Announcing Bitch Media Fellowships for Writers

Bitch Media has announced a series of three-month fellowships aimed at new writers. Fellowships pay a stipend of $1500 and include mentoring, publication, and access to the Bitch Media library. The program’s goal is to “develop, support, and amplify emerging, diverse voices in feminist, activist, and pop-culture media.”

Applications are open now for 2016 fellowships, which run from:

  • January 1 – March 30
  • April 1 – June 30
  • July 1 – September 30
  • October 1 – December 31

The Sufragette T-Shirt Photoshoot and Sufragette Premiere Stormed by Feminist Protest

Suffragette seems, like Stonewall, to be doomed before release by its own narrow liberal progressivism and PR blunders. This week saw the film’s team called out for a photoshoot where actors wore t-shirts bearing the slogan “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave,” (WHAT) and its London premiere upstaged by a feminist protest. The problem with Sufragette, as so many have pointed out, is that remembering early (white) feminist activists too often comes by way of erasing the movement’s racism and the contributions of women of colour.

Kate Beaton, Ida B Wells vs White Suffragists

One of Kate Beaton’s Ida B. Wells strips

Is Moana the Feminist Disney Princess We’ve Been Waiting For?

Disney’s next princess will be Moana, a sixteen-year-old Polynesian girl on an ocean-going quest. She will be voiced by native Hawaiian teen, Auli’i Cravalho. The Vogue piece focuses on the content of Moana — she’s an independent-minded princess who saves herself — but equally important and encouraging is how the project is being handled. It’s important that many of the cast members are native Polynesians, and that Disney seems to care about getting the details right. Of course, Moana is a corporate product from the people who made Pan, but I’m still looking forward to this one. Don’t screw it up, Disney!

Disney's Moana

Postscript: Chantal Ackerman

French feminist director Chantal Ackerman commited suicide on October 5th. She was 65. The New Yorker looks back on her work, which they call “some of the most original and audacious films in the history of cinema.”

Legal Judgements Converge on Hollywood

Meanwhile in American film, A newly signed Californian law differs from US federal law in that it prohibits things like job titles as being a justification for why women are being paid less. For example, the linked article notes a woman who cleans hotel rooms now cannot be paid less than a male janitor because it’s “substantially similar work.” Will this close the wage gaps in Hollywood, as there’s no “real” difference in the work that women and men do as actors? How will this impact the racial differentials in pay rates? And how much of a victory is this for the entertainment world when employment demographics are so poorly balanced that the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are investigating the dearth of female directors in Hollywood?

Grace Lee Boggs’ Century of Social Renewal

Longtime social activist, Grace Lee Boggs, passed on October 5th at age 100. Al Jezeera takes a look at a century of work towards “America as a more compassionate society.