TIME celebrities

Pop-Star Sisterhood Approves Ariana Grande’s Feminist Stand

Family and fans also tweet approval

Ariana Grande’s feminist Twitter proclamation has been met with loud support from other stars, including Taylor Swift and Rita Ora.

On Sunday, Grande posted a Twitter manifesto after she had been quoted in British tabloid the Sun saying, “A girl can be friends with someone with a d— and not hop on it.”

She was responding to rumors that she and One Direction star Niall Horan were seeing each other after she was spotted leaving his house at 3 a.m. In her Twitter response, she talked about her former relationship with rapper Big Sean, saying that she is “tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future PROPERTY / POSSESSION.”

Taylor Swift highlighted Grande’s quoting of feminist Gloria Steinem in her message of support.

A slew of supportive tweets also appeared from fans, fellow pop stars like Rita Ora, and Grande’s mom, Joan.

It wasn’t only Grande’s Twitter “sisterhood” that applauded her. Her older brother Frankie and her talent manager, Scooter Braun, also expressed their pride in her outspokenness.

TIME politics

See 13 Great American Woman Suffragists

They helped make the 19th Amendment a reality

June 4 is a big day in the history of American women: it was on this day in 1919 that Congress passed the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed them the right to vote.

The achievement was a long time coming, built on decades of hard—and, in some cases, contentious—work by scores of dedicated women and men. (It also, coincidentally, came six years to the day after another important moment in the history of worldwide women’s suffrage, the day that British suffragette Emily Davison was trampled to death by the King’s horse at Epsom.)

These 13 women—commonly known as suffragettes, though that term more specifically refers to a group of British suffrage supporters—were crucial to that cause.

TIME sexism

8 Sad Truths About Women in Media

Diane Sawyer signs off on her last broadcast as anchor of World News on August 24, 2014..
Ida Mae Astute—ABC/Getty Images Diane Sawyer signs off on her last broadcast as anchor of World News on August 24, 2014..

A new report shows how far women must go in order to achieve real gender parity

The Women’s Media Center’s annual report is out, and the status of women in news and entertainment is as bleak as ever. Little progress has been made in most areas, and there are some places—like sports journalism—where women have actually lost ground. Representation of women in sports journalism dropped from 17% to 10% last year.

And some of the media news in 2014 was particularly discouraging for women. “Two high-profile roles previously held by women — Diane Sawyer of ABC News and Jill Abramson of The New York Times—were changed in 2014,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. “These veteran journalists were in positions of power at media giants, shaping, directing and delivering news. Both women were replaced by men.’’ The Status of Women in U.S. Media report, released Thursday, shows how far women still have to go in order to achieve real gender parity.

Here’s a list of some of the most depressing insights from the report, which draws on 49 studies of women across media platforms. (This is why some of the numbers are from 2012-2013, even though this is the report on 2014 and 2015).

1. The news industry still hasn’t achieved anything that resembles gender equality. Women are on camera only 32% of the time in evening broadcast news, and write 37% of print stories news stories. Between 2013 and 2014, female bylines and other credits increased just a little more than 1%. At the New York Times, more than 67% of bylines are male.

2. Men still dominate “hard news.” Even though the 2016 election could be the first time a woman presidential candidate gets a major party nomination, men report 65% of political stories. Men also dominate science coverage (63%), world politics coverage (64%) and criminal justice news (67%). Women have lost traction in sports journalism, with only 10% of sports coverage produced by women (last year, it was 17%). Education and lifestyle coverage were the only areas that demonstrated any real parity.

3. Opinions are apparently a male thing. Newspaper editorial boards are on average made up of seven men and four women. And the overall commentators on Sunday morning talk-shows are more than 70% male.

4. Hollywood executives are still overwhelmingly white and male. Studio senior management is 92% white and 83% male.

5. There’s bad news for actresses and minorities. Women accounted for only 12% of on-screen protagonists in 2014, and 30% of characters with speaking parts. There are also persistent racial disparities: White people are cast in lead roles more than twice as often as people of color, and white film writers outnumber minority writers 3 to 1. In 17% of films, no black people had speaking parts.

6. Women are losing traction behind the scenes. Women accounted for 25% of writers in 2013-2014, down from 34% the previous year. Women make up only 23% of executive producers (down from 27%) and 20% of show creators (down from 24%). For the 250 most profitable films made in 2014, 83% of the directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors are guys.

7. The stereotypes persist even in love. Black men are the most likely to be shown in relationships (68% of male characters in relationships are black) while Asian men are the least likely to have girlfriends on screen (29%). Latino characters of both genders were the most likely to be hyper-sexualized on-screen.

8. Latino characters are particularly under-represented. Latinos are 17% of the U.S. population and buy 25% of movie tickets, but have less than 5% of speaking roles in films. There are no Latino studio or network presidents, and from 2012 to 2013, 69% of all maids were played by Latina actresses.

But it’s not all bad news! There’s been some progress made. For example, at the New York Times Book Review, 52% of reviews in 2014 were written by women. At the Chicago Sun-Times, 54% of the bylines were female, and 53% of contributors to the Huffington Post are women. And in the top grossing films of 2013, the number of movies in which teen girls were hyper-sexualized dropped from around 31% to less than 19%.

Read next: See 13 Great American Woman Suffragists

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TIME History

United Once Offered Unbelievable ‘Men-Only’ Flights

United Airlines - Super DC
Bill Peters—Denver Post via Getty Images United Airlines - Super DC

It operated these exclusive routes until 1970

Mad Men might have aired its final episode, but don’t worry — all you need to get your fix of jaw-dropping sexism is to open an aviation history book.

Take for instance this find over at the blog Boarding Area, which recently dug up some old ads from between 1953 through 1970. That’s when United Airlines offered flights for “men only,” where wealthy businessmen could enjoy complimentary cigars, cocktails and a full-course steak dinner in the exclusive company of other men (besides the stewardesses, of course).

According to Boarding Area, these flights were operated in two routes, New York to Chicago and Los Angeles and San Francisco. Flights would leave at 5 p.m. in each of the four cities, six days per week, excluding Saturdays.

Here’s how United’s ad copy pitched it:

Relax after a busy day on this special DC-6 mainliner flight. You’ll enjoy the informal, club-like atmosphere. Smoke your pipe or cigar, if you wish, and make yourself more comfortable by using the pair of slippers provided . . . take off your coat, and stretch out in a deep, soft Mainliner seat. Or, enjoy congenial company in the lounge.

Take advantage of may special services on this flight. Closing market quotations are available and you favorite business magazines. If you’d like do some some work, your stewardess will arrange a table for you.

Eat your heart out, Don Draper.



TIME feminism

Jessica Lange Says Hollywood Is Run From a ‘Male Point of View’

The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA - "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images Jessica Lange attends the "American Horror Story: Freak Show" event at the 32nd annual PaleyFest at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 15, 2015

"Even if a woman runs a studio, she still does it with a male point of view."

Actress Jessica Lange expressed little surprise that a movie studio reportedly turned down 37-year-old actress Maggie Gyllenhaal as “too old,” declaring that the entire movie making industry was run from a “male point of view.”

“Even if a woman runs a studio, she still does it with a male point of view,” Lange, the lead actor on the FX series American Horror Story, said in an interview with TheWrap.

“That men continue to be fascinating and attractive and virile, and women age and are no longer sexual or beautiful ,” she said. “It’s a fantasy that has nothing to do with reality.”

TIME movies

Mad Max Gets His Own Feminist Tumblr

Hey girl

Mad Max, meet Ryan Gosling. George Miller’s action hero, as played by Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road, now has his own series of “hey girl” images, thanks to the Feminist Mad Max Tumblr.

“Hey girl,” one post reads. “I don’t need to see the pain and humiliation you suffered as a sex slave. I believe you.” Another references a moment in the film in which Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa uses Max to take an excellent shot.

It only makes sense that this Tumblr would come along, given how much of the discussion around the film has focused on its feminism. Miller brought in Vagina Monologues writer Eve Ensler to consult on the movie, which focuses on Furiosa’s mission to save women kept as wives for the villainous Immortan Joe. Ensler told TIME: “I think George Miller is a feminist, and he made a feminist action film.”

Now, the movie has elicited a feminist Tumblr.



Maggie Gyllenhaal Told 37 Is Too Old To Play the Lover of a 55-Year-Old Man

Maggie Gyllenhaal celebrates her win at the 2015 Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes After Party on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Michael Tullberg—Getty Images Maggie Gyllenhaal celebrates her win at the 2015 Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes After Party on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

"It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh"

Maggie Gyllenhaal recently revealed that she was turned down for a role in a movie because she, 37, was too old to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man.

“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” she told The Wrap. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

Gyllenhaal wouldn’t say what the movie was, but she did acknowledge that despite the setback and sexism in the industry, she’s still optimistic about female roles in Hollywood. “A lot of actresses are doing incredible work right now, playing real women, complicated women. I don’t feel despairing at all. And I’m more looking with hope for something fascinating.”

Gyllenhaal won a Golden Globe in January for her part in The Honourable Woman.

[The Wrap]


Cannes Film Festival Steps Into Controversy Over High Heels-Only Policy

Women are reportedly being turned away from screenings for wearing flat shoes

The Cannes Film Festival is facing backlash after several women reported that they were stopped from entering screenings for wearing the wrong shoes.

Screen Daily reports the women were turned away from a screening of Carol in their rhinestone flat shoes, even though some of the women reportedly suffered from unspecified medical conditions and couldn’t wear heels. According to the Guardian, festival-goers are to be “smartly dressed” at Cannes screenings—men are required to wear black tie and shoes, but the guidelines for women are murkier.

Amy director Asif Kapadia said his wife was even initially turned away from a screening for wearing flat shoes, though she was eventually let in.

Many are calling the alleged rule sexist. Actress Emily Blunt said in a press conference on Tuesday that all women should wear flats, adding that a heels-only dress code for women would be “very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality.” Benico del Toro and Josh Brolin also joked that they should wear heels in protest.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux tweeted, however, that the heels-only rule was “unfounded,” despite the women’s reports.

TIME Television

What the Fates of Mad Men’s Women Say About The Show’s Stance on Feminism

How the outcomes for Peggy, Joan and Betty correspond to their relationships with feminism

Despite its name, Mad Men was as much about Madison Avenue’s women as it was about its men. Its name reinforces what these women—women like Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks)—were up against: a sexist, exclusive boys’ club that forced them to work harder for less pay and a near-daily dose of sexual harassment. Peggy and Joan are well-rounded characters, but they are also case studies in 1960s-era feminism, though they might not have defined their struggles in those terms.

In Sunday night’s season finale, Peggy and Joan both ended up as successful women forging ahead in their industry. But a look at how they got there is an exercise in opposites: Joan strikes out on her own while Peggy works her way up in the corporate machine. Joan chose work over romance whereas Peggy found romance at work. Joan raises her son without a partner, and Peggy gave her baby up for adoption. And Joan has succeeded despite a physical appearance that drew constant unwanted attention, whereas Peggy had to compensate for her plainness in an environment that values beauty.

Serving as a counterpoint to Peggy and Joan, throughout the series, was Betty Draper (January Jones), who, though she was certainly more than a symbol, served as a stand-in for the miserable housewife described in Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique. Showrunner Matthew Weiner read works by Friedan and other feminists while researching the script, and Betty embodied much of the dissatisfaction and entrapment so many housewives felt at the time.

In 1970, when the show ends, women weren’t necessarily discussing work-life balance in the sense of “having it all,” as the conversation sometimes goes today. But applying that framework, anachronistically, to the lives of Mad Men’s leading ladies yields some noteworthy insights. If “having it all” can be defined as balancing a fulfilling career and personal life, then Peggy, Joan and Betty draw sticks of varying lengths.

Betty, of course, draws the shortest by far—terminal lung cancer—and just as she was finding her calling. Joan draws longer, but not as long as she would have hoped. She gets the fulfilling career but at the price of losing a would-be fiancé, and she’s stuck in a role—motherhood—which she struggles to fully embrace. Peggy, however, seems to get as close to “it all” as any woman on the show, finding both love, in the form of Stan Rizzo (which some would argue was a rom-com cop-out), and a promising career at McCann Erickson.

Is it a coincidence that Betty, of the shortest stick, holds the most regressive ideas about women? That Joan, who’s relied, at least in part, on the advice she gave Peggy on the latter’s first day—go home, put a bag over your head and be honest with yourself about what needs improvement (to paraphrase)—gets only a portion of “it all”? And that Peggy, who has always relied on her intellect above her appearance, gets the most robust version of a happy ending? On a show on which even the apples and bananas in the Drapers’ kitchen are deliberately small—because these were the pre-GMO days—it would seem that nothing is a coincidence.

Of course, Mad Men‘s writers are presumably more sophisticated than doling out fate based on characters’ adherence to modern-day feminist values. It’s an unfair measuring stick with which to play God. But if they were, beneath the narrative, hoping to send a subtextual message to viewers about how women today should be valued and appreciated, this would be one way to do it.

The feminist struggle on Mad Men was often an implicit one, explored less in terms of outspoken ideology than in terms of the daily struggle to move forward in the workplace while possessing lady parts. Though Joan and Peggy proved that this struggle could be expressed in wildly different ways—and finally put their differences behind them in a satisfying win for female solidarity—the juxtaposition of their characters was also limited in an important way: They are both white women.

Second-wave feminism, a movement which Peggy and Joan never explicitly claimed but which rose to prominence during the era of Mad Men, was widely criticized for its exclusion of non-white women. The characters of Dawn (Teyonah Parris) and Shirley (Sola Bamis), two black secretaries with more minor roles on the show, offered an opportunity to explore the richer territory of the racial divisions within feminism during the 1960s.

Dawn and Shirley face racism in the office, both overt and subtle, in addition the sexism Peggy and Joan face. But the decision not to feature their stories more prominently—or, more likely, the lack of a proactive decision to feature them—was a missed opportunity for a fuller examination of women at work in the ‘60s.

Though Weiner has said there will be no spin-offs, many seem to be holding out hope that we have not seen the last of Dawn and Shirley. And in the absence of a spin-off, we can only hope that the fictional Dawn and Shirley found the same satisfaction that Joan and Peggy did. Shirley, we know, bid adieu to advertising for good. As she told Roger on her way out of the office, “Advertising is not a very comfortable place for everyone.” Joan and Peggy would certainly have agreed, though they would not have fully understood.

TIME feminism

‘Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel!’ Is a Hilarious Takedown of Everyday Sexism

Endless images of all-male academic and business panels highlight the problem of men dominating the conversation

Most of us have attended a talk or panel where every single speaker was male. Now, the Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel Tumblr is brilliantly shaming that kind of all-too-common sexism by posting images of, well, all-male panels.

The Tumblr was started in February 2015 by Finnish feminist researcher and artist Dr. Saara Särmä, 40, who conducted her dissertation on Internet parody images and memes. The title of her dissertation was “Junk Feminism and Nuclear Wannabes – Collaging Parodies of Iran and North Korea.” (Yes, you read that correctly.)

“As a feminist, I’ve been noticing these issues for a very long time, but having worked with visual material and humorous images in my dissertation, I thought I could do something visual as well,” Särmä tells TIME. In particular, Särmä witnessed what she says is the marginalization of women in academia, claiming that some of her colleagues were passed over or outright dismissed as serious thinkers because of their gender.

The question all fans of her Tumblr are asking, though: Why the David Hasselhoff stamp on every image?

“The Hoff is just simply Hoffsome,” Särmä says. “As a kid who grew up in the 80s watching the Knight Rider, I have a fondness for the Hoff, also he’s the epitome of a white masculinity, isn’t he?”

On a serious note, Särmä hopes that her collection of images will help highlight the prevailing problem of men dominating the conversation.

“I think women’s expertise is often not simply recognized. It is somehow easier to see a white middle-aged (or older) man in your mind when you think of an expert,” Särmä added. “Academia has been white men’s world long enough, it’s time for a change.”

For her part, Sarma recommends checking out initiatives to amplify female experts in public forums like Foreign Policy Interrupted or watchdog groups like EUPanelWatch.

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