New Blog: Underneath This

Hello,To anyone who stumbles upon this blog, which I haven’t posted in for quite a while, here is a new blog that I recently started with a friend: It is a collaborative effort and features interviews with musicians, authors and activists as well as thoughts on film, food, feminism and anything else that interests us. Enjoy, and tell us your thoughts!


June 23, 2013 Posted by | Feminism, Music, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Target Women: Story Time

In the latest episode of Target Women, Sarah Haskins takes a look at ads about magical cream cheese, ugly medusa hair, and every princess cliche you can think of. I think this might be my favorite one so far. “Milk will also bring sunshine to a land devastated by your period tears.” Sparkles!

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | , | Leave a comment

“So what I’m saying is, when you’re older, most of you will be gay. Anyone writing this stuff down? Parents?”

I wish Ellen DeGeneres spoke at my commencement. The speech she gave to the class of 2009 at Tulane University last week was really funny and insightful. Here is the video:

Via Feministing.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Homophobia, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Target Women: Obama Arms

Here is another brilliant Target Women segment. This one deals with the scandal and controversy ignited by Michelle Obama’s bare arms…because apparently the media has nothing better to report on?

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism, politics | , | Leave a comment

Target Women: Medicine

In the latest Target Women segment, Sarah Haskins takes on drug commercials. I love the Marx Brothers impression and the bit about sweatpants. I also like the ending since I always find the casual mention of death or serious illnesses as side effects to be a tad alarming. You can watch other episodes of Target Women here.

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | | Leave a comment

Miss California and Perez Hilton

I think this might be the best response I’ve heard to the incident between Miss California and Perez Hilton. I thought the Miss USA contestant was just being inarticulate, but the time traveler theory makes perfect sense!

You can watch Jay Smooth’s other videos at

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism, Homophobia, politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

White House Council on Women and Girls

On International Women’s Day, President Obama announced the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls. So far it sounds very promising. Here is a video of the announcement:

Via Feministing.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Feminism, politics | | Leave a comment

Time to End the Global Gag Rule

On his first day in office in 2001, George W. Bush reinstated the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule. This policy denies U.S. family planning assistance to foreign organizations that use funding from any source to perform abortions, lobby for abortion rights, or provide counseling about abortion. Sign the petition asking Barack Obama to overturn this policy.

The video and petition are from EngenderHealth.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Feminism, politics | | Leave a comment

Target Women: Lessons 2008

In the newest Target Women segment, Sarah Haskins reflects on lessons learned from the media in 2008. “I don’t know where Paraguay is!”

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December 19, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | | 2 Comments

Help save a feminist bookstore

I saw this posted at Feministing and thought I should spread the word. In Other Words is the last non-profit feminist bookstore in the U.S, and they need to raise $11,000 by the end of December or else they’ll have to close in March. According to their website, they’ve already raised nearly $7,000. You can help by making a donation, visiting the store in Portland, or shopping at their website.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Feminism | | Leave a comment

Target Women: Jewelry

Another Target Women segment is here, and as usual it’s hilarious and spot on.

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FYI: If you’re thinking about buying a diamond but want to make sure it’s produced under ethical conditions and not being used to fund war, you can find resources at The Conflict Free Diamond Council.

December 14, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | , | Leave a comment

Target Women: Vampires

In her newest Target Women segment, Sarah Haskins visits a “Twilight” poster signing to find out why teenage girls want to date vampires. I only heard of the “Twilight” phenomenon recently, but apparently the series is extremely popular. The movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, earned $70.5 million its opening weekend, making it the biggest opening weekend for a female director in history. A blogger at OverThinkingIt pointed out that once “Twilight” grosses over $187 million, it will become one of the top 100 highest grossing films in the U.S.

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December 9, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | , | 2 Comments

Jon Favreau and the Facebook Incident

The Washington Post)

Jon Favreau, Barack Obama's chief speechwriter, and a friend pose with a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton. (Source: The Washington Post)

For about two hours on Thursday afternoon, the picture on the right was posted on Facebook. It could be a scene from a frat party, except look more closely and you’ll notice that the man on the right is wearing a shirt that reads “Obama Staff.” On the left is 27-year-old Jon Favreau, Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter. The two are shown posing with a lifesize cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton. Favreau is shown cupping his hand over Clinton’s breast while the unidentified person on the right is pulling back her hair, placing a beer in her face and giving her a kiss.

Since the photo first surfaced, I’ve seen reactions ranging from outrage and calls for Favreau to be fired to apathy and “boys will be boys” type justifications (see blog posts about this issue here, here, here and here). According to The Washington Post, Favreau “reached out to Senator Clinton to offer an apology.”

The Washington Post reported that “Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines cast the photos as evidence of increased bonhomie between the formerly rival camps.” Reines stated that “Senator Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon’s obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application.” Campbell Brown criticized Clinton for not taking the incident seriously after having denounced sexism throughout her campaign. As a blogger pointed out on Shakesville, it’s possible Clinton responded this way to avoid being labeled a “humorless feminist,” or maybe she really doesn’t see it as a big deal. Either way, I think the blame should be placed on the men in the photo, not Clinton.

The photo could be easily dismissed as silly, immature behavior at a party, but I think more should be expected from someone with a high profile position in the Obama administration. It shows a lack of judgment on Favreau’s part, and I don’t think it’s overreacting or being a “humorless feminist” to call him out on it. Of course there are other pressing issues to be concerned about, but excusing actions like this sends the message that it’s ok to disrespect women. Just because sexist behavior is often normalized in our culture doesn’t mean it should be viewed as acceptable.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | politics, Sexism | | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin

Since John McCain announced his vice presidential pick on August 29, Sarah Palin has risen from relative obscurity and caused a media frenzy. Here are some blog posts and articles relating to Palin and feminism that I found interesting:

Shelly Mandell, President of NOW’s LA chapter, has endorsed Sarah Palin for Vice President. Feministe posted a video of the endorsement and made the following comment: “Having women in positions in power is crucial to empowering women more broadly; but when those women are anti-feminist, it’s not a feminist move to elect them.” Mandell states that Palin is an advocate for women’s rights, but she doesn’t give much evidence to support that claim. She mentions that Palin supports equal pay for women, but Palin told Katie Couric she is against the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Mostly, she just says that Palin will shake up Washington, which doesn’t seem likely considering her stances on feminist issues. Mandell’s statement was a personal endorsement, and NOW PAC officially endorses Obama/Biden.

An analysis of SNL’s VP debate skit. I found Aviva’s blog post via Feministe. I think the SNL skits parodying Palin have been hilarious, and I agree that it’s both funny and scary that some of the dialogue is taken verbatim from Palin’s interviews. Femiste remarked, “Next week, SNL is just going to overdub a laugh track on clips taken directly from the campaign trail.”

Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin. In this TIME article, Belinda Luscombe argues that some women loathe Palin for three reasons: she’s too pretty, too confident and could embarrass us. Luscombe bases her opinions on her experiences at an all-girls’ high school, and refers to women as “weapon-grade haters.” I really hope she’s not being serious.

Sarah Palin: Not a Feminist. Evil Slutopia details why Sarah Palin’s policies are anti-feminist.

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Feminism, politics | | Leave a comment

Target Women: Cleaning

I think this might possibly be the best Target Women segment yet.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Ani

In honor of Ani DiFranco‘s 38th birthday, here is a video of 32 flavors, from Ani’s 1995 album Not A Pretty Girl.

I admire Ani for her independence, passion, and of course her amazing musical skills. She’s inspired so many people, and her lyrics are brilliant. She recently recorded 4 tracks on, two of which are on her new album, Red Letter Year. I’m really excited about the album and hope I’ll be able to see her in concert again soon.

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Feminism, Music | | Leave a comment

Target Women: Chick Flicks

The seventh installment of Target Women, which was up a few weeks ago, is dedicated to chick flicks. I love the photoshopping, and the Colin Firth mention.

September 8, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | , | Leave a comment

PETA fails, again

Feministing posted about PETA‘s newest attempt at advertising. Apparently, PETA is petitioning the U.S. government to post advertisements on the U.S.-Mexico border to encourage immigrants to choose a vegan diet. The message on the billboards would read (in English and Spanish): “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.” I don’t understand why anyone would think this is a good idea. If they’re just trying to generate controversy and gain publicity, it looks like they are succeeding. Miriam at Feministing pointed out that the fences interfere with migration patterns of animals living in those regions, but PETA doesn’t seem to care about that.

Of course, this isn’t the first time PETA has made poor advertising choices. They continue to rely on sexist advertising that objectifies women. In PETA’s letter in The New York Times last month, the president of PETA defends their advertising by arguing that “sex sells.” She acknowledges that “animal suffering and human suffering are undeniably interconnected” and insists that PETA is concerned about both. However, by continuing to use offensive ads, PETA is sending the message that they respect animals more than they respect people. I don’t think that alienating feminists who support animal rights is going to help their cause.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Sexism, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Patriarchy and the Olympics

Some articles and blog posts I’ve been reading:

In Grand Olympic Show, Some Sleight of Voice. The Olympics organizers faced a dilemma when choosing the child to sing “Ode to the Motherland” at the opening ceremony. While they decided that seven year old Yang Peiyi had the best voice, they didn’t think she was as “flawless” as nine year old Lin Miaoke. The production team decided to use Yan Peiyi’s voice and put Lin Miaoke on stage. General music designer Chen Qigang justified this decision by explaining that “we must put our country’s interest first.” What a terrible message to send to both of the girls involved. One girl is told she’s not pretty enough, and the other is told she’s not talented enough. Peiyi told China Central Television that she is ok with it and is just happy that her voice was used in the performance. Miaoke’s father said that his daughter wasn’t upset by the news and that she “doesn’t care who sang the song, as long as she performed.” He added, “I don’t care about this either. The only thing I care about is that my daughter will not get hurt by this. She’ll understand when she grows up.”

Hoyden About Town blogs about the objectification of female athletes in the Olympics. The side by side comparisons of men and women athletes show that there is definitely a double standard when it comes to uniforms for male and female Olympians. As Lauredhel points out, “It’s not about faster, higher, stronger. Women in sports are promoted as sexualised bodies for ogling; men are promoted as performers.”

Olympic medal-winning women called “gold-diggers.” According to Feministing, Sydney Morning Herald published a picture of the Australian women’s 4×200 relay swim team with the caption, “Shock Result for Aussies Gold Diggers.” They have since changed the caption to “The Fab Four.”

Over at the Feministing community blog, there is a post about the sexualization of female Olympians. Another blogger wrote this post analyzing Buzz Bissinger’s “Creep Show” article in The New York Times.

The XY Games. This New York Times article examines the practice of subjecting female athletes to tests to verify that they are women. Jennifer Finney Boylan examines the difficulties in attempting to define gender in rigid, binary terms and arrives at this conclusion: “Maybe this means that Olympic officials have to learn to live with ambiguity, and make peace with a world in which things are not always quantifiable and clear.”


Slate posted this article about women’s uniforms in the table tennis competition. According to Yahoo Sports, the vice president of the International Table Tennis Federation is telling women players to wear skirts and shirts “with more curves” to attract viewers. Of course, he isn’t requesting that the men change their uniforms. It’s not right to ask the women players to change the way they dress since it obviously has nothing to do with functionality. The players should be able to wear whatever they choose, and the focus should be on their performance.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Feminism, Sexism | , | Leave a comment

Target Women: Birth Control

The newest Target Women segment is up, and as usual, Sarah Haskins is hilarious. This installment is all about birth control that is advertised as period control. “Fewer periods, yay! Now we don’t have to leave the tribe and sit in that hut for a week. That was a bummer.”

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Comedy, Feminism | , , , , , | Leave a comment