Counting down from 12 to 1, here are the 12 most-read posts of 2012 at The Opinioness of the World!
12. Twitter Round-Up of Comedians & Comedy Writers Supporting Daniel Tosh’s Rape Threat Misogyny and Those Calling Out His Bullshit
Daniel Tosh ignited a firestorm of condemnation after his misogynistic harassment of a female audience member who spoke out against his rape “jokes” at a comedy show. A Twitter debate raged on with some celebs condemning Tosh’s bullshit and other celebs coming to his defense. But it’s not about freedom of speech or censorship or what’s funny and what’s not. Tosh crossed the line the moment he disregarded that woman’s concerns, asserted his male privilege and tried to humiliate her with a rape threat. When you start to collectively look at the tweets of people defending Tosh, you begin to see just the prevalence and insidiousness of rape culture.
11. Abortion Depictions in Pop Culture: Why “Reproduction and Abortion Week” at ‘Bitch Flicks’ Is So Crucial
This year was a monumental one for me, in part because I became Editor of one of my absolute favorite blogs, the feminist film and media site Bitch Flicks. When Bitch Flicks featured a “Reproduction and Abortion Week,” we published articles and reviews analyzing and critiquing the portrayal of abortion, contraception and pregnancy in film and TV series.
Abortion is healthcare — a routine, normal and legal medical procedure. Yet we continually face a barrage of attacks on our reproductive rights. 1 in 3 women will get an abortion in her lifetime. Yet we rarely witness film and TV characters obtaining an abortion or even talking about abortion. It’s vital to see abortion depicted on-screen. Here’s why it matters.
With one of the strongest, most resilient badass women in pop culture, Alien possessed a strong feminist commentary on sexist patriarchy silencing women’s voices and attempting to objectify and violate their bodies. So I was curious to see if its pseudo prequel would echo those themes. With an intelligent, strong female lead who asserts control over her body and exploring themes of abortion, infertility, rape and bodily autonomy — is the film ‘Prometheus,’ a pro-choice metaphor advocating reproductive justice?
The Hunger Games features a unique female protagonist in bold, defiant, archery-loving Katniss Everdeen. Female relationships aren’t diminished. It’s not the love of a man that spurs her to survive. It’s the love for her sister. The Hunger Games remind us that women’s and girl’s stories don’t need to revolve around men and boys. It spreads the crucial message to not apologize for who you are and to be yourself. In a world that continually silences women’s and girl’s voices and objectifies their bodies, we need to hear and see more complex female characters like Katniss Everdeen.
8. A Feminist Vegan & Domestic Violence Survivor on PETA’s Latest Ad Which Glorifies Domestic Violence
Animal rights group PETA once again crossed the line with their offensive ad campaign that glorifies domestic violence and mocks survivors. In their offensive ad, “Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me,” a woman limps and wears a neck brace, apparently from the rough sex she has with her boyfriend as a result of his newly found vegan diet. No strangers to utilizing sexism and misogyny, PETA will do whatever it takes to garner attention. This vegan ad has absolutely nothing to do with eating healthy or saving animals’ lives. They need to stop exploiting women’s bodies to further their agenda.
Rape jokes are not funny. Ever. Yet they have infiltrated numerous TV shows such as 2 Broke Girls, Whitney, Up All Night, Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Family Guy and Glee. Rape jokes “dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.” We live in a rape culture that laughs at rape jokes and too often condones rapists and abusers. While humor can be a great way to confront tough issues, rape jokes trivialize someone’s painful plight.
As a foodie, I love Top Chef. While the show usually boasts meat and dairy-laden dishes, every now and again a vegan entree or side dish (or an entire vegan episode!) pops up. It may not happen often but we vegans can find our food and lifestyle reflected in mainstream media. Here are 7 critically-acclaimed vegan recipes featured on Top Chef. The animals and your stomach will thank you.
Read –> ‘Top Chef’s 7 Best Vegan Recipes
Anticipating sexist advertising during this year’s Super Bowl, the media organization Miss Representation launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #NotBuyingIt where viewers (including yours truly!) called out offensive ads in real-time. If we hope to combat sexism in society, we need to critique misogynistic media. Here’s my countdown of the top 14 sexist Super Bowl ads that objectified women, glorified violence and rearticulated gender tropes.
Here’s The Opinioness’ recap of Cupcake Wars’ “Vegan Bake-off” episode (all-vegan cupcakes!!). For all you vegans (and some of you non-vegans), you already know this but vegan baking can be every bit as sinfully delicious as dairy-laden desserts. There’s a pervasive myth that when you become vegan, you sacrifice luscious taste. But nothing could be further from the truth. Now if only Food Network gets the message and realizes that we vegans need a cooking show too, dammit.
3. ‘The Walking Dead’ and Gender: Why I’m Skeptical the Addition of Badass Michonne Will Change the TV Series’ Retro Sexism
Audiences eagerly anticipated the arrival of the mysterious, fearless and katana-wielding Michonne on The Walking Dead. Not only was I excited to see another strong women (something the show so desperately needs) but here is a woman of color. But I’m skeptical she will erase the retro sexism contaminating the show. Silencing women’s voices, rearticulating gender stereotypes, featuring no women in leadership or authority positions, stripping women of their bodily autonomy through the infamous abortion storyline — the TV series has done a horrendous job portraying gender so far.
Star Wars’ Princess Leia was The Opinioness’ childhood idol. A member of the Imperial Senate, a diplomat and a spy for the Rebel Alliance, Princess Leia was courageous and determined. She possessed inner strength, a defiant will and a refusal to be silenced. Leia confidently and boldly spoke her mind, regardless of the consequences. But the Star Wars Trilogy suffers from sexist problems of female tokenism, objectification, princess culture, and the Damsel in Distress trope. So is Leia truly a feminist icon?
With proud feminist Joss Whedon at the helm directing and writing the script for the box-office blockbuster The Avengers, I eagerly anticipated a feminist film. We see strong female characters: Black Widow is a complex badass and Agent Maria Hill is calm and assertive. Black Widow doesn’t fall prey to the common trope of the female love interest or sidekick or exist merely as “sexy decoration.” But she’s still the only female member of The Avengers team. But the bigger problem? No women ever talk to each other. Ever. No matter how awesome the female characters, The Avengers failing the Bechdel Test subtly reinforces that women’s lives ultimately revolve around men. It proves the cavernous gender gap in film and how far we still need to go.