"I'm not sure whether it mattered. One young man very kindly said to me, 'You don’t understand, women are holier than men.'
I said, 'That’s rubbish and it doesn't excuse the insult,' and then I added that I spent 13 years in yeshiva and there's nothing he could tell me that I haven't already heard. Then the original man, the one who refused to sit next to me, muttered to another man as he was walking away, 'She doesn't understand.' I said, 'I understand everything, and don't talk to me as if I'm not here.' He ignored me, and all the other men turned their backs and did not respond or even look at me." [Similar version
"Longings and Desires"
, a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.
Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
Toward a Unified Theory of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Kim Kardashian—and maybe Kim Kardashian alone—has figured out how to make a fortune on the countless hours of emotional labor most women are expected to perform for free: smiling, looking pretty, being accommodating, being charming, being a good hostess.
This is Science Magazine
; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter
", by Jia You
. The list has 46 men and 4 women
. [more inside]
Women are called upon every day to prove our right to participate in music on the basis of our authenticity—or perceived lack thereof. Our credentials are constantly being checked—you say you like a band you've only heard a couple of times? Prepare to answer which guitarist played on a specific record and what year he left the band. But don't admit you haven't heard them, either, because they'll accuse you of only saying you like that genre to look cool. Then they'll ask you if you've ever heard of about five more bands, just to prove that you really know nothing. This happens so often that it feels like dudes meet in secret to work on a regimented series of tests they can use to determine whether or not we deserve to be here. The "fake geek girl" test is one, door guys stopping female musicians carrying gear to make sure they're actually in the band and not just somebody's girlfriend is another. Big rock magazines that interview male musicians about gear and female musicians about sexual harassment—that's up there too.
—Meredith Graves talks about musical authenticity and gender
, taking Andrew WK and Lana Del Rey as her examples. Graves is in the noise rock band Perfect Pussy
. Here's a video for their song "I"
, a live performance
and a short segment where Graves and bandmate Ray McAndrew buy books
: nine essays (by Australian fantasy author Tansy Rayner Roberts
) on the portrayal of women in the Discworld
books [more inside]
We can’t close gender gaps when we spend endless hours counting calories instead of cracking glass ceilings. We can’t gain self-assurance when body dysmorphia is so abundant.
11 years on, Vanessa Garcia tells her 24-year-old eating-disordered self “Your time is precious. Get help. Do it now. You have too many important things to do
.” [more inside]
"In reconsidering the metrosexual, we must first distinguish between the metrosexual’s imagined and actual properties. Like hipsterism, metrosexuality is an insult more readily slung than substantiated. According to canon, David Beckham is the ur-metro. Although Beckham initially goes unmentioned in the word’s first printing (in 1994), the word’s progenitor, Mark Simpson, introduced American readers to metrosexuality through the British football star in 2002, when he called Beckham a "screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual…famous for wearing sarongs and pink nail polish and panties…and posing naked and oiled up on the cover of Esquire.
" " - Johannah King-Slutzky for The Awl on the 'Metrosexual' situation a decade later
“Until a person has experienced career-harming bias...they simply don’t believe it exists.”
Why Aren't Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person.
"Hollywood's pathological fear of being political has made them blind
to the changes that women's friendships have undergone over the last forty years. We're so far past women's relationships revolving around men that no one is even offended by the suggestion that women have relationships that don't revolve around men. Bridesmaids
was a smash among women AND men, and so was [Paul] Feig's follow-up, The Heat
, another female driven, non-romantic comedy." (Hat-tip: Mick LaSalle
) [more inside]
Someone once asked me why "alpha males" were so popular in so much romantic speculative fiction, and I hesitated to answer it. Not because I didn't know, but because I knew I was going to have to have a discussion about teasing out the difference between finding pleasure in something you genuinely find pleasurable and taking pleasure in something you think you're supposed to find pleasurable.
Kameron Hurley talks about Gender, Family, Nookie: The Speculative Frontier
WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science
, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course
to make it more welcoming to female university students
, celebrating women in computing history
(and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated
, and making children's books
!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools
. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works
, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US
If you want to join Mindy Kaling
in supporting young girls
entering computer science, tech, and coding
, there's a lot [more inside]
Men Try Women's Makeup For The First Time (SLYT)
Five ordinary, average Joe's get women's make-up applied to half their face. The film includes their comments about the experience as it occurs, a split screen at the end showing the "male" and "female" halves of their faces (it can help to pause and compare each one), and an interesting effect where they slowly turn from one side to the other. [more inside]
Cross-dressing trapeze and tightrope artist Barbette
seems to have sprung out of a Jean Cocteau fantasy, but surely was a real person. Exact birthdate and parentage subject to dispute
, but somewhere around the dawn of the 20th Century in Texas. Subsequent to highschool, he replaced a deceased woman in the Alfaretta Sisters aerialist circus act. Barbette toured the vaudeville circuit and debuted in Europe in 1923. Barbette's curtain-call wig-ripping-off move was ripped off for Victor/Victoria. [more inside]
Women are more likely to be lied to at the negotiation table
Women are more likely to be lied to at the negotiation table, according to a recent study led by UC Berkeley researchers at the Haas School of Business. The study, published online July 14, determined that women are more likely to be lied to than men from a series of face-to-face negotiations among about 300 MBA students at Haas.…The cultural stereotype is that women are “too nice” to accuse someone of lying, but the study found that whether or not women were lied to was rooted in how their competence was perceived by their negotiating partner, [lead researcher] Kray said. [more inside]
is a 20-year-old photographer from Los Angeles who takes gorgeous, color saturated, studio composed photographs of herself
, most often her girlfriend Chloe (NSFW)
. Buy her photozine
, see photos from an exhibition
, or read her text blog
. [more inside]
Her Noise - The Making Of (2007) -
running time ~60 minutes. The video documents the development of Her Noise between 2001 and 2005 and features interviews with artists including Diamanda Galas, Lydia Lunch, Kim Gordon, Jutta Koether, Peaches, Marina Rosenfeld, Kembra Pfhaler, Chicks On Speed, Else Marie Pade, Kaffe Matthews, Emma Hedditch, Christina Kubisch and the show's curators, Lina Dzuverovic and Anne Hilde Neset. The documentary also features excerpts from live performances held during Her Noise by Kim Gordon, Jutta Koether and Jenny Hoyston (Erase Errata), Christina Carter, Heather Leigh Murray, Ana Da Silva (The Raincoats), Spider And The Webs, Partyline, Marina Rosenfeld's 'Emotional Orchestra' at Tate Modern, and footage compiled for the 'Men in Experimental Music' video made during the development of the Her Noise project by the curators and Kim Gordon, featuring Thurston Moore and Jim O'Rourke. [more inside]
Michel Martin, in her last week as host of NPR's "Tell Me More," responds to conversations about work/life balance such as Anne-Marie Slaughter's much-commented 2012 "Why Women Still Can't Have It All
) where "the discussion too often ends where it began: with privileged, mostly white women at the forefront
." [more inside]
In a public radio world that turns a blind eye and blushing cheek to sex, we give you Audio Smut. We are a show about your body, your heart, and your junk. Every 2 weeks we deliver honest and emotionally engaging stories that read like a diary and sound like a dream. Our mission is to educate and initiate public discourse about gender, sex, and relationships from a sex-positive, queer, and feminist perspective. Our work portrays sexuality in a diverse and honest light. [more inside]
no more “put a skirt on it”
In a historical vacuum, we would not project gender onto images with no visible gender signals. But we’ve inherited, and perpetuated, the idea that a blank person is a Man. Unless you add decorations. Then you have yourself a Woman. Yes, it’s 2014, many women have short hair, pants, and no makeup. We know this intellectually. But it doesn’t seem to translate into how we actually represent men and women.…
Good news: the next time you draw a person or create a user avatar, you have an opportunity to fight the sexist patriarchal bullshit! Like many instances of patriarchy-smashing, it’s not actually that hard once you get the principles down.
A young girl's questions about the Boko Haram abductions reveal an increasing consciousness of a misogynist world. How can her mother—a survivor of kidnapping and abuse—respond?
Lacy M. Johnson
writes for Dame Magazine: "I Don't Want to Be a Girl."
[TW: graphic recountings of gendered violence] [more inside]
"This summer, All Things Considered is looking at the lives of men in America. By some measures, not much has changed over the past few decades — girls still do better in school, and men still make more money. In other areas, the shifts are profound."
They made some charts
Attack of the purse snatchers: gender and bag policies in U.S. comic book stores
What could a clerk at a comic book store possibly say to a new female customer to make her feel as alien and unwelcome as possible? Would it be some sort of overtly sexist slur, or an inappropriate comment about her appearance? Or could it perhaps be something as presumably innocuous as: "I’m going to need to take your bag before you go any further."
Secular trans feminist Zinnia Jones debunks the myth of biological sex
and the inaccurate ways the concept has been used to invalidate trans people.
Mey from Autostraddle explains why it’s time for people to stop using the social construct of “biological sex” to defend their transmisogyny
Inter/act explains that intersex people, despite having disorders of sex development (DSDs) that contribute to what doctors define as a "biological sex other than male or female,"
may identify as male, female, or somewhere else on the gender spectrum. [more inside]
by Data Morphosis
demonstrates that women make up just 10.7% of all US company board members. They are best represented at Avon
, where more than half the board is female. Eighteen S&P 500 companies have male directors exclusively. (Via Forbes
, where the article
is adorned with a pink [!] bar graph.)
...if it felt like an author had already come into your life, already seen some aspect of your experience then it would be natural to want to extend this intimacy into conversation.
The impulse to contact a confessional writer – whose writing has already revealed something private – is something else. Perhaps it is still a desire to translate one kind of intimacy into another, but the terms are different. With confessional writing, the disclosure has already happened – now the reader wants to confess something back, make a reciprocal exchange. So whenever people talk about confessional writing as navel-gazing or self-involved, I think about those voices, and their offerings.
Author Leslie Jamison
) explains why confessional writing is not self-indulgent
. [more inside]
Margaret Perry's review of Women in Pants
provides an interesting overview of those women (in the Western world) who chose to wore pants in the 19th and early 20th centuries
when the standard gender norm dictated dresses for girls and women. R.S. Fleming has a great collection of Victorian women-in-pants images
, particularly in non-American military garb. See also: Welsh pit miners
, women fighting in the US Civil War
(and support-staff), this cattle thief/gunfighter
, some cowgirls
, and Dr. Mary Walker
- here she is in more traditionally masculine dress
(second picture). In France, the artist Rosa Bonheur had to get permission from the police
to wear pants (picture
) while sketching in public (her license
), while adventurer/archaeologist Jane Dieulafoy
got a lifetime exemption to wear pants from France.
Over the past few decades, urban policy has focused on breaking up clusters of poverty, planning cities so that poor residents could live in areas that also had middle-class people. Does this new research mean projects like MTO are actually a bad thing?
“When we first showed these results, somebody said, ‘Well, don’t send them to new neighborhoods,’” says Kessler. “Well wait a second, you’re now dealing the girls some pretty bad outcomes. But if you do send them, the boys are getting bad outcomes. What if you have one boy and one girl?”
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn "Stop interrupting me."
"I just said that."
"No explanation needed." [more inside]
After Koovagam, India's Largest Transgender Festival
: "Some of the transgender women you see on the street were training to be lawyers or engineers," says Rangeela, who is one of a handful in her circle who did not drop out of school. "I hope in that in 10 years those people can go on with their careers and not be stuck into a life of prostitution." [more inside]
Women make up roughly half of the 42 million Pashtun people in the borderland. The kind of hardship they know is rare. Some are bought and sold, others killed for perceived slights against family honor. But this doesn’t render them passive. Most of the Pashtun women I know possess a rebellious and caustic humor beneath their cerulean burkas, which have become symbols of submission. This finds expression in an ancient form of folk poetry called landay. Two lines and 22 syllables long, they can be rather startling to the uninitiated. War, drones, sex, a husband’s manhood—these poems are short and dangerous, like the poisonous snake for which they’re named.
The first Women in Science Writing: Solutions Summit
took place at MIT on June 13-15. Here's a brief roundup
, with plenty of links and stats that look at gender bias and harassment in science journalism.
controls Hollywood? Now it can be told!
" is the title of the first report of The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. This report comes after a number of incidents of sexual assault were under-investigated or ignored at numerous college campus' in the US. [more inside]
A study (pdf)
released by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment
shows that 65% of American women
have experienced some form of street harassment
– 41% of women were subject to physically aggressive harassment in public like being flashed or fondled. Men also report being harassed (and men who identified as LGBT were much more likely to be harassed
than heterosexual men). No matter who was being harassed, men were most likely to be the harassers.
A Linguist on the Story of Gendered Pronouns.
Gretchen McCulloch talks about why we have pronouns, why gender is a thing in English, and how gender is a thing in other languages. [more inside]
Joanna Piacenza tackles difficulties she sees in the American conception of Buddhism. She was spurred out of writing silence several months ago by Time Magazine choosing for the second time in a decade to sell their magazine with a consumerist representation of Buddhism depicted on their cover with an pretty and ethereal looking white woman
. Today, she published an article in First Things
on why she believes Buddhism can't be just "an add-on: an energy boost in your spiritual smoothie," but is a religion and the American attitudes that she sees as enabling this misconception.
of young people who identify
as neither male or female. (first two links NSFW: nudity) [more inside]
“Are you a boy or a girl?
”: Our trans-bisexual love story
of Kenilworth, Ill,
is now the winningest woman in Jeopardy!
history, the third winningest non-tournament player, and she isn't done. She'll be playing her 20th game tomorrow night, wherein followers hope she'll break the $400,000 mark on her steady climb.
You can catch up on her run at YouTube.
One of the champions whose records she has now surpassed is Arthur Chu
, who has also made big waves this week, speaking out on misogyny in geek culture,
in response to the murders in Isla Vista. Writes Chu: The overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to 'earn,' to 'win.'
The show's history and the iconic host's banter seem to reveal
that in terms of gender, Jeopardy!
is not, as etymology would have it, "an evenly divided game," but could this be the year things change?