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  • Billie Eilish 2020 f6528

    Last night Billie Eilish, 18-year-old Grammy winner, and Gen-Z icon began her Where Do We Go world tour in Miami that included a protest about her experiences with being body shamed. Since the teenager’s breakthrough and rapid success in the music industry and online, Eilish has developed a look- baggy, androgynous clothes, neon hair and pointed acrylic nails- which she has mentioned is to keep her figure anonymous. And subsequently avoid the criticism that women, particularly young women, experience from the public.

    In a 2019 Calvin Kelin campaign, she said, “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath. “Nobody can be like, ‘she’s slim-thick,’ ‘she’s not slim-thick,’ ‘she’s got a flat ass,’ ‘she’s got a fat ass.’ No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”

    Fan recorded videos showed Eilish’s interlude for the concert as a slowed-down clip of her slowly undressing down to her bra along with a frank monologue about her feelings toward the public’s need to judge a woman for her body.

     

    Here is the full speech:

    “You have opinions — about my opinions, about my music, about my clothes, about my body.

    Some people hate what I wear, some people praise it, some people use it to shame others, some people use it to shame me, but I feel you watching — always — and nothing I do goes unseen.

    So while I feel your stares, your disapproval or your sigh of relief, if I lived by them, I’d never be able to move.

    Would you like me to be smaller?

    Weaker?

    Softer?

    Taller?

    Would you like me to be quiet?

    Do my shoulders provoke you?

    Does my chest?

    Am I my stomach?

    My hips?

    The body I was born with, is it not what you wanted?

    If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman. If I shed the layers, I’m a slut.

    Though you’ve never seen my body, you still judge it and judge me for it.

    Why?

    We make assumptions about people based on their size.

    We decide who they are, we decide what they’re worth. If I wear more if I wear less, who decides what that makes me? What that means?

    Is my value-based only on your perception?

    Or is your opinion of me not my responsibility?”

    Image Courtesy of Wikimedia 

     

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    Since 2010, the U.S. enacted 338 laws restricting abortion, accounting for 30% of the total 1,142 restrictions codified since Roe V. Wade passed in 1973. Ohio, which only had 16 clinics to begin with, has shut down half of its abortion centerssince 2011. Restrictive rulings around term-limits, laws including those increasing the wait-time between initial visits and procedures, and stigma in the form of pro-life protest groups who camp outside clinic doors further diminish access.

    But some Ohioans aren’t giving up without a fight. Ohio's largest nonprofit abortion clinic, Preterm, launched a sweeping billboard campaign, called “My Abortion My Life,” on January 2nd, reports the Daily Dot. According to Preterm's website, “My Abortion, My Life works toward a world without stigma. Our aim is simple. Abortion is a common experience women undergo for many valid personal reasons. If even a fraction of the 50 million American women who have had abortions spoke about the experience, the cycle of silence, shame, and stigma would be broken.”

    The 16 different ads featured across the Cleveland area on freeways and busstops each start with the phrase, “Abortion is…” to impart positive narratives about abortion.

    “Abortion is a parenting decision.”

    “Abortion is a second chance.”

    “Abortion is life-saving.”

    “Abortion is right for me.”

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    The campaign arose following a law passed by Republican Gov. John Kasich on December 22nd that will make abortion illegal if based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis. The billboards challenge damaging misconceptions about abortion: that it is selfish, amoral, unjustified, or downright wrong. Most importantly, the initiative sparks solidarity amongst folks with uteruses.

    If you live in Ohio, or just want to visit these beauties, Preterm has created a handy map of their locations. 

    Top photo via Twitter/@pretermMAML

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  • 0e756978317e26b448b25d98cbc01c92 original 39275

    The moment we’ve all been waiting for—an RBG we can carry around with us!

    FCTRY is a product incubator that has created action figures of several notable figures including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Their newest figure, after many requests, will be Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    RBG 12fe6

    The company's CEO, Jason Feinberg, told USA Today, “The people have spoken and in these turbulent times of political uncertainty, a most unlikely hero has emerged—and that means it's time for us to make a new action figure!” The Kickstarter went up last Tuesday, June 5th, with an original goal of $15,000. By that evening, they had raised over four times their goal at a total of $67,000. Nearly a week, later the Kickstarter is up to $191,232.

    Feinberg also told USA Today, "We knew RBG was going to be popular because we had gotten so many requests to make her over the last year or two," but "What happened today is way beyond our expectations." 

    RBG

    The Kickstarter encourages people to donate by offering package deals of their action figures with clever names. For example, the “Nevertheless She Dissented” pack includes RGB and Elizabeth Warren, and the “To The Left” pack includes RBG, Warren and Sanders. There is also a “Fab Five” pack which adds in Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    Screen Shot 2018 06 11 at 2.23.56 PM f2356

    Screen Shot 2018 06 11 at 2.24.09 PM 1e185The proto-type for the action figures is hand sculpted out of clay by Seattle-based pro sculptor Mike Levitt. Then, $1 from each action figure goes towards a related cause to the figure.

    rbg

    So far, they have raised over $10,000 for the DNC with Obama action figure, and over $8,000 for the ACLU with the “Evil Trump” action figure. A portion of the proceeds from RGB will go to the National Women’s Law Center.

    Screen Shot 2018 06 11 at 2.37.54 PM 52649

    The Kickstarter will be open until July 10th, and their page notes, "stay tuned for updates. We've still got 33 days to go and we have a few fun things up our sleeve. Keep your eyes peeled for stretch goals, special offers, and a some sneaky surprises!" 

    All images via FCTRY

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    Sia Header d8655

    What would you do if you found out someone had sneakily taken nude photos of you and tried to sell them? While not the traditional response, Sia handled it in the most badass way: Beat them to the punch.

    On Monday night, the singer, whose full name is Sia Furler, posted the nude image in question to Twitte,r stating, “someone is apparently trying to sell naked photos of me to my fans. Save your money, here it is for free. Everyday is Christmas!”

    Sia tweet 85bc5

    While not exactly clear who the exchange is between, the tweet suggests that a paparazzi or photo agency was trying to sell 15 images secretly taken of Furler, with at least one nude photo. According to the Guardian, the watermark belongs to the FameFlyNet agency, who had not responded to the Guardian for comment.

    Of course, Furler’s fans and the entire Twitter community reacted positively to Sia’s post, showing her support in response.

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    Sia’s tweet was a brave initiative towards the problem of privacy violation and sexual harassment of female celebrities by paparazzi and hackers. In 2014, a large scale hack of Apple’s icloud service left female celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton’s nudes up for sale, or just blatantly posted, on the internet.

    Unsurprisingly, much of the public showed little to no sympathy for the women whose rights had been violated, claiming it was their fault for taking the photo’s in the first place.

    In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jennifer Lawrence stated, “Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it.”

    Sia’s light-hearted tweet took a jab at paparazzi creeps and also plugged her upcoming project. Her mention of Christmas is a direct reference to her upcoming album Everyday is Christmas, a holiday album set to be released later this month on November 17th.

    Sia Christmas 64ad9

     

    It looks like the only person profiting off of Sia’s body is Sia.

    Photos via SIAMUSIC & Twitter

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  •  Tarana Burke me too 5b04f

     

    2017 was #theworst on many accounts; it was pretty hopeless from the beginning when Trump stepped into office. But it has also been a year — like many other years, thanks to the work of BLM and other activists — of resilience and pushback, especially regarding the culture around sexual harassment and assault. It seems fitting, then, that Tarana Burke, the original activist behind the #MeToo movement, will release the ball in Times Square on New Year's Eve, ushering in a year that we can finally get behind.

    Burke dedicated herself to aiding survivors of sexual assault and abuse in the early aughts, illuminating the reality of rampant assault by creating Just Be Inc. She called her work the “Me Too Movement.” A decade later, as sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein and men in the entertainment industry mounted, women took to social media and shared their own stories of harassment. Burke's phrase went viral when Alyssa Milano used the hashtag #MeToo in response to the outpour.

    In a statement made to AM New York,Burke said she is “delighted to be participating in this momentous occasion, I think it’s fitting to honor the Me Too movement as we close a historic year and set our intentions for 2018. With the new year comes new momentum to fuel this work and we won’t stop anytime soon.”

    Because Milano popularized the phrase on social media, and many of the Hollywood women who feature prominently in the movement are white, New Year's organizers could have whitewashed the origins of #MeToo. Thankfully, and rightly, they chose to honor Burke, the original creator of the movement and a woman of color who, they acknowledge, “changed the world this year.”

    As Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance said in a statement, “New Year’s is a time when we look at the most significant cultural and political moments of the last year, when we look for inspiration by honoring and giving a global platform to those who have made a difference.”

    With Burke at the helm, this coming year looks highly promising. Hopefully, this New Year's trend won't die out after January, and industries and movements will continue to give credit where credit is due, honoring the work of people of color and dismantling racism and rape culture.

    Top photo courtesy of Tarana Burke/Facebook

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  •  

    marvel larson 7d51e

    We’ve waited through one decade and twenty movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to give us a female-led film. Well, the first trailer for March’s Captain Marvel is here, promising all the female badass-ery the beloved character deserves.

    When we meet Carol Danvers, played by Oscar-winner Brie Larson, she’s crashing into a Blockbuster. The movie is set in the mid-nineties, a prequel to the current MCU. There are some familiar (though digitally de-aged) faces: Samuel L. Jackson is a young, two-eyed Nick Fury. Rookie agent Phil Coulson from S.H.I.E.L.D., and Guardians of the Galaxy’s memorably unmemorable villain, Ronan the Accuser.

    But the spotlight is on Danvers, as she navigates her nebulous origins and chaotic present battling Skrull (bad aliens) on the Kree (good aliens) Starforce. Also featured: her fellow air force pilot, Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau. Rambeau is a prominent figure in the comics, and their deep friendship is a welcome addition to a universe sparse of two women even sharing lines onscreen.

    Captain Marvel first entered mainstream discourse during the end credits of last year’sAvengers: Infinity War. Remember it? As Nick Fury crumbles into ash, he sends a distress call over a high-tech pager. Before the scene cuts to black, the pager alights with Captain Marvel’s vintage insignia.

    Cue frantic googling: “Who is Captain Marvel?”

    Danvers has been fighting space crime since 1968. She was written as an officer in the United States Air Force. An explosion at a high security military splices her DNA with Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel, and played by Jude Law in the movie), an alien Kree warrior. This gives her a multitude of powers: strength, flight, and the ability to harness solar energies. Though it’s ten years before she officially takes the Marvel handle, writer Gerry Conway intended her as an empowering figure, writing in Ms. Marvel #1 (1977) that "you might see a parallel between her quest for identity, and the modern woman's quest for raised consciousness, for self-liberation, for identity."

    Still, some gross plot developments led to wide criticism by female readers. One particularly heinous storyline in Avengers #200 involved Danvers abducted, brainwashed, and impregnated by an interdimensional rapist.

    On that storyline, maybe scholar Carol Strickland says it best: “Isn't everyone entitled to respect as a human being? Shouldn't they be against something that so self-consciously seeks to destroy that respect and degrade women in general by destroying the symbol of womankind?”

    Once at the helm, Chris Claremont rewrote Danvers’ timeline, expunging the impregnation, but its memory lingered. Female characters in comics so rarely get to be it all: independent, intelligent, sexually liberated. She is super strong, but cannot be portrayed as muscular; feminine without the “burden” of sensitivity. Danvers is canonically the strongest hero in the MCU, but her comic iteration didn’t prove to be the exemption.

    For that, the first trailer of her big screen debut inspires hope that the hero can subvert the genre’s gender trappings and inspire more solo heroine debuts.

    (Seriously though, why is the Black Widow movie not here yet?)

     

    Top Image: Marvel Studios

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