“Punk Was a Great Liberating Thing for Women”: Filmmaker Vivienne Dick on No Wave and Making Art in ’70s New York

In the late 1970s through the 1980s, New York City’s Lower East Side was home to a diverse group of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Born from the punk scene of the mid-‘70s, the no wave movement rejected the boundaries of tradition, embracing a brash, lo-fi, guerrilla aesthetic that confronted audiences with satire and shocking images. Movies were made on the streets, and underground clubs screened films alongside bands fronted by artists like James Chance and Lydia Lunch.

Irish feminist filmmaker Vivienne Dick was one of the artists who helped define the no wave film scene, influencing the shape of contemporary American independent cinema. … Read More

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Why Are Colleges So Eager to Police Speech But So Reluctant to Address the Campus Rape Epidemic?

This week, Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan took a long look at the suspension of a rugby team at the University of Mary Washington over a vulgar, sexist “pub song” sung at a celebration and surreptitiously videotaped. At first glance, the tale looks like a gendered repeat of the racist SAE Oklahoma frat story, except further digging by Ryan reveals it was not quite the same situation. … Read More

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10 Films Featuring Fantastic Female-Led Casts

Earlier this week it was announced that Stories We Tell director and Atom Egoyan muse Sarah Polley is writing an updating of Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age novel Little Woman. The project will be led by women, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Naturally, we’ve been busy doing a little dream casting for the upcoming picture.

We’re still flummoxed by the backlash about the recently announced all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Female-led productions have been around since the dawn of cinema and the work of film pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché. Here are ten movies that feature only (or largely) female casts. … Read More

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50 Fearless Female Firsts in the Arts

March is Women’s History Month — a time to pay “tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.” Since the national celebration’s beginnings in 1981, women have continued to break the gender barrier and contribute significantly to the historical evolution of various forms of art. Here’s a look at some of those women — the filmmakers, writers, singers, and other creative pioneers who paved the… Read More

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Famous White Women: Stop Saying Other Oppressed Groups Have It Better

Add Madonna to the list of prominent white, female cultural figures who think women have it “worse” than people of color and gay people. In an interview with Out magazine last week, her Madgesty had some real wisdom to drop about what women face as they get older. But then she veered into sounding a lot like Patricia Arquette after the Oscars. … Read More

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Let’s Stop Telling Women They Can’t Love Misogynist Art

Norwegian journalist Ellen Sofie Lauritzen loves Philip Roth despite being a feminist, she writes at TPM’s The Slice today. She loves his deeply sexist characters, and the filthy things that come out of their mouths. She loves Lil Wayne and other misogynist MCs. Does this make her a bad feminist, or is there a feminist case for her taste? … Read More

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Female Friendship Is Life’s Great, Thwarted Romance in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels

The more entrenched in adult life I become, the more spending time with my oldest girlfriends is a relief, akin to sinking into a pool on a hot day. Mostly, this is because it’s impossible to feel self-conscious in front of those who knew you when braces and social humiliation were the order of the day. The fronts we all put on at work or at parties (or now, for some, with the babysitter) melt away. … Read More

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“Nobody Deserves It”: Crowd-funded Documentary Takes on Slut-Shaming

Despite some mild incursions by feminism, much of society likes to keep female sexuality corralled between two policed boundaries. On the one hand lies prude, on the other slut. Or to state it again without the slang, women are encouraged to to be sexual but not too sexual, available but not too available. What are the consequences for straying? Scorn, derision, invisibility, or maybe far worse. … Read More

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Music’s Most Pointless “Catfights”

Earlier this week, in her new Rolling Stone cover story, Madonna said something that resonated with women everywhere: “We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I’m doing.”

This is especially true if you’re a female performer of a certain status. Even Madonna atoned for her feud with Lady Gaga, telling RS, “The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs [‘Express Yourself’/’Born This Way’]. It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’” … Read More

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From Arquette to Iñárritu, an Inspiring Oscar Speech Shouldn’t Transform a Celebrity Into a Political Leader

Fiery political speeches became the highlight of an Oscars that were otherwise dull and regressive. But the practice of applauding celebrities and anointing them as the best human beings in the universe for daring to state opinions can also backfire, as the 12-hour social media saga of Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette demonstrated. … Read More

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