’13 Reasons Why’ and the Devastating Power of Rape Culture

SPOILER ALERT/CONTENT WARNING: This post contains spoilers from the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and discusses sexual assault and rape culture.

 

You’ve probably heard of the new Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. Like most Netflix series, it is taking the Internet by storm. I was hesitant to watch the show at first because it looked very sad (you know from the beginning that the heroine has killed herself), and I thought I was too old to watch a show based on a young adult novel. However, I am really glad I decided to watch it. The series is raw, suspenseful, has a great soundtrack, and is filled with a cast of dynamic, diverse characters.

The show is about a 17-year-old girl named Hannah Baker who records 13 tapes before she kills herself. Each tape is about a person in her high school who hurt her somehow. Whether they actively did something malignant, or unintentionally triggered a previous trauma, each tape describes a heart-wrenching event that shaped Hannah’s decision to take her own life. She drops all 13 tapes off with her friend, Tony before she dies, and he passes them to the first person who is discussed in … Read more

Not Just Here for Your Entertainment: The Real Stories Behind OITNB

By Robyn Di Giacinto

Fangirls rejoice—the new season of OITNB has dropped in all its feminist glory!

YAAASSS (image via popsugar.com)

Since OITNB hit Netflix in 2013, it’s become a force to be reckoned with, weaving together engaging storytelling, a dynamic ensemble cast, and groundbreaking commentary on social issues that most mainstream shows are too afraid to even hint at.

In particular, OITNB was the first real introduction many viewers had to the ever-expanding world of American prisons. And that’s part of the appeal: in a sea of primetime cop shows and law-and-order-obsessed nightly news programs, OITNB is one of the only shows that dares to challenge the idea that criminal justice is always just. Litchfield Penitentiary isn’t just where we put the “criminals.” Its prisoners are people with complicated stories not so unlike our own.

…But it’s also entertainment. Lucrative entertainment at that. The kind that draws in millions of subscribers and drives advertising revenues through the roof. And while that doesn’t cancel out the show’s importance, whose interests are your marathon binge-watching sessions, Facebook rants and Twitter epiphanies really serving — those of actual women in prison, or the profit margins at Netflix HQ?

It’s not a comfortable … Read more

‘Shoot Down the Wendy Bird’ Asks the Most Important Question of Our Generation (Plus a GIVEAWAY!)

Kat asked me simply, “What’s your favorite Disney character?” I answered immediately, Tinker Bell.

I’ve forever been drawn to the feisty fairy that goes after what she wants despite all obstacles. No little girl was going to come in and take her love away, or ruin the good thing she had going in Neverland. Nope, she’d secure her happy ending, no matter what.

That is how Shoot Down the Wendy Bird was born. It’s about the fire that makes you unstoppable on the journey to get what you want. It is permeated with the drive to make the most of opportunities and situations, and to empower yourself to take an active role in your destiny. It is what these short stories and poems all share, even if they are all so very different. At the core of this book is the inherent passion to live a better, happier, and more magical life.

 

The first lines of Julie Zantopoulos‘ debut book, Shoot Down the Wendy Bird: A Collection of Short Stories & Poetry ask what is arguably the most important question for people of the Millennial generation: “What’s your favorite Disney character?” If you don’t have an immediate answer … Read more

Why Are We All so Obsessed with Witches?

By Alex Miller

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It’s no secret that Americans are fascinated by witches. The amount of witch-related popular culture that we as a country produce is so great it could easily be its own genre. Chances are that at some point in their lives, most of the readers of this post will have had at least one witchy guilty pleasure, and in my experience that is particularly the case for women and queer men. Why, you ask, are we so in love with witches? Maybe up until this point you’ve been unsure or never considered the query. Well buckle up kiddos, because I, Alex J. Miller, self-proclaimed witch expert (and possible witch myself), am about to take you on a rollercoaster ride of witchcraft in American popular culture, at the end of which you’ll be able to proudly proclaim, “Yes, I did watch Witches of East End for nine hours straight last Saturday, and I loved every minute of it!”

Some of the first permanent European settlers arrived on our Atlantic shores in the early 17th century, and with them they brought all their hopes, dreams, smallpox, complete disregard for indigenous cultures, shoe buckles, and ideas about witches. The contemporary … Read more

‘The Sex Myth’ Will Make You Question the Way You Think About Sex

Fifty years after the sexual revolution, we are told that we live in a time of unprecedented sexual freedom; that if anything, we are too free now. But beneath the veneer of glossy hedonism, millennial journalist Rachel Hills argues that we are controlled by a new brand of sexual convention: one which influences all of us—woman or man, straight or gay, liberal or conservative. At the root of this silent code lies the Sex Myth—the defining significance we invest in sexuality that once meant we were dirty if we did have sex, and now means we are defective if we don’t do it enough.

~ The Sex Myth, by Rachel Hills

When I was in high school I hated not having a boyfriend. To get my mind off my relationship woes, I imagined what life would be like for me in college. I figured I’d have a huge sexual awakening, that boys would be fawning all over me and I would have a new boy every weekend. The boys in my high school were just too dumb to pursue the smart, quiet girl from the drama club, right? I didn’t have my first kiss until the day before my … Read more

GUESS WHO’S BACK? #AmtrakInstaMeet and Conferencepalooza!

This post was sponsored by Amtrak and Her Campus Media. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Guess who’s back?

Back again. Cor-inne’s back. Tell a friend.

[Ok I absolutely despise Eminem but that sound is way too catchy. For more on my thoughts on Eminem, check out this.]

ANYWAYS, I just had the two busiest yet most rewarding weekends ever. If you’ve been following my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages (if you’re not then you’re mean), you know that I just experienced blog conferencepalooza. I attended #BlogHer15 two weekends ago (July 16-18) and Her Conference this past weekend (July 25-26).

I am a member of both the BlogHer Publishing Network and the Her Campus Blogger Network, but originally I only intended on going to BlogHer. (I bought a student discount ticket months before for under $100. I highly recommend this to anyone in school because regular priced tickets can get pretty pricey). I was all set for the one conference: I requested the right amount of days off of work, booked my bus and found a roommate (Kitten Holiday – you have to check out her awesome dating/sex blog!). I got … Read more

Why Taylor Swift’s Squad is a Good Thing for Feminism

By Sierra O’Mara Schwartz

From “Real Housewives” to “The Hills” to “The Bachelor,” there is nothing that America loves to see more than women tearing each other down. Nothing sells more than girl drama, whether it is scripted or fake or somewhere ambiguously in between. Friendships between women are portrayed in the media as fleeting and fake. They are a profit point for gossip magazines and reality shows and basically every special on E! ever.  No woman in Hollywood is safe from this: just a few weeks ago two “Orange is The New Black” cast members were asked about what “girl feuds” there were on the OITNB set. You read that right- out of all the questions the interviewer could have asked to members of the most intersectional, diverse cast of one of the most revolutionary television shows of our time, he chose to ask them who was stabbing who in the back. And if you’re curious, the answer is nobody. Nobody was stabbed in the back, because “Orange is The New Black” is a cast of mature, adult women, not last week’s guests on Maury, thank you very much. You may be asking yourself, how can we change … Read more

An Ode to the Women of Mad Men

Last month we had to say goodbye to one of my favorite television shows ever. After eight years of infidelity, company merges and un-merges, gruesome injuries (including Ken getting shot in the eye by a client and a young executive getting his foot sawed off by a lawnmower), tap dancing ghosts and lines of pure advertising poetryMad Men has come to an end.

As many a blogger has written, for a show that has the word “men” in the title, the women are really what made this show such a success.

I could write an entire book analyzing the women on the show – with another book dedicated just to Peggy – but instead I’m going to share some of my favorite think pieces, interviews and online discussions that have enhanced my viewing experience and enabled me to analyze these beautiful, dynamic characters on an intellectual level.

Megan Draper

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I never really had strong feelings for Megan. She was always kind of “eh” to me, and I was very angry when Don decided to marry her so quickly, especially because I really liked Dr. Faye Miller and he literally kicked her to the curb.

But Megan has … Read more

Clinton/Stark 2016

Sunday was without a doubt the most important day of 2015 thus far.

Why?

For one, Hillary Clinton FINALLY launched her campaign for president. We’ve waited 5EVER for her to do this and we’re all peeing our pants now.

In her first campaign video she focused on average American families – not herself. She showed gay couples, people of color and people speaking in languages other than English. While adorning one of her many fabulous pantsuits, she says, “Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion.”

AND YOU WILL BE THAT CHAMPION.

I can’t wait to see how the election pans out. We very well might have our first female president before I turn 24.

What else was so special about Sunday? The Season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones, of course! Despite all the hype, we all felt a little robbed by the premiere. No, it’s not like we didn’t enjoy Daario’s butt or dig Sansa’s new hair color. We were disappointed that Arya Stark, the supreme ruler of girl power was missing.

Thankfully, the UK’s “Dazed and Confused” magazine gave us a little bit of Arya realness by releasing a video of Maisie … Read more

Who Run Comedy? Girls.

Women have always been in the spotlight when it comes to comedy on TV. From “I Love Lucy,” which was the most watched show in the United States in four of its six seasons to “30 Rock,” which won 16 Emmy awards, women have ruled the comedic silver screen. Yet despite how successful sitcoms lead by women are, women continued to be shut down and told they aren’t funny.

However, the success of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and Netflix’s “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” show that women have always been – and will always be – funny.

“Broad City” follows the life of two twenty-somethings in New York. Played by Upright Citizen’s Brigade alumnae Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the two leading ladies themselves in the most ridiculous situations and show what it’s really like to be young and broke. [Hint: It’s nothing like “Girls”]

While “Girls” depicts four twenty-something women with low-paying jobs living in posh Manhattan apartments they clearly cannot afford, “Broad City” depicts the reality of recent college grads who live with shitty roommates (or shitty roommates’ boyfriends) and understand the importance of bargain hunting.

Like many leading ladies today (thank you, Leslie Knope), … Read more

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