Patricia Arquette, I’m sure you meant well, but… #diversity #inclusion #equalpay #Oscars2015

So last night was the Oscars, and brothers Common and John Legend won big, making black history, while we’re still celebrating Black History Month. Their award-winning song “Glory” from Selma was positive and deserving, and I regret not watching the event to see them walk across that stage and do the damn thing. They gave a wonderful acceptance speech, but sadly for me, the joy over their win was overshadowed by another winner. Patricia A

Patricia Arquette also won an Oscar for her role in Boyhood, and she created quite a furor with her passionate acceptance speech calling out the pay inequities women suffer. But it was her comment during a press conference later that struck a sour note with me – and with many.

I can’t say whether she intended to slight women of color or to lump all men and all women into the same buckets as though their life experiences match like lost puzzle pieces. I can’t confirm what her intentions were beyond shining a light on the fact that women are unilaterally not paid the same as men, and there’s no reason for it. I agree with Arquette – about that. But this whole “It’s time for all the women in America — and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for– to fight for us now.” – that’s 50 shades of crap. Continue reading “Patricia Arquette, I’m sure you meant well, but… #diversity #inclusion #equalpay #Oscars2015”

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You Can Be a Feminist and Love Modern Music #feminism #music #Drake #diversity

I ran into this article where For Harriet writer Michelle Denise Jackson discussed her quandary — being a feminist and simultaneously loving ratchet music.Drake

You know ratchet music. You may have nearly broken a finger or two frantically pushing buttons on the radio while driving to get away from it. Whereas I look forward to riding in my car just so I can listen to Drake and crew on 107.5 or 92.3 in Chicago.

Sometimes I jam so hard my Sonata turns into a little mobile dance club. In my more enlightened moments, I know I shouldn’t be listening to this music. I should be writing a blog on how horrible it is that a Muslim couple and her sister were killed this week — a very obvious hate crime in my opinion — but the music is an escape from that reality. Continue reading “You Can Be a Feminist and Love Modern Music #feminism #music #Drake #diversity”

Fifty Shades of Shhhh! #sexualharassment #FSOG #workplace #watercooler

FSOG2Any die-hard romance lover is waiting impatiently for next Friday, not because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, but because the film adaptation of best-selling trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey” will be released. It’s a major, major deal; trust me. I’ve been waiting for this with more anticipation than the Man of Steel sequel, and that’s a lot.

But one of my co-workers sent me a very important article related to the film that posits talking about it may be one person’s excited cinephile chatter and another person’s hostile work environment.

Writer Suzanne Lucas, also known as @RealEvilHRLady, penned a piece called “‘Fifty Shades’ at the Watercooler” that suggests talking about the film at work could lead to legal issues related to sexual harassment.  Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Shhhh! #sexualharassment #FSOG #workplace #watercooler”

David Oyelowo explains why Selma was snubbed at the Oscars #diversity #bias

David Oyelowo hits the nail squarely on the head in this four minute video from a Q&A at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Black people are celebrated more for subservience and being ‘less than,’ as opposed to being lauded for embodying positions of great power and authority, beauty or talent outside a sports arena. … Continue reading David Oyelowo explains why Selma was snubbed at the Oscars #diversity #bias

Kaley Cuoco: Feminism Is Not a Bad Word #gender #paygap #inequality #JenniferLawrence #KaleyCuoco

CuocoI find it astounding that women can claim they aren’t feminists, or that they don’t like the word feminist.

I suppose it depends on your perception of, or definition for, the word. I like the definition Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie used in her Ted talk, the one that subsequently went viral when Beyonce featured it in her hit Flawless: Feminist, a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes. Simple. Any reasonable person can get behind that, right?

Which is why I’m confused when people like actress Kaley Cuoco cast even a hint of a shadow on the idea, which she kind of did in her latest Redbook interview. Continue reading “Kaley Cuoco: Feminism Is Not a Bad Word #gender #paygap #inequality #JenniferLawrence #KaleyCuoco”

@shondarhimes says she didn’t break the glass ceiling. Her sisters before her had already laid the path. #gender #power #diversity

Boundary breaking TV producer Shonda Rhimes was honored with the Sherry Lansing award yesterday, and her speech, well. Don’t feel bad if you get choked up. She is a fabulous  writer. “…If I had broken through the glass ceiling that would mean I’d made it through to the other side where the air is rare. I’d feel … Continue reading @shondarhimes says she didn’t break the glass ceiling. Her sisters before her had already laid the path. #gender #power #diversity

Dear Lily Allen: Point Not Well Made

Okay, so a friend hipped me to Lily Allen’s new single “Hard Out Here.” I watched the video because my buddy gushed over Allen’s supposed statement for the piece, one of empowerment and a kind of middle finger to the music industry for trying to force women into skinny, cookie cutter molds.

I get that, in theory. Allen said the video was intended as a light-hearted commentary on the objectification of women in modern pop culture. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she meant well. But the trick is, to understand someone actually has to listen to, and think about, her lyrics. If you don’t, and you just look at the video – which I’m afraid is what usually happens with a lot of pop music videos – you don’t get the point.

Without those lyrics – and really, who’s going to be listening when those glorious brown bums are defying gravity and having liquids poured over them – essentially she’s doing the same thing as other music artists who feature a preponderance of scantily clad, overly sexualized women – she’s using them to get attention. Continue reading “Dear Lily Allen: Point Not Well Made”