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OUR MISSION JAGed (Justice and Gender Education) provides support for those who promote social justice, equality and human rights for all people, regardless of gender, sex, nationality, class, ability, age and religion. While raising consciousness in others, we hope to inspire positive social change within our communities in a multimedia and social activist capacity.

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Contents:

Pg 1 - Letter from Bob Foster, Mayor of Long Beach Pg 2 - About Us by Alisha Herrick - BALANCED (radical) FEMINISM by Clarice Ross Pg 3 - Campus Culture by Alisha Herrick Pg 4 - Victory! But for Who? by Sara Castledine Pg 5 - Ask a Feminist by Nicole Gregory Pg 6 - Long Beach Community by Sandie Reed Pg 7 - The Relationship Corner: As In... You’re Backed Into a Corner by Rhianna Maras - The Hootchification of the University Library: A quick observation by SnarkyCrow Pg 8 - Summer Break at the Movies: Bridesmaids by Cecilia Portillo Website www.JAGed.org Facebook JAGed Justice and Gender Education Twitter JAGedLB Meetings Tuesdays from 1pm to 2pm in the Multicultural Center Room F03-02

JAGed publishes Zines bi-monthly on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. Be sure to check out our calendar on the website to see submission deadlines and other upcoming events in the community! All of the views and opinions expressed in each article are solely those of the author and not of JAGed.

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About Us JAGed is here to provide CSULB students, faculty and staff a safe and welcoming space to discuss social justice issues, from tuition increases, to immigration, to reproductive justice, while paying attention to how these issues are connected to, and impacted by, gender and other intersecting identities.  By raising consciousness through educating our readers, we hope to empower and inspire others to action.  JAGed strives for inclusivity and welcomes writings, art, poetry and ideas from all disciplines.  We recognize that there are incredible organizations, people, and businesses who are working to cultivate a more humane and egalitarian society.  We want to support you.  We want to tell everyone about you, whether you’re working on ending modern day slavery or tutoring homeless children in Los Angeles.  We refuse to believe the notion that our generation is apathetic.  We are activists, we are conscious, and we will make a difference.    Alisha Herrick JAGed Founder

Announcements! Congratulations to Choice USA students for winning the 2011 “Outstanding Chapter Award”. Your tireless efforts to secure reproductive rights for womyn is truly inspiring. www.ChoiceUSA.org

BALANCED (radical) FEMINISM By Clarice Ross “The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life” Albert Einstein I became a vegetarian 27 years ago and a radical feminist not long after that. This was back when Vegetarian Times was a radical publication, not the glossy magazine it has become, and the information on health, environmentalism and animal rights was cutting-edge, meant to shake up the establishment. The vegetarianbased companies that advertised in Vegetarian Times back then are now huge national and international concerns. I notice a concomitant shift away from the sort of radicalism that originally led me to subscribe. In my opinion, this new-found conservatism on the part of the publication reflects a basic societal move toward conservatism,

Each issue look for JAGed’s FREE quote sticker! !

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CA M P U S CU LT U R E

By Alisha Herrick

For this new section of JAGed, Campus Culture, I will be educating readers about the CSULB campus, the resources available, events going on, and how to not only survive college, but how to make the most of your experience. I’ve been a student at CSULB since fall 2005 and honestly, I have had the most incredible experience. While I ready myself to walk across that graduation stage in the spring, I am so grateful that I have been here for so long. Not only will I have completed a Bachelor’s Degree, but I have also grown and changed so much as a person. College will do that to you.

tons of free or reduced-price services for students including counseling and psychological services (CAPS), the health center and the recreation center. So be sure to take care of your mind, body and spirit!

So to start this week’s issue, I want to give some friendly advice.

1. Take lots of photos! The time goes by so fast and before you know it, all you will have are the photos.

For students new to CSULB: 1. Meet as many people as you can your first year, especially the first few weeks. Your first year will make or break your experience. The campus is full of new students just like you who are nervous, intimidated and feel out of place. Put a smile on your face and ask them to lunch! 2. Join a club or organization (especially JAGed). There are TONS of groups on campus that do some really great stuff, whether it’s volunteering or fundraising. Some clubs go on outings or plan campus events. Search the campus website for Student Life and Development to find the list of organizations and contact information. 3. Take the bus. Parking on campus IS a pain. For liberal arts students you have to park at lower campus and then hike up the hill. Sure it’s great exercise, but let’s say you’re running late. Do you really want to run across 320 acres? Also the bus is FREE!!! (for the semester) That’s right, “U Pass” is back! Just swipe your student ID card and ride. Don’t forget to check the schedule at LBtransit.com 4. Check out the services and resources available to CSULB students. There are

5. Go to class! This may sound obvious, but a lot of students think that you can just read the books, study for the exams and pass. WRONG! From experience (yep, I was that student) 90% of passing a class is just showing up. So get your behind out of bed and be present. For Returning CSULB Students:

2. Make time for your friends and family. As the years go on and friends graduate or family members move, it becomes harder and harder to keep in touch. Everyone is busy with this, that and the other. So remember to get your homework done early and that keeping friends and family close requires a lot of work! 3. Watch those deadlines! If you are going to graduate in the spring remember to file to graduate by October 15th otherwise there’s a $10 penalty. 4. If you haven’t yet, go to a campus event. There are all kinds of events going all in all different areas. I remember being so busy with work and school that I never really took the time to see guest speakers or panel discussions. I’m going to try to take my own advice this year. 5. Start planning ahead. It is never too late to begin making post-graduation plans. Whether it is grad school, law school, or traveling, it is important to be aware of deadlines, costs, and application processes. In many cases you’ll need letters of recommendation and it always helps to have good relationships with your professors.

And now for the Campus Spotlight! In each issue I will spotlight a different organization or resource center here on campus. The spotlight will include information about the org or center, their location, contact info and usually an interview of some kind. If you know of an organization, or center that you would like to see spotlighted here in JAGed, please email me at info@JAGed.org Women’s Resource Center LA3-105 From their website: “The Women's Resource Center supports a society free from biases of economics, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical limitation, life style choices, age, educational and re-entry status, political beliefs, and academic fields of study; THEREFORE, we declare: OUR VISION An equitable learning environment for women and men leading to women's full participation in all aspects of society OUR MISSION To facilitate the educational, professional, and personal growth of women through a diverse and interactive program of service, advocacy and education leading to their engagement as informed, involved citizens – locally and globally” The WRC is also a collaborative partner with Interval House Domestic Violence Services and the YWCA GLA Sexual Assault Crisis Services along with other CSULB organizations including the University Health Center and University Police for a program called, “Project Safe”. Project Safe “is a program of prevention and intervention activities, including support and advocacy, to reduce the incidence of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking on the CSULB campus.” This means campus police, counseling and psychological services, staff in the WRC and in the health center are all Continued on page 4

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Vo l u m e 2 I s s u e 1 S e p t e m b e r 6 , 2 0 1 1 trained to help survivors of sexual violence. Please keep in mind that according to the US Department of Justice, 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape by the time they graduate from college. Do not hesitate to contact them. Contact info: Jeane R. Caveness, Assistant Dean of Students • Phone: (562) 985-7547 • Email: jcavenes@csulb.edu Lynne Coenen, Assistant Director • Phone: (562) 985-5466 • Email: lcoenen2@csulb.edu Barbara Sinclair, Office Manager • Phone: (562) 985-8687 • Email: bsinclai@csulb.edu

Politics Victory! But for Who?

resources they need. This includes sexual education, knowledge about what resources are out there, and where to go to get those resources. According to RH Reality Check, “Female immigrants, both documented and undocumented, often work in industries that are low-wage and do not offer health insurance. They may not speak English and are likely to have reduced access to culturally and linguistically competent reproductive health information and services. As a result, access to affordable, quality reproductive health care is of significant concern to these women.” ! The health and wellbeing of all people, especially in relation to reproductive health, is critical at this time. With so many legislative attacks on reproductive rights, this has become about more than just birth control. This is not solely about abortion. This is not a womenʼs issue. The fight for reproductive justice is about health, life, and community. This is about those who are still fighting for the right to make their own choices.

By Sara Castledine ! Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved new regulations that would require health insurance plans to cover preventative services, such as birth control, breastfeeding support, and HPV screenings. This means that, starting August 1, 2012, these services will be available without copays. As someone who campaigned hard for this policy, I am proud of the victory. As a woman of reproductive age with health insurance, Iʼm excited to save some money. But, as a reproductive justice advocate, I have to ask if itʼs enough. This policy is exclusionary in that in only applies to those with health insurance. For many low-income or undocumented people, insurance is not an option. For these people, this is not a victory. Services provided by health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, are still in high demand. This new regulation should not be used to justify the destructive attacks on reproductive health. This is not justice. ! Justice will come when all people – regardless of class status, income, gender, nation of origin, ability, or religion – have access to the

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Like what you see here? JAGed is looking for volunteers in many areas including writing and radio. Visit our website for more info.

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Ask a Femin!t

By Nicole Gregory

Welcome back to Fall 2011! To start off the semester we added a few new recurring articles and “Ask a Feminist” is one of them! This column is a place where readers can ask questions about any social justice issue of concern or any question they would like to ask a feminist. In the beginning of the semester, I will be responding to questions with my own feminist perspective, but as the column progresses, we would love for our fellow feminist readers to respond and answer questions as well. With that said, as I answer these questions, please keep in mind that my responses do not speak for all feminists, my responses are based on my own lived experience as a feminist activist. Before I answer our first question, I would like to briefly define feminism and its importance to me. To me, a feminist is one who believes in equal rights, treatment, and opportunities for all people regardless of gender and the different intersecting aspects of one’s identity. For me, feminism is a lifestyle, as it is a part of my everyday thoughts, motivations, and goals, but feminism also can be a viewpoint, a political belief, or many other things. As a feminist activist, I work for change and strive for equal opportunity, treatment and rights of all people without judgment and with recognition that every individual has different lived experiences that are valuable in coming together to create positive social change. Question 1 (JAGed’s Summer Moonlight Movie Meeting at the Beach 8/4/11): When and how is the right way to speak up for what you believe in? Do we

yell, speak anonymously, protest; do we argue right then and there? How do we choose the right words? This is a question I ask myself frequently as a feminist. There are many situations I face on a daily basis where I see some sort of injustice go unquestioned. Many times I feel like shouting, protesting and speaking up for what I believe, but I often don’t for fear of judgment, ridicule or violence. In our society, having the agency to speak without fear is a privilege only afforded to a few. As a white, heterosexual person, I feel I am often given more opportunities to speak without fear of judgment, and I feel my words are given value; however, as a female activist I feel like my words are either ignored or seen as debatable. The further away one is from the privileged white, upper-class male persona, the less ability one has to speak openly without apprehension. I first felt this way about speech after watching Boys Don’t Cry (1999), a movie about the life of Brandon Teena (December 12, 1972 – December 31, 1993) and his experiences as a transgendered teen. The sexualized violence, physical abuse, and verbal ridicule he endured for being transgendered and expressing his love for a woman was due to his transgendered identity and the lack of privilege he had regarding speech. These different, intersecting aspects of our identities and situations determine the obstacles we may face when speaking our beliefs. I always believe there is a place to speak, even if it is not in the desired moment; it is important to know your voice is valuable and needs to be and can be heard. That is why I am such a huge supporter of JAGed; JAGed provides space for our readers to protest, yell, whisper, debate, listen, participate and express their beliefs without fear. Whether you participate anonymously or display your name, you are given time and space to find the right words for what needs to be heard because your input will make a difference.

BALANCED (radical) FEMINISM Continued from Page 2 combined with a need to retain advertisers. Whereas vegetarianism had always been attractive to a certain element of the population because of the lower cost of such a diet, these days there is a noticeably expensive side. The example of what has happened over the years to Vegetarian Times is merely a reflection of what can happen if any sector of society relaxes its vigilance and becomes fearful of change. One way to make a difference in this world is through exploring a vegetarian diet and why a person would become vegetarian. Many who make this choice are concerned about health, diet, nutrition, and animal rights. All of these reasons are compelling, and there are environmental and political considerations as well. Eventually the plethora of issues surrounding food production can lead to the decision to avoid meat. Why would vegetarianism be a feminist concern? The variety of issues involved are extremely complex, but the simple answer is that just as women can be abused and discriminated against within a patriarchal power system, the abuses against animals and the earth in general can be even more devastating, long-lasting and difficult to reverse. This argument is in no way meant to ignore the multitudes of male individuals who are vegetarian and vegan, nor those who recognize in any number of ways that the patriarchy does not work for them. At this point, the patriarchal system of power and hierarchy is much like any system run amok, and doesn’t particularly work well for anybody, male or female. It would be seemingly unfair to ask every person on earth to become a vegetarian today, when many people thrive on a meat diet and some research has come to light, most relevantly from Eat Right 4 Your Type, by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, to suggest that blood type may play a role. Anyone can and will benefit from the entire population eating more vegetables, from as many local and organic sources as possible. It would be unfair to suggest that people who have to watch their budget solely shop at markets like Whole Foods, where organic bell peppers can run $7.99/lb. The goal should be to find a way to balance everything we know about what is changing and needs to change in the world with practical daily living. Vegetarianism need not be expensive since there are ample savings involved in avoiding meat. If one knows the right substitutions to make and what to avoid, there will still be substantial savings compared to a meat-heavy diet, regardless of what today’s cookbooks might suggest. !

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LONG B E A C H CO M M UN I T Y By Sandie Reed Welcome to the Long Beach Community section. A place where you can see what’s happening where you live, go to school, or just hang out. Over the next year, you will be able read about different kinds of information that will assist you in getting around town, finding new restaurants and coffee houses, cultural events, and other activities in the Long Beach area. You’ll read about what’s happening with the business community, the political climate in Long Beach, and how it affects you. In this issue, we’ll cover transportation, as well as local areas to shop and dine here in Long Beach. Transportation: CSULB has partnered with the Long Beach Transit to give students a free ride on buses in Long Beach. All you need to do is swipe your CSULB Student ID, and the ride is paid for. For more information on routes and schedules, visit www.lbtransit.com. Long Beach Airport – Daugherty Field: This is a small airport and has very little passenger service compared to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), approximately 18 miles to the northwest. This airport will always remain a relatively small airport because of restrictive ordinances in the United States for both airport noise and the number of commercial flights. The current noise levels allow for only 41 daily commercial flights and 25 commuter flights. Local community groups and activists are very vocal about any changes at the airport, but it is close and has major airlines that can get you out of town, like Alaska Airline, Delta, Jet Blue, and US Airlines. For more information call (562) 570-2600 or http://www.ifly.com/long-beach-airport.  Transportation to/from the Airport: To take a taxi (Long Beach Yellow Cab), call (562) 435-6111. Alternatively, you may opt for the Super Shuttle (which can be reached at 800-258-3826) or any one of the many door-to-door and schedule shuttles/vans, available at the airport. You may also opt to take one of the following bus lines: Long Beach Transit (562-591-2301), Bus Route 111 runs between Long Beach Airport and downtown Long Beach and connects with the Metro Blue Line at the Transit Mall in downtown Long Beach. You also have two other bus choices: MTA (213) 626-7433; OCTA (714) 636-7433 or Greyhound (800) 231-2222. The closest Metro Rail (Blue Line) Station to Long Beach Airport is the Wardlow Station; you would have to take a cab to/from the airport.  Rail: If you’re looking to go Los Angeles with connections to Hollywood, Universal Studios, Pasadena, and East LA, you can use Amtrak and Metro-Link rail services to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. For more information and schedules, call: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) at (800) 266-6883. Great Shopping: The Long Beach area offers you many different kinds of shopping to choose from. The mall closest to campus is the Los Altos Market Center on Bellflower Blvd. & Sterns Avenue. There is a Target, Big Lots, post office, Trader Joe's, $1 cleaners, Amazing Comics, PC Club, Rite Aid, Whittaker's music, a pet place, Payless, and McDonald's. Also in the area are big chain stores like Borders, Comp USA, and Circuit City, plus Sears and Bristol Farms, along with major banks Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase. Other shopping and dining: Mecca’s is the Market Place on Pacific Coast Highway at 2nd Street. A combination of unique boutiques, Movie Theater, and dining favorites including Ruby’s Diner, California Pizza Kitchen, Claim Jumper, Wahoo's Fish Taco, Pick-Up Stix, and El Torito are also near this intersection. Belmont Shore on 2nd Street is where you find fifteen intersecting side streets that make up the business district of Belmont Shore. This business corridor lies in the heart of the exclusive seaside community, affectionately referred to by locals as "the Shore." Along with great dining, specialized boutiques, you can experience many different events from the annual car show, Trick or Treats Night, art shows, and the famous Christmas light boat parade. Downtown Long Beach offers you many kinds of dining delights from Greek to Spanish Tapas, beer pubs, coffee houses, and bakeries. This historic area is the heart of Long Beach and has a long historical past. The Downtown area includes the neighborhoods of the East Village Arts District, Marina, Shoreline Village, and the Pike. Most of the retail and restaurants are along Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive, where you can dine on sushi, vegan food, seafood, California fusion, and American Classic cuisine.  There’s a lot to see and experience here in Long Beach. From the annual Long Beach Grand Prix car race (which is the city's most popular event) to concerts, film festivals, art exhibits, and other events. Over the year, we will let you know all about these events. Plus, don’t forget our beaches and how they can be enjoyed by foot, by boat, Jet Ski, or kayak. Enjoy and experience Long Beach!

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TH E RE LA TI O NS HI P C O RN E R: AS IN... YOU’RE BACKED I NTO A CORN ER By Rhianna Maras Relationships are not something we can escape from, nor should we try. We are socially constructed to value and develop relationships from the second we are born. Relationships can make you feel the best you ever have, while at the same time make you swear you’ll never do it again. My name is Rhianna Maras, I’ve written a few pieces for JAGed, and with the start of a new school year, the consensus was reached that someone needed to talk about relationships. These days, I feel like talking about relationships is like talking about vaginas (pre-Vagina Monologues); it just doesn’t happen enough. In my last year as a double major in Psychology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies I feel like it is about time we start discussing, through a feminist lens, how gender norms are at the foundation of relationships and how vital it is to have an egalitarian relationship (i.e. 50/50). Although there are many topics to look forward to, let’s start off with a little background on gender roles and how they affect relationships. Through the construction of gender, men are encouraged to be emotionless, aggressive, non-committal, and hypersexual. In contrast, women are encouraged to be emotional, passive, monogamous, and sexually indifferent. The result of this is what we feminists refer to as being placed into a “gender box” or what I like to refer to as the “gender briefcase.” In the context of a relationship, the gender briefcase restricts an individual’s identity by pressuring everyone to conform to these predetermined gender norms. Within this gender briefcase, those individuals who deviate from the “norm” are ridiculed, questioned about their sexuality and their loyalty to the categories of “man” or “woman.” There are numerous examples of people deviating from these unrealistic gender roles, from men becoming emotionally attached to women after having sex to lesbian couples who maintain butch/femme dichotomous relationships. Regardless of the situation, the issues within relationships stem from the way men and women are socialized. This column will dive into the ways in which relationship behaviors are engrained into males and females differently, often creating inequalities. These inequalities persist in every type of relationship, whether it is a straight or a queer one.

In this column I hope to help deconstruct the gender briefcase within relationships, allowing people to focus more on their individual partner as opposed to their partner’s expected gender role. Every couple has their ups and downs, yet frequently this is a result of an inadvertent power struggle and loss of egalitarianism within their relationship: one partner feels as though they are giving more than the other. The socially constructed gender norms that are inflicted on men and women can be detrimental to any relationship or friendship. Therefore it is essential to encourage both yourself and your partner(s) to challenge the rigid confines of the gender briefcase. Regardless of your sexuality, there are too many situations in which people feel as though they can’t express themselves due to the stereotypes surrounding their gender, such as “men aren’t supposed want relationships” or “women can’t have sex without becoming emotionally attached.” Challenging these ideologies will assist in furthering the deconstruction of the gender briefcase. It will provide the chance for individuals to analyze their relationships as well as encourage an introspective view into what their own expected behaviors are and how it directly affects their relationships. As this column develops, we will examine the ways men and women are taught to have relationships and how it often results in inequality, unbalanced relationships, and unrealistic gender expectations. While breaking down these issues, I hope to provide an opportunity for couples and friends to openly discuss these issues. Acknowledging and reflecting on these topics is a step in the right direction. The goal is not to dissect or overanalyze yourself or your partner(s), but to have a more open and equal relationship, where you are free to express yourself without being concerned about fitting into that suffocating gender briefcase. With this in mind, each issue of JAGed’s “The Relationship Corner” will discuss a variety of topics that you the reader can actively determine. Please write in regarding any questions you have or suggested topics to rhiannamaras@aol.com or to JAGed.org.

The Hootchification of the University Library: A quick observation By: SnarkyCrow, from F*USU

Sex sells. Okay, so I’m stating the obvious in this culture. I was at the University Library today, and as I was waiting in line at Starbucks, I mindlessly stared at the four LCD screens reviewing newspaper headlines, CNN, commercials for services at the library, and then, I saw it: an advertisement for the library as a quiet place to study. My jaw not only dropped, it fell to the floor with a “WTF-you-gotta-bekidding-me” thud. The ad for the quiet study space was a still photo of a woman’s mouth. I can’t describe it as a face, as it was only from the nose to the chin, airbrushed and lipsticked, partially opened, with a finger between those lips and the word “Quiet” superimposed on the finger. Wow! I have never quite seen so sexy a look! What will we find in our adventures in the stacks? As we peruse the tables of students diligently studying? When did the library turn into another hunting ground designed for the male gaze? Why are we trying to draw men into the library as a place where airbrushed women hang out quietly with fingers in their mouths? The library reconstituted as meat market. Yeah, okay, you may want to say I’m overreacting and overanalyzing this image, but that’s how these images work, not just as individual, random images but as a pervasive visual discourse in our society. It is considered to be okay to show a woman’s mouth as a synecdoche for women as sexually available, to be used by men for sexual gratification. Not an unusual image, but in the Library? Really? Or is someone just trying to keep the girls out?

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P OP CU LT U R E Summer Break at the Movies: Bridesmaids By Cecilia Portillo FINALLY! Hollywood finally put awkward sex with a really awful male partner on the big screen, for women to laugh at and encouraging men to understand that their “big moves” don’t necessarily work all the time, or at all. The opening scene to this summer’s most talked about “chick flick” had me laughing hard and feeling a tad sad at the same time - for this is a reality that a majority of the female audience knows well. Bridesmaids was directed by Paul Fieg and produced by Judd Apatow, famous for producing/directing comedies such as The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, & Superbad. It hit the theaters with a campaign promoting a new comedy about women but hilarious to all. The protagonist Annie, played by Kristen Wiig, has been appointed as the maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding. Annie’s life is riding along a downhill slope with career, boyfriend and home issues and is now topped with the responsibilities of wedding planning and bringing the other bridesmaids together as friends. Annie’s awkward and quirky persona, mixed with a severe case of bad luck, places her and the rest of the bridal party into outrageous situations in which comedy ensues. As a comedy, Bridesmaids is an enormous box office success. The following the film received was enhanced due to the debate and mixed emotions, that sparked the interests of feminists across the country. This comedy, produced by someone who is

known for making stereotypical “man” comedies, comprised of sexist jokes, lewd behavior, and outrageous male experiences at the expense of one-dimensional female characters, was written in collaboration with a very funny female writer in an attempt to present women under a new light. The trailers hailed the film as “The Chick Flick for Guys” and as “The female version of The Hangover.” The film’s ultimate message: women are just as funny, complicated, and human as men! One review stated that Bridesmaids is “a movie that succeeds, often beautifully, not by forcing its characters to be as naughty and gross and pathetic as men are. It soars by letting them be as naughty and gross and pathetic as women are. Three cheers for equality." Other critics doubted the progressiveness of the film, when discussing that the actual plot of the film is founded on a stereotypical and overused female scenario: weddings. Arguably, the film succeeds in taking an overused female experience to defy the representations of women by creating characters that are raunchy, independent, and multi-dimensional. I initially found this film to be a wonderful step towards women’s equality in pop culture, a film that fosters nontraditional representations of femininity. The film undoubtedly mocks stereotypical female experiences and literally craps all over them, but my initial reaction proves underdeveloped. The film rests on the idea that because it portrays women as vulgar and aggressive, it deepens the

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representation of women in general. Ruth Franklin puts it well when she states, “I didn’t yet know that the right to barf on screen would one day be heralded as a touchstone of women’s equality in film”. Yes, the film is a different kind of “chick flick” and yes; it is a film that men will also enjoy watching. What exactly is revolutionary about this film? Is it the unique representations of women, or is it the fact that the male audience, in accordance with male humor, accepted it as funny? “There can be no true equality as long as men—men’s tastes, men’s beliefs, men’s prerogatives—remain the standard by which we measure the norm,” states Franklin in her review. I couldn’t agree more, which leaves me in a dilemma on how I feel about the film as a cultural symbol for women’s rights. For those who have not seen this film I encourage you to watch it. Ultimately, it is absolutely hilarious with great acting and fantastic dialogue. It gives us believable, relatable women whose existences are not centered on the gaining of male attention and whose core focus is on women’s relationships with one another. I cannot say I feel confident in claiming that this film will ignite the next great wave of cultural feminism, as many reviewers have claimed, but I can say that it is a breath of fresh air and perhaps a step in the right direction.

Donʼt like what you see here? JAGed welcomes dialogue about any and all issues. Please send your thoughts or concerns to info@JAGed.org

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JAGed Volume 2 Issue 1 Sept 6 2011  

JAGed (Justice and Gender Education) is an organization that provides support for those who promote social justice, equality and human right...

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