NPR Music has a fantastic new series out this week, Hey Ladies, about the state of female musicians today. Through hundreds of interviews with working women, they delve into everything from how to balance work and family to whether looks matter more to female musicians (they do). It’s worth checking out—especially for you Lilith Fair lovers. (Remember this poster?!)
A couple of excerpts on the challenges of being a ladyrocker:
My old voice teacher once told me that to be a female singer you have to be the VERY best in your speciality. Average is not enough as a woman.
— Sondra Radvanovsky
I’ve noticed that more people (myself included) are more critical of a woman’s singing voice. There are fewer liberties given to out-of-tune notes and tonal qualities when a woman sings.
— Karolyn Troupe, of Venice Is Sinking
Critics describe what you were wearing at the show as opposed to what you sounded like.
— The Coathangers
All the festival artist T-shirts are men’s size.
Check out the full series here.
God we love this photo, despite the weird overly buff dude. Wanted to send out a link to Newsweek’s massive package on the role of looks at work, which includes pieces on: the double bind that women face, what would happen if women ruled the world, why women should shun that beauty ideal, and, of course, a feminist man’s perspective. There’s also a poll of hiring managers asked about the importance of looking good at work.
It’s a couple months of work, and well worth a look, if we can say so ourselves. There are also many breathtaking visual elements, including ladyfriend Cara Phillips’ series of photos chronicling plastic surgery offices around the country, called Singular Beauty, an interactive graphic of 100 years of beauty ideals, a gallery looking at beauty rituals around the world, and various other elements.
Economists have long recognized what’s been dubbed the “beauty premium”—the idea that pretty people, whatever their aspirations, tend to do better in, well, almost everything. Handsome men earn, on average, 5 percent more than their less-attractive counterparts; pretty people get more attention from teachers, bosses, and mentors; even babies stare longer at good-looking faces (and we stare longer at good-looking babies). A couple of decades ago, when the economy was thriving—and it was a makeup-less Kate Moss, not a plastic-surgery-plumped Paris Hilton, who was considered the beauty ideal—we might have brushed off those statistics as superficial. But in 2010, when Heidi Montag’s bloated lips plaster every magazine in town, when little girls lust after an airbrushed, unattainable body ideal, there’s a growing bundle of research to show that our bias against the unattractive is more pervasive than ever. And when it comes to the workplace, it’s looks, not merit, that all too often rule.
Check it out! www.newsweek.com/BEAUTY
Remember Debrahlee Lorenzana, the chick who sued Citibank, claiming she was hired for being “too hot”? Well, she may be a total attention-obsessed moron, but she does highlight the double-bind of women at work: that we’re expected to be attractive at all times, but if we’re too attractive, we might just be punished for it—by men and women alike.
NEWSWEEK has a new poll on the role of appearance at work coming out next week, and while we’re not allowed to reveal the full results just yet, here’s a disturbing sneak preview:
* Sixty one percent of the corporate hiring managers we surveyed (60 percent of whom were men) said they believed a woman would benefit from showing off her figure at work.
Yet at the same time…
* Forty seven percent of those same managers said they believe some women are penalized for being too good-looking in the office.
Gross, right? Tune in to NEWSWEEK on Monday to see the full poll results—as well as various essays and photos, and even a Michael Jackson-inspired morphing face graphic to show our changing beauty ideal.
It’ll all be online at Newsweek.com/BEAUTY
So Jezebel wrote this post about the Daily Show having no women.
Then the women of the Daily Show responded.
Then every blog everywhere (and even that darned mainstream press!) decided to weigh in, the writer of the Jezebel kind-of-but-didn’t-really respond, we wrote something, and Emily Gould wrote a piece for Slate, though hers was more about Jezebel being jealous and inciting blogwars for clicks, which created a whole new debate, and, then, wait, now we’re confused. Lemondrop has the best play-by-play, if you want the gory details.
So, we’re over the whole thing, frankly. Except that we just saw that the ladybloggers over at Tiger Beatdown posted a fake letter from the Daily Show women responding to the letter that was responding to Jezebel. And, well, it’s kind of awesome.
We work at the Daily Show. We are all women! Please do not make any enquiries as to whether we are hired or promoted at the same rate as men, or which opportunities are made available to us, as opposed to our male counterparts. For we are women. This should be enough for you.
We are all sorts of things: Production assistants! Administrative assistants! Writers’ assistants! So many of us women are assisting! Why, we even sometimes get our jokes on the air! But not our names, apparently, in many cases, or our faces, in all but three cases. Just because our names do not appear on the writers’ credits — just because we do not, as the saying goes, “get credit” for our work — this should not imply to you that our work is not valued! We are women! This is enough!
And now we will declare the end of us posting on this. Because it’s great that there are women at the Daily Show, and we’re sure Jon Stewart is actually a totally nice guy (or is he a dick?), but really, um, women at an organization doesn’t mean women are in power.
You can’t not love a little vintage Wonder Woman, but as the New York Times reports, DC Comics is giving the famed superhero a makeover—complete with midnight blue jacket, understated “W” insignia, and, apparently, jeggings.
It’s the first new look for the 69-year-old Wonder Woman since 1968, when the superhero lost her powers, dressed mod and practiced martial arts—earning the ire of Gloria Steinem, who demanded her back into her star-spangled duds. Four years later, Steinem featured Wonder Woman on Ms Magazine’s first issue, under the headline, “Wonder Woman for President.”
You can see WW’s full fashion evolution here, but what do we think of the new look? And, um, is it not hard to fight evil with your tits all propped up in a bustier?
In case you haven’t seen this headline on every blog imaginable since Angie’s Vanity Fair piece hit the web, Salon has a nice little item about why we care. Yeah, we’re all obsessed with Angelina (and that kid does have some amazingly pouty lips). But why, of all the stupid celebrity crap we have to obsess about—and, in Angie’s case, the quite varied commentary we have to choose from, from marriage to (gasp!) Brad’s beard—do we choose to focus on this particular item of information? Here’s how Broadsheet explains it:
Could it be that the notion of a child so steadfast in her refusal to conform to traditional gender roles, so very young, is such a goddamn novelty? And that a parent so comfortable and casual with it is even rarer? Because whoever the grown-up Shiloh Jolie-Pitt may turn out to be, the idea that we can’t all just put on a pretty dress and be as natively feminine as our culture would like us to be is still challenging to a lot of people.
Meant to post this yesterday, but we couldn’t help but get worked up during the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, when Sandra Bullock—in her first major appearance since her very public, very dramatic breakup from Jesse James—decided that the best comeback strategy would be to, um, french kiss Scarlett Johanson on stage. Was it hot? Sure, if you get off on the staged faux lesbian script. But, as Jess writes in Newsweek, isn’t the whole girl-on-girl ploy just a little, well, tired?
We’ve been fawning over straight chicks kissing since Neve Campbell and Denise Richards got it on in Wild Things, in 1998. We’ve gone on to see the gals go three-way with Christina and Britney and Madonna, on MTV in 2003, and we’ve spent the last two weeks obsessing about former good girl Miley Cyrus’s lip lock with a female backup dancer. We’ve got Lindsay and Katy Perry and Kristen and Dakota, kissing, groping, singing about it all. Hot? Sure, if you get off on the awkward faux-lesbian script. But isn’t the whole thing just a tad played out?
So come on, MTV. Next time you wanna be “shocking,” try hooking up Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg—cause the girl-on-girl kiss is just tired and cliche.
We’re mildly obsessed with the Feminist Hulk, the imaginary fighter of all things good and feminist, WITH A GOAL OF SMASHING PATRIARCHY (he also writes in all caps). Since the FEMINIST HULK hit Twitter last month, he’s gathered some 10,000 fans who follow his 140-character commentary on gender, patriarchy and feminism. The Hulk conducted his first interview (ever) with Ms. Magazine. Excerpts:
Ms.: Feminist theory often gets a bad rap for being too hard to follow and intimidating. Are you trying to translate theory for a general audience?
feministhulk: HULK LOVE POLYSYLLABIC WORDS. HULK NUZZLE BIG GREEN FACE INTO RICHLY WRITTEN FEMINIST TEXTS. ALSO, THIS JUST HOW HULK TALK.
Ms.: We can’t all be superheroes like you. What recommendations do you have for those who might want to nurture their inner Feminist Hulk?”
feministhulk: PATRIARCHY NOT WORK ALONE. SEXISM, RACISM, CLASSISM AND HOMOPHOBIA REINFORCE EACH OTHER. HULK SAY TO FOLLOWERS: SMASH ON MULTIPLE FRONTS. AND, JUST IN CASE YOU STUMBLE, BRING EXTRA PAIR OF PURPLE SHORTS.