Sex & Stats’ 2016 Year in Review

CoverGirl Nura Afia (Today)

CoverGirl Nura Afia (Today)

Raise your hand if you are DONE with 2016. Everyone? Yeah, I thought so. Before we let the door hit this year on its ass, let’s look back at some of the biggest trends in sexuality this year.

Women’s Equality

This year, women began speaking up and demanding more. This ranged from five women suing New York State for the infamous tampon tax to single women voting becoming America’s force to be reckoned with to “Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum asking for (and getting!) equal pay for her performance on the hit TV show.

This is one trend that’s been a long time coming, and I hope it continues for a long, long time.

Brands’ New Inclusive Spokesmodels:

This year, larger brands began making strides towards inclusivity in their advertising. This was especially prevalent with the CoverGirl brand: Beauty blogger (and teenager!) James Charles became the first man to rep the brand, and beauty vlogger Nura Afia became the first Muslim woman to wear hijab to appear in CoverGirl’s advertising.

Let’s hope that more brands follow CoverGirl’s lead of using spokesmodels of all stripes to include in their public-facing advertising. After all, it’s been proven that diversity is big business.

Wonder Woman:

Wonder Woman fever is beginning to crest, with many news items about the Amazonian princess making headlines. First, the character was revealed to be queer by DC comics writer Greg Rucka. A few weeks later, she was named honorary ambassador to the United Nations for female empowerment worldwide.

Wonder Woman will probably retain a strong interest with the release of the self-titled big screen movie starring Gal Gadot. The movie will be released on Jun. 2, 2017.

And that’s it for 2016. See you in 2017!

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Trends: Actresses Demanding Equal Pay

Emmy Rossum in 'Shameless' (TV By The Numbers)

Emmy Rossum in ‘Shameless’ (TV By The Numbers)

“Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum must’ve heard of Levo League’s negotiating slogan #Ask4More, which encourages women to ask for raises and/or equal pay. Earlier this week, Rossum was negotiating to earn equal pay, if not more, than William H. Macy, her co-star on the Showtime series. (And Macy was all for that.) Her reasoning is that her character features significantly in every episode.

Yesterday, Rossum decided to settle her negotiation with a new contract. Though there’s no word on the terms of her new contract, The Hollywood Reporter mentions the following:

Sources say Rossum had an offer of equal pay on the table. It’s unclear if she received more than Macy.

(I, for one, hope she achieved equal or greater pay.)

Actresses speaking up about, and publicly negotiating for, payment parity on par with their male co-stars has become a trend as of late. Robin Wright, the lead actress in Netflix’s “House of Cards,” threatened to take her fight for fair pay public when she realized she was getting paid less than the series’  lead actor Kevin Spacey:

“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood’s character was more popular than [Frank’s] for a period of time. So I capitalized on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public.’ And they did.”

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence most notably spoke out on the issue of pay parity  in 2015 when she penned an essay for Lenny. Lawrence acknowledged that she and fellow co-star Amy Adams got shortchanged with their pay for “American Hustle:” The two women each got 7% of the overall profits, which the leading men received 9% each. This information became public knowledge during the Sony Pictures Entertainment server hack in late 2014.

Let’s hope that more and more women start speaking up and asking demanding for equal pay. As Lawrence recalls, she “failed as a negotiator because [she] gave up too early.” Don’t give up!!