Metawitches Guidelines for Spotting Misogyny vs Female Equality in Entertainment and Media

This is the basic list of questions we ask ourselves while consuming media to help us determine if we’re seeing women being treated fairly or not. It’s not a yes or no checklist, or an easy, one sentence test, like the Bechdel test. But then, Alison Bechdel never meant for her test to become a widely used standardized instrument. This test requires some thinking about what you’re viewing. Misogyny is often subtle, and it’s pervasive. It’s easy to miss with one, casual viewing, but the message still gets into our heads and affects us.

That’s why these are guidelines, rather than a test. Some of these answers will be subjective, and reasonable people can disagree. We’re talking about art and the interpretation of art, after all. It also takes practice to start seeing things like camera angles and positioning, rather than letting it fly by. Hardly any of us can always spot gaslighting, especially when it’s being done by the writers and producers instead of the characters. These guidelines are just aspects of entertainment to keep in mind while viewing, to become more aware of what you’re seeing.

I (Metacrone) started working on this list in the late 80s, and it’s slowly grown. It’s still a work in progress, just like the entertainment industry. There are very few works that would pass every question with flying colors. Figure out how much you can live with watching, and the level that makes you take action. It’s okay to just watch and enjoy the show sometimes without feeling guilty, too. But, the more you can recognize the issues with entertainment and speak out, even if it’s only to one person, the more of an effect we all have on the entertainment industry.

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We Take a Break from Our Normal Programming for an Important PSA from Samantha Bee about Sexual Harassment [Updated]

Important News for Men

Anyone who has actually listened to actresses and other women in the entertainment industry knows that the sexual harassment that’s currently creating a scandal in Hollywood and (hopefully) ending careers of powerful executives has been going on since the film and music industries began in the early 20th century.

BUT MEN DON’T GET IT.

10/20/17: There have been several new developments in this story. More after the jump.

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We Take a Break from Our Normal Programming for an Important PSA from Samantha Bee

Important News for Men

Anyone who has actually listened to actresses and other women in the entertainment industry knows that the sexual harassment that’s currently creating a scandal in Hollywood and (hopefully) ending careers of powerful executives has been going on since the film and music industries began in the early 20th century.

BUT MEN DON’T GET IT.

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Role Models for Girls: The Good, the Evil, and the Frozen

 

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Or, Why Do Little Girls have to Choose Between Being Good and Being Powerful?

I was never much for Disney princesses growing up. None of them ever spoke to me. I was more into characters like Simba from Lion King. I suppose, for whatever reason, I was more concerned with the personality and journey of the character than their gender. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Ariel…none of them did anything for me. I don’t even remember thinking they were particularly pretty. I liked Megara from Hercules a little, but I was more about Pegasus, Hercules, and Hades in that movie. The complex characters with clear goals and inner journeys were always the ones who appealed to me. (And animals. Being an animal makes a big difference to me.)

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Forget Hugh Hefner: Helen Gurley Brown and Erica Jong Were the Real Feminist Sexual Revolutionaries

Or, Whatever Happened to the Cosmo Girl and the Zipless F*ck?

I’ve been sickened by the response to Playboy Hugh Hefner’s death this week. He’s been hailed as a feminist, a liberator of women, a liberal icon. The man was none of those things. He exploited, drugged, abused, raped, manipulated, degraded, and publicly humiliated women, and much more. If anything, the embrace of Hefner’s “philosophy” of treating women as objects and prostitutes set the women’s movement back. He was anything but sex positive for women. Hefner controlled the women in his orbit with little concern for their health or well-being, much less their sexual pleasure…

…Helen Gurley Brown gave young women permission to put themselves, their careers, and their own sexual desires first, and to put off marriage and caregiving for as long as they wanted. What is the role of women in Hugh Hefner’s world, if not another form of caregiver, this time as the ever-enthusiastic and willing sexual partner who fulfills the man’s every need with no thought to her own? That’s not Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmo Girl, who takes care of herself and doesn’t depend on men. She loves to date men and look great when she goes out, but they don’t control or own her. This subtle difference gets missed a lot.

Read the rest of Metacrone’s post on our sister site, WitchyRamblings.com.

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Why, What Have You Heard?

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Look! A photo of Elizabeth Cady Stanton when she was young and hot. Now modern people, used to judging people based on their dress size, will be able to take her seriously.

This week’s episode of the Washington Post series Constitutional is titled Gender.* It’s hosted by Lillian Cunningham, with guests Library of Congress historian Julie Miller and Feminist Majority Foundation president Ellie Smeal.  This episode traces the fight to have women recognized by the US Constitution, allowed to vote, and then to be recognized as equal to men. It’s an excellent episode, informative and interesting, with some very early history that I had no idea existed. I encourage you all to listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

But the commenters also feel the need to critique the early suffragettes’ looks and fashion choices, which, to be fair, is a standard part of the discussion when the suffragettes come up. But, really? Do we mock Abraham Lincoln’s and Ulysses S. Grant’s looks and weight every time they come up? As female professionals, couldn’t these podcasters have taken a different approach?

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Frozen the Musical vs Radical Feminist Theatre

I thought I was done writing about the Frozen live musical adaptation, but I guess I’m not. The thing is, both Metamaiden and I aren’t done thinking about it. The new song Monster, written by Oscar, h*ell, EGOT-winning songwriters, is stuck in our heads, telling us over and over that being a powerful woman is dangerous, that we should either leave and go live in solitude or, even better, kill ourselves, so that we don’t destroy our country and everything we hold dear.

And that’s only the beginning. I, personally, like most adult women, am a sexual assault survivor, which I have rarely, if ever, talked about. (Probably also like most women.) The scene where Kristoff rips Anna’s dress off and forcefully throws it off stage, while telling her how stupid she is, was very triggering for me, especially after seeing it twice.*

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Joss Whedon’s Ex-Wife Reveals That He Is a Hypocrite Who Gaslighted Her for 15 Years

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I Am Not Shocked at All

On Sunday, while I was traveling and wasting my life explaining my issues with the Frozen adaptation, Kai Cole, Joss Whedon’s ex-wife and partner of almost 20 years, published an open essay explaining the reasons for their divorce. Turns out Whedon cheated on his wife for most of their marriage and lied to his wife about it for the entire time. He had affairs with the actresses he worked with, other co-workers, fans, and friends. Never mind the dubious nature of Whedon sleeping with fans who worshiped him and actresses who worked for him. All the while, he was also presenting himself to the world as a champion of women, as someone who was fighting for women’s rights. A woman’s right to be used by a powerful man was what he meant, apparently.

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Frozen the Musical in Denver: More Youtube Videos

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Here is the first look at the costumes for the four main characters in Frozen the Musical, reports about the show from the local Denver CBS news station, and the fourth video in DCPA’s video series, an interview with choreographer Rob Ashford.

We walked between Greg Moody, the Denver CBS TV critic, and the merch stand, as he was filming the report, when we left the theatre. We’re not in the video, though, the camera was pointed at Greg and the Frozen media backdrop. I’m surprised he didn’t show or mention the many, many adorable little girls who were dressed up, either in their Elsa dresses or their own best dresses. There were some great fashion statements going on.

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