What does it mean to "be a man?"
It's a simple question, but one that yields complex and thought-provoking answers in a new clip from Cut Video. In the three-minute clip, boys and men ranging from the ages of five to 50 are asked to do word association in response to the phrase "be a man."
Unsurprisingly, the youngest participants, respond with words like "tough," "courage," "strong," and "insult." But as the men in the video get older, some of their responses become more nuanced.
"[It's] misleading," one 21-year-old says. "I've learned that being a man doesn't mean to shut out your feelings, it means to embrace them."
A 15-year-old adds, "I feel like that's kind of sexist, when someone just says 'be a man.' There are strong women as well."
But amazingly, amidst thoughtful responses questioning the implications of a phrase like "be a man," many of the participants in the video, even up to the age of 50, still use words like "provider," "strong," and "unafraid."
The clip, which you can watch above, proves that gender stereotypes can harm men as much as they do women. The trick, it seems, is to teach boys early on that being a man isn't only about being strong.
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Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine has drawn the outrage of The Internet this week after making some ridiculous comments about why women need music.
Iovine appeared on Thursday's broadcast of "CBS This Morning" with Mary J. Blige to promote Apple's new series of ads directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Blige, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington.
Explaining the inspiration behind the ad Iovine said, "So I always knew that women find it very difficult at times, some women, to find music. And [Apple Music] helps makes it easier with playlists -- but they're curated by real people."
"I just thought of a problem. You know, girls are sitting around talking about boys, or complaining about boys, when they have their heart broken or whatever. And they need music for that, right? So it's hard to find the right music."
Iovine drew criticism for "mansplaining" the app to women, and for implying women only need music for stereotypical things like "complaining about boys." Thankfully, the exec has since apologized for his comments.
Iovine's comments were not intended with malice (which is the case with lots of sexist language), but they were tone-deaf at best and emblematic of the subtle sexism in the tech industry at worst. His approach to the ads, which have been largely celebrated as empowering displays of sisterhood, isn't surprising -- just very disappointing.
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Earlier this week, President Obama clapped back at a CNN reporter's question with one of the blackest phrases ever:
The moment quickly went viral, generating memes and even an awesome remix -- all in celebration of the president being unapologetically black.
As the first black president of the United States, Obama has always been in a precarious position where his blackness has been at various times a political hindrance. Remember when he was criticized for using the n-word, in context?
Obama has mastered the art of code-switching that so many black people have to learn early on in order to navigate a white dominated world, but in glorious moments like "If folks want to pop off..." his blackness shines through. Below are a few of Obama's best, "blackest" moments during his presidency:
1. When he sang a moving, soulful rendition of "Amazing Grace" at the Charleston memorial service for Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney.
2. When he code-switched his handshake with Kevin Durant.
3. When he had jokes on jokes, on jokes at the 2014 White House Correspondent’s Dinner: “I’m feeling sorry for the Speaker of the House, as well. These days, House republicans give John Boehner a harder time than they give me. These days, orange really is the new black.”
4. When he said "wha gwan Jamaica" at a Jamaican press conference in April.
5. When he did the smoothest swag walk ever after announcing Osama Bin Laden’s death.
6. When he sang Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” to the First Lady at a New York fundraiser in 2012.
7. When he referred to Donna Brazile (Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee) as his "homegirl" in his 10 year Katrina anniversary speech.
8. Whenever he dances like your turnt uncle at the family function.
9. When he got his hair cut at the iconic Emersons Barbershop in South Carolina, highlighting the cultural institution of the black barbershop.
10. When he straight up played the GOP during his 2015 State of the Union Address with this back to back sting: "I have no more campaigns to run… I know, because I won both of them."
10. Let's not forget, when he made this face after he was asked about his nuclear plans against Russia at a White House press conference in 2014.
11. When he let this little boy touch his hair in the Oval Office and got us all right in the feels.
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In the latest video from StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath Project," actress Caitlin Stasey shares some powerful truths about navigating the sexism in Hollywood. The ongoing video series captures diverse people stripping down to their underwear while candidly answering questions about identity, body image and self love.
In the video above, published on Monday, the 25-year-old Stasey reveals that sometimes being the "pretty girl" isn't so pretty.
“I wore high-waisted jeans to an audition once," Stasey said. "I then got a phone call from my manager saying, 'The director doesn’t think you’re sexy anymore, he thinks you’re just a mouthy girl next door.'”
The actress went on to explain that while, as a white woman, she sees herself represented in media, the representations are nearly always based on the sexualization and objectification of women.
"Some of the greatest female heroines have been born in the hearts and minds of men. That's my difficulty -- watching old white men write for young women, or write for any marginalized individual, because they just have no f***king idea what they're talking about," she said.
Stasey's frustrations don't come from having "pretty girl problems," but from understanding that Hollywood is often more interested in her beauty as a commodity rather than her talent.
“People are genuinely f***king lazy. They know that the quickest way to make a dollar is to objectify and humiliate women.”
The Australian actress has been a consistently outspoken critic of misogyny in the entertainment industry. In July, she called out a magazine for pulling an interview with her because she refused to pose nude for the cover shoot.
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When it comes to surviving sexual assault, there's power in refusing to be silent.
A new video from Buzzfeed Yellow beautifully brings this message to light, with three very different survivors of assault, one of them a man, reciting a poem that describes "what no one tells you about being assaulted."
The first three lines of the poem, recited by each member of the trio, emphasize the ongoing stereotypes about victims of assault:
"It happened to me even though I'm a guy."
"It happened to me even though I wasn't wearing revealing clothing."
"I wasn't drunk or inebriated."
The poem goes on to describe the many challenges that some survivors must face, including being in a "perpetual state of PTSD," and feeling guilty, embarrassed, and afraid of sharing their stories.
But the poem ends on a hopeful note.
"I am not a victim, I am a survivor," the trio recite together. "It happened to me, but I am more than a statistic. I am not damaged goods. I am healing."
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Toni Morrison is without a doubt one of the greatest novelists of all time, and one of the most profound thinkers on race and identity politics in America. Naturally, Morrison gets asked to share her thoughts on race all the time, but perhaps one of her most profound answers to the question "How do you feel about racism?" comes from the 1993 Charlie Rose interview above.
"That's the wrong question," Morrison responds. "How do you feel?"
What follows is two perfect minutes of Morrison's poignant thoughts on how racist ideology affects white people as much as it effects people of color.
"Don't you understand that the people who do this thing, who practice racism, are bereft? There is something distorted about the psyche. It's a huge waste, and it's a corruption, and it's a distortion. It's a profound neurosis that nobody examines for what it is," Morrison says.
Morrison's final thought in the clip, which has been shared widely via Youtube and Tumblr, is probably the most important. She says: "What are you without racism? Are you any good? Are you still strong? Still smart? Do you still like yourself? ...If you can only be tall because someone's on their knees, then you have a serious problem."
In light of the recent events at the University of Missouri, as well as the overall racial tensions in the country, Morrison's words are much-needed food for thought. So much of the conversation around racism hinges on how it makes black people the victim, but how does it make victims out of white people?
In what is possibly one of the greatest videos to ever grace the Internet, Sen. Claire McCaskill has released a public service announcement encouraging all men everywhere to "just shut the hell up."
"As one of just 20 women currently in the Senate, it's important to me to encourage more women to run for office," McCaskill said in the clip, which aired on last night's "Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
"But equally important is encouraging more men to sometimes just shut the hell up. It's not that women don't value your thoughts, it's just that we don't value all of them. The world doesn't need your opinion on everything. For example, what women do with their bodies. Hush."
McCaskill then went on to share a few of the topics women no longer need or want men's opinions on, including "'Star Wars,' pantsuits, selfies, Shonda Rhimes, curtains, carbs, millennials, body hair removal, religion, gluten, Harry Potter, nut allergies, 'Star Wars' again, all art in general, whether or not to brine the Thanksgiving turkey, and ethics in gaming journalism." Brilliant.
Thank you, senator, for saying it so we don't have to.
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