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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Feminism in unlikely places

Lately it seems the world has been pretty grim. Whether it be increasing violence abroad or the government's hatred of women, it's easy to feel hopeless. 

That's why this week's post will bring some light to the world. Here are some subtle but optimistic signs of feminism in the most unlikely places.

Men's Health:

It pretty much blew my mind to hear that Men's Health, the magazine of all things relating to men ... and health, recently started a feminist blog. Like this blog, it aims to erase the stigma of "the F word" while coverings topics like Kanye West and the Super Bowl from a feminist perspective. Although a lot of the blog comments, presumably from a male audience, are somewhat harsh, it's a nice step in the right direction. 

“Harry Potter”:

You could argue that J.K. Rowling uses pretty conventional gender roles in the book because the headmaster of Hogwarts is male and so is each minister of magic. However, Hermione really cancels all that out. Any fan knows that Harry and Ron would basically die without her knowledge and expertise in each book. Ron's sister, Ginny, is also a strong female character — the only girl from a family of six boys who excels at Quidditch and the Bat-Bogey Hex. She wins Harry's affection with her good looks, yes, but also with her strong and independent personality. And let's not forget Mrs. Weasley's redeeming scene at the end of the last book in which she transforms from overbearing mother to talented dueler and defeats Bellatrix Lestrange, exclaiming, "Not my daughter, you *****!" (I realize this evidence is lost on non-Potter fans, and I apologize if you fall under that category.)

The Oscars:

Although the Academy Awards have been notoriously male-dominated, there are a few bright spots this year. Best picture nominations “Black Swan” and “The Kids Are Alright” are very much women-centered films. Fourteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, nominated for supporting actress for “True Grit,” plays a strong, quick-witted character who isn't afraid to stand up to men. At last year's Oscars, Kathryn Bigelow broke some major barriers to become the first female Best Director winner. This could also hopefully be a year for strong women in Hollywood. 

Spice Girls:

Last but definitely not least, there's Spice Girls. This one may not be too subtle as this ‘90s girl group is easily associated with "Girl Power!" However, while watching the movie "Spice World"(don't judge me), I was pleasantly surprised by references to feminism by Ginger Spice, who was a "proponent of feminism and equalization between the sexes," according to the Spice Girls Wiki. Along with influencing girls to wear extremely high platform shoes, the Spice Girls also taught an important ideological movement. 

Now I hope I've brightened up your day after showing the feminist light in important topics like men's magazines and Hermione Granger. Next time things seem hopeless, please browse over these four above topics, and they will hopefully somewhat alleviate your sadness from living in a disheartening, patriarchal society.

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