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Saturday Links: Femme Fierce Edition

Plus an amazing Le1f performance, Latina feminism, and Lorde’s new makeup line.


This week, Beyoncé’s go-to video director, Jake Nava, took us be(y)hind the scenes of the videos for “Grown Woman,” “Partition,” and “***Flawless,” a trio of songs that cover Bey’s feminist awakening, her intimate relationship with her husband, and her career as a whole. He talks about the inspiration behind each video, the practical aspects of shooting them, and Bey’s infectious drive to just MAKE GOOD STUFF. “She’s still clearly one of the most interesting and talented artists in the world. No matter what idea I bring to the party, she steps up with as much, if not more, in terms of what she brings to it,” he says. “Grown Woman,” in particular, is one of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen, and I cannot get enough of these precious insights into how Jake and Bey brought it all together. Bitch, she grown!

A group of awesome students from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in New South Wales, Australia, took a trip to the home base of Australia’s government, where Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid them an obligatory PR visit. The PM let them ask him three questions, but didn’t seem to expect the teens to step up and challenge him. Students questioned some of his more controversial decisions, asking, for example, “Why did you not go ahead with the carbon tax?” and, “Why are you so against legalizing gay marriage?”

After brushing off these queries, which happened to come from female students, he asks for one from “a bloke,” expecting to be asked about football because #boiz. Too bad for him these kids RULE! Watch what happened next in the video above.


Maybe, like Brodie, you LOVE “Grown Woman,” but just can’t pick a single favorite Beyoncé track. Well, you’re in luck: Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying have put together a beautiful medley of every track on Beyoncé’s most recent album, so you’ll never have to choose again!


Part of the massive Femme Fierce mural. Photo via the Independent.

Part of the massive Femme Fierce mural. Photo via the Independent.

A group of over 100 international artists called Femme Fierce has painted a gigantic mural honoring International Women’s Week in London. It’s not official yet, but it looks like they’re going to break the Guinness World Record for largest spray-painted mural. I’m bummed that I can’t see this awesome artistic feat beauty in person, but if you’re in London anytime soon, stop by the Leake Street Tunnel and check it out for yourself.


Christine Fox encouraged women on Twitter to speak out about what they were wearing when they were sexually assaulted after one of her followers told her that revealing clothing could be a causal factor in rape and sexual violence. The results, which she RT’d with permission, drove the point home that people are assaulted whether they are wearing pajamas, jeans, or short skirts—it’s never the victim’s fault. “I really hope that this opens peoples’ minds that what you are wearing has absolutely nothing to do with whether you are assaulted,” she said in an interview with The Root.

On Thursday, the New York rapper Le1f made his network television debut on the Late Show With David Letterman to promote his new EP, Hey. He performed his bubbly, badass single “Wut” with a band led by Dev Hynes and the producer Boody, and danced in a head-to-toe kilt look by Hood by Air (with Nike snowboard boots, which David Letterman took a special liking to).

Full disclosure: I am biased because Le1f is my real-life good friend, but I thought it was one of the most exciting performances I’d seen on a late-night show in ages. Rap performances often sound thin on TV because the on-set acoustics are unforgiving, but the band more than made up for it, and Le1f showed off the talent and polish that make him a rising star.

Also, it must be noted: Even though it is 2014, for the past two or so years, Le1f has consistently been written about and characterized as a “gay rapper.” We don’t refer to non-gay rappers as “straight rappers,” and Le1f’s sexuality is not the primary thing that defines him! He tweeted yesterday, “thank you so much to @Letterman for inviting me to perform on his stage as a musician and not as a spectacle. that’s major.” It is indeed.


Bikini Kill’s drummer, Tobi Vail, posted a page from her 1990 diary on her website yesterday, which chronicles the role of feminism in an early Bikini Kill practice session. It’s a perfect time capsule, and Vail’s enthusiasm for the band and its aspirations as a catalyst for solidarity for other women and oppressed people is inspiring. She notes that she’s psyched that everyone seems to hate the band’s name name and insists, “We’re going to be the most misunderstood band ever,” which is funny because it’s probably true.

Anna F.

RIP, Vera. Photo via the A.V. Club.

RIP, Vera. Photo via The A.V. Club.

The Czech director Vera Chytilová passed away this week. I’ve only seen one of her films, 1966′s Daisies, but it’s one of my favorites. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an aesthetic masterpiece about two girls, both named Marie, who decide to be bad (and eat a lot of pastries). Rest in peace, Vera.

A still from Showgirls via the Awl.

A still from Showgirls via the Awl.

Although I’ve never actually seen the movie, I really enjoyed Haley Mlotek’s 5,000-word piece about Showgirls, which raises some really good questions about taste, criticism, and why we like what we like.

A medieval image of Adam and Eve via the Toast.

A medieval image of Adam and Eve via the Toast.

Finally: Medieval art, explained, sort of.


I’m so glad I came across this reminder to slow down and TAKE CARE OF YRSELF by Black Girl Dangerous this week. My friends and I are getting closer and closer to graduating from college (YIKES), so everyone is pulling out their hair, drinking pots of coffee at a time, and cringing every time the words adult, job, and even May are uttered. Given these stressful conditions, I really needed to read something advocating a calmer lifestyle and replacing the goal of “being busy” with the goal of being healthy, and this piece totally did the trick.


Ira Glass and Kristen Bell being cute as all get-out. Photo via This American Life.

Ira Glass and Kristen Bell being cute as all get-out. Photo via This American Life.

I’m a huge fan of both the girl-detective TV series Veronica Mars and the radio show This American Life, so imagine the puddle of tears that I drowned in when I saw this essay about the day the Veronica Mars movie was filmed IN THE TAL STUDIO, written by the radio show’s host, Ira Glass. ARGHHHHHH. There are also a bunch of adorable photos. ARGHHHHHHHHH.

Suzy X.

Last weekend, Latina women got totally dissed in what was supposed to be a pro-feminist Saturday Night Live sketch. Cecily Strong portrayed an awful caricature of an immigrant Latina, whose strong accent, poor English skills, tropical garb, and marriage to a white men’s-rights activist are made into the butt of the joke, while a bunch of heroic white American women are intent on correcting her ignorance. UGH.

It’s bad enough that the superficial trophy wife and the conniving maid are still the most common representations of Latinas on TV and in film (even if they’re executed with snappy quips by otherwise witty actresses like Sofia Vergara or Eva Longoria). But when white women use these stereotypes as an opportunity to elevate themselves, as in this sketch, it just burns. The self-proclaimed feminists on SNL, a show that doesn’t employ any Latina writers or actresses, should call up some of the many fabulous Latinas in TV and film to play Latina parts, STOP relying on stereotypes, and maybe try reading some Cherrie Moraga.

Caitlin H.

The gorgeous perfumes on display in Wes Anderson's latest movie, via Papermag.

The gorgeous perfumes on display in Wes Anderson’s latest movie, via Papermag.

I am all over this look at the props in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s latest film, because one of the best things about his films is his complete attention to detail. I loved finding out who made the beautiful three-tiered mini cakes, the newspapers, and so many of the other pieces of this awesome movie. New dream job: making fake cats for Wes Anderson.


How do you deal with the news of Lorde’s upcoming collaboration with M.A.C. Cosmetics? You don’t. You just keep freaking out until the makeup line actually exists in its bound-to-be-heavenly physical form. According to Lorde’s tweet above, it’ll be on the market this summer, and it’s going to be so rad—I can just feel it!

The photographer Terry Richardson wrote an open letter in response to models’ continued allegations of sexual harassment. “In writing this,” he says in the piece, originally posted on The Huffington Post, “I make a humble attempt at correcting these rumors, because I have come to realize that absent my voice in the conversation, all that remain are the lies.”

To me, this just seems like another attempt by a man in a position of power to shut down voices that threaten to decrease in popularity. Richardson spends some of the post explaining the “sexual nature” of his photography, miscasting the models’ testimonies as foolish, anti-art, lowbrow misunderstandings of his work. He also blames “sloppy journalism fueled by sensationalized, malicious, and manipulative recountings” for the backlash he’s experienced of late, while ignoring the power differential between young models and a famous fashion photographer.

But, as more models speak about their encounters with Richardson, it seems that the allegations made against him, which are nothing new, didn’t just come out of thin air. As we saw in the aftermath of Dylan Farrow’s heart-wrenching story about Woody Allen, Richardson’s essay has prompted a slew of reactions that treat personal accounts of sexual harassment as a matter of opinion. Last time I checked, though, when you’re assaulted or harassed and you tell someone about it, that’s not considered an “opinion.” ♦


  • christinachristina March 15th, 2014 12:19 PM

    I fall smack dab in the center of the Veronica Mars/This American Life venn diagram. That article was exciting. Piz is good looking. I am going to watch that movie right now. #marshmallowforlife

  • honorarygilmoregal March 15th, 2014 12:33 PM

    Veronica Mars! Kristen Bell is the absolute cutest.

    Those Newtown students rule.


  • o-girl March 15th, 2014 1:09 PM


  • joanofart March 15th, 2014 1:26 PM

    I find it funny that when you guys talked about the horribly racist SNL skit that demeans Latina women, you didn’t mention that Lena Dunham was playing the white savior “let me educate you” role. I don’t understand why Rookie stands up for Lena Dunham when she continuously throws us under the bus. There seems to be no solidarity on this site.

    • Amy Rose March 15th, 2014 2:18 PM

      No one “stood up” for Lena Dunham here. Suzy just didn’t bring her up in what she wrote—if she had, we would have published it. I’m sorry you don’t feel supported by us, and we are working all the time to be better, but feminist trashing isn’t the way we go about doing that. Let us know how else we can make you feel heard, represented, and loved, and we’ll try our best to learn from that.

      • slampora March 15th, 2014 5:03 PM

        i believe what joanofart is saying is that it should have been mentioned that lena dunham continuously prioritizes her brand of feminism over the narratives of women of color. there are virtually no characters of color on her show “girls,” which is set in brooklyn, for god’s sake. when she was confronted about this, her only response was that she “didn’t see herself represented in ‘precious’.” the fact that she can do things like this and then go on to play a “white savior” role in a skit as blatantly racist as this one undermines her supposed feminism, and calling her out on this isn’t trashing, it’s noting the fact that lena dunham’s brand of feminism is often at the expense of women of color. i’m getting joan’s point here; with no offense meant, claiming that mentioning dunham’s racism would be trashing comes off defensive and a little callous.

        • Amy Rose March 15th, 2014 5:39 PM

          Although it was a writer who doesn’t work on the show anymore, not LD, who made the “Precious” comment, and Lena Dunham has actually responded many times to race-based criticisms of Girls, this is a very good point. Shutting you down was not at all my intention—I was more thinking that, as an editor, going out of my way to insert LD’s name in something I hadn’t written would be “trashing,” even though, like you guys, I am very critical of her role in this gross sketch. Thank you for saying this, seriously, and I apologize for making it seem like having a conversation about it is, like, “not nice.” I really hope you’ll keep talking about this stuff with us here.

  • mangointhesky March 15th, 2014 3:47 PM



  • ifnotnowthenwhen March 15th, 2014 5:06 PM

    Continuing with Woody Allen and Terry Richardson, I think what happened within the youtube community this past week is also pretty important. Here is a link to a tumblr post which I find resumes well and has a bunch of links to what occured:

    • flocha March 16th, 2014 5:07 AM

      Oh my god I had no idea this had happened! Thank you for drawing my attention to it.

  • essentialfemale March 15th, 2014 6:35 PM

    Enough Lena Dunham already!! I don’t find her funny, or her show, ‘Girls’ to be representative of girls at all. She is randomly naked all of the time, and it’s ridiculous that there are no women of color on her show. As far as the SNL thing goes, I didn’t watch it, but it sounds a little racist. However, SNL tends to make fun of everyone. I also strongly disagree with your comment on Sofia Vergara. She does not represent a superficial stereotype!! She plays a strong, caring mother, an equal partner in her household, as well as being brilliant. She just happens to look fabulous while doing it.


  • eva-stark March 15th, 2014 7:12 PM

    I have no respect to any of the celebrities who knew about these allegations worked with Terry Richardson. Same goes with Woody Allen.

    I feel sick to my stomach. I hope those models can find comfort after such a horrible horrible experience. And I also want him to get the punishment he deserves.
    What a world we live in…

  • Violet March 15th, 2014 10:47 PM

    OMG these high-school students are so bright, and lively, and wonderful <3 <3 <3 it gives me so much hope to hear them stand up to the PM.

    Also just saw The Grand Budapest Hotel, and was absolutely amazed by the production design. Just brilliant.

    I was excited by Girls first 3 episodes, where they really did tackle girls issues and seemed like they would be talking loud and clear about real things; but then it kind of went downhill for me, and I couldn't bear to watch past 2 episodes of season 2 – felt like watching somebody's navel-gazing dream instead of stuff other women could relate to.


  • wissycosh March 15th, 2014 11:56 PM


    Just did the melb march by march and am now in the library and have seen this.

    love reading aussie on rookie as i have been an avid everyday reader since day one, 2011!!!

    the kids are so way cool, Mr Abbott can’t even give a detailed in depth critical and elegant response to a bunch of “kids” whom are clearly way ahead of his game.

    laney xxx

  • flocha March 16th, 2014 5:05 AM

    I’m not gonna lie Terry Richardson’s response to the allegations did make me kinda angry. He seems to just be portraying himself as the victim of so called ‘sloppy journalism’, without actually addressing the fact that several models who have worked with him have made serious and disturbing complaints about him. It makes me kind of angry that people ignore these accusations for the sake of his ‘art’. There is a petition however to try and stop high profile brands hiring him and turning a blind eye to his behaviour.


  • DymondMag March 16th, 2014 6:20 AM

    YAY LE1F! I’ve been a fan of his for a while and I’m so glad he’s getting more recognition and not just being branded as a ‘gay rapper’.
    Also slightly strange question would you be able to tell me which font you use on rookie?

  • Kirthi March 16th, 2014 9:06 AM

    Beautiful art!! I so want to see them for real.

  • sissiLOL March 16th, 2014 2:19 PM

    I love that Beyonce video soooo much!!! <3
    And that Lorde do a Make-up line, hope I can buy it here in Germany!
    And: I SEARCH PENPALS!!!! Something about me? Sports, feminism, friends, music, smileys, hate bullying, german, learn english and french, traveling, writing and reading and a lot more! SO if you`re interest, contact me: anevaysblog.wordpress.com (I know that the blog isn`t used really, but I will look at the comments!!!!)

    • Juliana March 17th, 2014 11:32 AM

      I’m definitely contacting you later today, sissiLOL! I’m learning German and French, so maybe we can help each other.

  • Dee Ell March 16th, 2014 5:34 PM

    I’m an ex-Newtown student, and it makes me so chuffed to know that the students there are still demonstrating a keen interest in Australian politics (despite its repetitive banality and lack of conscience)! These girls came to the school the year after my friends and I left, and I’m quite envious that we missed out on the chance to ask these questions face to face with Abbott.

    He wasn’t the PM then though; we had female PM who he took it upon himself to badger with sexist slurs at every opportunity in parliament. It’s no surprise his leadership is in the same ilk. Ugh, Abbott is gross. He’s reduced the role of the PM to something where teens, however apt in their questions can get away with laughing in his face in front of Parliament House. It’s his own fault he’s lost our respect.

    At least 100, 000 Australians (including the Newtown girls <3) spent this Sunday marching the streets all over the country in protest of this guy. This is the March in March another commenter mentioned – yay! When asked in a press conference about the march, Abbott mocked the protests by saying he only knew of the St. Patrick's march.
    What a knobhead. It takes a lot to get 100, 000 people to spend their Sunday marching through a thunderstorm shouting how much they hate you. Australia may be a similar size to the US but there are only 22 million of us.

    tl;dr Tony Abbott is a complete jerk who makes my blood boil.

  • SuzieVanilla March 16th, 2014 9:16 PM

    MAC uses animal testing for its products :(

  • wissycosh March 17th, 2014 12:17 AM

    Rookie- it would be cool to have an article/discussion talking about voting- and how enrolling etc can impact and change. how even in the most bleakest situations your vote can count- of course, all jurisdictions are different. The Australian Prime minister and that of Putin are similar in a sense that; church and state are the ruling majority. Perhaps a female in congress can do a section in “I want your Job” or whatever it’s called and discuss some voting benefits.


    • Amy Rose March 17th, 2014 2:01 PM

      This is a really cool idea! Although a lot of our readers are too young to vote, here’s an article we ran about advocating for political change even if you’re under 18—maybe you’d find it interesting.


      • wissycosh March 18th, 2014 9:44 AM

        Ahh I wasn’t clear, am underage too- but I see your point/kind of-
        some insight into; when we get older and reach legal ages that give us equal opportunities to vote/have a impact on whatever interests us politically or not- environmentally/humanitarian- rights for our teddies etc~ ~~~ would be cool to consider as most of us probably haven’t thought about it and we are the FuTuRe>>> ___|____ I read that article~So gr00vy


  • Audrey Pfister March 17th, 2014 1:49 AM

    Ahhhh I love Le1f, and him on David Letterman is sooo good!!! I can’t believe you’re a real life friend of Le1f!! :”’) eep!


  • Melisa March 17th, 2014 3:52 AM

    I’ve always thought of Saturday Links as the accumulation of this week’s current events and human interest articles. Without taking away from this Saturday Links’ (and every other week’s) awesome linked articles, I am slightly disappointed that there are none about the Malaysian airlines incident. I just imagine that if it had happened in, say, America, this particular Saturday Links would be flooded by it.

    • Amy Rose March 17th, 2014 1:59 PM

      Hi! Saturday Links is not a “news” section, per se—like, we don’t assign people stories to cover current events. It’s based on what our staffers sent us for that week, and no one happened to write about this. How are you feeling about what happened, Melisa?

      • Melisa March 17th, 2014 6:45 PM

        Yeah I realized that it’s not a news section, which is why I was hesitant at first on commenting since it’s kinda unjustified.

        But yes, it is very very sad. Can’t imagine what the not-knowingness feels like. Anywho, thanks for answering, Amy Rose :)

  • ughgina March 17th, 2014 6:13 AM

    oh my god, i don’t think my purse could take a MAC x lorde collab


  • dessertstealer March 17th, 2014 1:07 PM

    I really like how you mentioned how SNL disrespected Latina women. The skit tried to be feminist, but failed because feminism is nothing without intersectionalism. As a Mexican women, I hate being the butt of jokes that are tired boring offensive stereotypes and are totally untrue.


  • Julianne March 18th, 2014 1:38 AM

    Re: Lorde MAC collaboration – SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

  • teafandoms March 18th, 2014 3:19 AM

    Small spelling error on the 5th line with ‘ithe’
    The links are wonderful this week xx

  • Karla P. March 19th, 2014 8:24 PM

    Iggy Azaela and Charli XCX payed tribute to Clueless in their new video I thought you might like it


  • antisocialite March 23rd, 2014 4:19 PM

    Aussie students ask reaalllllyyyy good questions,