Why Are All The Trailblazing Feminists In Hollywood White?

Why Are All The Trailblazing Feminists In Hollywood White?

It's about more than just double standards.
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In the past few years, blockbusters featuring a female action hero have become mainstream. Media outlets have praised the trend, pushing the notion that girls across the United States will be able to look up to Katniss, Rey, and Tris, and realize that they too can aim to be the savior, rather than a damsel in distress.

It’s inspiring to see the shift toward accepting women for the strength they possess. It’s problematic to work out how eerily similar all these women are.

All three of the previously mentioned heroines are white. They’ve all been alluded to being straight, and they all identify as cis. Their similarity, and ultimately Hollywood’s diversity-lacking heroine trend, are all products of who in Hollywood is calling for more heroines and female leading roles.

Hollywood feminists are overwhelmingly dominated by white feminists. The term has even become unnecessarily gray, due to white feminists within Hollywood’s ignorance regarding what it actually means. And, for the record: feminism is about the equality of the sexes, regardless of whether that equality is referring to political, social, or economic divides.

White feminism is feminism that ignores intersectionality. White feminists assume others experience misogyny in the same way those who are cis, straight, or white experience it.

Not all feminists that are white are white feminists, but most white feminists are white. Which is why when we have white feminists in Hollywood call out for more heroines and females in lead roles, the response is the creation of these straight, white, cis characters.

It’s understandable why this has happened. As a society, we’ve always held white women to different standards than women of color. We’ve seen Demi Lovato and Nicki Minaj practically naked on both of their album covers, but call one a barrier breaker and the other provocative (among other, more vulgar terms).

We’ve clapped for Miley Cyrus on Jimmy Kimmel for talking about the ‘Free the Nipple’ movement, while she’s simultaneously appropriating culture by being in dreads. We’ve taken Patricia Arquette calling upon “all the men that love women, gay people, and people of color to help women as revolutionary, rather than what it really is: excluding.

This exclusion isn’t a perfect storm. It isn’t accidental. It’s a condition in our society that’s been building up for hundreds of years, in which we’ve conditioned white women as being the trailblazers in women rights, and excluded the contributions of women of color, trans women, and queer women.

This exclusion is perpetuated by our schools and our media. It is seen when high school students write a paper on Gloria Steinem’s popularization of the phrase, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” but those same students can’t recognize the name Angela Davis.

It’s hearing about the wage gap, but not hearing about the effect police brutality has on black women. It's watching white women like Amy Schumer, Tiny Fey, and Taylor Swift being praised as trailblazing feminists, while the voice of others are denied a platform because a cis, straight, white woman is more appealing to put on stage. It’s in this moment, when a white women’s privilege is providing her with more opportunities, which they must question their position and the conditions that allow them to be heard.

I believe it is OK to use your privilege to speak up about injustices around you. Being a white feminist does not make you a bad person, as long as you’re willing to listen and learn about the experiences of women that are different from your own, and then use what you’ve learned to drift away from being a white feminist. Ideally, the learning of the struggles of marginalized groups is a process that will never end.

With this in mind, white women need to recognize the differences between speaking out against injustices and dominating the conversation. A white women’s voice is louder because of her privilege. Others' tendency to listen to her voice over others is problematic for the feminist movement. It’s not about her silencing herself, but rather her learning when to step back from conversations, to allow others the platforms and voices they deserve.

This includes myself, considering there's some issues my upper-middle class suburbia background just doesn't give me the best authority to speak on. Discrimination is deeply ingrained in the history of our country -- feminism is ultimately a response to this discrimination, a movement to progress away from it.

In order to be a feminist, as opposed to a white feminist, it’s more than an optional responsibility to be concerned with the issues facing all factions of women, and how often those issues are talked about by those actually effected by it. It’s a requirement.

Cover Image Credit: .Mic

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Everything You Need To Know About The New Abortion Ban In Several States

DISCLAIMER: the following does not include any of my personal beliefs/opinions.

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Abortion has and will always be a controversial and very sensitive topic for all genders. The following article delves into the details about the Alabama abortion ban that was signed to be a law which, if it passes, will be in effect January 2020 and briefly touches on the Georgia Heartbeat Bill.

Roe v. Wade (1973)

In 1973, Roe v. Wade 410 was passed in the U.S. by the Supreme Court. In short, this ruled that the Due Process Clause along with the 14th Amendment in the Constitution would work to give pregnant women the choice to choose whether or not they wanted an abortion AND should coincide with the government's personal agenda to protect the health of all who is involved. What I mean by this is that the Supreme Court decided during the second trimester of a pregnancy, abortions would be allowed. But, if it is the third trimester, abortion is to be prohibited unless the health of the mother is in danger. This law catapulted the abortion debate which is still going on today.


Abortion vs. Alabama

Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey, signed off on a bill that will basically ban all abortions, including rape, incest, any abnormality, and if the mother's life is in danger on May 14, 2019 after acquiring approval from 25 Senators . This could be a problem considering that it very much contradicts Roe v. Wade (1973). To Ivey, the bill is a reflection of the values in which the citizens of Alabama believe: all life is precious and a gift from God.


Governor of the State of Alabama, Kay Ivey (pictured above). home.bt.com

The governor of Georgia also signed a bill to ban abortion after detecting the slightest heartbeat which is approximately around the six-week pregnancy period (around the time most women discover that they are pregnant). Another important take on this is that despite the rift and debate that is going on between Democrats and Republicans, most Republicans believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. This is looking more like a possibility considering most of the Supreme Court consists of people who support the Republican party. In short, the main idea is to ban abortion in all of the United States, not just in some states like it is currently. In regards to Alabama, the bill still has not been enacted into a law and could possibly encounter delay in the Supreme Court because, after all, this is a very debated topic. For now, abortion is still legal until January 2020 or when it becomes a law.

Conditions of the Abortion Law

The conditions of the abortion law explicitly states that abortion during any stage of a pregnancy is prohibited and if any medical professional aids in the practice/procedure of an abortion, they will face up to 99 years in prison. If an attempt is made to perform an abortion procedure, an individual can be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Women who successfully get an abortion or attempt to will be prosecuted as well. However, only those who provide another with an abortion will be punished in Alabama, not the one receiving the service.

No form of abortion is allowed including: rape, incest, life-threatening abnormality, or putting the life of the mother in danger.


Alabama expected to approve controversial abortion bill www.youtube.com


Two Sides to the Debate

Although most Republicans support the law, the Democratic party has combatted the notion of it. Many opponents of the ban state that the restriction can put the lives of many in danger and affects women of color and those who are living in poverty heavily. ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have also declared that they will sue. Many young people have also reached out to social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram to voice their opinions:

Tweets from individuals who are anti-abortion ban www.wnd.com

Many celebrities have also stated their opinions on the matter. Rihanna stated in one of her Instagram posts, "Take a look," referring to a picture of 25 Senators in Alabama who approved the abortion bill, "These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!"

Although both sides clearly have their opinions on the debate of pro-life/pro-choice, one thing we all can agree on is that this will be a long process that can make or break the lives of a lot of people in our nation.

Until next time,

Salsa.

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