Feminism in the time of BuzzFeed


A shot from Ruby Rose’s “Break Free” video. Photo Credit: http://www.popmatters.com/post/184120-ruby-rose-break-free-video/

Good Afternoon Rioters!

Today, I thought I’d switch up my bi-monthly routine of sexist song-lyric analyses and instead call attention to a couple videos that I feel should be paid attention to.

First and foremost is a short film titled “Break Free,” directed and produced by Ruby Rose Langenheim, better known as Ruby Rose, an Australian model/DJ/actress/television presenter and face of Maybelline NY in Australia. Chosen as one of the “25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians” by Same Same, an Australian online gay and lesbian community, Ruby Rose used her fame to release and call attention to some of the issues and inner struggles that surround gender identity. Not to mention doing all of this in what I personally find to be a most compelling and tasteful manner, complete with skin-tingling and goose-bumpy goodness! Check it out and let us know what you think:

The next film that I found most entertaining and deserving of praise is one produced by an internet media company providing coverage on a variety of topics: the well-known BuzzFeed. In August 2014, the BuzzFeed team released a short snippet entitled “What Men Are Really Saying When Catcalling Women” parodying the concept of catcalling and the perpetrators of such harassment. In addition to calling attention to the prominent issue in today’s urban culture while immersing it in a sense of humor, I am most impressed with BuzzFeed’s ability expose the root of the issue and provide a much needed explanation for why these types of people feel the urge to humiliate both themselves and their victims. This is exhibited multiple times throughout the film with men in the film standing on street corners and hanging out of their cars spewing lines such as:

“Society makes me feel like I have to objectify you to feel manly!”

“Yo what up lil’ mama? I just met these guys, but I want them to think I’m cool. In another social situation I would never behave like this…”

“Me, I’m uncomfortable talking to women like actual people.”

“Hey, I don’t have any sisters so it doesn’t occur to me how insanely offensive this isssss…”

and my personal favorite:

“Aye babay! I noticed your confidence, so I’m cutting you down to feel powerful!!”

Check out the video here for additionally hilariously pathetic lines and some awesome hip gyrating:


And lastly, is yet another short parody film, courtesy of the BuzzFeed staff. Yet, I am sad to say this one, although circulating around the same topic of street harassment and equally humorous, is a rather disappointing compared to that of it’s spot-on counterpart. The film named “If We Lived In A World Where Women Catcalled Men” does more to reinforce stereotypes of women then to expose the offensiveness of the issue or to reinstate power back to women. We see this as women confidently post up on street corners, buildings, and public walkways, parading around brazenly saying things like:

“Bet those arms could put together my IKEA furniture.”

“Come talk to me sweetie, you want a family?”

“Those arms look like they can carry some babies.”

“You talk to your mama with that mouth? Or at all? Cause a good relationship with your mother is important to me!”

“Damn baby, you look like you have a job with health insurance.”

“Oh darlin’. You look monogamous.”

So basically, if roles were reversed, all we’d be interested in are monogamous relationships resulting in babies (ew) and making sure that he can take care of us physically and economically? Ugh. Bad call BuzzFeed. If it wasn’t apparent, there are more to women than the stereotypical daddy’s girl who dreams of marrying her first and only boyfriend in college, a white picket fence in an unspecified suburb, watching Desperate Housewives, and driving her kids to soccer practice…

What do you think? What could they have changed to make the video a more accurate portrayal of the act of street harassment and role reversal without being sexist?

That being said, I have to give credit where credit is due. There are some hilarious lines in the production -being that women usually care more about how you function as a responsible human being instead of how nice your arms are. Check out the actual video here for perfect delivery of these fantastic one liners:


“Hey baby! You hear me? You hear me? Yea, cause you’re a good listener.”

“ohhhhh, OHHH! You look so emotionally stable!”

“You look like a real mess! Let me fix you!”

“Aye babay. Aye babay. I bet you would let me choose what to do with my own body.”

“I bet you would treat me with respect!”


Taria, xoxo

All videos provided by Youtube and BuzzFeed.


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