On Our Radar: Feminist News Roundup

Here's all the news on our radar today:

• Women made up just 15 percent of protagonists and 30 percent of speaking characters in the top-grossing films of 2013—that's pretty much no change from 10 years ago. [Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television] 

• The Obama administration reaches a grim milestone: the government has deported two million people under Obama's presidency. Over 200 people are protesting deportations this week outside an immigration detention center in Tacoma this week. [Guardian] 

• Louisiana's longest-serving death row inmate, Glenn Ford, has been exonerated and now walks free after 30 years in prison. [CNN]  

The war on drugs keeps prisons full: New stats show that 50 percent of people in prison are there because of drug offenses. [Colorlines] 

• Writer Joy KMT discusses how Republicans hand-wring over the "unborn children" of black women when they're in the womb, but cut social programs that would help the kids once they're born. [Black Girl Dangerous] 

• Sorry, Men's Rights Activists, you don't have abortion "rights." [RH Reality Check] 

• Racialicious breaks down reactions to the trailer for the new Annie film. [Racialicious] 


What did I miss? Add what you're reading to the comments. 

by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media's online editor. She's interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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2 Comments Have Been Posted

I think some may find this

I think some may find this interesting and alarming. The Students for Justice in Palestine student group at my university, Northeastern University has recently been suspended because the administration claims their leafleting was seen as "threatening". No executive board members are facing expulsion. The only members facing expulsion are two chosen women of color.

Link to one article may lead to more info:


Looking at Representation Critically

There is a thin line between representation and appropriation, something Bitch doesn't seem to consider in its call for more characters of color. That is not to say that I don't understand and agree with the demand for more representative film and television, but it is also important to consider this demand critically. For example, what does the homosexual community gain and lose from the Banana Republic ads that feature same-sex couples? Can't this be considered a form of appropriation by capitalism in integrating what are otherwise subversive or non-normative practices for the sake of enlarging the scope of consumerism and making a profit? All this rings of Puar's homonationalism argument and I think we should remember that while the new Annie might help with increasing the representation of people of color in film, we can't really qualify this representation prior to seeing the film. Judging from the "What's the hustle?" comment, I have a feeling the movie is mostly concerned with making black culture salient for a white audience. Also, merely having people of color in a film doesn't mean that the representation is just or helps create a more equitable society. It can have quite the opposite effect. Django, for example, and its treatment of slavery was incredibly crass and humiliating. While some might argue that at least slavery is being addressed by contemporary cinema, the blockbuster aesthetics, the scenes of enslaved women's bodies covered in scars while rose petals fell in the background, the fact that the main black character's agency was always mediated and produced by the white character, these all problematize the idea of representation as an inherent good for marginalized communities. In short, perhaps we shouldn't assume representation as an inherent good.

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