Hollywood, and I for one thought it would only get better with the chance for me and other black actresses to portray any number of characters and in all types of stories.’’

Debbie Allen: “I remember in the 80s when my sister Phylicia (Rashad) was on the The Cosby Show and I was on Fame, girl, you couldn’t tell me that it wasn’t a brand new day for black women and the way we were portrayed in film and television… No one could have told me we’d go in the complete reverse in the decades to come.’’

Angela Bassett:  “I’m a black actress, honey—what can I tell you but I have no idea what’s next for me.”

Donald Bogle, film historian and professor at New York University: “It’s sad to say that the roles for African-American women haven’t strayed very far from what was comfortable for white or mainstream audiences to see years ago …Roles that show black women as maids, nannies, or sidekicks for the mainstream world continue to reduce black women to support systems and to only being there to service the needs of others. It’s a disturbing trend to see keep repeating itself year after year.’

So the other day someone asked about feminist friendly things to watch, and here are the top responses (and some short reviews):

- Parks & Recreations

- Mad Men

- Game of Thrones

- Wonderfall

For the person who asked about feminist-friendly movies/TV shows, here are some of my favorites.


  • Firefox
  • Boys on the Side
  • The Color Purple
  • Mulan (Some problems, but it’s a classic; I wouldn’t be a feminist without it)
  • Fire
  • Wonder Woman (the latest 2009 cartoon version. Again, some problems, but c’mon, it’s Wonder Woman!)
  • Friend Green Tomatoes
  • Itty Bitty Titty Committee (this one is a borderline satire, but still awesome)


  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Fringe
  • Prime Suspect
  • Once Upon a Time (A bit hokey, but the diverse range of women is notable. Plus, Snow White, duh.)

Uhhh those are all off the top of my head, but I’m a huge media fanatic, so I’ve got plenty somewhere lodged in my mind.

Thoughts? While these may be “feminist friendly” where does intersectionality issues pop up in the media? What shows also tackle race & class? What things should/shouldn’t be on the list?



My reaction? WOW

I actually had no idea what the movie was about and just went because my friend wanted me to join him for the matinee showing. He conveniently told me nothing about the storyline…

Has anyone else seen it? Thoughts?

is that good wow or bad wow?

a good wow. Also a very surprised wow. As in, when I tell you I had NO IDEA what this story was about… imagine my movie watching experience.

There were also just a LOT of themes covered in the movie. Rape, Nazism, fucked up families, power…

It was a pretty interesting start to my day

My reaction? WOW

I actually had no idea what the movie was about and just went because my friend wanted me to join him for the matinee showing. He conveniently told me nothing about the storyline…

Has anyone else seen it? Thoughts?

I love for this list. Here’s a truncated version of the list - some points seemed self explanatory while others I added in quotes. But I highly suggest going back and reading the full article because they actually go in depth with analysis and commentary.

#5. They Still Can’t Show a Black Man Dating a White Woman (Unless That’s What the Whole Movie Is About)
Think for a minute about the last time you saw a black guy with a white woman in a mainstream movie. OK, now take away every single movie where they’re using that relationship to preach to us about racism.Now, think about the last time you saw a white guy get it on with a black lady 
#4. Only the Pretty Girls Are Allowed to Live

#3. Movies Are Still Weirdly Prudish About Some Subjects
the MPAA seems way more likely to give a movie an NC-17 rating for sexual content when the woman is shown enjoying herself a little too much. The movie Boys Don’t Cry was originally threatened with an NC-17 rating because a female orgasm went on too long, and because a female character was shown wiping her mouth after performing oral sex on another. Meanwhile, around that same time Scary Movie got an easy R despite a woman being plastered to the ceiling by a blast of semen.

#2. If It’s a Blockbuster, the Star Better Be White (or Will Smith)

Quick: name a horror movie where one of the good guys is black. Well, hell, that’s easy. One of the ship’s crew in Alien was black, and some of the soldiers in Aliens. Danny Glover was the cop in Saw, Carl Weathers was one of the squad in Predator. Lawrence Fishburne in Predators. Hell, there are lots of them.

Now count how many of them survived to the end.

Pointing out that black characters die in movies isn’t even clever anymore — it’s the kind of obvious, trite joke that bad movies make about other bad movies. But, inexplicably, it keeps happening.

#1. We Still Don’t Care About History That Doesn’t Involve White People
the movie pretends to be about the triumph of a minority character, but instead spends all its time talking about the white people who save him. Like in The Blind Side, which was supposed to be about Michael Oher, a poor black kid who ended up being adopted by a wealthy white family and going to college on a football scholarship. The movie is, of course, all about the white family. Michael Oher is just a thing that needs to be taken care of, not an actual character.

In real life, there’s a fair amount of controversy regarding Oher’s path to college, but the movie edits all that out because white people are perfect. They even add a scene where Sandra Bullock faces down a gang leader on his own front porch, in front of his peers. Which not only never happened, but is also pretty insane considering that she’s addressing what is supposed to be a member of the Gangster Disciples.


 The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. It is astonishing the number of popular movies that can’t pass this simple test. It demonstrates how little women’s complex and interesting lives are underrepresented or non existent in the film industry. We have jobs, creative projects, friendships and struggles among many other things that are actually interesting in our lives… so Hollywood, start writing about it!

My biggest problem is that there is simply no creativity in movies with black casts at all. White people are 12 year old wizards, teens with crushes on vampires and werewolves, fighting blue people, talking fish and toys, and yet the best we get is a movie about the genteel south? Someone please make a movie about two black folks falling in love at a rock concert or a feature film about Storm from X-Men discovering her power, or something, ANYTHING, that goes beyond Black Pain (TM) / White Saviour (TM) movies. Sheesh.

A commenter on “Why I’m Just Saying No to ‘The Help’” (via atrapforfools)


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Pretty much. 

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