"The Golden Dawn (and Spiritualism) fostered women’s rights activists, activists against poverty, educators, anti-colonial revolutionaries, and radicals of all stripes. And the way they broke through the despair of daily life was through magic." Jessa Crispin looks at what magical thinking actually does for a person.
Men Dump Their Anger Into Women "Women are expected to regulate the emotions of men as well as themselves. They have to sharpen their emotional regulation skillz because they’ll be regulating for two even when they’re not pregnant. [...] This takes many forms, and at its most benign looks like listening, support and empathy. However, as it becomes more noxious, women are expected to read the emotions [of] men and proactively protect them from their own negative emotions. [more inside]
Australian indie-punk band Camp Cope has spearheaded a call to action for bands, venue staff, and concert-goers to stand up against sexual harassment at shows, in part because of incident that went viral at their gig this past may. Their hashtag, #ItTakesOne, has been picked up by other Aussies in the music scene, including Courtney Barnett, and Luca Brasi-who notes the importance of strong male presence in the movement:
"It shouldn't solely be the responsibility of women to fix the problem," they wrote. "We feel it's important for men to speak too, and speak out against other men's behaviour and be positive role models to other men."The band has been sending this message since the beginning- their cardinal song Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams is an anthem exploring the ideal of female safe spaces. [more inside]
According to new research, sexual victimization by women is more common than gender stereotypes would suggest. Two years ago, Lara Stemple, Director of UCLA’s Health and Human Rights Law Project, came upon a statistic that surprised her: In incidents of sexual violence reported to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 38 percent of victims were men––a figure much higher than in prior surveys, Results published here[Fulltext]. Intrigued, she began to investigate: Was sexual violence against men more common than previously thought and who were the perpetrators? Other men? Women? In what proportions? Under what circumstances? [more inside]
A well-stocked and carefully curated medicine cabinet conveyed care and successful home management, while an overstuffed or unconsidered one ran afoul of received ideals of motherhood. Yet while women were responsible for the cabinet’s care and contents, certain products essential to their own health and hygiene were long thought to be inimical to it.A feminist cultural history of the medicine cabinet, an interview with Dr. Deanna Day.
Each day, Meaghan Elderkin draws a different feminist hero on a napkin — along with one of her famous quotes — and tucks it deep within her 4th-grader’s lunchbox.
The Universal Right to Capital Income - "If a universal basic income is to be legitimate, it cannot be financed by taxing Jill to pay Jack. That is why it should be funded not from taxation, but from returns on capital." (via) [more inside]
Today’s political dialogue—which often merely consists of opposing sides shouting over one another—echoes another contentious era in American politics, when women fought for the right to vote. Then and now, a mix of political tension and new-fangled publishing technology produced an environment ripe for creating and distributing political imagery. The meme-ification of women’s roles in society—in civic life and at home—has been central to an advocacy tradition that far precedes slogans like, “Life’s a bitch, don’t elect one,” or “A woman’s place is in the White House.”
The Weird Familiarity of 100-Year-Old Feminism Memes, by Adrienne LaFrance.
PS There are early-1900s cat pics too
In theory, any of the major characters could have been the star of this episode. But it is not at all a coincidence that it is Beverly — a woman, a healer, a mother, and Picard’s occasional love interest — who lives out this story. Star Trek’s Feminist Statement: Believe Women
The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin - "Ursula Kroeber was born in Berkeley, in 1929, into a family busy with the reading, recording, telling, and inventing of stories. She grew up listening to her aunt Betsy’s memories of a pioneer childhood and to California Indian legends retold by her father. One legend of the Yurok people says that, far out in the Pacific Ocean but not farther than a canoe can paddle, the rim of the sky makes waves by beating on the surface of the water. On every twelfth upswing, the sky moves a little more slowly, so that a skilled navigator has enough time to slip beneath its rim, reach the outer ocean, and dance all night on the shore of another world."
I have a lot of friends who used to watch anime but don’t anymore, partly because, like me, it became too hard to seek out anime that treated women well. There are also lots of people who are enthusiastic about other geek properties but won’t touch anime because of its reputation of infantilizing women and sexualizing children. It makes it hard to recommend anime to people who aren’t already fans.Amelia Cook on the need for more feminist criticism in anime. [more inside]
And in the thoughtless, uncredited, mangled deployment of that phrase — even in praise — Gaiman broke the chain between the two of them; a prominent, living male artist inserted between Russ’ ideas and Jackson’s reality.On Neil Gaiman, Shirley Jackson, and the importance of not erasing women’s writing by Carmen Maria Machado
We're all witches now: with our black turtlenecks, our blood-brown lipstick, our crescent moons and evil eyes, our combat boots and girl gangs and moon cycle apps. We've been shimmering like mood rings for a while now. [more inside]
A future shaped, at least in part, by women poses such a profound identity threat as to be unthinkable to many ordinary joes.
Taller Than the Trees [N/YT] by Megan Mylan - "Japanese men haven't traditionally been caregivers. But for Masami Hayata, it's a crucial part of raising his family." (via)
United Nations to Name Wonder Woman Honorary Ambassador [Comic Book Resources] In the DC Universe, “Wonder Woman [wiki]” has long acted as an ambassador from her native land, but soon the Themiscyran Princess will take on the role for real when she becomes UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. According to a statement released by the UN, the official announcement of “Wonder Woman’s” new title will be made at an event held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Friday October 21.
There are many administrative tasks to a miscarriage. You have to tell everyone, including your boss and your sister and your husband’s parents. We thought we were in the clear at 13 weeks along, so we had already started telling all of our friends and family, some only a few days earlier. We didn’t have the energy to make dozens of phone calls, so we sent text messages. I felt an urgent need to update everyone who knew, as if I had passed out bad information and needed to correct it as quickly as possible. [more inside]
CyberFeminism in the 90s and An Oral History of the First Cyberfeminists chronicle a wave of multimedia art that spun out of Australia's VNS Matrix, creators of the CyberFeminist Manifesto and All New Gen, a CD ROM game where "Female ‹cybersluts› and ‹guerrillas,› ‹anarcho cyber-terrorists› infiltrate cyberspace and hack into the controls and databanks of Big Daddy Mainframe, the Oedipal man". (Most links NSFW).
Today, Andrea Dworkin, "radical feminist" would have turned 70 years old. (Trigger Warning: written depictions of rape, assault) [more inside]
TV needs far more seething, devastating women like Fleabag - The creation of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (interview), Fleabag started as a finely tuned one woman play and made the jump to television, becoming "a precision black-humor mechanism" in the process.
Greta Zimmer Friedman, 92, has died. According to the New York Daily News, Mrs. Friedman led a long, eventful life. As a girl, she fled from the Nazis in Europe, and settled in New York, where she later studied theater and costuming at the New School. But her place in history is marked by a single snapshot. She was ambivalent, at times, about that place in history, which can well be characterized as sexual assault. Nonetheless, many years later, she became friendly with the man in the photograph, who had been, at the time, a stranger. (Previously, if incorrectly)
The Misandry Hour is a monthly feminist podcast hosted by Australian writer Clementine Ford (@clementine_ford).
When insolent kids and women are the only ones pathologized for throwing temper tantrums as opposed to violent behavior, then the discourse is suspect. [more inside]
"I was twelve, in that liminal state between childhood and womanhood, still playing with dolls but also shopping for training bras. Eager to soak up lessons about what it meant to be a woman, I watched, and learned, never once questioning why a woman who had a job had to hide money from her husband." (Previously somewhat related on mefi: The Fuck Off Fund.)
"But knives and booze, yoga and booze, 13 mile runs and booze? What’s next to be liquored up: CPR training? Puppy ballet class? (Not really a thing, but someone should get on it.) Is there nothing so inherently absorbing or high-stakes or pleasurable that we won’t try to alter our natural response to it? Maybe women are so busy faking it — to be more like a man at work, more like a porn star in bed, more like 30 at 50 — that we don’t trust our natural responses anymore. Maybe all that wine is an Instagram filter for our own lives, so we don’t see how sallow and cracked they’ve become." Writer Kristi Coulter on making it to "the other side of the pool."
The Story of Feminist Punk in 33 Songs: From Patti Smith to Bikini Kill, the songs that have crushed stereotypes and steered progress (Pitchfork). More than a list of songs, it's an overview of feminist expression through raw music, from 1975 to 2015, with an introduction by Vivien Goldman. "Because nothing beats jamming and singing with your sisters. That is punk. Punk freed female musicians. It is yours. Sing it, play it, live it now." [more inside]
"Five years ago I wrote something that became kind of popular.... It was bizarre to see my name in pink fonts, being sold as a commodity when the entirety of my work has been against the commodification of feminist ideas and the misuse, appropriation and subsequent lack of credit of feminism of color." (SL Medium, by Flavia Dzodan)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a role model for the modern feminist "After more than a decade of reading Buffy academia, to which Patricia Pender’s I’m Buffy and You’re History is a very laudable addition, I’m starting to know why this show continues to inspire sincere and thoughtful devotion among intellectual people who need to talk about gender and about what it means to be a woman in our world." ~ Naomi Alderman, The Spectator [more inside]
Tiny Feminists is a set of three very short films about three very short feminists: Juliette, Yasmine, and Linda are three middle schoolers who are mad as hell and ready to take down the patriarchy. Created and directed by Yulin Kuang (previously on MeFi: the Lizzie Bennet Diaries).
SL Glamour. "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like" by Barack Obama
Toddler Grandma Style, like any style, does have a message. The message is “boys, this isn’t about you.” [more inside]
On being lesbian in a straight marriage (approx. 26 mins podcast) A conversation between two friends. [more inside]
In a recent interview with Financial Times, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie nonchalantly mentioned her new child. She hadn't made it public (or even told all of her friends) because she refuses to "perform pregnancy." [more inside]
Bitch Flicks offers a number of pop culture related essays (mostly film) from their recent website event, Ladies of the 1980s Theme Week. [more inside]
In 1937 actress Leona W. Chalmers filed a remarkable application at the Philadelphia branch of the United States Patent Office: a funnel-shaped receptacle of vulcanized rubber inserted low into the vagina to collect menstrual fluid, rather than soak it up like a Kotex pad did. This invention was later sold as the Tasette, but it never gained commercial success though it had a few devotees. It wasn't until 50 years later that a similar device called The Keeper emerged. We have now entered the age of the menstrual cup, with multiple brands easily purchased online and in stores like Whole Foods, and reviews and comparisons on YouTube and blogs in every corner of the internet. But why did it take so long for them to become mainstream?
Rufi Thorpe writes about being an artist and a mother in Vela.
Nuclear Family presents: Underwritten Female Character: the Movie.
Burlesque as an expression of body positivity [SLYT, TedX Talk]
The Reluctant Memoirist: Suki Kim, the journalist who spent 6 months undercover in North Korea and wrote Without You, There is No Us talks about the implications of marketing her book as a memoir: I immediately emailed my editor. “I really do not feel comfortable with my book being called a memoir,” I told her. “I think calling it a memoir trivializes my reporting.” Memoir, after all, suggests memories—the unresolved issues of the past, examined through the author’s own experiences. My work, though literary and at times personal, was a narrative account of investigative reporting. I wasn’t simply trying to convey how I saw the world; I was reporting how it was seen and lived by others.
Maybe there’s some woman who has had four abortions and maybe that feels really wrong to you. But my rights are wrapped up with hers, so I have to fight like fuck for her to have as many as she wants—not just for her sake, but for mine, too. If I ever have a daughter, the way things are currently going, she’s going to be fucked if she ever goes through this.From "Interview With a Woman Who Recently Had an Abortion at 32 Weeks"
Sex. Race. Class. Inequality. Personal branding. Millenials. Selfies. Affordable luxury. Femvertizing. Unattainable beauty standards. And a glass of free champagne. Put it all together and what do you get? $100 million a year in less than a decade. Buzzfeed's Sapna Maheshwari takes a deep dive into the success of Drybar.
There is something hypnotic in unlikable male characters that we don’t allow in women, and it’s this: we allow men to be confident, even arrogant, self-absorbed, narcissistic. But in our everyday lives, we do not hold up such women as leaders and role models. We call them out as selfish harridans. They are wicked stepmothers. Seeing these same women bashing their way through the pages of our fiction elicits the same reaction. Women should be nurturing. Their presence should be redeeming. Women should know better. [more inside]
"More than 38 million American women have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Many of these women develop coping mechanisms to placate their abusers and protect themselves." How about we stop policing women's language?
There is a radical feminist thrift store in Denmark run by the former art director of Cosmopolitan magazine. I learned this by accident. (Michelle Goldberg, Slate)
[Mora] Weigel had a revelation: she was always turning to a man to tell her what she was after, and the institution of dating was to blame. It trained women “in how to be if we wanted to be wanted.” Hence “Labor of Love,” an exploration of that training, in which Weigel reaches two main conclusions. The first is that though dating is passed off as a leisure activity, it really is a lot of work, particularly for women. It requires physical effort—all that primping, exercising, shopping, and grooming—as well as sizable investments of time, money, and emotion. In our consumer society, love is perpetually for sale; dating is what it takes to close the deal.