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Orange is the New Black: Empowering & Revolutionary

A woman with blonde hair, blue eyes and money is the epitome of attraction.  But that doesn’t matter. When Piper Chapman went to prison, the world she knew in midst of high rise buildings and the latest technologies, disappeared before her eyes. Suddenly, open bathrooms, and private toilet paper with a side of public sex was the norm.

Created by Jenji Kohan and adapted from the memoir by Piper Kerman, “Orange Is The New Black” is available for streaming and has already toppled all notions of what a television series about women looks and sounds like. While network shows have slowly added minority characters, the cast of this series has dozens. Laverne Cox, the actress playing the transgender beautician, Sophia, is transgender herself.

That’s not the only exception. All the women are of all different shapes and sizes. Many of the characters are over 40. There are short women, straight, gay, old; everyone is represented here. Audiences have fallen in love with these women in one way or another. It’s easy to identify with certain characters because women get to see themselves. It’s a complete mythbuster.

One of the myths busted by OITNB is that female characters have to be a little likable. They are criminals. Drug mules. Murderers. Thieves. But what should repel us about them is ultimately what draws us to them. Full fledged criminals became women we know, women we care about, women we root for. “Sometimes unpleasant, but always human.”

Their humanity would not come through without the cast Kohan has assembled. “I think ‘Orange’ is phenomenal,” says Alexa Fogel, casting director of “The Wire,” which pioneered roles for minority men in the same way “Orange” has for women. “They’re writing about a unique environment that we haven’t seen before and I think that’s part of the reason people are so taken with the show.”

Both HBO and Showtime turned down “Orange Is the New Black” when she pitched the series to them. Now Netflix, which has renewed “Orange” for a fourth season (obviously), has the most buzz worthy female-centric show on all of television, with its network confirming that its popularity has surpassed hit show “House of Cards.”

 

Check out “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” for more female-centric goodness! Tell us what your favourite show is in the comments below!

WATCH : Caitlyn Jenner’s Speech at the Espy’s

https://youtu.be/5j5AC_NgQpc

“If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead,” she said inside the Nokia Theater, surrounded by fellow athletes. “The reality is, I can take it.”

Caitlyn Jenner wowed in white at the Espy’s yesterday as she accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Watch her moving speech as she speaks about her transformation, challenges, and most importantly – successes.

Tylenol Commercial Launches #HowWeFamily Campaign

When did you first fight to be considered a family?

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, asks an important question in Johnson&Johnson’s latest Tylenol commercial. The company is doing what no pain medication has done before; launching an ad campaign featuring the modern North American family.

Although there is no direct correlation between migranes and the touchy montage featuring gay, lesbian, and biracial families– set to air next week — the campaign will be part of a three month project during which 10 real families will be filmed in series of “docu-shorts.” You can view these shorts on HowWeFamily.com.

“The reality that we know today is that families look and feel different than they did before and we want to celebrate that fact,” senior marketing director, Manoj Raghunandanan, said. “Because we’re a family brand, because we’re an iconic American brand, and we want to continue to serve families into the future, I think it’s important that we reflect what that family is today.”

Caitlyn Jenner: Olympian Hero to Transgender Icon

Former Olympian champion Bruce Jenner made his debut as a woman today on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. The cover is currently going viral on the internet and we know exactly why! Whether it’s the brunette locks, her fierce expression, or those super toned legs, Caitlyn Jenner completes every criteria of the modern day bombshell.

Just a few months ago, the reality star sat down with Diane Sawyer, still known as Bruce Jenner, in an emotional 2 hour interview, coming out as a woman. Now referred to as her, this is Caitlyn’s first public appearance since the interview and transitional surgery. It is confirmed, however, that Jenner has not yet gone through genital surgery.

“If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.” Jenner stated in the 22 page cover story, on newsstands June 9.

Caitlyn-Kenner-Red-Dress

Caitlyn Jenner took to social media to tweet from her new account “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.” Celebrities, friends, family, and her fans also tweeted out their support and commends Caitlyn for her bravery.

It’s no doubt the 65 year old has become an overnight icon for the transgendered community. She joins the list of other transgendered celebrities such as Sonny and Cher’s son, Chaz Bono and former Miss Universe contestant, Jenna Talackova. We’re looking forward to seeing what more Caitlyn has in store for us. 

Although North American society is quickly becoming more welcoming towards the LGBT community, it’s evident that the ‘T’ is often overlookedLike Jenner, there are still many people out there who are struggling to come out as transgendered. If you or someone you know needs help with any transgendered related issues, visit http://www.translifeline.org/.

Ireland Says Yes!

More than half of the country voted yes to same sex marriage last week, making Ireland the 20th country to legally embrace homosexuality.

“Today Ireland made history,” Prime Minister Enda Kenny said at a news conference, adding that “in the privacy of the ballot box, the people made a public statement.”

“This decision makes every citizen equal and I believe it will strengthen the institution of marriage,” Mr. Kenny said.

To celebrate, here is a list of the 20 countries that has legalized gay marriage:

The Netherlands (2000)

Belgium (2003)

Canada (2005)

Spain (2005)

South Africa (2006)

Norway (2009)

Sweden (2009)

Argentina (2010)

Iceland (2010)

Portugal (2010)

Denmark (2012)

Brazil (2013)

England and Wales (2013)

France (2013)

New Zealand (2013)

Uruguay (2013)

Luxembourg (2014)

Scotland (2014)

Ireland (2015)

Finland (effective 2017)

Miss Representation: A Misrepresentation In Itself

With a society that’s always plugged in, its difficult to get away from the media. Our lives revolve around TV, music, video games, and movies. However, it is only recently that audiences are starting to realize what the content of the media is doing to society– especially women. Although powerful campaigns and initiatives are being launched in order to showcase and prevent the misogyny present in society, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.  Miss Representation is a documentary recently released on Netflix that brings forth what most of us are slowly becoming desensitized to; women in the media.

Consisting of interviews from a group of experts, the hour and a half film dissected the various aspects of the media that sexualize, dehumanize, and objectify women. Pat Mitchell (MA, President and CEO for the Paley Center for Media, former President and CEO of PBS); Jennifer Pozner (Executive Director of Women in Media & News); Caroline Heldman (PhD, Associate Professor of Political Science at Occidental College); Marie Wilson (founding President of the White House Project); and Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State) are just some of the personalities that sat down to talk about the representation of women in the media. Montages of Reality TV stars in bikinis, journalists in low-cut tops, and pictures taken between Sarah Palin’s legs demonstrated the problem overtly and effectively. However, Miss Representation also indirectly brought forth other problems present in the media. Problems hardly spoken about by the line of experts and celebrities. But problems that are still there.

Women of colour (WOC), women with disabilities (WWD), and the LGBT community also should have been addressed. WWD are essentially non-exsistent while women of colour and LGBTs are also significantly underrepresented. Although Devanshi Patel, a young, WOC aspiring to have a career in public service, was briefly profiled in the documentary– she was essentially what WOC are in the media; ‘the token brown girl’ of the documentary. It would have been nice to see a discussion of the misrepresentation of celebrities such as Mindy Kahling or Sofia Vergara, who are known solely for their skin colour and foreign accent, respectively. The montages in Miss Representation showcased a series of privileged, white women who steal the spotlight time and time again. But it should be known, problems of sexualization, age discrimination, and objectification also apply to WOC and the LGBT community as well. Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and yes, even Queen Bey always leave little to the imagination. Now whether their anacondas are actually empowering or objectifying is a conversation we all need to have. In addition, Mitch and Cam of Modern Family and Ellen DeGeneres are essentially the only representatives of the LGBT community and that too, from a comedic standpoint.

Essentially, the documentary didn’t consist of anything we didn’t already know. Women are no longer wear as much clothes as they used to, and the Kardashians are, whether we like it or not, plotting to take over the world. A powerful film would’ve been one that consisted of briefly showcasing the problems women face in the media followed by actual solutions to resolve said problems. Women need to stop victimizing themselves and need to start helping themselves- and most importantly each other.  All in all, Miss Representation kind of, well, missed the spot.

 

Rating: 6/10

In defense of viewing the Sochi Olympics

Belle Brockhoff, Australia, Snowboarding

Cheryl Maas, Netherlands, Snowboarding

Barbara Jezeršek, Slovenia, Cross-Country Skier

Sanne Van Kerkhof, Netherlands, Speed Skating

Ireen Wüst, Netherlands, Speed Skating

Anastasia Bucsis, Canada, Speed Skating

These six openly gay athletes are the reason I will be watching the Sochi Olympics.

Before I continue, there are a few things that must be said in the name of full disclosure. I am an open member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. I sit on the management committee for Kulanu Toronto, which represents Jewish members of the LGBT community in Toronto. Nothing I say here is to speak on behalf of any organization of which I am currently or have ever been a member.

In 2013, the Russian Federation adopted a law against “homosexual propaganda.” This prohibits “promotion of the homosexual lifestyle” to Russian children including such symbols as the rainbow flag, and published works containing homosexual content, which — as it turns out — may include Canadian bobsledder Justin Kripps’ personal website containing a photo of himself and three teammates posing in their underwear next to their sled. All four men identify as straight.

Make no mistake: the international community’s exposure to Russia’s way of life is a mere fraction of the day-to-day surveillance that Russian citizens have unfortunately become so accustomed to. Russian President Vladimir Putin as an “elected” (a word which should not be taken too literally) dictator. He rules his country with an iron fist and would not hesitate to eliminate any threat to his power.

That said, Sochi offers the world an opportunity to voice their grievances and cheer for our openly gay athletes. When Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis takes her place on the Olympic oval, her very presence will be an act of protest. She will stand on her skates for equality and for Canadian values. I, for one, will not let her protest go unheard.

I understand why there are those who feel a need to boycott the Olympics. But to them, I say, such actions will not fix Russia. Moreover, the actions of the Russian Federation are not the responsibility of the athletes present.

Please do not let these athletes’ sacrifices be for naught. Watch them compete. Root them on. And in the case of six incredibly brave women — hear their protest.

Follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanAGlass.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

WATCH: New video spoofs controversy over mixed race Cheerios family

A few weeks back there was a controversy over the new Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family. The controversy? Um, apparently some people think that biracial families either simply don’t exist or shouldn’t be allowed to be shown on TV.

Just a second while I check my calendar. Yep, still 2013. I was worried I’d slipped back to the 1600s there for a minute.

While to most of us it might not seem like a big deal to see a family with various skin tones of eye shapes enjoying breakfast, to some racist trolls it was enough to force Cheerios to shut off commenting on the YouTube video because of all the hateful remarks.

As someone who has a beautiful family where skin colour doesn’t matter (and nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, parents, and brother-in-laws are all loved for who they are, not what they look like) I am proud of Cheerios for taking a stand by admitting the obvious: that mixed race families exist and they also eat.

Check out this hilarious spoof video that takes the “haters” to task and takes things up a notch with a twist ending we’re still waiting too see in a breakfast cereal commercial.

 

Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Dogs: Man’s best wingman

Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend.  However, there’s more to being a best friend than cuddling with you throughout the finale of The Real Housewives Of Vancouver and sniffing your crotch, even if those are two very important best friend qualities.

Can man’s best friend also be man’s best wingman?

We filled our pockets with treats, poop bags, and a couple of balls to hit the city with an adorable dog named Baxter as we put this to the test.  Our extremely scientific experiment has revealed these to be among the best places in Toronto to take your dog if you’re looking to have someone tell you to lie down and roll over.

Riverdale Park West:  Just south-west of Riverdale Farm is the Carlton Street lower playing fields. This baseball diamond beside the DVP serves as a gathering place for the haut monde of Cabbagetown and their pedigree pooches.  The crowd there is mature, a mixture of gay and straight, and all are friendly.  A couple of the conversations we had there were a little on the pretentious side, but if you plan on meeting the man of your dreams and moving from your 450 sq ft apartment into his million dollar Cabbagetown brownstone, you’re going to have to learn the language of the affluent, dah-ling.

Allen Gardens dog park:  This is a great place to have your furry wingman work his magic.  Serving as a social hub for the surrounding dog owner community, the guys there are very laid back and quite chatty.  You may not be able to find your next millionaire ex-husband like you might at Riverdale Park West, but we’re confident you’ll get a fun ‘pitcher-of-beer-and-pound-of wings’ type of date.  The biggest downside to this dog park is that it looks like a giant cat litter box.

Trinity Bellwoods Park:  Since this has the reputation of being a gathering place for Queen West hipsters, we dressed Baxter up in a plaid coat and took him for a walk to see if he’d attract us some sensitive and creative hotties.  Success.  Unlike some of the other locations we conducted this experiment, we weren’t just approached by other dog owners.  Several attractive boys stopped us to pet Baxter and comment on how cute he is, striking up some fun and flirty chats.  If you’re looking for a guy who probably knows where the best loft parties are every weekend, this is the place to be.  And we totally recommend dressing up your wingman in hipster-style plaid… Ironically, of course.

Cherry Beach dog park:  While an amazing place to have your pooch run free, Baxter had more luck there than we did.  We had a few conversations with the multitude of dog walkers that use this place but didn’t manage to get our flirt on.  It’s likely that you’ll have a bit more luck in the summer months when this place is packed, but for now you and your furry friend will be heading home alone to a tub of Häagen-Dazs, a single spoon, and an Adele CD.

Church Street:  We walked the gaybourhood strip at various times of the day and found that this is your best bet for utilizing your furry wingman to his full potential.  On our walks through the Village, we were stopped many times by hot guys of all types and more often than not we got the impression it was so the guys could talk to us, not just the adorable Baxter.  Oh, and strictly in the name of science, we walked Baxter there just after the bars closed on a Saturday night…

Good boy, Baxter. Good boy.