In 2013, Disney-owned Marvel Comics, publishers of popular superhero franchises such as X-Men, Spiderman, and The Incredible Hulk, manufactured and sold boys and girls t-shirts for the Avengers comic franchise. The shirt for boys is blue and has an image of Iron Man and the words “Be a Hero” printed across the chest. The shirt for girls is red and has a group of Avengers - The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man - with the words “I need a hero” printed on it.
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.
In this 2012 clip from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, host Ellen mocks a new product, Bic for Her, a line of pens marketed to women. She points out various attributes of the pens: that they come in "lady colors" pink and purple, are "designed to fit a women's hand," and "cost twice as much" as other pens. She then, jokingly, tells the studio audience that she was asked to star in a commercial for the pens. The show then cuts to a skit, a parody commercial in which Ellen plays a mother, walking along the beach with her adolescent daughter, having a "heart to heart" conversation about growing up and using Bic for Her pens. The bit was part of a larger public reaction against Bic for Her pens, including many satirical user-generated reviews on Amazon and much commentary on blogs and other media outlets.
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.