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"[O]ne gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other"

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has denied Lindsey Vonn's request that she be able to compete in a men's World Cup downhill race at Lake Louise, Alberta on November 24. The US Ski and Snowboard Associaton had petitioned the FIS in support of Vonn's request and the President of Alpine Canada has expressed his disagreement with the FIS decision. The New York Times explained that Vonn spends time training with men, often races on men's skis, and "has, at times, been faster than men in training." The BBC reports Vonn said, "I'd like the chance to compete against them and see where I stand."
posted by Area Man on Nov 4, 2012 - 47 comments

[INSERT STORMTROOPER HEIGHT REFERENCE HERE]

In 2010, 1st grader Katie Goldman was the bullied kid at her school for being a girl who was into Star Wars (which is, of course, only for boys). Geeks and fans across the net rallied to give moral support to Katie ("The Littlest Jedi") for standing up for who she wanted to be. Katie and her mother went on to lead an anti-bullying effort at Katie's school (which now observes December 10th as "Proud To Be Me Day") and Katie became a symbol of geek pride and anti-bullying, standing up at a birthday party for a boy who wanted to have his nails painted like the girls were getting. The experience became the source of book Bullied. In 2012, it was Katie's turn to show geek solidarity. The 501st Legion/"Vader's Fist", who had been so supportive when her story went viral, were now among those being taunted online for their cosplay geekery at a con, and Katie wanted to be a stormtrooper for Halloween to show her support. When the troopers heard that, the 501st's First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment came together to raise the funds/materials/expertise and build a full-on custom-fitted set of proper stormtrooper armor ('77 movie specs and all), with just days to spare before Halloween, as a gift for the little girl whose courage inspired them so much. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 2, 2012 - 61 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

Small Steps Hiding Big Dreams

The Art of Presence. Despite so many threats to their freedom, Arab women continue to stage a thousand small revolutions in their everyday lives.
posted by bardophile on Oct 28, 2012 - 8 comments

"I began to believe voices in my head -- that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable."

"I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."
On Saturday, Lana Wachowski (co-director of the "Matrix" franchise and "Cloud Atlas") received a "Visibility Award" from the Human Rights Campaign for her recent decision to publicly come out as transgender. In a powerful 25-minute acceptance speech, Lana spoke about the pain she went through growing up and how she developed self-acceptance. Video. Transcript. Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter.
posted by zarq on Oct 24, 2012 - 76 comments

She The People

Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Oct 23, 2012 - 32 comments

Eigenbinder

The hard numbers behind scholarly publishing's gender gap - The Chronicle of Higher Education investigates the nature of gender disparity in science and humanities publishing, with the help of researcher Jennifer Jacquet in collaboration with Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington, whose Eigenfactor tool (previously) is used to map the intersection of gender and authorship in JSTOR articles from 1665 to 2011. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 22, 2012 - 8 comments

Liberate Little Ears!

On the 40th anniversary of the release of "Free To Be... You and Me," a three-part piece in Slate examines the genesis and impact of this influential album and its accompanying TV special.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 22, 2012 - 56 comments

Improving the visibility of women in Wikipedia for Ada Lovelace Day 2012

An Ada Lovelace Day editathon is happening at the Royal Society in London This is part of a project to improve the representation of 'women in science' on Wikipedia and is hosted at the Royal Society of London after previous edit-a-thons at Harvard and Stockholm. It seems like most of the participants are women. If it sounds intriguing, it's not too late to register for a subsequent session in Oxford on the 26th (You might even be given cake).
posted by AFII on Oct 19, 2012 - 15 comments

Does This Plate Of Beans Vibrate?

"In removing the associations with genitalia, the messiness of bodies mashing together is obfuscated. Men no longer have to worry about being replaced. Women no longer have to worry about the psychic implications of being penetrated by a penis. Society doesn’t have to worry about gender norms being disturbed. And expectations of what defines sex remains stable." -- Jenny An on "The Pleasure Model" (a jokey NSFW pic at the top)
posted by bardic on Oct 18, 2012 - 66 comments

if the shoe fits

You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say. "Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits just by looking at the person's shoes." Virginia Postrel responded: "The study made a solid contribution to research on first impressions, but it was hardly earthshaking. By getting so much attention, however, it demonstrated a sociological truth: People love to talk about shoes. Even those who dismissed the research as silly often felt compelled to call radio stations or comment on websites, providing details about their own choices. Why this fascination with footwear? " [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 15, 2012 - 159 comments

Something like Anglophilia

My Life as a Girl - Why Stephen Burt likes dressing up as a woman.
posted by Artw on Oct 13, 2012 - 54 comments

Metafilter doesn't do fedoras well

The problem is that the fedora has become a go-to accessory for a peculiar subculture of love-entitled male nerds whose social inexperience and awkwardness manifests in a world rocked by a gender revolution—a tectonic shift in the makeup of formerly cloistered, rule-bound clubs. They aren't bad people – they simply need a place from which to draw a sense of manhood, if not from women.
posted by rhiannonstone on Oct 2, 2012 - 718 comments

D-bag points and laughs, woman shames with awesome

Balpreet Kaur is a (female) sophomore at Ohio State who follows the Sikh tenet of kesh (uncut hair). Choosing to leave her facial hair in its natural state, however, led to her candid picture drawing negative attention in Reddit's "funny" section. Her clear, friendly and smart response has now gone viral, changing the opinion of at least one european douchebag.
posted by Madamina on Sep 26, 2012 - 134 comments

No more Windex

The Sponsor Effect: Breaking through the Last Glass Ceiling (pdf) Women aren't making it to the top. Despite gains in middle and senior management, they hold just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the C-suite, they're outnumbered four to one. What's keeping women under the glass ceiling? High-performing women simply don't have the sponsorship they need to reach the top. The study found that women underestimate the role sponsorship plays in their advancement. And those who do grasp its importance fail to cultivate it. It's also a classic catch-22: a woman's personal choices, whatever they may be, brand her as not quite leadership material. What will it take to promote sponsorship?
posted by infini on Sep 20, 2012 - 33 comments

Gender bias on Wikipedia

A data visualization reveals the gender bias in thousands of Wikipedia articles. [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Sep 18, 2012 - 50 comments

Sex crazed, but not too picky

Nature constantly engineers new and creative solutions to all sorts of problems—turning our stereotypes about sex upside-down along the way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 17, 2012 - 16 comments

Take that, Caitlin Flanagan

Focusing on career -- how hookup culture empowers women
posted by msalt on Sep 9, 2012 - 51 comments

Thoughts about women and homemaking in the 21st century

"This blog is a look at the social movement I call ‘New Domesticity’ – the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex and the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?"
posted by showbiz_liz on Sep 5, 2012 - 250 comments

Dad in a dirndl

German dad dons skirt to support his cross-dressing five-year-old son. [more inside]
posted by Lexica on Aug 30, 2012 - 86 comments

I bought this pen (in error, evidently) to write my reports of each day's tree felling activities in my job as a lumberjack.

But now, Bic has saved me! With these easy-to-manage lady pens, I too can record my grocery lists and the agenda for my weekly sewing circle! Yes, that's right; due to these pens' soft grips and lightweight build, even my useless, made-from-porcelain hands can manage to wield them. And what's more, their sweet and rosy color palette is soft on my frail lady eyes! It really is a dream come true!
posted by the young rope-rider on Aug 26, 2012 - 93 comments

"What could possibly be wrong with this perfectly adorable X!"

In 1972, an early version of best-selling novelist Lois Gould's X: A Fabulous Children's Story was published in Ms. Magazine as part of its monthly "Stories for Free Children" feature. In 1978 it was expanded and turned into a wildly delightful children's book with a distinctive illustration style, critiquing gender expectations in infancy and childhood. The New York Times, for which she wrote, has more about her in her obituary, while Google Preview has some history on the publication of X, now in print only as part of the 2008 anthology Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature.
posted by DarlingBri on Aug 23, 2012 - 6 comments

Facts Didn't Get In Their Way

Rebecca Solnit explains The Problem With Men Explaining Things. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on Aug 21, 2012 - 687 comments

Voguing: Old Way & New Way

Two short documentaries about voguing - 1989 and 2011. An evolution of a dance form and a subculture.

Voguing: The Message traces the roots of this gay, Black and Latino dance form, which appropriates and plays with poses and images from mainstream fashion. Voguing competitions parody fashion shows and rate the contestants on the basis of movement, appearance and costume. This tape is a pre-Madonna primer that raises questions about race, sex and subcultural style. [Dir. Jack Walworth, David Bronstein & Dorothy Low 1989 13 min.]

VOGUE: A Twist on the Dance Floor is an intimate look into modern day voguing and how it's leaving a big impression even today. Starring legendary vogue fem Dashaun Evisu. [Dir. Danilo Parra, Produced by Dashaun Wesley; 2011 11 min.] [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Aug 19, 2012 - 12 comments

WE’RE YOUR BEST GIRLFRIEND AND YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE

Right now Baltimore, MD plays host to FemmeCon, a biannual gathering for those who "seek to explore, discuss, dissect, and support Queer Femme as a transgressive, gender-queer, stand-alone, and empowered identity and provide a space for organizing and activism within Queer communities". Some of the issues faced by queer femme culture include femme invisibility in larger queer culture, the lack of non-stereotypical role models, being classed 'femme' by default, dismissal as "too much", as well as intersectional issues of femme with race, gender, and disability. In the meantime, femme subcultures such as tomboy femme, hard femme, and FEMME SHARKS as well as femmes in specific regions come together for inspiration, expression, power, creativity and support from each other - as well as from appreciative butches.
posted by divabat on Aug 18, 2012 - 111 comments

The Man Box

They avoid the treacherous edges, they navigate the contradictions as best they can, they do everything they’re supposed to to stay inside the box. And what’s the prize? Noah Brand and Ozy Frantz on the "man box".
posted by Evernix on Aug 15, 2012 - 62 comments

Cut the World

Antony and the Johnsons - Cut the World (starring Willem Dafoe, Carice van Houten, Marina Abramović.) [Graphic Violence]
posted by naju on Aug 9, 2012 - 25 comments

For the first time in Olympic history all the participating teams will have female athletes

The London Olympics has been billed as a notable step forward in gender equality. It is the first Olympics with female representation from all countries despite the many and several barriers to female sport participation that still exist in some countries (including developed ones). These Olympics have female boxers, female athletes from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei and male medal bearers But despite Jacques Rogge's declaration in his opening ceremony speech, some are more equal than others. Australia and Japan are reviewing their athletes' travel arrangements after women were given second class tickets and there is a small, but growing campaign to see male synchronised swimming form part of the program (one of two sports, the other being rhythmic gymnastics, with no male competition). [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Aug 8, 2012 - 101 comments

"...he has been fairly clear that he is simply a boy who sometimes likes to dress and play in conventionally feminine ways."

What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress? [NYTimes.com]
posted by Fizz on Aug 8, 2012 - 96 comments

"The off-label intervention ... aims only at sex normalization".

From the Northwestern University press release: A new paper just published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry uses extensive Freedom of Information Act findings to detail an extremely troubling off-label medical intervention employed in the U.S. on pregnant women to intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for sex normalization purposes. [more inside]
posted by mhoye on Aug 5, 2012 - 73 comments

We Happy Trans

We Happy Trans is a place to share positive trans experiences. The site features a project called 7 Questions, where trans folk discuss their lives. Notable contributors include site owners Jen and Noah, as well as "glittery hot pink polyamorous unicorn" Ira, Moose, who just started testosterone treatment, and Stephen, whose charm proves that not all celebrities' kids are screw ups. [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd on Jul 24, 2012 - 35 comments

Only in Israel

The Dealers is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster was prepared, one which removes all trace of... You guessed it: Women. The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim on Jul 22, 2012 - 47 comments

"'whether a domestic traditionalist can also be an organizational egalitarian?' The answer we posit is 'no.'"

Researchers found [.pdf], after a series of four studies that "husbands embedded in traditional and neo-traditional marriages (relative to husbands embedded in modern ones) exhibit attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that undermine the role of women in the workplace." The potential resistors focused on are husbands embedded in marriages that structurally mirror the 1950s ideal American family portrayed in the “Adventures of Ozzzie and Harriet” sitcom. [more inside]
posted by ambrosia on Jul 5, 2012 - 56 comments

The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty

The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty. Weightlifter Sarah Robles is an incredible athlete, but outside the world of squats and snatches, barely anyone knows her name.
posted by roger ackroyd on Jun 29, 2012 - 102 comments

"I'm an artist and I don't f---ing have to answer for my work."

Drag queen Sharon Needles, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, has lately been facing a lot of criticism for their transgressive act: "Eli Kuti, a bartender at Lawrenceville's Blue Moon, where Needles often performs, recalls one performance in which Needles and another drag queen donned one-piece bathing suits emblazoned with swastikas. The two 'were hailing Hitler' and calling crowd members racial epithets, Kuti says." [more inside]
posted by modernserf on Jun 29, 2012 - 75 comments

On Bronies and gender

On Bronies - With all the discussions about gender it's good to see something that doesn't point at guys doing 'non-guy' things and use the word 'freak'. Even if there are plenty of people out there doing exactly that [more inside]
posted by lith on Jun 21, 2012 - 180 comments

I think I might be the voice of my generation. Or at least _a_ voice of _a_ generation.

"The world of entertainment still, all too often, values women only as objects of beauty to be placed on screen and ogled. [...] [T]he world is full of other women who have profound, intelligent, often hilarious things to say, and Dunham is very quietly making a space for those voices on TV, in a way that’s revolutionary both in terms of the show’s gender politics and in terms of its presentation. - AVClub critic TodVanDerWerff on "how [the HBO show] Girls challenges the masculine expectations of 'good TV.'" [more inside]
posted by coraline on Jun 20, 2012 - 155 comments

The elephant moves

“Sexual orientation does make you poor,” says Manohar Elavarthi, a community organizer with Sangama in Bangalore. “Poverty is not just economic – you miss access to so many things: ration cards, inheritance rights, voter ID cards.” In several South Asian countries, there are reports that LGBT people have even been denied access to disaster relief. And homophobia is intricately connected with other divisions in South Asian societies, particularly around gender but also religion and caste. Yet I saw many signs of hope and change in both India and Nepal. Those transgender sex workers in Chennai have organized a coalition, called V-CAN, of every single community-based organization in the state of Tamil Nadu that serves homosexual or transgender people. Working with the NGO Praxis, they have been able to gain access to some public benefits, such as pensions and registering as “third gender” on government ID cards. Activists in Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society have achieved similar results and more. ~ World Bank blog post
posted by infini on Jun 3, 2012 - 9 comments

...terminal exhaustion and a wardrobe full of expensive disguises.

Model Behavior: A Laurie Penny essay on gender presentation, anorexia, neoliberalism, capitalism, queerness, gender, drag, media, America's Next Top Model, and a few other things.
posted by latkes on May 31, 2012 - 38 comments

Genital Banquet: A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

On Sunday, April 13th, Tokyo illustrator Mao Sugiyama publicly seasoned and braised his own genitals on a portable gas cartridge burner and then served them to five eager diners who each paid about $250 for the meal. Sugiyama self-identifies as asexual and appears to fall into the gender classification of male-to-eunuchs called "smoothies". (Warning: Consider all links in this post to be NSFW) [more inside]
posted by hugandpint on May 26, 2012 - 218 comments

India's reproductive assembly line

If you asked me two years ago whether I’d have a baby and give it away for money, I wouldn’t just laugh at you, I would be so insulted I might hit you in the face,” said Indirani, a 30-year old garment worker and gestational surrogate mother.
posted by latkes on May 19, 2012 - 89 comments

Problematizing the Minifig

Historical perspectives on the LEGO gender gap. [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 18, 2012 - 98 comments

A men's centre, because women have te women's centre (at university).

Are gender-based safe spaces needed? Students at a Canadian university (SFU) want a men's centre, and though there is some controversy, it seems to be rolling towards approval. [more inside]
posted by Listener on May 17, 2012 - 105 comments

In the MMORPG of life, straight white male is the easiest setting

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is...
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.

Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.


MeFi's own John Scalzi provides an excellent, relatable metaphor for explaining the realities of race and gender without invoking the dreaded word "privilege". [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil on May 15, 2012 - 368 comments

We are independent, living our own lives for the first time.

"I’ve felt like my gender doesn’t match me for a very long time.” A Quiverfull mom describes her family's journey after her spouse comes out to her as transgender. (Excuse me, I have something in my eye.) (Via No Longer Quivering.)
posted by cereselle on May 15, 2012 - 53 comments

I am Tits.

The Story of My Man Boobs
posted by latkes on May 7, 2012 - 30 comments

Alternator in an Alternating Land

Alternating Gender Incongruity
posted by BEE-EATING CAT-EATER on May 5, 2012 - 35 comments

Why women deserve flaky free spirits, too.

"He'd Zooey Deschaneled her, hard. He was a manic pixie dream guy." (Via Nerve.com, potentially NSFWish). Looks like the MPDG has some competition. Includes opinions from HelloGiggles, website of Alpha-MPDG Zooey Deschanel.
posted by Kitty Stardust on May 3, 2012 - 86 comments

How Jessica Dorrell hurt all women trying to work in college football

Christianne Harder on why Jessica Dorrell's actions hurt all women trying to work in college football.
posted by reenum on May 2, 2012 - 46 comments

Who Needs Feminism?

A group of students at Duke University started a poster campaign that has spread to Tumblr and Twitter to ask this question: Who Needs Feminism? Already, some of the posters on campus have been vandalized. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Apr 12, 2012 - 160 comments

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