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WMC News: Ghostbusters, Sexual Assault of Men, Raliance, Women’s Media Awards & more!

July 22, 2016

“Ghostbusters” Stands On Its Own

Image from Ghostbusters film - Courtesy of Sony PicturesBy Catharine Scott | July 21, 2016

I never saw the original Ghostbusters movie. I know and care very little about the actors, storyline, or concept of the 1984 horror comedy. To some, that may be heresy, but I think that it helped me to judge the 2016 reboot more fairly—and ultimately appreciate it more—because I was able to do so without comparing it to the original. Not only is such a perspective essential in the face of malcontents whining that the makers have somehow violated their childhoods by daring to place four women in the lead roles, but I think it’s also the most feminist way to approach the movie. Otherwise, we're still just defining women's contributions to media by reference to what men did before them.

Sadly, we inhabit a media landscape where having four women in lead roles is still a noteworthy occurrence. It’s depressing for those of us who can’t believe we’re still having this conversation in 2016; however, for the upcoming generation of girls, it could be the new normal, and that’s fantastically exciting. We would do those girls a great disservice if we let the online carping of grown men eclipse that opportunity.More

Image description: Four Ghostbusters characters Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The Index: Sexual Assault of Men, Mainly in Conflict, By the Numbers

By Lauren Wolfe/Director | July 16, 2016

Number of historic armed conflicts around the world in which sexualized violence against men—including rape, sexual torture, mutilation of the genitals, sexual humiliation, sexual enslavement, forced incest and forced rape—has been reported: 25

Conflicts that make up those 25: Burundi, Cambodia, Chechnya, Chile, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Greece, Iran, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Libya, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, South Africa, Former Soviet Union, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Former Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe

Present-day conflict-affected countries in which the law does not provide protection to male victims of sexualized violence: 16 More>>

 

Is Unilever's Vow to End Sexism in Their Ads a True Victory?

| July 20, 2016

Recent research suggested what many feminists have already spoken up about in the past: Only 2% of Unilever ads “portray intelligent women.” Unilever — the global corporation behind many famous brands such as Dove, Axe, Lynx, and Lipton — recently announced that they will reconsider using demeaning portrayals of women and sexism to sell their products. Instead of exploiting women’s insecurities, the company promised to instead promote images of intelligent women rather and declared that their goal is to #UNSTEREOTYPE women through the advertisements of every brand of their corporation.

Many experts have connected the prevalence of such destructive ads created by brands across the board to the rise in young girls’ negative body image. For example, activist Jean Kilbourne has noted that the average American encounters 3,000 advertisements every day, and spends a total of two years watching TV commercials in their lifetime — many of which center unrealistic standards of beauty — and that this beauty ideal has contributed to the reality that 50% of three- to six-year-old girls worry about their weight. More>>

Image description: Unilever logo with caption "They're trying to change"

 

This Organization Is Working to End Domestic Violence in One One Generation

credit: NSVRC

| July 18, 2016

In the past few years, multiple National Football League (NFL) players have been publicly accused of sexual assault or domestic violence. Although the allegations are deeply disturbing, the media has previously overlooked these athletes’ alleged histories of violence, in turn contributing to a society in which aggressive misogyny is normalized.

But three leading sexual violence prevention organizations hope to change that. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) partnered with the NFL in June to create the first-ever major initiative of sexual violence prevention plans. This collaborative project, called “Raliance,” is dedicated to responding, preventing, and ending sexual violence in “one generation.” More>>

Image description: Logo for "Raliance" (credit: NSVRC)

 

Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas Are Proving Black Girls Are Magic 

Gabby Douglas

| July 15, 2016

There is absolutely no question that racism still persists in the United States today. While examples of this systemic reality abound — from racism in the criminal justice system to the disproportionate punishment of black girls in schools and beyond — one need look no further for evidence than this past week, which saw the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. In fact, the police have killed at least 136 black people in 2016 alone, according to the Guardian.

Perhaps now more than ever, therefore, it’s important for young, black Americans to have exposure to black people succeeding despite the many systemic barriers in their way. This seems especially important for women of color, who are so often erased even from discussions of liberation. Of course, there are many examples of black, female role models across the board, but two that embody and have been vocal about succeeding against the odds are athletes Gabby Douglas and Serena Williams. More>>

Image description: Gabby Douglas

 

WMC Live #176: Clare Malone, Tanya Melich. (Original Airdate 7/16/2016)

Robin on the Falcon Heights, Baton Rouge, and Dallas murders; plus FoxNewswomen v. Roger Ailes. Guests: Polling decoded by FiveThirtyEight.com's Clare Malone; GOP insider Tanya Melich on The Republican War Against Women—and on Trump's Convention. To listen >>

 

The Fear at the Heart of the Fear (Commentary from WMC Live with Robin Morgan 7/16/2016)

You can smell it and taste it, all across the Republic. Fear. Of violence--from terrorists, from cops, by cops, from other citizens.

You can see the fear of average citizens, who express it, along with their shock and grief, in all the makeshift memorials: the teddy bears, flowers, candles, and scribbled notes left as if they were superstitious tokens of respect to the dead by those left alive--and afraid for themselves.

All these memorials, and all the moments of silence, and all the clichés, from chants like "no Justice no peace" to murmurs like "I'm sorry for your loss" and "thank you for your service," and speeches that proclaim we must "open a dialogue," "hold another public hearing," "unify.", we mouth these platitudes and perform these rites by rote now, while nothing seems to change--and while a grotesquely racist, serious presidential contender talks about himself as the law and order candidate. More>>

 

This week WMC SheSource features experts on the shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump choosing Mike Pence as his running mate, the recent terror attack in Nice on Bastille Day, the failed coup in Turkey, and the release of an all-female Ghostbusters.

For a list of our experts that will be at the DNC and/or RNC, visit our 2016 Democratic and Republican National Convention Experts list. 

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