Wednesday 5: The Best of the Internet This Week

In this week’s Wednesday 5 we highlight the best of the Internet in women’s news: 50 essential feminist films curated by Flavorwire; Viola Davis as the leading lady we’ve all known her to be; anti-domestic-violence activists doctor CoverGirl’s “Get Your Game Face On” ad to transform it into a tool against domestic violence; Katie Nolan of Fox Sports shares some of the more insightful and thoughtful commentaries on the NFL’s domestic-violence cancer; and surprising and not so surprising answers to where nine now-powerful women were when they were 23.



50 Essential Feminist Films

neshatWomen Without Men, Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari

We’ve certainly lamented the lack of substantive roles for women in Hollywood many a times here at Women’s Voices. And the data backs us up, unfortunately: 74 of the 271 people invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year were women; for every 15 or so male directors, there is just one female director. Dismal indeed. Nevertheless, we were really thrilled to see this list of 50 Essential Feminist Films by Flavorwire, whose curatorial statement revealed that within these 50 films “. . . are (a few classics and several, perhaps, unexpected) picks that deconstruct gender identity, explore issues pertinent to women and their history, and challenge the patriarchy. These films, directed by women and men, have broadened the scope of female representation in cinema.” Time to get your Netflix on! 



Leading Lady: Viola Davis

Viola Davis in ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder

We hope you didn’t miss this candid interview with the 49-year-old actress Viola Davis in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, The Culture Issue; if you did, you missed a goodie. Davis, who stars in Shonda Rhimes’s How to Get Away with Murder, which debuts on September 25 on ABC, right after Rhimes’s other hit shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, is—for the first time in her 30-year career—the leading lady. In the films that generated both of her two Oscar nominations, she played supporting roles. In Doubt she commanded the screen for whole eight minutes, and in The Help she dominated the whole film, but was considered a supporting actress. The entire interview is a fascinating and much-deserved entree into the mind of this talented actress (we learn that she prepared for four months for her eight minutes in Doubt). On the craft of acting, she shared this beautiful and universal nugget:

“Vanity destroys your work. . . That’s the one thing you have to let go of as an actor. I don’t care how sexy or beautiful any woman is. At the end of the day, she has to take her makeup off. At the end of the day, she’s more than just pretty.”



Doctored CoverGirl Ad Used in Protest of the NFL

BxcpJJ-IcAE77IEDoctored CoverGirl Advertising Campaign, “Get Your Game Face On.”

This is just another incredible example that the activism of our time might be defined by social media. As you know, the sponsorship partnership between companies and the NFL is a multi-billion-dollar one—it costs over 3 million dollars these days to run an ad during the Super Bowl. One of those partners, CoverGirl, which is the “official beauty partner of the NFL,” recently launched a football-themed ad series touting eye shadow and makeup looks to coordinate with teams’ colors. Since the raw footage broke showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator, coupled with the gross mishandling of the incident by the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, that advertising campaign has morphed into the perfect canvas for protesters calling for a swift overhaul at the football organization. People are doctoring the CoverGirl “Get Your Game Face On” ad to show a woman with a bruised eye in a display of domestic violence. The image took off on Twitter this weekend and has gone viral. The  attention now seems to have shifted to CoverGirl itself, with consumers asking the company to send a strong message and drop the NFL. Yesterday, CoverGirl officially put out this message via its Facebook page in response to the viral sharing of their doctored ad:

As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence.



Katie Nolan on Women and Domestic Violence in the NFL 

Speaking of the NFL and the Ray Rice debacle, this has certainly been a hot topic for every news outlet. One of the best and most level-headed commentaries we’ve seen, however, has actually come from the twentysomething  correspondent for Fox Sports. Here we share with you her thoughts on the NFL’s woman—not just domestic violence—problem.



Where Nine Famous Women Were at Age 23


Hillary Clinton in her twenties. Image via.

And, speaking of fiery twentysomethings, we loved this list from Bustle on what nine now-famous and powerful women were doing in their twenties, particularly the age of 23. (Some of you might opt not to share what you were doing as twentysomethings, we understand). But for these brave souls who choose to share, we learned that during their twenties—Stevie Nicks was  “working as a waitress and cleaning lady” to support herself and her boyfriend and Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time turning down Bill Clinton’s marriage proposals, torn between choosing a “husband or a career.” The full list of nine women includes Rachel Zoe, Jane Fonda, Joan Didion, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jessica Lange, and Nora Ephron.

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