Turning 20

Accidents Still Happen: Revisiting “Degrassi’s” Infamous Abortion Episode

The N refused to air the episode for several years.

Jessica Darling Saved Teen Girls in the 2000s. Can She Do It Again?

For a lonely teenage girl looking for a reflection of herself in a culture that disdains her, a brutally honest, interiority-heavy YA book can be a lifeline. Read more »

Layered Onion: Remembering “Shrek,” the Ironic Film That Poked Fun at Us

Turning the fairy-tale genre on its head was a clever, if not totally novel, notion at the time. Read more »

Cat-Eared Brainwashing: “Josie and the Pussycats” Prophesied the Age of Influencers

It’s a film that tickles the absurdities of the past and, in doing so, has successfully determined the misfortunes of our future. Read more »

Botch Goddess: How Bridget Jones Redefined Career Failure

The unlikely icon made fallibility as a career asset. Read more »

Soul Makeover: “The Princess Diaries” Is a Time Capsule of the Girl Power Era

The one positive outcome that sometimes arises from the genre is a makeover of the soul. Read more »

What, like It’s Hard?: The Enduring Legacy of “Legally Blonde”

Elle is not only harassed, but also has the harassment weaponized against her.  Read more »

Under Your Spell: Revisiting “Buffy’s” First Lesbian Kiss 20 Years Later

The fact that these queer women weren’t allowed sustained happiness sent the message that stability exists only in relationships between men and women. Read more »

Fighting to Thrive: Reflecting on “Boys Don’t Cry” 20 Years Later

Representation matters, but so do the stories that the media—film and television—chooses to tell about trans lives. Read more »

Beyond Tabloid Crime: The Slow, Methodical Evolution of Sexual Assault on “Law & Order: SVU”

Though SVU has largely steered clear of the gore and intense luridness of other prime-time procedurals, it has still played into the idea that violence against women isn’t about the woman’s experience but rather about the remains of her body. Read more »

The Necessary Escapism of “Law & Order: SVU”

In Dick Wolf’s formulaic world, victims are always believed, cops are dedicated to catching bad guys, and justice is always served, no matter how long it takes. Read more »

Pages