The Kanye saga keeps getting weirder and weirder…
Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Hillary Clinton all got a mention.
Different shapes require different styles.
When life gives you lemons, you make a revenge album.
Bey didn’t just slay it, she made a statement doing it.
“It is really funny how even cool chicks are sort of like: ‘Our mums covered that feminism thing and now we’re living in a post-that world’ when that just isn’t true.” – US actor, author, screenwriter, producer and director Lena Dunham, 29.
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among younger women I’ve met of late – some of whom are powerful businesswomen in their early 30s – they don’t want to call themselves “feminists”. In fact, the F-word makes them positively aghast and nervous – they don’t understand what feminism is, nor do they care to learn.
Well, I’m here to tell you: feminism is powerful and important and women owe it to themselves and their forebears to educate themselves on what it means and why it’s so vital for both ourselves and future generations.
Now, there are many different forms of feminism and you only have to witness the ugly in-fighting that sometimes occurs on social media between popular feminist leaders in the Australian media to see there’s no “one size fits all category” on what constitutes a feminist. However, most feminists would surely agree that the basis of the movement is as simple as this: “people who believe in equality”.
Do you believe in equal pay for men and women? Do you think women should have equal political, social, sexual and property rights and opportunities to men? Well, sorry to tell you lady: you’re – gasp – a feminist.
That’s right: being a feminist doesn’t equate to humourless, bra-burning anarchists or man-hating satanists – far from it. Look at popular feminist icons of today, the multi-talented, accomplished and gorgeous: Queen Bey aka Beyonce (pictured); actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson; US comedians Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; US musicians Taylor Swift and Madonna; US fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg; former US first lady and US Secretary of State, now US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and US actor/producer/author Lena Dunham.
Closer to home, there’s actor Cate Blanchett; former Prime Minister turned author Julia Gillard; journalist, businesswoman, television personality and author Ita Buttrose; author and commentator, Dr Germaine Greer; model-turned-best-selling novelist Tara Moss and former Governor-General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce, who’s just released the Not Now Not Ever report, which looks at how soaring rates of domestic violence in Queensland should be tackled.
Still too timid or afraid to call yourself a feminist? Here’s another damn good reason why you should join the movement: In Queensland alone this year, 20 women have died and countless more have suffered violence at the hands of a partner or former partner. In addition, one woman is killed every week in Australia by her partner or former partner and the national figure of domestic violence fatalities currently sits at 62 women.
What’s more, 0ften these murdered women are mothers and at times their children are murdered too. Among this horrifying national statistic were mothers Tara Brown, 24, and Karina Lock, 49, who allegedly died last week at the hands of their ex-partners and Sidney Playford, 6, who was allegedly murdered by her father, Stephen.
Australia’s domestic violence scourge sees many women and children living in constant trauma and fear. It’s real, it’s happening now and – even worse – according to research, domestic and family violence perpetrators are more likely to also commit acts of child sexual assault. Domestic and family violence and child sexual assault are inextricably linked: it’s about an abuse of power and perpetrators maintaining control.
So, you can try to turn a blind eye to the fact that women do not have equal footing in our country, or you can do something about it – and feminism is a bloody good place to start.
Recently, I witnessed an older boy purposefully push my then three-year-old daughter over in his bid to sit on the swing she was on at a public playground. I rushed over in her defence, but there was no need: she’d sprung back up in fury and defended herself very nicely without my help, telling him he had no right to treat her so. And I’m proud of that: I am very consciously trying to raise two strong-willed, brave daughters who will stand up for what they believe in and never let anyone – man or woman – push them around. They deserve equality and respect and to live in safety, just as their male peers do. Have I borne two little proud feminists? God, I hope so.
And my own amazing feminist mother helped steer me in the right director: banning me, as a naive and easily-influenced teen, from joining a cheerleader squad and attending a debutante ball. “No daughter of mine!” said she on both counts, putting me at odds with my peers at a private school. And thank God she did: now, I look back and thank her for it and will repeat this history with my own daughters.
Another proud feminist is the uber talented, smart and beautiful fashion designer Juli Grbac, 36, (pictured) who was the inaugural winner of international TV show Project Runway Australia. Juli, whose recent successes include re-designing Virgin Australia’s crew uniforms in 2010. The glamorous and elegant uniforms were unveiled in 2011, with a catwalk show featuring Elle Macpherson and 60 Virgin Australia crew members. In addition, she’s just finished re-designing Suncorp Bank’s uniforms.
Here, she puts the case for feminism beautifully: “I am all for powerful women, I think now more than ever we have examples of powerful women all over the world today. I was raised by a strong Macedonian woman, mum came to Australia when she was just 21. Within a few years, she was running her own business in the rag-trade. I was brought up to believe that I could do anything that I put my mind to, and with my mum as my mentor, I have picked up where she left off.
“After running my own business for 14 years I wouldn’t have it any other way. In the last few years girl power has become stronger than ever, women are empowering and inspiring one another more than ever before, especially through social media. Beyonce is the Queen, but at the same time relatable, she is a true example of feminism.
“It doesn’t really surprise me when other young women say they aren’t feminists, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however I do feel that more of the younger generation are increasingly becoming feminists.”
Amen to that, I say.
What do you think? Why are some women still reluctant to call themselves feminists?
Image via www.theloop.ca
We all know that celebrities are ridiculously overpaid, earning up to and sometimes over a cool $200 million dollars a year. But just how much are these superstars making per second?
Well, according to some wonderful website that we came across, it would apparently take Bradley Cooper 43 seconds to earn a smartphone in comparison to the average person on a 45k salary – and to add a little more salt to the wound, Beyonce is turning over a smartphone every 17 seconds. Like the infamous saying goes: “Is this real life!?”
Fortunately for the rich and famous, yes, it is. So on that note, let’s take a look at what some of our favourite celebrities are bringing in every second.
Recently crowned one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes, at 25 Tay-Tay reportedly made $64 million big ones last year. This equates to $2.03 per second, $121.80 per minute and $7,308 per hour.
She was renowned for giving away extravagant gifts on her talk show, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Winfrey’s salary matches her empire. At the height of her reign in 2011, the 61-year-old apparently made $10 per second, $600 per minute, $36,000 an hour, $864,000 a day and $311 million a year!
Love him or loathe him, the Biebs is laughing all the way to the bank. Despite getting into some hot water last year with DUI charges and let’s call it – a shitty f@#king attitude, the 21-year-old still managed to make $2.54 per second, $152.40 per minute and a whopping $80 million per year. There really is no such thing as bad publicity, is there?
Robert Downey Jr.
Thanks to his roles in massive movie franchises such as Iron Man, Sherlock Homes and the Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. is hot property in Hollywood. Coming in at number 8 on Forbes rich list, the actor reportedly earned double digit millions last year, making $2.37 per second, $8,532 per minute and enough dough in a month to buy 12 impressive sized houses. Life goals!
We already know that Queen Bey turns over nearly four smartphones a minute, so just how much money is the popstar making in a second? Thanks to her massively successful world tour, along with her lucrative endorsement deals, Mrs Carter made roughly $3.65 per second, $13,140 per hour and $115 million in 2014.
Saving the best for the last and quite possibly the most outrageous, hip-hop sensation, Dre, made a ludicrous $620 million dollars last year. Let me rephrase that, in the time that it took for you to type two keystrokes on your keyboard – maybe less depending on your speed – the King of rap made $19.66. That’s $1,179 per minute and just short of 100k per hour.
Image via Ellen TV, The Guardian, Power1047.com
As we approach the end of the year it’s important to reflect on the progress of the sisterhood. Despite 1 in 3 women suffer physical or sexual violence and a continued struggle against the glass ceiling – I do believe we are making progress. In celebration of a landmark year for feminism, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite moments for famous women in 2014.
Women absolutely DOMINATED the charts this year! Taylor Swift‘s 1989 became the highest selling album of the year, making her the only artist in history to sell more than a million albums in the first week – for three albums in a row! T-Swift’s BFF Lorde also proved her talents, receiving multiple Grammy awards (including song of the year) and becoming the youngest solo artist since 1987 to have a US #1 hit. Similarly, Iggy Azalea became the first artist since the Beatles to have consecutive US #1 and #2 spots on the top 100 charts. Oh and let’s not forget Beyonce‘s VMAs message that could be heard around the world…
Thanks to Scandal, Orange is the New Black, Girls and How to Get Away with Murder, the world celebrated powerful, complex female characters on the small screen on a scale that has never been achieved before. We also celebrated a diversity in our actresses, with Lupita Nyong’o becoming the first Kenyan and Mexican to win an Oscar, and Laverne Cox becoming the first transgender woman to cover TIME magazine. In other news, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler brought some serious girl power to the Academy Awards hosting spot and Emma Watson made a few small steps for mankind toward gender equality.
Apple and Facebook introduced a groundbreaking policy that meant it would pay for its female employees to freeze their eggs – a move that allows women to focus on their career and remain in the workforce without the ever-present threat of the “ticking biological clock”. The International Monetary Fund appointed its first female CEO, Christine Lagarde, as did General Motors – making Mary Barra the first woman in charge of a global automaker.
Nobel Peace Prizes
The world has not been able to stop talking about Malala Yousafzai – the young Pakistani girl who was shot in the head for speaking out against the Taliban in favor of educating young girls in her home country. Malala has continued to work on international efforts to improve the education of young women – an effort which earned her a Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. Another woman was also given a Nobel Prize… in Mathematics! Maryam Mirzkhani became the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal for her work in geometry and dynamical systems.
In 2014, Becky Hammon became the NBA’s first full-time, paid female member of a coaching team with the San Antonio Spurrs. However, the biggest name in sport was that of 14 year-old Mo’ne Davis. Young Mo’ne was one of two girls to compete in this year’s Little League World Series and the first female to ever pitch a shutout game. Who said throwing like a girl was an insult?
Images via MTV, boingboing.net, Daily Mail, Mashable
If you’ve ever wished you were a natural blonde, this may cause a rethink: whenever I don’t tint my eyelashes darker or wear black/brown mascara, people think I’m sick.
Yep, the hair on my head may be naturally fair (although I’ve had to lighten it over the years, too), but I look like an albino without eye makeup. “OMG what is that thing!?” people have been known to cry upon seeing (or not seeing, to be accurate) my naked, blonde eyelashes and eyebrows (OK, not quite).
As a result, I became obsessed with trying the latest and greatest mascaras and now, the wonderful invention of eyelash extensions. And so it was that I agreed to test-run the Cherry Blooms Australia Brush On Fibre Lash Extensions In 60 Seconds, $69 (pictured), at fab, new beauty etailer Lulu and Lipstick via www.luluandlipstick.com.
This baby promises to thicken and extend your natural lashes by up to 300 per cent. Even better, there’s no yucky industrial-grade glue, no mess, no fuss and no irritation – just two products to apply in three steps. The result: instant eyelash extensions in 60 seconds!
And finally, step three is to seal the lashes with another coat of the Transplanting Mascara Gel to lock them into place. Voila!
It’s all about the product’s high-potency beeswax, which helps the fibres stick to the lashes to make them stay put all day. The beeswax also has high moisturising properties, acting as a leave-in conditioner for your lashes, and is said to even stimulate lash growth, so you can wear it on its own.
And if Beyonce-style showgirl lasses are your bag, you can even repeat the three-step process for a more dramatic look.
The result? I was pleasantly surprised by my new, more voluptuous, longer and thicker eyelashes (NB: that’s not me in the model pictures, above) – it’s not too OTT either, a more natural, lightweight look you could easily try to pull off as your own peepers. “Yes, I woke up looking like this”.
Another thing that impressed me about the Cherry Blooms eyelash extensions is that they’re very easy to remove – all you need is warm water, which causes the lashes to soften and melt without hideous panda eyes. They’re also all natural and non-toxic and so suitable for those with sensitive eyes and contact lenses.
Cherry Blooms also claims the lashes are water-resistant, so won’t smudge or run and are cry-proof, laugh-proof and sweat-proof too. Not that I was about to sweat on them – I took mine straight out for a night on the town, batting my pretty, new eyelashes at anyone within sight.
Purchase them via www.luluandlipstick.com. And for more information, visit www.CherryBlooms.com.au.
Eyelash images via cherryblooms.com
Who wins the Halloween 2014 celebrity costume party? The latest Princess of Pop, Taylor Swift, is scoring more popularity points as a unicorn, but is it enough to surpass Scream Queen Heidi Klum? Although, let us remember Halloween isn’t really about celebrities… it’s about their kids! (We’re talking about you North West)
Rihanna and friends went as the Ninja Turtles
Blue Ivy Carter and mumma Bey went as Michael and Janet Jackson.
Speaking of adorable celebrity children, here is North West as cutest skunk we’ve ever encountered…
Here is North West’s mum as a skeleton
Meanwhile, Kim’s little sis Kendall Jenner was hanging out with her brother Luigi – or Cara Delevingne.
All hail! Heidi Klum as the most perfect human-butterfly we have ever seen.
Iggy Azalea and her pal went as the girls from White Chicks
Kelly Osborne as Margot Tenenbaum
The two babes in the center are Kate Hudson and her mother, Goldie Hawn. But the real question is, who are all their incredibly attractive friends?
Last, but not least…. NPH and family! Look out Ben Affleck – there is a cuter Batman in town.
2014 was a great effort guys, but I think we’re all still recovering from last year…
And the year before…
Okay, they win.
Images via Daily Life, Mamamia and Buzzfeed
This year has been a great one for women and feminism. Gender equality is at the forefront of public conversation and concern, and people are actively throwing themselves into the cause. That includes a swag of our famous friends, like Beyonce, Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler and Joseph Gordon Levitt. Yes, for what seems like the first time, men are standing up and saying gender equality should be a national priority, and feminism is important in achieving that goal.
Joseph Gordon Levitt
Levitt has really seized his responsibility to campaign for gender equality – and don’t you just love him for it? He first stated he was a feminist on Ellen, and since released a short video explaining that feminism means:
“that gender doesn’t have to define who you are. That you can be whatever you want to be, whoever you want to be, regardless of your gender.”
The Harry Potter star proclaimed his support for gender equality long before his co-star’s HeForShe campaign. He has advocated for more complex and substantial roles for women in film, and just generally seems to be a lovely wizard and defender of people.
“I think I’m a feminist just by the virtue of the fact that I believe in equal rights for everyone.”
John Legend is a supporter of the Chime for Change charity – an organisation that raises funds to advocate for equal education, health and justice for girls.
“All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world will be a better place… We are better off when women are empowered. It leads to a better society.”
Ruffalo has long been an active feminist. He has advocated for abortion rights, lending his support to the 2013 Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, condemning threats to healthy, safe and legal abortion.
“I trust (women) with their choices, I trust them with their bodies and I trust them with their children. I trust that they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of Abortion and not be forced to criminally exercise that Right at the risk of death or jail time.”
Aziz recently threw his support behind feminism on The Late Show with David Letterman. The Parks and Recreation star said he obviously supports the notion that men and women should have equal rights, summing up his case with:
“You’re a feminist if you go to a Jay-Z and Beyoncé concert and you’re not like, ‘I feel like Beyoncé should get 23 percent less money than Jay-Z.”
Kristen Stewart is the latest in a string of celebrities keen to claim the title of “feminist“. In her recent interview with The Daily Beast, Stewart says that it is “ridiculous thing to say you’re not a feminist”.
While the Twilight actress almost makes a good point, her argument falls short when referring to the “overly-aggressive types” that are “discrediting” other feminists.
While she doesn’t go into who these aggressive types are, it would appear K-Stew’s brand of feminism is just the opposite: passive. If we are to subscribe to her logic, the only reason to call yourself a feminist is because it would be “strange” not to (because equality – duh!).
As a celebrity, Stewart has achieved something positive just by calling herself a feminist. But it appears she is the advocate of a kind of responsibility-free feminism: where you can stand for something, without actually participating in it.
Furthermore, Kristen is buying into the precise stereotypes – of the “angry” and “aggressive” woman – that feminism struggles against.
This begs the question, is it enough to just call yourself a feminist?
Prior to 2014, we feminists were used to being rejected by our celeb sisters who stuck to a rather patriarchy-friendly approach to gender issues.
However, things started to pick up earlier this year around Beyonce’s “FEMINIST”-emblazoned VMAs performance. Shortly after that, notorious “non-feminist” Taylor Swift came out with new political priorities, citing her friendship with Lena Dunham as the catalyst for her feminist rebirth. (Previously, a young Ms Swift had said she wouldn’t call herself a feminist because she didn’t think of things as “boys versus girls” – a common misconception about what feminism actually is.)
In an era where women continue to turn their backs on gender equality, I would argue that openly identifying yourself as a feminist is a triumph.
When it is popular to assign feminists labels like “man-hater”, “angry”, or “bitch”, it does take guts to claim such an “unattractive” title. It is this precise ownership of the label, specifically by people like Swift – a decidedly man-loving, feminine, amiable woman – that overwrites this misunderstanding of feminism.
However, this still doesn’t determine whether or not feminism in this context is a role, or just an honorary title.
While many people will buy into whatever their favorite celeb is endorsing, will they actually commit to a movement toward gender equality?
Are they going to challenge their friends in conversations of political, economic and social equality? Will they stand idly by while largely white, male governments legislate issues pertaining exclusively to women, their bodies and their health?
While we aren’t at a stage where we can confirm if feminism is merely the flavour of the month, we can confirm that conversation is rampant – largely thanks to the likes of Kristen, Taylor, Beyonce and Emma.
Swift nailed the relevance of celebrity feminists when speaking of Emma Watson’s UN speech:
“I wish when I was 12-years-old I had been able to watch a video of my favorite actress explaining, in such an intellectual, beautiful, poignant way, the definition of feminism. Because I would have understood it. And then earlier on in my life I would have proudly claimed I was a feminist because I would have understood what the word means.”
It is not so much the label, but about bringing gender equality to the forefront of public conversation so that men, women and children can begin to engage in this crucial issue.
Wikipedia: Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.
The Macquarie Concise Dictionary: feminism n. advocacy of equal rights and opportunities for women, especially the extension of their activities in social and political life.
Whenever I hear a woman, young or old, declare they are most definitely not a feminist, with the same distaste as if you’d just called them a serial killer, I feel white, hot rage. Why aren’t you a feminist?
For feminism is most definitely not a dirty word. It does not mean – see definitions above – that you hate men, or the institution of marriage, or you have lesbian leanings (not that there’s anything wrong with that), or you’re a bra-burning, angry and unattractive freak or any of the other wildly ridiculous, grossly untrue and negative meanings associated with the term.
Feminism is not an ugly label. I am proud to call myself one.
When I hear women balk at being called a feminist, I want to rage at them: “Do you believe in equality? Do you believe in equal rights and equal pay for men and women?!” If you answered, yes, that makes you a feminist, sweetheart.
As British journalist/author and comedian Caitlin Moran once quipped: “Do you have a vagina? And do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations – you’re a feminist!”
I feel particularly sad and disappointed when I hear a young woman in her 20s say feminism means nothing to her or that she “doesn’t need feminism”. I’m sorry, what?!
I want to admonish them with: Are you OK with the ever-growing gender pay gap? Why aren’t you alarmed that Australian women are earning less (in relation to men) today than ever before, with the gender pay gap soaring above 18 per cent, to reach a record high of 18.2 per cent? Do you think it’s OK for women to still be seen as inferior? And judged solely by their appearance? Have you ever worked in a male-dominated industry, as I have, and been bullied when pregnant?
Then there’s the unequal distribution of household labour to consider, anti-feminists: a new study suggests that men and women could be doing an equal share of the housework – drum roll – by 2050?! How is this OK?
And, there’s the ugly issue of the high incidence of sexual violence against women and children and domestic violence in Australia, whereby women are routinely murdered by current or former partners. Still think you don’t need feminism?!
And while I concede that old-school feminists like Dr Germaine Greer – a major feminist voice of the mid-20th century and the author of groundbreaking book, The Female Eunuch – can be a little, well, batshit crazy at times, it’s completely ridiculous to write off the whole feminist movement lest you be associated with her.
Last year, I found Greer’s comments on ex-PM Julia Gillard to be completely abhorrent and disappointing to say the least. Dr Greer, as a guest on the ABC’s Q and A program derided Gillard’s wardrobe, and said: “You’ve got a big arse, Julia, just get on with it.”
But hope is very much on the horizon for there’s a whole new breed of young women, who are positive role models for females, young and old, who proudly – gasp – call themselves feminists. If you’re scared of identifying yourself as a feminist, think again. If super-successful, talented and gorgeous young women like singer Beyonce (main picture) and actor Emma Watson (pictured above) can proudly stand up for feminism, and declare women are equal to men in front of international audiences, then there’s no reason why you can’t too.
I was particularly chuffed to read of Harry Potter star Watson’s first big speech as a newly appointed United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador. Emulating her brave, heroic and strong Harry Potter character, Hermione (pictured below), Watson, 24, launched the UN’s HeForShe gender equality campaign in NY last Sunday, calling on men to stand up for women’s rights and equality too.
She said: I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realised that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating.
“If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. Feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”
Bravo! And amen, sister.
What do you think?
Main image of Beyonce via www.thebackofmyhead.com, Emma Watson image via www.cosmopolitan.com.au, Hermione image via www.ign.com and feminism cartoon via dancingdrafts.wordpress.com
Beyoncé is using her celebrity status to bring equal pay for women to the world’s attention.
The 32-year-old singer has penned an essay called “Gender Quality Is a Myth!” for The Shriver Report, an initiative led by Maria Shriver, which aims to discuss social trends that impact women.
“We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet,” she writes in the essay, which is included in a special report, “A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From The Brink.”
“Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change.
“We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”
The singer, writing under her full name, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, urges men to join their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters in demanding equal pay for equal work.
Other celebrities to add their voice to the project include Eva Longoria, whose essay “Empowering Latinas pushes for educational opportunities for Latina women.
Jennifer Garner contributed “Turning Poverty Around: Training Parents to Help Their Kids”, while Jada Pinkett Smith wrote the essay “Human Trafficking and Slavery in the United States: ‘You Don’t See the Chains.'”
Do you think women will ever achieve equal pay to men? Tell us in the comments below.