In her 1991 autobiography Ginger: My Story, Ginger Rogers didn’t mince words: “It was tough being a woman in the theatrical business in those days…women were not allowed in the production department or in the directorial field. We had script girls, dress fitters, costume designers, and stand-ins, but no women were on the cameras or operating the sound boom, or, indeed, working on any of the sound equipment. There were no women set designers, nor were females allowed to act as assistant directors or directors.” In 1982, a comic strip summed up Hollywood sexism in one memorable phrase: “Sure [Fred Astaire] was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards…and in high heels!”
There are certainly plenty of things to admire, and many funny moments, in the first season of The Skinny—the new web series about, among other things, bulimia—from women’s lifestyle site Refinery29 and writer-director-star Jessie Kahnweiler. But after bingeing on the show, I have to say it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Playboy has stopped publishing pictures of naked women. How does this relate to the magazine’s touted goals of keeping current with porn’s changing landscape—and of staying relevant, particularly in the way it treats women at a time when feminism is suddenly cool? Here’s my feminist lens play-by-play of the highlights.
From making childhood cross-country journeys with her father to speaking on college campuses and at political rallies as an adult, Gloria Steinem has spent most of her life on the road—a domain historically populated by men. In the new memoir My Life on the Road, her eighth book, Steinem chronicles her years spent traveling the country; her stories of welcoming and companionship challenge the notion that the road is no place for women. Trips such as these certainly broaden our insight, and for those of us with less experience, armchair traveling with Steinem is a pretty good stand-in.