This Week in Women: The Beyoncé Remake Edition
Cultural habits of sexism have been normalized in varying degrees across cultures and countries, making it commonplace for women and girls to be diminished and underestimated. This week, we look to the media companies and individuals that are making strides in changing the conversation, including the pioneering tennis player Billie Jean King.
“I knew everyone would be watching and that it would touch the minds and hearts of people. You have no idea what was going on in months before the match—everyone was betting on it, talking about it. There were a lot of parties that night—parties in the suburbs, parties with sororities and fraternities. Everyone knew what was going on—we had 90 million people watching [on TV]. I knew I had this platform to help advance equality,” said Billie Jean King in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, speaking on her upcoming biopic Battle of the Sexes. “It’s not just about girls, is another thing I want to say. When people say to me, ‘Thanks what you do for women,’ it gets me crazy, because that keeps our marketplace half the size. You would never say that to a guy: ‘Oh thanks what you’ve done for guys,’ you say ‘Thanks for your leadership.’ We need to teach this to young people, especially our boys.”
Ready for more highlights from the battlefield? It’s time for This Week in Women!
UK Publisher Apologizes for Sexist Reference to Breasts
UK-based publisher Usborne issued an apology this week, after Man vs. Pinkblogger Simon Ragoonanan posted a screenshot and extract from the 2013 book Growing Up for Boys by Alex Frith. The picture illustrated different shapes of breasts with Frith’s extract, “What are breasts for? Girls have breasts for two reasons. One is to make milk for babies. The other is to make the girl look grown-up and attractive. Virtually all breasts, no matter what size or shape they end up when a girl finishes puberty, can do both things.”
Obviously this is an incredibly offensive and limiting statement—and even though part of it is factually correct about breast functionality with respect to nurturing infants, the second half sexualizes girls, and also reduces breasts as a way to make females more attractive to the opposite sex.
“Usborne apologizes for any offense caused by this wording and will be revising the content for reprinting,” said an Usborne spokesperson to The Guardian.
Teaching boys that breast size equivocates to attractiveness is a problem (duh), and organizations like Let Books Be Books and Teaching For Change are changing the conversation around development and diffusing sexist language.
WNBA Team Remake Beyoncé Video in Ultimate Clapback
WNBA team the Los Angeles Sparks constantly finds itself on the receiving end of some internet trolling. On Thursday, the champions released a remake of Beyoncé’s “Sorry”, which has since been deleted from their social media accounts.
The freaking LA Sparks deserve to be Champions forever for this video!!!! YES QUEENS!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/ovHK7wvshD
— Astasia Williams (@AstasiaWill) August 25, 2017
The video includes quotes of malicious tweets about the team, but is countered with some seriously fierce visuals of the team flashing their championship rings. The video clip reinforces women’s strength and accomplishments with some true role modeling. LA Sparks: 1, Haters: 0.
Extreme Fashionistas Documentary Takes Viewers Outside the Box
Extreme Fashionistas will hit the airwaves on Cinémoi network on September 6, highlighting “fashion, in unexpected places.”
“I love fashion, especially when it shows us how the world around us is changing,” says French journalist Lydia Kali in a trailer for the new documentary series. “So I decided to look at various countries where fashion is just starting to emerge. In places where it was not easy to be creative or even different.”
The series will explore remote locations, from Burma and beyond. “When people think of fashion, they first think of NYC, Paris, Milan,” says an official statement from Edith Paris. “The weight of tradition, poverty and religion has prompted younger generations to reinvent style. ‘Extreme Fashionistas’ offers an exclusive glimpse into he lives of these new designers: from the PVC jackets of a punk Buddhist community in Burma, to the hijabistas in Algiers.”
Featured image via Rolling Stone
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.