Why I won’t jump for joy over Michelle Payne’s Melbourne Cup win.

It’s something I grapple with every time a female ‘wins’ in a male dominated sport or career. The thought that, while obviously this woman kicks arse, she’s beating the men but at their own game – by having to play how the men play. 

But is this the ultimate goal of feminism? To still measure performance by male metrics? Don’t we want women to win by playing the game how women want to play it?

This article is the best articulation I’ve read recently on that idea, that we shouldn’t just be striving for equality, but liberation.

Equality is a fundamentally conservative aim. Rather, it is liberation from a system that idolises money and power and demands women “act like men” to get ahead, that we should set our sights on.

Michelle Payne’s victory at yesterday’s Melbourne Cup… may indeed prove she is equal to the pinnacle of her male competitors, but it does very little to further the concept of liberation.

Now, the journalists main point is that the cruelty of the Melbourne Cup conflicts with her views of feminism because it “is inextricably tied to my passion for animal rights”. That whipping the horses and dominating them to perform to the jockey’s needs over their own is a violent activity linked with stereotypical views on male masculinity and dominance.  

So if a woman wins the Melbourne Cup, if she pushes her horse the hardest in training, whips it the hardest on the track, is that actually us winning the feminist battle? Surely reassessing the current practices of the sport with (again stereotypically) what’s seen as more feminine qualities like empathy and compassion, would see new practices being implemented that reduce the harm and violence towards the horses. 
I guess what it really does come down to is:

 In a world that consistently fails to recognise let alone reward us, should we celebrate every victory by a woman as a win for women?

Yes, there is something deliciously thrilling about a woman taking advantage of the spotlight to tell men off and proclaim that, “Women can do anything and we can beat the world.” 

But there is the contradiction. Perpetuating and celebrating violent spectacles like the Melbourne Cup isn’t beating the world; it’s joining it. And that is the difference between equality and liberation.

True liberation will be when typically feminine qualities are seen as strengths along with masculine ones; when a male can express empathy, openness, vulnerability and not be judged as weak; when domestic violence of any kind, both physical and mental is not tolerated to or by any gender; and when women succeed because they were themselves and didn’t have to ‘lean in’ and act like a man to succeed at what is still a man’s game. 

Read the article >

Diversity Barbie raising her voice.

So Mattel has just announced that it will model a doll after Zendaya Coleman (the awesome chick who had this cutting response to Giuliana Rancic’s dig at her dreadlocks looking like they smelt like weed):

zendaya quote

This is a huge leap for a brand that has been squarely seated in the white privileged blond space for many decades. Hopefully this is the beginning of diversity in the Barbie range and not just a short term fix for a lack of relevance with today’s multicultural and aware society.

I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices.

When I was little, I couldn’t find a Barbie that looked like me. My… how times have changed. Thank you @barbie for this honor and for allowing me to be apart of your diversification and expansion of the definition of beauty. Can’t wait to keep doing amazing things with you.

zendaya barbie doll

Read more >

Rewarding progress.

Diversity was the theme of the day at the 2015 Emmy’s. A few small steps add up to make positive change on female, racial and transgender rights.

  1. Viola Davis: “The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
  2. #AskHerMore meant less ‘who are you wearing’ and more ‘who do you admire’ questions on the red carpet
  3. Andy Samberg called out Donald Trump on his racism
  4. ‘The Amys’ called out the ‘Worst Dressed’ coverage for what it really is
  5. Jon Hamm told it like it was: “People look back on those days through a thick veil of nostalgia, but life was hard if you were anything other than a rich, powerful, white male.”
  6. Uzo Aduba wins for OITNB, again!
  7. Jill Soloway: “People need to make an attempt to find identify and nurture people of colour, women, trans people, queer people, and include them in the creative process.”
  8. Jeffrey Tambor: “I’d like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for our inspiration. Thank you for letting us be part of the change.”

And here’s to more change.

Read the full article.

Discussion leads to change.

When Emma Watson is tweeting your response to a Tumblr question about how ‘white feminism’ might exclude women of colour and non cis/queer women with the comment “This is called ‘hitting the nail on the head’.” you know you’ve made a pretty solid point.

Actress Rowan Blanchard is a 13-year-old actress from Disney’s Girl Meets World and makes some very excellent points on what equality actually means:

…With as many issues as feminists have succeeded in adopting, many of us seem to have not accepted the fact that police brutality and race issues are our issues too.

“White feminism” forgets all about intersectional feminism. The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women.

The fact that when Amandla Stenberg wrote this beautiful and truthful piece she was automatically labeled the “angry black girl” says enough. We are so quick to applaud white women for commenting on race issues/discussions like #BlackLivesMatter, and #SayHerName, but when a black girl comments on it- she is told she is overreacting or being angry.

To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal DEFINITION is the equality of the sexes is not feminism at all. We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change. 

Read the full post on Rowan’s blog >

Racism? That’s a dirty word, no it’s certainly not that.

Being in a position of power where you are able to broadcast your views and opinions to national Australia is something that should require great delicacy, respect and critical review and consideration of all perspectives.

Unfortunately with this current treatment of Adam Goodes, those in power are not highlighting and educating wider Australia on our deeply-rooted racism, and are instead trying to sweep it under the rug.

Charlie Pickering’s review below sums it up quite nicely, thank you Pickering for using your voice for awareness and education.

This saga is entirely racially motivated. To pretend otherwise is to deny that racism against Aboriginal Australians exists; it’s to deny the wounds of our racist history and how the scars continue to fester into the present.

Read more >

I am Cait, hear me roar.

I haven’t seen the first episode of ‘I Am Cait’ – yet. But from everything that this review reports on it I can’t wait, not just to watch it myself, but to see how this will normalise and educate the public on transgender people both in the US and globally.

Firstly, though tough but legitimate question is asked:

Will a network known for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and other, lighter fare handle this story properly?

And the answer is…

At least for the series’ first episode, I Am Cait is a smash success, both in spite of its reality show format and because of it.

It is simultaneously educational and informative, gentle and transgressive. It takes time to teach its audience about trans issues, through the conduit of Jenner talking to her family.

The show is so soft, you can forget how revolutionary seeing a trans woman’s story being told on TV really is.

Read more >

Fuck all other types of forests.

Matt McGorry – aka, Officer Bennett from Orange Is The New Black – has posted a great response to the attack of the ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ hashtag with ‘#AllLivesMatter’.

#BlackLivesMatter – was launched to bring attention to the number of black men, women and children who’ve died as a result of police brutality, and to condemn the systemic racism in America’s law enforcement.

In recent months, the ‘#AllLivesMatter’ response has bandwagoned on the original hashtag’s momentum, under the guise of some truth-telling inclusivity.

Matt McGorry

Some people think they are being more inclusive by saying #AllLivesMatter in response to #BlackLivesMatter but in reality, they’re (un)consciously undermining the purpose of the movement. Because this PARTICULAR movement is about SPECIFIC issues, as any decently effective movement is.

Read the full Twitter and FB post >

Make-up artists, please carry Bobbi Brown skin foundation ‘Espresso’.

You may have seen the beautiful Nykhor Paul, a fashion modelfrom South Sudan, fill up your news feed recently. She has called out makeup artists for being ill-prepared to work with dark-skinned models and with many brand now catering for women of colour, there’s little excuse for professional makeup artists to not carry make-up for darker complexions.

Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don’t have to do anything but show up wtf! Don’t try to make me feel bad because I am blue black its 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup forever, Iman cosmetic, black opal, even Lancôme and Clinique carried them plus so much more. there’s so much options our there for dark skin tones today. A good makeup artist would come prepare and do there research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing it’s insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn’t help, seriously! Make an effort at least!

I’m tired of complaining about not getting book as a black model and I’m definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people, shit we started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can’t we be part of fashion fully and equally?

Read the full article >

Bitch better have my money.

Rhianna’s new film clip for Bitch Better Have My Money (better know as BBHMM) is graphic and disturbingly confrontational with its sexualised violence. But is it purely the content of the film clip that has people so riled up, or is it that a female could create such controversial content stylising violence against women?

The feminism of Rihanna, the feminism of black women in general, is consistently scrutinized and policed in a way it isn’t with white women. It’s important to be aware of that in any discussion about the video’s feminist merits or failings.

It’s the kind of video that, quite simply, would be lauded and never questioned if a white man (a man like Tarantino) made it. Does the discomfort some are feeling, the discomfort even I initially felt (and still do, faintly, with every rewatch), really have only to do with an aversion to violence? Or does it stem from this idea that a black woman could not only take ownership of this kind of stylized cinematic violence and rage, but also execute it in a way that rivals and challenges the mostly white men who are usually praised for it?

Read the article >

To all my Queens in the house.

So I saw Magic Mike XXL on the weekend and have been scouring the web (and by that I mean I clicked on the second page of google results) for a well constructed review of the feminist and racial undertones of the newest Magic Mike.

I struggled to find anything that articulates my thoughts on the movie in this context – that both celebrates it for its racial, age and ‘all body types’ inclusiveness with a focus on the deeper level of sexuality that many (not all) women need to be turned on,  but also acknowledges that it does feel a little superficial in its exploration; let’s go to a strip club that’s full of all African American women, and give lap dances to several overweight women (by hollywood standards), but ensure the main female love interest is a skinny white female (but having said that is bisexual in the film soooo again is inclusive, ugh I’m confused).

Some quotes from one review that stood out to me here:

I think it’s appalling that for a long time only women were objectified, but I think if we really want to advocate for equality, it’s important to even things out. Not objectify women less, but objectify men just as often as we objectify women. – Chris Pratt

No one does sex for women well — not in film and not on TV. Women are accustomed to seeing distorted images of themselves reflected back by way of the male gaze, but media that operates from the nexus of a woman’s desire is still so rare – Jill Soloway

You begin to see that “the female gaze” may not just consist of the camera panning down the male body, or putting women in traditionally male roles, but also about embracing aesthetic preferences that disrupt linear, conflict- and violence-ridden storytelling structures with lingering romantic awkwardness, offbeat humor, earnest themes, and occasionally fanciful song and dance routines that defy reality.

But hey, how much less realistic is solving a plot problem via choreography than solving one through blowing things up, after all, and walking away casually? The point is, the doorway is widening. And the more diverse ways we have of telling mainstream stories, the more likely audiences  will find something that speaks to them, irregardless of gender expression or identity.

I also aligned with some elements of this article in terms of encouraging men to watch these kind of videos to address the whole ‘teach men not to rape’ argument.

Too many men, I fear, do not know what the face of a joyfully turned-on woman looks like. Moreover, too many men do not care. “Smile,” they leer at her, as she walks by on the street. Not because she looks sad, but because she is not pretending to be happy. Because she is not outwardly focused on presenting an appealing facade.

Perhaps these men have been told, too many times over by too many movies, books, stories, rock songs, that their own desire is paramount, and that women are the ones who must strive to stroke, as it were, their egos. Perhaps they’ve been told that “sexy” is something women do at men and for men, but never for themselves.

I am tired, so tired, of the onus being put on rape and sexual assault victims and survivors to prevent their own abuse and harassment. I believe, as deeply as I believe anything, that the solution to rape culture is to teach men to treat women like people, and not only to value their enthusiastic consent but to derive their own incredible pleasure from it.

But I have (too) often wondered: How? How, when so many stories we tell about romance and sex fail to show this version of empathetic, differently empowered masculinity to the men who need to see it most. Magic Mike XXL is the narrative I’ve—we’ve—been looking for.

And in case you think I live under some sort of feminist rock, I of course read Roxanne Gay’s review and while a fabulous read (alert, spoilers!) I do still feel if we’re critically analysing the film, it was a little 101 (hello, Mike just happens to drop into conversation he believes God is a woman? Is this really necessary for the plot line or more likely a conveniently dropped in feminist stance to win over all the women in the audience [and it worked]?).

And just because it appeals to Roxanne (and myself, and millions of other women’s) ideas of sexuality, doesn’t mean it’s all encompassing for every woman’s desire or pleasure (and the movie doesn’t need to be condemned for this but it’s important this is acknowledged). Still, I for the most part agree with Roxanne, namely:

Jada Pinkett is flawless in this movie. She is utterly flawless and sexy and charismatic and I hope she gets the bigger roles she deserves.

And most certainly:

Rome warns the audience at the convention that women not on birth control should proceed to the nearest exit because some grown woman shit is about to go down. She ain’t never lied. Grown woman shit is exactly what goes down. I feel like I got a little bit pregnant (quadruplets, probably) from what happened next.

In summary, go watch. You’ll likely enjoy it (just don’t focus on the storyline too much, the gyrating and stimulated sex by Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello to music like Nine Inch Nails ‘Animal’ makes up for it, I promise 😉

Calling male feminists.

In the words of Louise Brealey: ‘I’d like every man who doesn’t call himself a feminist to explain to the women in his life why he doesn’t believe in equality for women.’

Friend zoning is like a terrible thing. The idea of it is like a terrible male thing. Have you ever heard a girl say they’re in the friend zone? I definitely think the idea of the friend zone is just men going ‘this woman won’t have sex with me’. – Daniel Radcliffe

If you look up feminism in the dictionary it just means someone who believes that men and women have equal rights. I think the reason that so many people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture now people think that feminist means like, some woman is gonna start yelling at me – Aziz Ansari

I feel like, whether it’s a woman or a man, that you don’t have to be defined by your gender. You can be whatever you want to be.You don’t have to fit into the boxes that someone might tell you you have to fit into. That’s what it [feminism] means to me. – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

And number 24. Dustin Hoffman. Read it now >

Apologies for my pregnancy #sorrynotsorry

Once again, our favourite Zoe Saldana is fighting the good fight in hollywood, this time, highlighting the inequality and discrimination against working mothers.

Let me tell you something, it will never be the right time for anybody in your life that you get pregnant. The productions I was slated to work on sort of had a panic. I heard through the grapevine there was even a conversation of me being written off of one of the projects. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, are you kidding me? It’s this bad?’ Right when I just feel super-duper happy, is that inconvenient for you? That me, as a woman in my thirties, I finally am in love and I am finally starting my life? And it’s (screwing) your schedule up? Really?

And then when trying to negotiate a nanny or childcare into her contract, she was met with more discrimination.

[Studio] spend more money sometimes ‘perking’ up male superstars in a movie, a really phat penthouse or them staying in a yacht instead of them staying on land.

But then a woman comes in going, ‘OK, I have a child. You’re taking me away from my home. You’re taking my children away from their home. And you’re going to make me work a lot more hours than I usually would if I was home. Therefore, I would have to pay for this nanny for more hours — so I kind of need that. And they go, ‘Nope, we don’t pay for nannies.’

While Saldana has the means in which to pay for her childcare, it is the principle that she wants highlighted. If a celebrity of her status can’t negotiate childcare into her contract, how on earth are any of the rest of us meant too?

This has been my issue for a long time. Until they find a way for men to incubate a child in their bodies for nine months, women are always going to get pregnant so let’s stop using that as justification of the gender pay gap and start providing more childcare options in and around the workplace.

Read more >

Swiftly apply water to burn.

Taylor Swift has called out UK’s ‘OK! Magazine’ after they tweeted the below misleading headline which clicked through to an article that was actually Taylor Swift posing with fans who were announcing their pregnancy.

Ok Magazine

As if that click-bait headline wasn’t enough, the article then referred to Swift twice as a man’s property – first as ‘Harry Styles’ ex-girlfriend’ and second as ‘Calvin Harris’ rumoured girlfriend’. She wasn’t referred to as a musician in her own right until after they discussed her love life.

Well, Taylor was quick to issue a burn of her own in true Taylor style:

Taylor Swift call out

@OK_Magazine this misleading headline and your choice of words in labelling me are why we need feminism in 2015.

BURN

Read the article >

When age matters.

I’m not a morning tv person, have never really watched the Today show and anything I hear about it in the media is always something to do with Karl. That’s why I found this article so interesting on Lisa Wilkinson. She calls out ageism and sexism and isn’t afraid to challenge senior leaders in politics, media or any other field.

At 55,  she’s one of the more mature women on commercial tv (disappointingly), but it is her maturity and life experiences that ‘Today’ show Executive Producer partly contributes to her success, because she’s relatable.

We’ve got a crisis in this country when it comes to domestic violence; our figures, shamefully, are that one woman dies every week at the hands of a partner. We need a minister for women who is not also our prime minister. And we have a gender pay gap that’s the largest it’s been in 20 years. We need to focus on these issues.

[I made] a decision that never again in my life would I allow someone else to determine who I was and what I was capable of.

Read the article >

Not a girl, not quite a man.

ruby rose

ruby 2Swoon, swoon, swoon. I have a massive girl crush on Ruby Rose (as do now most heterosexual women thanks to OITNB) and have admired her courage to talk openly about being gender fluid (not identifying with either gender) and her commitment to using her exposure to educate people on gender fluidity, with awareness and education helping to breed acceptance.

I’m not a guy; I don’t really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, which – in my perfect imagination – is like having the best of both sexes.

I have a lot of characteristics that would normally be present in a guy and then less that would be present in a woman. But then sometimes I’ll put on a skirt.

Only adding to her achievement list of positive influence on the transgender movement, Rose and her fiancee Phoebe Dahl are launching a gender fluid, gender neutral clothing range called Scallywags.

Read more >

Fucking outrageous.

Don’t you just love Helen Mirren? She has commented on Hollywood’s sexist, ageist casting with an accurate and succinct “It’s fucking outrageous.”

Mirren spoke at women’s breakfast in New York and when asked to comment on Maggie Gyllenhaal being told by a casting agent that at 37 she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man, Mirren responded quite simply:

It’s fucking outrageous. It’s ridiculous. Honestly.

We all sat there watching, you know… as James Bond got more and more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger.

And she has something to say on being labelled as ‘sexual’ at 69 years young:

I don’t like the word sexual. There are people who are sexual, and who are less sexual. But there’s got to be another word. Sexual is so limiting.

Being powerful is so much more interesting than being beautiful.

*applause*

Read more >

Feminism in the age of Miley Cyrus.

An older article but still appropriately relevant and I thought worth highlighting a few choice quotes.

There is space for all women, for all identities, within the feminist movement. Fellow musician Amanda Palmer put it brilliantly when she said, in her own open letter,

“…there needs to be room on the vast playing field for Adele to wear a conservative suit, room for Lady Gaga to do naked performance art in the woods, room for PJ Harvey to wear high-collared 18th-century jackets on stage, room for Natasha Kahn to pose boldly naked on the cover of her last record, and room for Miley to rip a page out of stripper culture and run around like a maniac for however long she wants to.”

We are too complex to be placed into boxes. We understand that there is no right way to “do feminism.” We are allowed to pick on each other. We are allowed to question the ways that other women express themselves. But we are not allowed to disrespect them.

Miley’s feminism may not be yours, but it is one of ours. Feminism has changed. It is intersectional. We are people. We are women. Some of us want to beat the system, some of us want to change it, some of us want nothing to do with it, but the point of the women’s movement was to ensure that we have that choice.

Read the full article at Bustle >

Bikinis and power suits.

Jessica Alba ForbesTalk about girl power! Jessica Alba not only kicked butt on tv show ‘Dark Angel’ and movie ‘The Incredibles’, but she’s also kicking butt in the business world and has made it onto the cover of Forbes magazine.

Speaking at Forbes’ third annual Women’s Summit in New York – where female entrepreneurs and leaders work to change the power imbalance in the business world – Alba spoke of the challenges she face when launching The Honest Company, which sells a range of non-toxic household products and turned over $150 million in revenues last year.

People just saw me as this girl in a bikini in movies kicking butt — maybe not the brightest bulb… It took three and a half years of condescending nods and pats on the back of ‘good luck’, or ‘go back to endorsing things or go do a perfume.’

Well the jokes on them, after only 3 years The Honest Company is currently valued at US$1 billion.

Read more >

That’s Mr Saldana thank-you-very-much.

zoe saldana

Zoe Saldana has questioned the buzz surrounding her husband’s take up of her last name. Here is why, Mrs Saldana, your husband taking your last name is so damn newsworthy. Because:

63% of men would be upset if their wives kept their maiden names, and a whopping 96% of men wouldn’t take their wife’s last name

I would say being in the 4% makes your husband ‘newsworthy’ wouldn’t you? And for good reason. Because:

Many millennial women are changing their names not based on some ideological preference, but seemingly by default.

So many women I speak to respond to the question of taking their husband’s last name with ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ well here is a reason for you:

Changing a name is, in many ways, a change of identity. We associate our names with our heritage, family, childhood, career and even our personal brands. Switching over when we sign a marriage certificate is saying goodbye to one aspect of our life and adopting a new identity; in heterosexual marriages, that often means sharing one with a man.

I am glad Zoe Saldana, not that your husband taking your last name is something that’s newsworthy in the 21st Century, but I am glad given the huge number of men that refuse to even consider taking on their wife’s name that your husband’s choice and your empowering words may just start to affect change.

Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname. On the contrary – you’ll be remembered as a man who stood by change. I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father lead by example.

Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box- remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity. A real “man” leads alongside his partner. A real man accepts his mortality. A real man acknowledges that nothing can be done alone.”

Read more >

*2013 Women’s Health survey of Men’s Health’s male readers

We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.

beyonceAnother awesome illustrated feminist blog post, this one by illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw – “We Are Entitled To Wear Cowboy Boots To Our Own Revolution“.

It was a great opportunity, then, to depict women of colour with their own words. It’s incorrect to separate feminism from racial equality as though they were unlinked. I can’t divorce a woman from her race any more than I can divorce her from her femininity; both are part of her identity and together they affect how she is treated in this world.

I can’t personally represent the voice of a woman of color, but in my artistic depictions of diverse women (and men!) I can make an effort to show empathy, respect, and dignity.

I hear you sister!

View more of Crenshaw’s illustrations >

Kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

mark-ruffalo

Man-oh-man this is so brilliant. Mark Ruffalo has re-blogged a post on his blog which responds to to the frustrating “Women Against Feminism” Tumblr.

Check out his blog or read it below.

“My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.

Thank you Mr Ruffalo *swoon*

I do not belong to anyone but myself.

ariana grande

In an open letter on Twitter and Instagram, Ariana Grande has written an epic response to the constant inquiry into her love life stating:

I’m tired of needing to be linked to a guy, I’m not Big Sean’s ex, I’m not Niall’s new possible girl. I’m Ariana Grande.

What I meant when I said what I said about not being Sean’s ex is that I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future PROPERTY / POSSESSION. I… do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you.

I have come to the realization that I have SO. MUCH. MORE. to talk about. I’m currently making the best music I’ve ever made in my life.

If a woman has a lot of sex (or any sex for that matter)… she’s a ‘slut.’ If a man has sex… HE’S. A. STUD. a BOSSSSS. a KING.

Echoing Taylor Swift’s thoughts on the sexist double standards:

I’m not allowed to date for excitement, or fun, or new experiences or learning lessons. I’m only allowed to date if it’s for a lasting, multiple-year relationship. Otherwise I’m a, quote, ‘serial dater’. Or, quote, ‘boy crazy’.

Here’s to women everywhere being their own, independent selves.

Read more here >

The real reason why Caitlyn Jenner is so beautiful.

caitlyn-jenner

I am so impressed with society’s positive response to Caitlyn Jenner. What she has achieved for the trans community by opening her heart to the world is beyond amazing. Much more worthy of breaking the internet than a nude photoshoot…

But our favourite trans activist Laverne Cox does highlight in her blog that we as a society still have a long way to go. Not all trans people have the money and means to turn themselves into Jessica Lange and Lana Del Rey’s love child, or want to, and we need to love and support these trans people as well.

I love working a photo shoot and creating inspiring images for my fans, for the world and above all for myself. But I also hope that it is my talent, my intelligence, my heart and spirit that most captivate, inspire, move and encourage folks to think more critically about the world around them. Yes, Caitlyn looks amazing and is beautiful but what I think is most beautiful about her is her heart and soul, the ways she has allowed the world into her vulnerabilities.

I have always been aware that I can never represent all trans people. No one or two or three trans people can. This is why we need diverse media representstions of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities. I started #TransIsBeautiful as a way to celebrate all those things that make trans folks uniquely trans, those things that don’t necessarily align with cisnormative beauty standards. For me it is necessary everyday to celebrate every aspect of myself especially those things about myself that don’t align with other people’s ideas about what is beautiful.

Women in comedy.

women in comedy

I don’t have much to say on this other than watch, just watch. You won’t regret it.

If you’re short on time, I recommend watching Lena Dunham and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Watch them here >

Happy Birthday Laverne Cox

Our favourite transgender activist Ms Cox has celebrated her recent birthday by launching the #TransIsBeautiful campaign to help address transphobia and elevate trans identity as beautiful.

 

Trans people and their supporters are taking to Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr to show their support with the body-positive #TransIsBeautiful campaign. 

 

Laverne herself has posted a makeup-free selfie to support the cause. Check out the gorgeous shot here > 

A carefully curated wall of light and positivity.

Luna-Lovegood-Wallpaper-luna-lovegood-25518129-1024-768

Wow this is great! So eloquently put. Evanna Lynch (the actress who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films) wrote what is essentially an essay schooling homophobic followers and banishing them from her social profiles.

Some choice snippets below.

I don’t want your poison all over my carefully curated wall of light and positivity.

It is possible to not like the idea of homosexuality, to find it a wholly alien, uncomfortable concept and to not impose this view on the people it affects and above all to not shame people for the way they are.

I encourage you to read more here >

Luna Lovegood

Female celebrities speak out against hollywood sexism.

celebrity feminism

celebrity feminism

For a long time they thought the only things we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies. They don’t see us as a powerful force, which is an incredible ignorance.

View them all in DailyLife

Inspire with words.

Age is not important

Some inspirational quotes I thought worth sharing…

equalityRaise your voiceMan adviceAge is not important

Sourced from Debrief Daily

Brave Bruce Jenner – “I have the soul of a woman”.

Amazing amazing amazing. You must watch Bruce Jenner’s interview, it is so open and honest and educational – Jenner explains how gender and sexuality are two different things.

Also – how Kayne helped Kim become the most accepting of the Kardashian family.

PS the sound gets better.

Bruce Jenner Interview 2015 With Diane Sawyer – FULL Interview – YouTube.

You just got schooled on cultural appropriation by a 16-year-old.

Holy shit this video is amazing. Amandla Stenberg, the 16-year-old ‘Hunger Games’ actress (and I highlight her age because she has a better grasp of race issues than majority of people twice her age) eloquently explains how pop culture has appropriated elements of black culture (eg cornrows, braids, grills, twerking) and the issue that many of the white artists who have adopted elements of black culture have “failed to speak on the racism that comes along with black identity”, especially in light of the current protests in the US for police brutality against black people.

“Hip hop stems from black struggle, from jazz and blues, styles of music that were created to retain humanity in the face of adversity.”

“What would America be like if it loved black people as much as it loves black culture?”

Originally sourced from BuzzFeed News.

Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as the gender pay gap.

Sarah SilvermanSarah Silverman doesn’t find the gender pay gap funny. After doing a comedic set in the same show for the same amount of time as a fellow male comedian, he was paid six times more than her for the same job.

“I’m all for women having to work harder to prove themselves at this juncture, if that’s how it is in the world,” she says, “But if you work a job, and a man is working that same job, you should be getting paid the same.”

“It’s [women’s rights topics], that gets the most violent hate-tweets back… [It’s] so odd. [It’s] just bizarre. It creates such a rage in certain people, and of course that comes from fear.”

As highlighted in the article from Pedestrian TV, Australia’s current gender wage gap is at a 20-year high of 18.6%. Very disappointing Australia.

Laverne Cox poses naked for transgender empowerment.

Isn’t she gorgeous? Initially rejecting the proposal to pose naked on the cover of Allure magazine, Laverne Cox then changed her mind…

“I’m a black transgender woman,” she told Allure. “I felt this could be really powerful for the communities that I represent.”

“Black women are not often told that we’re beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we’re beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks.”

Adding to her credentials, Laverne Cox has also been named one of TIME MAGAZINES‘s 100 Most Influential People.

Celebrity call outs on gender inequality.

Kristen Schaal

Kristen Schaal

A Daily Life gallery of celebrities using their star power to call out gender inequality.

Kristen Schaal’s quote is my favourite:

We’re going to print human hearts out of Xerox machines 30 years before women get pay equality. At this point, we’d be better off printing a 3D penis, slapping it on the bank counter, and saying ‘Hey society, f–k you, pay me!'”

Read article >