Holy Bat Shark!: 150 words on masks

Batman’s particular disguise with its triangular ears on top of a black mask that covers half of the face has become a cultural symbol for vigilante justice. The disguise no longer obfuscates the identity of the super hero; the mask has become a marker of identity for extraordinary strength. The addition of the mask to […]

Pauline to the rescue!: 150 words on modding

Last night, for his daughter, a father altered one of my favorite video games to swap Mario out for Pauline, making her the heroine by saving Mario from Donkey Kong. His modding the game brought awareness to the hegemonic, patriarchal value behind the American assemblage that centers hero within masculinity. Changing the gender to a […]

Damn, you are really dark!: 150 words on skin lightening

If you’re a person of color, why would you choose to lighten your skin? Because paler is prettier inside communities of color, thanks to Western media. Because skin color stratification privileges light over dark in beauty, housing, employment, income, education, and marriage (Hunter 2007). Because the racist effects of colorism seem “controllable” through creams, bleaching, […]

The Devil makes White girls do backbends: 150 words on horror films

The more a woman’s body is contorted into a spine-breaking backbend, the more “scary” that horror movie is. Why is it that The Devil only inhabits young, White girls? Because women are devalued in horror films as victims, while men are reserved as the heroes. The erotic element of seeing a woman’s body physically turned […]

The call for an uprising of unbedded women: 150 words on Everybody Loves Raymond

When Raymond can’t remember if his wife’s hair was long when they first met, Debra angrily sends him to sleep on the couch as punishment. When will television writers create wives that choose to leave their husbands in bed, rather than relying upon husband acquiescence? Feminists emphasize women’s agency: exercising power over women’s safety, emotional […]

Sexist, funny, both, or neither?: 150 words on the series finale of 30 Rock

Sexist, funny, both, or neither? After seven seasons, the series finale of 30 Rock re-affirms masculinist logics and gendered expectations about employment by characterizing the desire to work as “male.” 30 Rock’s comedy is a contemporary, cultural artifact of the racial, historical, political, economic, and social ideologies of the United States of America. Its comedic […]