The female legacy of Ghostbusters. [Kill Your Darlings]
“All of Beyoncé’s career has been leading up to Lemonade, including often overlooked songs such as ‘Black Culture,’ ‘Grown Woman,’ and ‘Creole.’ ‘***Flawless’ and ‘Superpower’ are the preface to ‘Formation,’ ‘Jealous’ the prequel to the mid-sections of Lemonade. ‘Irreplaceable’ stands in the doorway filing its nails somewhere between ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ and ‘I Ain’t Sorry.’ ‘Freakum Dress’ is the PG-13 sister of ‘6 Inch.'” [Spark]
Taylor Swift’s feminist evolution. [Billboard]
Margot Robbie’s Vanity Fair cover story has sparked calls to stop getting middle aged men to write lecherous cover stories on famous women:
“Let’s allow women to write about women for a little while. Maybe then we can swap the prevalent illusions of femininity for realistic portraits of women as complex human characters.” [The Walrus]
Playing Pokemon Go as a black man. [Medium]
Women only watch wrestling for the hot guys, right? [Wrestling Sexism]
The rise of cripface on TV. [LA Times]
Why being an ally is no longer enough. [Marie Claire]
“OITNB, conversely, uses Poussey’s death to illustrate exactly the issue that ‘Bury Your Gays’ seeks to highlight. Big, unchecked organisations can erase marginalised people without a second thought, and the grinding, faceless mechanisms of bureaucracy are capable of cruelties far beyond what any individual could commit. OITNB kills Poussey in order to tell this story.” [Vulture]
Masterchef and other cooking shows leave vegetarians and vegans out in the cold. [Kill Your Darlings]
“A man’s appetite can be hearty, but a woman with an appetite is always voracious: her hunger always overreaches, because it is not supposed to exist. If she wants food, she is a glutton. If she wants sex, she is a slut. If she wants emotional care-taking, she is a high-maintenance bitch or, worse, an ‘attention whore’: an amalgam of sex-hunger and care-hunger, greedy not only to be fucked and paid but, most unforgivably of all, to be noticed.” [Hazlitt]
Images via Buzzfeed, Netflix.
In my first piece for The Vocal, I explain why the Kardashians are better than you.
The Grammys hates black women. [Kevin Allred]
Is Deadpool pansexual? [Fusion]
Shonda Rhimes’ shows are depicting abortion in groundbreaking ways. [RH Reality Check]
And enough with all the feminist in-fighting: we should be asking men to speak up about Kesha. [Junkee]
And now for the Hillary Clinton portion of the program…
ICYMI: In the wake of Gloria Steinem’s comments about young women not voting for Hillary Clinton because we’re more interested in who boys are voting for than radical activism, I just had to write in defence of millennials.
I wrote about Taylor Swift, mean girls and #squadgoals. [Junkee]
The rise of feminist outrage journalism. [Jezebel]
Justin Bieber’s musical reinvention is the epitome of #sorrynotsorry. [Brooklyn Magazine]
And, with Bill Cosby’s arrest this week on sexual assault charges against Andrea Constand in 2004, this article I wrote in September is never more relevant.
On white debt and white guilt. [NYTimes]
It’s almost that time of year again when unoriginality prevails and hemlines rise in an effort not just to fill pillowcases or cheap plastic pumpkin pails with the most candy but to elicit the most controversy: Halloween.
Already we’ve seen the mass production of Halloween costumes of the likes of Caitlyn Jenner and Cecil the Lion’s killer, and you can rest assured there’ll be many an outraged news story about those brave (stupid?) enough to dress as Rachel Dolezal or a member of ISIS.
But Halloween is also the time of year when many a thinkpiece about freedom of speech, taste, and a woman’s right to dress as sexy as she wants (and I’m certainly not innocent of going that route) start doing the rounds, of which I’ve been guilty myself.
So I thought I’d write a different kind of story featuring suggestions for the trifecta of Halloween costumes: some unique, possibly envelope-pushing and fun ideas for this year’s All Hallows Eve. And with October 31st falling on a Saturday this year those invitations should have come thick and fast, so you’ll want to be prepared (hey, there’s another costume idea: Scar from The Lion King, which my friend April went as to my [non-costume] birthday last year!)
(Disclaimer: if costumes aren’t slutty enough—and some of them most definitely tick that box—just add cleavage and substitute regular-length pants for hot ones.)
Magic Mike: XXL.
Baggy pants, white singlets, backwards caps and a bandana around the neck are all you’ll need to recreate arguably the sexiest dance scene ever in this year’s sequel to Magic Mike. If you want to put a little more effort in, there’s Tarzan’s painted portrait, Tito’s “Candy Shop” routine, Ken’s sexy “How Does It Feel” rendition or Richie’s groom cum S&M dom. A little less effort? A bottle of water, packet of chips and “I Want It That Way” on loop.
Rosie the Riveter.
Feminism is so trendy, didn’t you know, so what better way to pay homage to the movement than dressing as someone whose image is often co opted by it: Rosie the Riveter. I went as her one year and all you need is a blue shirt; jeans, overalls or denim shorts, depending on the level of sexiness you want to go for; a red and white polka dot scarf, and you’re set.
When I was in New York for Halloween one year I saw a woman in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade who even went to the trouble of fashioning a “We Can Do It” speech bubble.
Adam & Eve.
The perfect couples costume, all you need is some vines, an apple, and a toy snake. From there, go as dressed up (or down) as you’re comfortable with.
Gloria Steinem Undercover as a Playboy Bunny.
Yet another costume I’ve worn over the years and probably my favourite. Grab a cheap, mass-produced corset from Valley Girl or similar, some high-waisted vintage knickers (or boy shorts for more coverage), a Playboy cuffs and ears set from most party supply stores, and a white loofah sponge from the supermarket for a tail.
To differentiate yourself from a typical Playboy bunny, wear a feminist badge of some kind and for extra journo cred, carry a notebook, tape recorder (did they even have those in the ’60s?) or a copy of Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions, the book her report “A Bunny’s Tale” is published in.
Best known as the woman who rushed King George V’s horse at the 1913 Epsom Derby, she died from fatal injuries sustained in the act of protest. A suffragette, a Davison costume is not only timely with the release of the movie Suffragette in which she is featured, but it’s marginally more tasteful than Cecil the Lion: hit up your local costumery for period threads then stop by a toy shop for a hobby horse.
There are many ways you can go with this: traditional 1920s fare, or for the more exhibitionistic, hunt for the components that make up her famous banana costume. A healthy helping of plastic bananas threaded together could work, or banana lollies from your local Woolies add elements of sexiness and Halloween candy metatext. This is one costume that knows no bounds.
A friend had this in mind for the time we were in New York for Halloween, but it never came to fruition. You can be the one to make it happen, by either forking out for the cheap, mass produced version or shifting through Etsy and vintage eBay sellers for cute vests, badges and maybe even a box of cookies or two. Know a Brownie? Borrow their garb for the evening.
Beyonce Standing in Front of the Feminist Sign.
Granted, this would have been fitting for last year’s Halloween (and I actually went as this for my work Christmas party), but Beyonce is nothing if not perpetually relevant.
I had a copy of the “Feminist” sign blown up and printed at Officeworks, mounted it to thick cardboard and strapped to me like a backpack with elastic strips, with portable LED lights along the bottom. Add a leotard and presto: you’re Beyonce!
Mick Foley. (Honourable mentions: Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Tyler Breeze.)
As wrestling historian and podcaster David Shoemaker has said, wrestling cosplay has never been easier with guys like Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns: just add a white fedora and a Hawaiian shirt, and a flak jacket, respectively. A Cactus Jack t-shirt, a red flannel, leopard print boots and, of course, Mr. Socko make you Mick Foley’s most terrifying incarnation, while a selfie stick and a trip to Spotlight sees Tyler Breeze come to life at your local Halloween party.
A lot of controversy has been kicked up surrounding the release of the white- and cis-washed retelling of the historic Stonewall riots. Instead of taking a page out of the movie’s script, why not go as some of the historical figures who were actually involved, such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. (Note: proceed with extreme caution as cosplaying these trans pioneers could come across as insensitive at best and transphobic at worst. The last thing you want is an equivalent of the Caitlyn Jenner costume so if you’re not confident you can pull it off without offense, then maybe choose something else from the list.)
While not as successful in Australia, Empire is all the rage on U.S. TV screens and Taraji P. Henson’s Emmy-nominated portrayal of music matriarch and former inmate Cookie is ripe for the costuming. Sequins, animal print (preferably sequinned animal print) and faux fur complete the look. New York Times writer Jazmine Hughes even wrote a story for Cosmopolitan about dressing up as the character just in time for the holiday.
Taylor Swift & Her Squad.
For the more dedicated costumers, Swift’s “Bad Blood” video look can be completed with some dominatrix gear, weaponry and perhaps a red wig to complete the look. Otherwise, just grab your besties, chuck on your usual party gear and when people ask what you’re dressed as just tell ‘em “#SquadGoals”.
Scream Queens’ Chanels.
Three words: Fur. Pastels. Earmuffs.
2015 has been the year for women in sport. There’s currently a #DivasRevolution in professional wrestling, the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s soccer team has been lauded at every turn, and Serena Williams dominated tennis, as she has every year but we finally started noticing. Raid your local Vinnie’s for some tennis duds and grab a racquet. Or, if you’re in need of some new workout gear, stop by your local sporting goods store and show Serena’s line some love.
Speaking of Serena and tennis, head on over to Junkee to check out my “Hotline Bling” Drake contribution as part of their roundup.
Could there ever be a same-sex Disney couple? Beauty & the Beast’s Bell and The Hunchback of Notre Dame‘s Esmeralda would make the hottest lesbian power couple EVER. [Mic]
Can we stop talking about The Muppets having sex because, you know, they’re Muppets? [The Cut]
In the wake of Chris Brown’s visa being denied for his Australian tour, it’s important to understand why black male artists are the only violent artists we decry for abusing women. [Noisey]
Planned Parenthood don’t “kill babies”, they save women’s lives. And their vaginas. [Al Jazeera]
The mansplanation of Taylor Swift’s 1989. [New Statesman]
The double edged sword that is Ryan Murphy: he creates roles for minorities in his myriad works but in turn reviles them. [HuffPo]
ICYMI: How allegations of sexual assault against powerful men by the “wrong kinds of women” go unheard, in regards to Bill Cosby, Hugh Hefner and the publication of Hefner’s former partner and Girls Next Door star Holly Madison’s memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole.
Rachel Hill’s book The Sex Myth, released on Wednesday, is excerpted here. [Sydney Morning Herald]
And I interviewed Rachel on the book. (An extended version to come.) [Junkee]
I also wrote about how I Am Cait might be the turning point in reality TV. [Spook Magazine]
A history of World Wrestling Entertainment’s racism. [The Atlantic]
Orange is the New Black fails its Asian characters. [Hyphen Magazine]