This Week in Feminist Politics: What You Need to Know
- Bill Cosby was convicted earlier this week on three counts of felony sex assaults. “This became a public lynching," Andrew Wyatt, Cosby's representative, said of the trial to ABC News “the South came to the East.” In the interview with George Stephanopoulos, Wyatt and Ebonee Benson called a juror racist and compared the entertainer’s travails to those of slain civil rights icon Emmett Till. Let's note that “a number of Cosby’s dozens of accusers are African-Americans, “the site adds.
- MSNBC Joy Reid, the only African-American woman host on the network, has had a rough week. She has been accused of writing homophobic blog posts, but thus far MSNBC has stuck by her. This morning she apologized on her show for blog posts written in the mid to late 2000s for the now-defunct Reid Report. As Vox explains it, “the posts, for example, suggested — without much, if any, evidence — that Tom Cruise, Karl Rove, and Chief Justice John Robert’s son are gay. Other posts made derogatory remarks about gay people, claiming that ‘most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing’ and that ‘adult gay men tend to be attracted to very young, post-pubescent types.’ One post acknowledged, ‘does that make me homophobic? Probably.’” The Reid Report grew in popularity, and led to Joy’s hiring at MSNBC. The offensive posts were originally discovered at the end of last year, and she apologized. This new round of homophobic posts was given to Mediaite by an unnamed source early this week.
- Filmmaker Andrea Nevins has a new documentary: Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie for Hulu. In the documentary, charts the 60-year history of the iconic Mattel doll. “By weaving together the history of Barbie — a history that is frequently presented as much more feminist and forward-thinking than most people give it credit for, despite some major missteps — with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of an entirely new Barbie line, Nevins finds some uncanny and often emotional connections,” writes Kate Erbland for IndieWire. “The film uses Barbie as a lens by which to explore topics like body image, the patriarchy, and the various waves of feminism, making a clever case that the story of Barbie is really the story of the modern woman.” Mattel has been trying, hoping to change the traditional image of Barbie to a new and multiculti global world order.
- NBC News, clearly, is having a bad week. This week Ann Curry alleged that an NBC News staffer approached her in tears, asking for help in dealing with Matt Lauer, and she says she referred the matter to human resources, which NBC now denies. Next week it will be interesting to see if Curry ratchets up her war of the words with the network. Curry was allegedly fired from her job at the behest of disgraced former Today Show co-host Matt Lauer. Since then, she has been critical of how the network has handled sexual harassment (and she has been largely proven right).
- The entire network did not have a strong week. Embattled former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw strongly denies allegations made against him as sexually harassing two staffers. The allegations are very serious. Linda Vester, a respected war correspondent for the network who did tours of duty for the network in Africa and the Middle East, accuses the anchor of groping, kissing, and showing up to her hotel room uninvited. Maria Shriver, Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell and more than 60 women in broadcasting voiced support for Brokaw, who has been married to Meredith Aul since 1962.
- Duck Butter is making waves at the Tribeca Film Festival, which is in full flower this week around New York City. The lesbian romance, which Variety calls affectionately, "a low-budget improv vérité psychodrama,” stars Alia Shawkat as Naima and Laia Costa as her lover, Sergio. Their chemistry is what makes the film so special. “The intensity with which they look at each other with their faces just inches apart, the agility with which they bounce emotions off each other like they’re playing a sport, is nothing short of masterful,” says Rich Juzwiac at Jezebel. “If you look at a relationship as its own organism, a separate entity from the participants who come together to create it, Duck Butter is a character study for the ages.” The plot of the film is that two women meet and hook up, and then decide to talk and have sex throughout the course of the day in order to jumpstart their relationship.
- Timeline published a Second Wave feminist remembrance. These days catcalling is still, unfortunately, with us. But in the 1970s feminists set up Ogle-Ins to turn the tables on the make catcallers that made life difficult for women on the streets. “As feminist pioneer Susan Brownmiller writes in her 1999 memoir In Our Time, one popular tactic was the Ogle-In: “A bunch of us would gather on a street corner and turn the tables on leering, lip-smacking men by giving them a taste of their own medicine.” Recounted is the satisfying story of an Ogle-In targeting two Wall Street staffers that made life difficult for women walking to work each morning.