Tag Archives: research

Commentary on the Oscars: Diversity in Film 2014

23 Feb

Guest Post by Jonathan Scott Chee

Looking through the nominations for this year’s Oscars, you’d be forgiven for thinking Hollywood had outsourced the entire American film industry to some parallel universe, populated almost entirely by white men.

The Oscars have long been a biting reminder of just how ubiquitously white the film industry truly is, but is the Academy itself purposefully excluding non-white artists, or are they simply taking their pick from an already white-dominated industry?

Analysis of the top grossing films of 2014 paints a troubling picture of exclusion and underrepresentation. People of colour and women make up a woefully small percentage of the principal cast, and behind the cameras white men also make up the vast majority of directors and screenwriters.

As alarming as the statistics in the infographic may be, they fail to tackle an important, yet subtle, element of the structural inequality within the film industry: the kind of roles minority actors and women get. While people of colour may only make up 16% of the total cast of 2014’s biggest blockbusters, they end up playing similar characters time and again: the sassy black sidekick, the tough-yet-warm-hearted convict, the swag drug dealer, the goofy immigrant with a hilariously poor grasp of the English language, the math nerd virgin – these are the roles our minority ethnic actors are relegated to, rarely getting to tackle a role with real depth and therefore rarely getting the opportunity to showcase their talents.

For women, too, the story is much the same – a blockbuster film led by a female protagonist is still very much an anomaly in movie theatres. Worryingly, the industry seems to be becoming even more exclusionary over time, with fewer women than ever involved both in front of, and behind, the camera.

For women of colour, the outlook gets even bleaker as they made up just 3% of all the speaking roles in 2014’s biggest blockbusters. Once again, this statistic doesn’t quite paint the full picture, as that 3% is overwhelmingly made up of black, or mixed race black/white women. If you are an East Asian woman, roles outside of the sultry, accented “dragon lady” or “comedy immigrant” are practically non-existent. South Asian actresses hunting for work in Hollywood may as well be hunting unicorns.

The effects of Hollywood white-washing go far beyond out of work actors, however. As people of colour, our children grow up in an environment where they see no reflection of themselves in mainstream culture. Personally, I don’t want my children to grow up in a society where the only representation of themselves they see on screen are as nerds, sultry objects of white male fetishism or kung-fu geniuses, because as much as art may attempt to represent reality, conversely, it’s clear that it works to shape perceptions of it as well.

Feminist Principles to Live By

22 Aug

A strong feminist practice must be based on a solid foundation. To that end, we present some of the key principles that inform and guide our day-to-day lived feminism.  The overarching concept tying these principles together is a commitment to practicing a self-aware, intersectional sisterly solidarity that underpins our struggles to unlearn, address and correct the oppression present in ourselves, our circles, and our societies.

We note that the personal is political and no position is innocent. Thus, not only do we acknowledge the ways we ourselves are conditioned by the WMPS, but we also actively seek to 1) identify oppressive forces in ourselves and in our communities, 2) work to understand them with an anti-oppressive feminist analysis and re-visioning of each situation, and 3) actively re-figure our roles, responsibilities, and relationships so that they are honest, healthy and free from patriarchal oppression and other systems of domination.

Read these principles, digest and share them with fellow feminists and allies, and particularly with anybody who claims that they are feminist yet continues to cause suffering due to misogyny, sexism, or other oppressive practices. We hope they will be of use to you in your personal feminist praxis. In the comments, share with us and other readers the feminist principles you choose to live by, so we can continue to learn together. Continue reading

SoR in Interface: feminism, women’s movements and women in movement

14 Dec

Sisters of Resistance are delighted to appear in the latest edition of Interface. Our discussion with Dr Sara Motta, about resistance to patriarchy, the SoR blog and practicing feminism in the everyday, is available for download as an audio file here.


Volume three, issue two (November 2011):

Feminism, women’s movements and women in movement

Full PDF is available here

Issue editors: Sara Motta, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Catherine Eschle, Laurence Cox

Volume three, issue two of Interface, a peer-reviewed e-journal produced and refereed by social movement practitioners and engaged movement researchers, is now out, on the special theme “Feminism, women’s movements and women in movement”. Interface is open-access (free), global and multilingual. Our overall aim is to “learn from each other’s struggles”: to develop a dialogue between practitioners and researchers, but also between different social movements, intellectual traditions and national or regional contexts.

This issue of Interface includes 27 pieces in English and Spanish, by authors writing from / about Australia, Canada, Denmark, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

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How to Tell if Your Man is Cheating: Part 3 – Psychology

31 Aug

To complete our How to Tell If Your Man is Cheating series, Sisters of Resistance have compiled information on the psychological and emotional profiles of men who cheat, based upon real-life experiences collectively referred to as relationship field research. In this article, we answer the questions:

         “What kind of man cheats?”

         “How does the cheating show up in his emotions?”

         “What are the structural inequalities that enable men to cheat?”

         “What does this mean for me?”

We hope these insights will help our readers to identify cheating men, as well as reveal why, if they have been cheated on, it is not their fault.

Part 1: LIES

Part 2: Behavioural Patterns and Other Evidence

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Sex and Spittin: OG Niki

16 May

A Message for Fans and Haters

A small group of Sisters of Resistance recently spent an evening talking about OG Niki, real name Nikesha, and listening to her  interviews, ‘spit your game’ and her tunes. Here we reflect on this discussion and offer our support to her and other young women who’ve had similar experiences. We also look at some of the underlying issues raised by her lyrics and peoples responses to them.

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