41st AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Mel Brooks - Red Carpet
Posted on March 16, 2015

10 Ways to Combat Sexism By Adopting These Celeb Responses

Pop Culture

Both subtle and blatant sexism seems to overwhelm the media. Women in pop culture are subjected to sexist remarks and expectations from interviewers, directors, co-workers, and the like. Navigating the entertainment landscape is a challenge, and these ladies face severe scrutiny from both outside and inside the industry. They are often expected and forced to deal with frustrating situations from non-consensual pictures taken of them to obvious sexist interview comments. They handle these, and more,  with grace and ease. While it often becomes exhausting to watch, the way these ladies handle sexist culture is refreshing. We can all take up their powerful responses!

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clickbait
Posted on March 8, 2015

5 Common Clickbait Trends That Are Harmful to Women

Tech

If you’ve spent a significant amount of time on the internet, you have probably heard the term clickbait thrown around a few times. The Oxford Dictionary describes clickbait as “content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page.” Many websites do this of course, because who doesn’t want to encourage visitors to view their web page? You probably even clicked on this article because the title grabbed your attention.

However, clickbait is usually a term used negatively, in most cases, to refer to headlines that purposely withhold information that should be included in the title, or ones that purposefully deceive the reader. If it sounds something along the lines of “You’ll Never Believe What Happened When We…” or “This Person did [blank]. You’ll Never Guess Why.” This is sensationalist click bait that tries to grab your attention for 15 seconds until you remember you were doing something important.

Clickbait is not a new advertising tactic that originated with the rise of the internet. You can trace sensationalist journalism all the way back to the 19th century with “yellow journalism”. This type of journalism was based on crude and exaggerated headlines to attract attention. In a similar way that websites today compete for page views, newspapers were competing for circulation numbers.

Although every now and then you find some attention-grabbing headlines that are backed up by good content. Buzzfeed and Upworthy tend to do this for articles that are positive or uplifting. There is also a lot of awful clickbait out there. One really terrible pattern I’ve noticed is the use of women’s bodies to generate clicks. Even the Huffington Post – known for it’s liberal slant — has been called out for it. It’s well known that advertisers have a history unnecessarily sexualizing the female form to draw attention to their product, and clickbait heavily abuses this trope. Some clickbait headlines don’t even necessarily sexualize women, but reflect misogyny in other ways.

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cyberrriotpromo
Posted on March 5, 2015

Introducing Fembot’s First Digital Literary Zine, Cyberrriot.

Cyberrriot

Dear Fembotters,

It wasn’t so long ago that Fembot, known then as Reasons to be Beautiful, had its own new beginning. When Alissa and I were teens, we started the site out as a modest blogspot page that focused mostly on DIY beauty products, fun films to watch when you were sad, and other feel-good topics related to young women. Our focus was on making women and girls feel good about themselves, and it’s something that has never really died from the website we have now.

But somewhere along the way, we “grew up,” finished college, and figured it was time to change our focus from being a general woman’s magazine, to discuss the more hard hitting issues women, and other marginalized groups, face every day. So in May 2014, we revamped ourselves into a social justice website, and in November 2014 we became Fembot, a site dedicated to writing about social justice issues that matter to millennials. It was our new beginning, and essentially a new beginning for our readers too.

So with this in mind I felt ‘new beginnings’ was the perfect topic for Fembot’s very first literary zine; the broad and meaningful theme is something I’m sure you’re all familiar with.
Each poem, story, and photograph in this issue gives us an in-depth look at rebirth, at starting over, and, in a way, endings. In Lee Jones’ poem ‘Lilith,’ we see how dark times can give way to a hopeful resolve, no matter how dark they actually are. And in Rogin Losa’s monologue ‘I Wish I Was A Miscarriage’ we see how self-doubt, and complicated relationships can give way at any moment to a second chance.

I hope when you read the following pieces, that you think about every new start you’ve ever had.
So enjoy the following pieces and be sure to let us know how you felt about them via our twitter @fembotmag, or drop us an email at eic@fembotmag.com!

Stay tuned at the end of the zine for information on how to submit your art to next month’s zine!

Cyberrriot on,
Stephanie Watson
Co-EIC of Fembot Magazine

Read the entire zine here.

playlistfemale
Posted on March 4, 2015

PLAYLIST: A Timeline of Empowering Female Anthems

Playlist

The social justice term “feminist” has become more synonymous with mainstream music this past year. By 2014, artists like Lorde, Taylor Swift and John Legend have all proudly called themselves feminists. Musicians are also creating music with feminist perspectives; PTAF debuted Boss Ass Bitch, Jennifer Lopez and French Montana premiered their video for I Luh Ya Papi, and Mary J Blige released Doubt. But let’s take a minute to pay homage to those who laid the foundation for female empowerment in music.

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Posted on March 3, 2015

Investigating Online Feminist Forums; Where are the Safest Spaces?

Tech

Potential communities of feminists have begun gathering in virtual “safe” spaces. These online communities have established themselves on the web and users are beginning to take them very seriously, so much so that many people rely on them for their social activism. Websites like 4chan and Reddit are just a few platforms where like-minded people can organize or converse, and often people can do so anonymously.

This past week, I participated in many of these online feminist communities and received varied responses. There are many feminist subreddits, Facebook groups, and forums that welcomed me with open arms, but this was not always the case.

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Posted on March 2, 2015

Free Speech is Great, But Stop Using it to Maintain Your Privilege

Human Rights

There’s been an awful lot of debate around issues of ‘free speech’ in the UK recently. Universities have been particularly condemned after the disruptions to events like the Oxford abortion debate, Kate Smurthwaite’s gig, and far-right French political leader Marine le Pen’s speech. What many zealous champions of freedom fail to realize, though, is that these people are not victims. Their human rights are not being quashed by hordes of ‘malevolent,’ ‘PC-obsessed’ students. These outraged critics fail to realize that their criticisms come from a place of privilege – and what appears to them as an interesting, hypothetical debate is to others a very real discussion and often condemnation of their identities, choices and experiences. Not to mention often highly triggering.

To those claiming to be victims of censorship at the hands of protestors: in a society where the right to protest is worryingly threatened, I don’t have time for your whining. That doesn’t make me an enemy of free speech – it just means I don’t like hypocrites. To complain about protestors ignores the very real threats of violence and discrimination that come from elsewhere – or sometimes even from those being protested. Don’t believe me? Read on and see for yourself.

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