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feminist news roundup 11.2.16

Image: Daniel Lobo

Image: Daniel Lobo

Yet another white saviour film…
Jessica Chastain, and indeed the Hollywood establishment, has been criticised for being named as star of an upcoming period drama, Woman Walks Alone, about a ‘19th century Brooklyn artist and activist who helps Sioux chieftain Sitting Bull’ in his fight to save his people and the land. The storyline has been decried for maintaining the ‘white saviour’ complex. Considering that Native Americans have received very few nominations in the history of the Academy Awards, this perpetuation of lack of representation has been considered a slap in the face for the community. Salon’s Paula Young Lee writes on the racism of the film industry that can even be disguised as feminist and progressive.

Labor Senator tells Communications Minister that he’s ‘mansplaining’
Labor Senator Katy Gallagher has explained the concept of mansplaining to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield today, after a disagreement at the Senate’s community affairs committee. When the Senator interrupted Fifield’s lengthy explanation, Fifield replied ‘let me just stop you so you don’t waste a line of questioning’. Gallagher retorted, ‘I love the mansplaining, I’m enjoying it’. After an explanation of the term, Fifield then accused Gallagher of making a sexist implication on his conduct, and suggested there would be a bigger reaction if he accused her of ‘womansplaining’. Okay…

Steinem and Albright criticised for shaming young women not supporting Clinton
Gloria Steinem has apologised for implying that young women are Bernie Sanders supporters as ‘that’s where the boys are’. Former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, also recently commented at a rally for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire that ‘there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!’ Katie Dreyer writes for the Huffington Post that Steinem and Albright have ‘betrayed women’ and the ideals of feminism with their comments, as feminists have the right to choose who they wish to support.

Rebecca Shaw: stop participating in the vicious cycle of body negativity
Australian writer Rebecca Shaw (@brocklesnitch on Twitter) writes on ‘fat talk’, particularly amongst her peers and friends. Shaw notes that comments from thin friends and colleagues that they’re ‘feeling fat’ implies that being fat is a ‘fate worse than death’ and leaves her wondering what the person in question thinks of her. Lecturer in psychology Jacqueline Mills also says that this kind of talk, not surprisingly, increases body dissatisfaction levels and can be ‘contagious’. An important read.

New Sex Discrimination Commissioner finally named
Finally, more than five months since previous Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick’s term finished, a new Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner has been announced. Kate Jenkins is currently the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. Earlier in the week, Senator George Brandis confirmed that his original choice for the position had been rejected by PM Turnbull, who forced Brandis to undertake a more rigorous selection process involving a panel. Further issues, such as Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs being excluded from the process by Brandis, have marred news of the selection.

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