guardians

Guardians of the Galaxy is a blockbuster action epic out this summer, and it’s the second this year from MARVEL Studios. MARVEL are the first to make films covering a truly cohesive, pre-planned, shared universe and although there have been intersecting crossovers in film history since at least the 1940’s (everyone should watch House of Frankenstein for good or ill), these were spur-of-the-moment ideas for easy marquee value. MARVEL, on the other hand, are planning theirs out with an almost The Riddler-esque glee and doing so to great effect. It’s actually genius; MARVEL can market their other films through easter eggs and references in each installment and audiences will love it. I know, because I’m a part of that audience. I remember back in 2008 when after the credits for Iron Man finished, there was a cameo with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. I. Absolutely. Lost. My. Shit. I shouted, “ITH THURY! NICK THURY!” while spraying saliva over everyone in the rows in front of me like it was Seaworld, before leaping forward and chewing on the seat in front like a rabid shark. What an excellent day that was. I remember it fondly.

CW: Sexual violence

Our Page 3 woman has been on everyone’s lips this week but until recently, I hadn’t heard of her. Luckily, this has been rectified and the more I hear about Roxane, the bigger fan I become.

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Roxane has been on the front page of just about every newspaper of worth recently due to her new book, Bad Feminist. Bad Feminist is a collection of essays which show what it’s like to move through the world as a woman, and the title refers to the contradictions which can present themselves in being a woman and a feminist. Roxane accepts the label ‘bad feminist’ because she is a “flawed human” who loves the colour pink, dances to Blurred Lines and fakes orgasms. She accepts the grey areas of feminism and opens up the idea of feminism as inclusive and messy – it truly is for everyone.

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The summer blockbuster season is nearly over and once again, something is few and far between. Where are our female leads?

This is an absurdly fair question. Blockbusters make supreme dents on our pop-cultural consciousness, and our pop culture is a reflection of the society and cultures we exist in. Women are half the world’s population, so it stands to reason that approximately half the big movies should be equipped with female leads. But they’re not.

Why?

tropes

CW: Sexual violence, violence against women

An ostensibly minor thing happened this week, which set fire to comments sections around the internet and resulted in a woman receiving so many violent threats, against both herself and her parents, that she was forced out of her home. The catalyst of all of this vitriol and hatred? Anita Sarkeesian released the latest episode of her well known video series Tropes vs Women in Games.

porn

CW: Pornography, sexual violence, sexual exploitation

I have a problem with porn. Not with pornography as a whole – as Caitlin Moran so accurately put it, “pornography is just ‘stuff fucking’, after all. The act of having sex isn’t sexist so there’s no way pornography can be, in itself, inherently misogynist.” My problem is with the porn industry.

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This week we had our first event for the Jar Belles – a t-shirt making night, covering what feminism means to us. It was a great success (and not just because everyone loved my veggie chilli)! We all gathered around the table with our fabric pens, glitter and ideas. The wine and biscuits were flowing and there was a great collaboration of ideas, some of which we had already discussed at our meetings and some of which concerned brand new issues that we can’t wait to touch on in future meetings and events.