This 2014 licensed t-shirt from DC Comics features the words “Training to be Batman’s Wife” along with the Batman symbol in bold pink lettering on a grey fitted shirt. It was available for purchase in stores and online retailers such as in Walmart’s Junior’s department and through Amazon.com.
As part of her role as an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ambassador, Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member Sasheer Zamata stars in this satirical video that features her and a White male friend walking around a city, talking about gender, racial, and class privilege. The White male friend talks about how far the country has come in terms of prejudice and discrimination and fails to notice as they pass examples of everyday structural and systemic White privilege, such as a billboard featuring another television show about a group of four White men. In their conversation, he continues to make arguments about progress, equality, individualism, and the merits of simply working hard, as Sasheer offers counterpoints to his arguments, pointing out structural and systemic privileges that mask institutionalized discrimination. She is also stopped and frisked by a police officer, racially profiled, and repeatedly cat-called, told to smile, and called a prude for covering up. In the end, he is congratulated for stating that he considers himself a feminist, whereas she is ignored and dismissed when she also says she is a feminist. He suddenly realizes the privileges that Sasheer has been talking about throughout their walk, and states that he gets it and that things are unfair and will not get better if they go ignored and unacknowledged. The video ends with the text, “Women’s equality starts with the person next to you. Be a friend,” and then the ACLU encourages sharing of the video.
At the 67th Emmy Awards in 2015, actress Viola Davis became the first woman of color to ever win the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of a lawyer in the television show,How To Get Away With Murder. The actress started her acceptance speech with a quote from American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, acknowledged and paid tribute to the struggles and achievements of past and current women and men of color in the entertainment industry, and talked about the systemic exclusion of people of color from Hollywood and the U.S. entertainment industry. She said, “Let me tell you something. The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”
This video features American YouTube video-blogger, sex educator, and feminist activist Laci Green exploring wearing makeup as a feminist issue. She addresses common debates, such as whether wearing makeup is feminist, empowering, or sexist, and ultimately dismisses all of these limiting frames. The video begins with Laci talking about how people interacting with her on social media will sometimes ask her why she does not shave but does wear makeup. She talks about the lucrative makeup industry, the many YouTube makeup tutorial videos and communities, and briefly traces a few historical examples of how makeup was used in different contexts, such as by ancient Egyptians, male theater performers, and companies selling Hollywood looks, and how these norms and conventions change with social and historical context. She then highlights five common issues that people have around makeup: 1) “professional obligation,” 2) social pressure, 3) unnecessary gendering, 4) judgment and unsolicited opinions, and arguing that 5) femininity is not inferior, relating different kinds of comments and social situations to systemic sexism and discrimination. Laci Green also explores the topic of whether wearing makeup can be feminist, ending with the sentiment that women should be free to do what they want with their bodies because one way of continuing to repress and discriminate against women is by critiquing and policing their appearance as they try to navigate their relationship to changing social norms.
This 2015 video from MTV News weekly series Decoded satirically parodies White people “whitesplaining whitesplaining,” the term used to describe the act of White people patronizingly explaining or defining to a person of color what should or shouldn’t be racist against people of color. Through a series of interactions between Franchesca Ramsey and a range of White characters interrupting and talking over her and each other, this video shows what “whitesplaining” and White “mansplaining” can look like. The White characters include friends, partners, a man from a “diverse” neighborhood, a man with dreadlocks, a professor of African American studies, a woman with a “talking stick,” a woman with an Oprah shirt, Rachel Dolezal, and references to these characters being “in the know” because they saw movies likeTwelve Years a Slaveand read articles about race inThe Atlantic. The clip ends with one of the characters stopping everyone from speaking and once again defining whitesplaining to Franchesca and telling her that she wouldn’t put up with it if she were her. Franchesca responds that she doesn’t know what to say right now, and the group of White characters all say, “you’re welcome.”