What if the New York City subway map paid homage to some of the city’s great women? It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” is a song James Brown recorded in a New York City studio in 1966, and, whether you like it or not, you can make the case that he’s right. Walking down the city streets, young women get harassed in ways that tell them that this is not their world, their city, their street; that their freedom of movement and association is liable to be undermined at any time; and that a lot of strangers expect obedience and attention from them. “Smile,” a man orders you, and that’s a concise way to say that he owns you; he’s the boss; you do as you’re told; your face is there to serve his life, not express your own. He’s someone; you’re no one.
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]
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]
A letter of thanks for an unusual gift, a poem about a dying queen (with audio of the poet reading it), and a short story about a devoted couple with a shocking secret (with an introduction by Edith Pearlman): all are from the pen of the English novelist, short-story writer, poet, musicologist, translator & biographer; feminist, lesbian & communist Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978). [more inside]
SL Glamour. "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like" by Barack Obama
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]
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)
What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society This is an edited version of a conference and seminar paper presented at the National University of Singapore in March 2016 and Australian National University in April 2016
"Hey, I'm not going to womansplain feminism to the readers of Esquire! That's not happening on my watch! You're sophisticated, 21st century men with a copy of the El Bulli cookbook, a timeless pair of investment brogues and a couple of Joni Mitchell albums — for when you want to sit in your leather armchair, and have a little, noble, necessary man-cry." [slEsquire, Caitlin Moran]
Why does the Oxford Dictionary of English portray women as “rabid feminists” From the MEDIUM article: "The Oxford Dictionary of English is the default dictionary on Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. Anyone using a Mac, an iPad, or iPhone will get definitions from this dictionary. So why is it filled with explicitly sexist usage examples?" [more inside]
Porpentine, creator of excellent games such as Ultra Business Tycoon III (previously) and High End Customizable Sauna Experience (previously), writes on the topics of PTSD, exile from feminist spaces, online and offline harassment and abuse. Hugely insightful and amazingly relevant.
At Philosop-her, Meena Krishnamurthy invites women in philosophy to introduce themselves and their work. For example, Elizabeth Barnes, "Confessions of a Bitter Cripple": "I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island ... I have been told that, while it isn't bad for me to exist, it would've been better if my mother could've had a non-disabled child instead ... And these things weren't said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument ... They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it's the uncontroversial part of your talk." [more inside]
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is not your average vampire flick. For one, it features a who's who of Iranian actors (all speaking Persian), with various bits of the [Inland/]Southern California landscape serving as stand-ins for Iran. Plus, there's the stripped-down storytelling and the fusion of styles. It's been billed as the first "Iranian vampire Western."Join director Ana Lily Amirpour for Q&A on Iranian vampires and weird SoCal towns and learn more about her feminist horror film that turns horror film (and every day) tropes on their heads. [more inside]
For more than a decade, women’s rights advocate Julie Lalonde was stalked by an ex-boyfriend—and kept silent about it.
Phoebe Robinson, author of the the Blaria blog, writes about the meaning of her blog's name and how Daria Shaped a Generation of Women.
Some ways we can read Elsa: "Cold and Hungry: Discourses of Anorexic Feminity in Frozen," "Disney's Frozen and Autism," "Reading Frozen as a Feminist," and "Disney's Frozen: Gay or Schizophrenic?"
"I am a hetero white cis man working to take the space I have in the world and make it feminist... I know that it should be rapists' responsibility to not rape instead of survivors' responsibility to not get raped, and I know that by virtue of being a dude who doesn't talk to other dudes about rape I am complicit in rape culture, but I just have no idea where to begin. Can you talk to me about talking to rapists about rape?" [cw: potentially triggering language abounds]
Marlene Sanders’ Feminist Legacy [Slate obit] - "She wrote of her accomplishments: 'As I look back on my career, the women's movement provided an exceptional point when time, place and position all came together to give me the power and focus to contribute to the country’s awareness of the status of women.'" [more inside]
The British Library has put every issue of Spare Rib in their digital journal archive, with full access, for free.
Few titles sum up an era and a movement like Spare Rib. When the first issue came out in July 1972, many women were starting to question their position and role in society. The magazine was an active part of the emerging women's liberation movement. It challenged the stereotyping and exploitation of women in what was the first national magazine of its kind. It supported collective, realistic solutions to the hurdles women faced and reached out to women from all backgrounds. Spare Rib became the debating chamber of feminism in the UK. It continued until January 1993 and the full archive of 239 magazines provides a valuable insight into women's lives and this period of feminist activity.
hey girl: you can use my shoulder as a rifle stand, as you’re the better shot of the two of us. (feminist mad max tumblr)
Wait, Women Don't Have Equal Rights in the United States? - Tabby Biddle, Huffington Post. The History Behind the ERA Amendment ( brief introduction, argument for why ERA is needed). March 22, 1972 | Equal Rights Amendment for Women Passed by Congress (NYT). Chronology of the Equal Rights Amendment, 1923-1996 (NOW). "The ERA Is a Moral Issue": The Mormon Church, LDS Women, and the Defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment (Neil J. Young, American Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 3, Sep., 2007)
Shit People say to Women [film] Directors. Tumblr - Exactly as described. The first part of their About page states: SHIT PEOPLE SAY TO WOMEN DIRECTORS is an anonymous open blog for any female-identifying individual to submit personal accounts of absurd, offensive, threatening, or downright fucked-up “shit” people have said to you while working in the film business. [more inside]
"Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was thus a foremother of feminism. She was also a war reporter, a pedagogue, a spiritual quester, a radical republican, a single mother, a passionate & taboo-breaking lover. Her story is ripe for the telling. This blog gathers anecdotes, freelance research, resources, and news of current projects..." A Vindication of the Rights of Mary | Mary | The blog | Me
Over one hundred years ago, Lizzie Borden became infamous for supposedly brutally killing her parents with an ax. Few know that she was actually acquitted of the crime, and there was little evidence in fact suggesting that she had done it. Why was Lizzie maligned in history and the press? Some feminist interpretations, such as Carolyn Gage's, argue for another look at the story, suggesting that prejudice, not evidence, ruled the day. Fortunately for those interested, the advent of the internet has provided many opportunities for passionate scholarship and the presentation of evidence, providing the interested observer closer looks at the case, the trial   , a potential plethora of suspects and at Lizzie herself.
She had taught a Sunday school class for Chinese men and had also taught classes for young women who worked in the mills. She participated in many women's groups at her church and had been a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, a hotbed of feminist organizing in its day. She had been elected a member of the board of the Fall River Hospital, a rare appointment for a woman, and in 1891 was a board member of the Good Samaritan Hospital... In other words, Lizzie had a full life outside the home at a time when employment opportunities for middle-class women were severely restricted.
Coding Like a Girl - sailor mercury at Medium:
"Apparently, presenting as feminine makes you look like a beginner. It is very frustrating that I will either look like not a programmer or look like a permanent beginner because I have programmed since age 8. I have basically always wanted to be a programmer. I received undergrad and grad degrees from MIT. I’ve worked as a visiting researcher in Honda’s humanoid robotics division on machine learning algorithms for ASIMO.[more inside]
"I don’t think that any of these things make me a better programmer; I list them because I am pretty sure that if i were a white man with these credentials or even less than these credentials no one would doubt my programmer status."
Who Farts? And Who Cares? "Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally." [more inside]
"Despite scant funding and resources, London’s Feminist Library is turning their 40th year into a celebration of storytelling, history – and, hopefully, sofas." Stephanie Boland at The New Statesman, 'She blinded me with library science': why the Feminist Library is more vital than ever. [more inside]
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
Did Amazon Sink the Queen of Online Erotica? - Phoebe Reilly, Vulture
"Engler is an underappreciated pioneer, a self-proclaimed feminist in furry-cat slippers. To put her crowning achievement demurely, she challenged the book-publishing industry's denial of women's appetite for sexually explicit books. She wrote tawdry, lowbrow novels, and published hundreds of others, that freed romance from its lame euphemisms well before Fifty Shades of Grey, and she did so in a digital format long before the Kindle and the iPad allowed e-books to flourish.
"To put it less demurely: There were readers out there, lots of them, who didn't want to read about thick manroots. They wanted hard cocks. So that's what Ellora's Cave gave them. Easily and often."
Masha Tupitsyn interviewed by Keaton Ventura for Sex Magazine:
What sort of trouble? Mainly the reaction was, what is this? What are you doing? This isn’t a novel. This isn’t fiction. This isn’t straight criticism. It’s all mixed up. Or this criticism is too personal or too critical about the wrong things. But the minute I would call Beauty Talk nonfiction people would accept the terms that I using. So it was always about how I was categorizing that book. What I was calling it. That would determine how people would respond to the book and its ethos, which I always thought was absurd. If I called it nonfiction, if I called it essays, if I called it criticism, people accepted the book more. But if I said it was fiction, people would say, Well, this is not what fiction does. Fiction does this and criticism does this, and you have to keep these things separate and clear. But I am really not interested in keeping things separate. Not in my work and not in my life either. I’m interested in looking at them and putting them together because I think one of the problems with Western culture in general is that everything is reduced to binaries and categories because it keeps us from fundamentally being able to make valuable links. To connect the dots.[more inside]
Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire, an opinion piece by Michelle Goldberg at The Washington Post. Geek Feminism Wiki has a page on mitigating internet trollstorms, snippet: "This document intends to provide actionable guidance for people who are being attacked or who are concerned about being attacked in the future, and includes both information security, physical security, and self-care advice drawn from the experiences of the Geek Feminism community."
Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is this Supreme Court's liberal hero, but her work sits on the shoulders of Dr. Pauli Murray [more inside]
"It's not just that feminist ideas may be more accessible when packaged in a clever Internet meme. It's also that, for decades, opponents of the movement have painted feminists as unattractive, humorless, man-hating, lesbian militants. And we tend to find our feminist messengers more persuasive when they challenge these stereotypes." Can Feminist Ryan Gosling Really Make Men More Feminist? [more inside]
Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Mark Bernstein on recent editorial decisions at Wikipedia: "The infamous draft decision of Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) on Gamergate is worse than a crime. It’s a blunder that threatens to disgrace the internet." [more inside]
Pitchfork interviews Björk about the inspiration for and methods behind her newest album. Awesomeness ensues.
"For them it was an amazing feminist experience, but it didn’t last." Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti questions the attempt to turn "slut" into something positive:
Tanenbaum told me that, when women are in closed circle or close-knit community – like a protest with like-minded people, or among friends who understand the cheeky appropriation of the word – identifying as a “slut” can be empowering. But what inevitably happens, especially in today’s digital culture where revenge porn, stolen pictures and cyber harassment is the norm, is that “it always spills outwards.”[more inside]
"As Maggie Gyllenhaal put it in accepting an award for her performance in 'The Honorable Woman': 'What I see, actually, are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.'" The 'strong female character' is dead. All hail the complicated woman., by Alyssa Rosenberg for The Washington Post. [more inside]
"I want first to thank you, watching/reading you advocate is an inspiration. I hope to one day be as articulate and hard-working as you. If you're able, could you point me to some favorite writings on privilege/intersectionality/feminism? I'm interested to see what's inspired/informed you. Thank you!" Writer, feminist (and crafter) Ijeoma Oluo provides ten solid links to educational resources online (caveat: she does state, though, that these links barely scratch the surface.) [more inside]
From October 1950 to January 1952, the Mexican American miners at the Empire Zinc mine in Bayard, New Mexico were on strike, protesting the racial discrimination between them and their Anglo counterparts in pay, safety standards, and quality of life in company housing. Two events make this particular strike stand out from similar strikes at other mines are the involvement of the miners' wives in both requesting better living conditions and later in taking to the picket lines themselves, and after the strike was over, the feminist and pro-labor docudrama made by blacklisted Hollywood film makers, Salt of the Earth (YouTube; lower quality on Archive.org; Wikipedia). [more inside]
"From a seven-year-old who took on a supermarket to the girls who stood up to authority against violence, racism and inequality, these girls make the future look bright." Laura Bates looks back at a year of young feminist action in the Guardian piece, "2014: a year of brave, inspiring, young feminists". More feminism year-in-reviews below the fold. [more inside]
Top Feminist Hashtags of 2014, and the accompanying infographic; Time Magazine's overview of Feminism on social media (trigger warning for domestic abuse). An alternative view: The trouble with Twitter Feminism. Bonus link: Wikipedia entry on Networked Feminism and examples.
Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – [Trigger warning for this and all following links] by Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill):
The seminars, workshops, blogs, op-eds, research, policy papers, luncheons, and happy hour discussions are all valuable, and important, and they need to continue. But when the beer is drunk, and the pizza gone cold, and the printed articles relegated to the recycling bin, we are left with words: words written by us and about us, spoken in confidence, tossed like poisoned barbs in the comments sections, smoldering as craters in our in-boxes, pounding in our ears when we run it out at the gym.[more inside]
I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War, by Laurie Penny and her in-your-face feminism. [more inside]
We Hunted The Mammoth digs deep into the varied worlds of Mens Rights Activism to examine anti-feminism through such lenses as giant harassment machines, pro-life horror movies, MRA automation, Islamophobia, Metafilter's own Scott Adams, and flatulence. Trigger warning: every imaginable type of MRA language. Also, explaining the mammoth thing.