Feminism / Veganism

Top 10 Posts of 2013

New Years Eve image by amodiovalerioverde via Flickr

Counting down from 12 to 1, here are the 12 most-read posts of 2012 at The Opinioness of the World!

10. Does Uhura’s Empowerment Negate Sexism in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’?


“Part of me loves that Uhura, a black woman, is the one in the romance. Too often we see white women play out that plot. Black women often remain on the sidelines as the feisty sidekicks, giving their white friends advice on love…While not a rom-com, it’s great to see a woman of color get the guy….

“Yes, Uhura rocks. But no matter how opinionated, smart and fabulous she is, the gains made by Uhura begin to erode when you factor in the incessant sexism swarming around. As I’ve said time and again, if you depict your female characters, no matter how empowered, as only talking to men and not other women, it reinforces the notion that women’s lives revolve around men.”

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9. Is Pepper Potts No Longer the Damsel in Distress in ‘Iron Man 3’?

Iron Man 3 Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)

“Despite her intelligence and success, she possesses no agency of her own. Men bestowed power upon Pepper. Any power she appears to exert stems from men…Even though she has a brief romp with superpowers and briefly kicks ass, Pepper somehow remains less empowered in Iron Man 3 than in the other films. Men decided her fate…

“Sure, it was nice to see Pepper kicking ass. But let’s be clear here. Just because a female character wields a sword or shoots a gun or uses her fists to punch a villain, doesn’t automatically make her emotionally strong or empowered. Possessing agency to speak her mind, make her own decisions, chart her own course — these are what make a character truly empowered.

“The problem with the Damsel in Distress trope is that it strips women of their power and insinuates that women need men to rescue or save them.”

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8. The Women of ‘Man of Steel’ and the Toxicity of Hyper-Masculinity


“I initially thought this would be an annoyingly bro-tastic film with guidance and support strictly coming from the men in Clark/Kal-El’s life. But women play an equal role in the film. Unlike Star Trek Into Darkness where women remain mostly invisible or as sex objects, we see women in the military, women journalists besides Lois, and women on Krypton in leadership positions. ‘All of this may seem relatively minor, but it is rare for superhero movies to feature females in important, non-sexualized, non-damsel-in-distress role‘…

“What is interesting though is Man of Steel’s commentary on masculinity. Throughout the film, Clark/Kal-El must wrangle with his emotions of identity and belonging…When Clark is much older, traveling around and bouncing from job to job in anonymity, he again encounters a bully objectifying a female co-worker. He endures the bully’s taunts and walks away. There’s a continually dueling masculinity happening on-screen — a mature, calm and rational male who turns the other cheek and a toxic, aggressive, hyper-masculine male vying for supremacy.”

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7. Am I the Only Feminist Who Didn’t Really Like ‘The Heat’? Or Why I Want My Humor Intersectional

The Heat movie

“I adore Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and I loved seeing them on-screen together. They possessed an effortless chemistry. It was great seeing a film focusing on female friendship between two career-driven, successful women…What really tainted the movie for me was its preponderance of ableist, racist and transphobic humor. I was horrified when I saw these jokes continually occur one after another. Fuck that noise…

“Feminism isn’t just about gender equality and putting more women in film. Although that’s a huge start. It’s about combating all forms of institutional discrimination and oppression. And not perpetuating prejudice…Feminism isn’t about women standing on the backs of other oppressed people in order to get ahead. I want to root for ladies on-screen without cringing the entire time I’m watching. Is that really too much to ask?”

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6. Body Positivity, Fat Acceptance and Food Justice

Body positivity art by Spooky Femme

“I see intersections through feminism and veganism, vegans advocating fat acceptance (although some vegans perpetuate fat phobia), and feminist critiques of sexist food advertising. But we need to see more people connecting food justice and body positivism. While the two movements have different struggles, they share common ground…

“We need to connect body image, fat acceptance, fat shaming, class, food justice and food sovereignty. We need to critique sexist food advertising and tired gender norms and embrace food equality and body image positivity. It’s time to build coalitions so we can effectively combat oppression on all fronts.”

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5. ‘Les Miserables,’ Sex Work and Fantine as a Symbol for Women’s Oppression

Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserables

“Fantine also illustrates the plight of single mothers. Single mothers are 5 times as likely to be in poverty, many working in low-wage jobs without paid sick leave. Fantine struggles to make ends meet to pay for Cossette who lives with the greedy and villanious Thenardiers, at the expense of her own health as she eventually gets ill with tuberculosis…

Fantine — and so many other women like her — have no safety net. Without healthcare, education, paid sick leave, adequate day care and social assistance programs, today’s impoverished single mothers have few options…But through Fantine’s eyes, we see the horrors of poverty, sexism and rape culture. She symbolizes the oppression women combat — throughout history and today.”

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4. ‘The Walking Dead’s Sexist Woman Problem

Michonne Walking Dead 2

“Again, it’s all about the men. The women, even the awesome ones, are nothing more than props to propel the male characters’ emotional journeys and transformations…

“Hmmm so which season is worse? The season 2 horrendous handling of emergency contraception and its anti-abortion plotline? Or is it Season 3 with sexual assault used as a plot device and women dying to propel men’s emotional journeys? It’s all bullshit.

“It’s very apparent The Walking Dead doesn’t care about exploring gender dynamics in any meaningful way or deconstructing gender roles to explore societal limitations.”

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3. In ‘Game of Thrones,’ the Mother of Dragons is Taking Down the Patriarchy

Game of Thrones Daenerys soldiers

“While many women orchestrate machinations behind the scenes, no woman is boldly challenging the patriarchy to rule. Except for one. Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen…

“If there was ever any question, Daenerys is clearly here to dismantle the patriarchy

“Not only is she a woman leader, her very existence challenging the status quo. But Daenerys openly questions and challenges patriarchal norms. She refuses to abide by societal gender limitations mandating men must rule. She’s determined to forge a different path. Rather than follow in the footsteps of leaders embodying toxic masculinity, she’s determined to rule through respect, kindness and fairness — not through intimidation or fear.”

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2. Meat-Free Monday Recipe: The Creamiest Vegan Mac and Cheese


“Are you ready for the creamiest, dreamiest vegan mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted?? Buckle up and prepare yourself for comfort food nirvana.”

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1. Feminism and the Oscars: Do the 2013 Best Picture Nominees Pass the Bechdel Test?

2013 Best Picture Oscar Nominees

“The Academy often overlooks female directors and female-centric films.Women’s dialogue and plotlines rarely focus on other women or even themselves. If women talk to each other, it’s usually revolving around men. This is why the Bechdel Test – while not perfect or automatically indicating feminism – matters…

“Now the Bechdel Test doesn’t measure whether or not a film is good or even if it’s feminist or female-centric. And it’s not just about judging films on an individual basis. The Bechdel Test matters because the overwhelming majority of movies fail, indicating the institutional sexism and rampant gender disparity prevalent in Hollywood.”

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Which is YOUR favorite post?


Top image by Amodiovalerio Verde via Flickr and the Creative Commons License

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