All I Want for Christmas

I love the holiday season, especially all the childlike joy and optimism that comes with it, but when thinking about what I really need (not just what I want) for the holidays, I realized I had several serious and important items on my list:

  • ·      I want more movies and TV shows to pass the Bechdel test.
  • ·      I want to have successful & influential women to be on the cover of magazines and taking important roles in companies and in governments.
  • ·      I want to see advertisements show realistic and empowering gender images.
  • ·      I want to read about positive role models for young girls and women in social media.

On a happy note, Disney’s Frozen passed the Bechdel test and is a shining example of a new direction in which animated movies (and film in general) can go to empower and delight young girls.

And  Jennifer Lawrence, my current idol, in all her imperfections…the things she brings to social media makes me believe in the holiday spirit.

Although more eloquent responses are sure to be out there, the fact that Jennifer Lawrence was honest, said something important, and has the popularity among young girls to spread the word about positive body image makes me hope in the possibility of change.

Jennifer Lawrence has been thrust into the fashion world and has been Photoshopped numerous times, but she reminds us that those pictures are not realistic and we can’t base our idea of “perfection” and beauty off of altered images.

She reminds me that I need to be comfortable in my own skin.  So maybe what I really wanted for the holidays was to feel beautiful—realistically comfortable in my physical skin, as well as within my identification as a female and feminist.

I’m also always excited to see influential women in politics and areas of social & legal power.  Political opinions aside, one of my first influences of feminism was hearing speeches about woman’s rights from Hillary Clinton.

This video reminded me not only of the importance of finding and having a role model, but also of the importance of political figures leading the way for legal rights as well as social change for women. What actions are being taken to ensure women’s legal rights and what gender equality steps still need to be striven for?

  • ·      What women hold government office positions or are leaders of powerful organizations around the world (like Margaret Chan and Shirin Ebadi) and use their position, among other things, to fight for human rights?
  • ·      What young women (like Malala Yousafzai) do we see recognized for their contributions as they strive for equal rights?
  • ·      What people (like Manal Al-Sharif & Helen Benedict) are willing to struggle to share important information and give people the help and voice they need?

Not that I don’t have many “wants” for the holidays, which will make their way below my tree as presents to be treasured, but what do we, as feminists, need for the holidays?

For more information, please check out websites like,, and

Sarah Chase, MSWC Volunteer


About Margaret Sloss Women's Center - ISU

The Margaret Sloss Women's Center promotes equity on the Iowa State University campus. Through a feminist lens, the center advocates for individuals and groups; provides support, referrals, community and programming; and maintains a safe space in the Sloss House.

Posted on December 20, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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