Screen Queens is LadyClever’s new roundup featuring feminist entertainment headlines from stage and screen each week: innovative portrayals and story arcs, sketches and comedy, appearances, awards, activism, and more.
#sayhername: Local representatives from Illinois have asked the attorney general to investigate the death of activist Sandra Bland, a black woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell on July 13th under suspicious circumstances after she was arrested for routine traffic stop. Bland was a resident of Naperville, where U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-11th) represents the 11th congressional district. In his letter, Foster pleads that the case merits scrutiny from the Department of Justice, writing: “The circumstances of Ms. Bland’s death are unclear and warrant an inquiry into the facts leading up to her arrest and what happened while she was in police custody. Her family and the community that loved her deserve the justice that comes with truth.
Whether there was or was not foul play or negligence leading up to her death, our society failed Ms. Bland. I encourage you to initiate a full and thorough investigation so that we all may have the closure of truth and take action to help protect all our citizens from tragedy.” Bland’s family has held steadfast to their assurances that the 28-year-old was not emotionally troubled and would not have killed herself, according to Naperville Patch.
More Than Just ‘Bad Blood’: Beloved songbird and self-described feminist Taylor Swift got a quick and dirty lesson in intersectional feminism from traffic-cop Nicki Minaj this past week after failing to stay her in lane. Speaking about how her video for “Anaconda” failed to earn a VMA nomination for Video of the Year, Minaj tweeted that white artists get recognition that black artists don’t — which Swift took as a dig at her. T-Swift later tweeted out an apology, “But as Minaj herself pointed out, nowhere in her tweets did she actually name or blame Swift for her grievances. Instead, she was speaking to her own experiences as a black female artist, and her observations on the ways she feels body politics, racism, and sexism within the industry and society at large have affected her career. She was calling out a system that favors women like Swift, a system that Swift is complicit in whether she likes it or not,” Zeba Blay wrote for Huff Post Women. Also see Janet Mock‘s magnificent tweets about the media coverage surrounding the situation.
True Defective: As the spectacular misfire that has been season two of HBO’s True Detective meanders on, Rachel McAdams‘ Ani Bezzerides character continues to serve as a pacifier to appease the inevitable cries, and real need, for a “strong female character” on the series. That being said, she’s clearly not worthy of real investment or development in the eyes of the show’s writers. [SPOILERS AHEAD] Her sitting-duck stint at the high-profile sex party was brutal, though at times a bit boring. It seemed to be another clear case of HBO’s famous knack for using bare knockers and bush as a tactic to push the envelope. Her sister could not have made it clearer that she’d have no choice but to participate if she went, and Bezz herself knew going in what we didn’t yet, which is that she’d been victimized as a young girl. A lack of regard for oneself when it comes to fulfilling duty was what her decision was likely meant to demonstrate, but somehow it didn’t wash out as heroic-seeming as one might have hoped. She does look pretty rad wielding that knife, though, and McAdams’ portrayal of the detective is masterful given the material, but it’s lackluster compared to Woody & Matt setting the screen on fire last season. — Casandra Armour
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