Popular culture packages and codifies what society considers acceptable.

A glance at the average cop show or comedy act suggests that what’s acceptable is a whole lot of dead women and a whole lot of creepy hate. In pop culture and media spaces, violence against women is often gratuitous, glorified, or “hilarious”.

Of course, much has improved since the actual Mad Men were making super-sexist ads, but still. Look at #GamerGate, online harassment, “creeping” at Comic-Con…and it’s clear it’s time for more (pop!) culture change.

 

Pop culture can also push the boundaries.

 Pop culture helps make gay and trans folks everyone’s neighbors. Pop culture helps us imagine people of color, or women, in the Oval Office. Pop culture itself can help make violence against women unacceptable. Pop culture changes culture.

Now is the time for (pop) culture change.

Consumers, fans, and entertainment brokers have demanded accountability from Bill Cosby, from reality TV, from the NFL and sports culture. Thoughtful, multi-dimensional, humanizing story lines about violence against immigrant women and campus sexual assault are showing up on police dramas. “Strong female characters” are no longer considered appealing only to “the weaker sex.”

Now more than ever, the power to create pop culture is not just in the hands of one massive Hollywood studio system or a few big TV networks. Pop culture and media take new forms every day—forms we hold in our own hands. We have the power to challenge what we see, to change what we see, and to make what we see.

We’re on it.

Pop culture icons, power brokers, and creators are joining the Breakthrough Generation. (And have been since 2000—check our history for the music video that first changed the game!) Inspired by Breakthrough:

  • Conor Oberst and his band Desaparecidos promoted immigrant women’s rights on a recent tour.

  • Sir Patrick Stewart leveraged his BELOVED BY ALL PEOPLE status to share his own story of domestic violence and call on all men and allies to take action.

  • Harold Perrineau, Margaret Cho, Anthony Rapp, Victor Garber, and Cherry Jones—as seen on LOST, Alias, Rent, and more—donated their time to act as characters in (and promote) Breakthrough’s America 2049, the first transmedia Facebook game for human, immigrant, LGBT, and women’s rights.

  • Comedian Dean Obeidallah produced the comedy show Dudes Against Violence Against Women because he wanted to use his own skills and pop-culture platform “to send the message that men need to be leaders on this issue.”

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Let’s put the onus of ending violence against women where it belongs: with men. The solution isn’t just to stand up for women, it’s to hold men accountable. We can do that one moment at a time: on the sidewalk, in the subway, at the dinner table, at the game, on the bus, at the bar, with ourselves. So yeah, man. Want to start something? Let’s start a movement of men who aren’t afraid to stop violence against women. – Carlos Andrés Gómez

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What can I do to make culture pop?

 

Here’s even more to explore.

 

  • 10 Things You Can Find on the New U.S. Websit...
  • 13 Reasons to Make Violence Against Women Una...
  • 7 Ways To Be That Guy: Super Bowl XLIX
  • Culture Change: What Why How?
  • Strategy Brief: Inspiring Men To Drive Cultur...
  • Strategy brief: Driving culture change for hu...
  • 5 Athletes Who Are Actually #TBE
  • Listen Up, Sports: 7 Ways To Be Less Sexist
  • 7 Dude Comedians Who Are Funny, and Feminist

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