In this November 2014 clip from “The Late Show with David Letterman,” standup comedian Aziz Ansari discusses how his relationship with his girlfriend, a “huge feminist,” has prompted him to assess his own views on gender equality and feminism. In the clip, Ansari asks audience members to clap or cheer if they consider themselves to be feminists. When the applause is what he believes to be slightly subpar, Ansari reminds the audience that the textbook definition of “feminist” is someone who believes that men and women should have equal rights, and goes on to say he feels like everyone here supports that notion. However, Ansari qualifies his previous statement, adding that he thinks many people don’t identify as feminists because of intense or negative connotations associated with the word, such as being “crazy.” Ansari goes on to prompt viewers who believe men and women should have equal rights to label themselves as feminists, much as a doctor that treats diseases of the skin would label him or herself a dermatologist. In the next portion of the clip, Ansari uses contemporary pop culture to make a point about feminism: “You don’t go to a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert and think Beyonce should get 23 percent less money than Jay-Z,” drawing a reference to gender pay inequality. Ansari goes on to say that we wouldn’t criticize Beyonce for having the right to vote, or think that she should be at home making Jay-Z dinner, addressing both women’s suffrage and stereotypical domestic roles.
Ban Bossy is a campaign that the Girl Scouts of America and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg co-created in 2014. The campaign has produced several videos featuring a range of women and girl’s narratives about being called bossy. In this video, “I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss,” celebrities and public figures including Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Jane Lynch, Diane von Furstenburg, and Condoleezza Rice talk about women’s experiences asserting themselves. As the campaign explains, between elementary and high school, girls’ self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’ and girls become less interested in leadership than male counterparts.
This commercial, designed to resemble an educational presentation, features “Professor Gerald E. Rodney”. He emerges from an Ivy-covered building of the “Bud Light Institute” and explains how Bud Light has been devising new ways of “keeping women occupied, so men could go out with their friends and maybe have a cold, refreshing Bud Light.” The professor then attributes the creation of tea parties, Tupperware parties, shoe sales, soap operas, and even feminism to the Bud Light Institute – all in the name of distracting women long enough to “free” men to drink beer. The commercial ends with the professor standing before a hundred or so white-coated lab technicians from the “Institute.”
This roundtable discussion was featured on the website forThe Hollywood Reporter(THR.com) in 2009. It highlights successful female comedic actresses – including Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Amy Poehler and Christina Applegate, among others – discussing the ways that their age has impacted the types of roles for which they are considered (or, quite often, not considered) in Hollywood.
This 2004 clip from Season 1, Episode 8 (“Guilty”) of Desperate Housewives depicts an overstressed mother of four young children pushed to the breaking point. While her kids bang on pots and pans, Lynette Scavo (played by Felicity Huffman) learns that her husband’s work will detain him much later than they’d originally planned. Powerless to retrieve her husband or quiet her children, Lynette breaks down and turns a gun on herself (aided by the ghost of recently deceased neighbor Mary Alice). SPOILER: Then she wakes up.