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Beauty and the Beast as a Feminist Tale

It bothers me so much when people say that Beauty and the Beast is about Stockholm Syndrome. It is about a girl’s love for her father and being able to look beyond appearances — and about how amazing books are. The Beast has lessons to give too. He is a symbol of self-loathing toxic masculinity who then discovers what true masculinity, bravery, and selflessness involve.

Read the original post on Medium.

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How Women Feel on Labor Day

As we prepare for barbecues, pool parties, or Hurricane Dorian, many mothers are finishing up the potato salad, getting the kids dressed, checking flashlight batteries, or doing laundry before the power goes out. Their lists of domestic tasks have doubled or even tripled in the face of a holiday–hurricane twofer.

Although Labor Day is ostensibly about “real” labor and “real” jobs, it’s also a day forged through other types of labor: domestic and emotional. Every holiday requires event planning, homemaking, and getting people together. And unfortunately, the burden of this labor tends to fall on women.

Before the men chime in with wails that they do in fact do housework, let me explain: it’s not that you don’t do it. It’s that women do it more often.

Read the full piece on Medium.

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Public and Visual Anthropology (Research Update)

Snapshots of upcoming guest lecture for a section of the Sex Roles in Cross-Cultural Comparison course at the University of Florida:

The problems with women and Hollywood include massive underrepresentation (TV, however is ahead of the curve, and certainly the better for the likes of Fey and Rhimes), a body-image obsession that pigeonholes actresses and largely limits positive roles to “sexy” roles, the assumption that movies need to be drafted for and marketed to each sex, and poorer odds for women to move into executive positions, financially or creatively.

Some films count on a female vote and aren’t ashamed to show it. Consider the fuzzy yellow trailer for “The Help” featuring witticisms by the black leads and a plucky score (a far cry from the actual tone of the film), or the sexy, glittery trailers for “Magic Mike” and “Sex and the City 2”; others are projected to attract men but include images of shirtless men in their trailers, presumably to encourage the wives and girlfriends to come along. Obviously, the equation of female moviegoers’ interest with their desires for friendship  with women and sex with men is as problematic as the equation of female actors’ and filmmakers’ success according to their perpetuation of female stereotypes of personality and social worth. Either way, there are significant economic and psychological impacts on those women who love film. They are neither as uniform in their approach nor singular in their interests nor small in number as andocentric Hollywood would suggest.

Edit: See the final presentation.

See also my essay on institutional sexism and feminism over at Confluey, and my prezi on violent female characters.