Does The Handmaid's Tale hold up? , Adi Robertson for The Verge:
"A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a friend that I was in the middle of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. 'It’s like 1984 for feminists, right?' he asked. Sort of, I said. But it's a lot scarier. It's about how you'll lose every right you have, and none of the men you know will care. Then I said he would probably betray me if they froze all women's bank accounts. That was the peak of my paranoia, but it held on for several more days, as I read on the subway while half-consciously figuring out how I might theoretically escape to Canada. 1984 was for lightweights."[more inside]
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]
"Sexual assault is alarmingly common in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men. According to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day. These are the stories you never hear—because the culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it." A tough read from GQ. Could be triggering.
"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
"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]
"When do women in Ireland get to say 'no'? Today we find out that the answer is 'never', not really – not if a man has other ideas and the state decides to enforce his use of a woman's body." [Warning: may be triggering.] New Statesman, "Violation after violation: why did Ireland force a woman on hunger strike to bear her rapist's child?" [more inside]
Nicki Minaj (autoplaying video) is a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress who is known for her outlandish outfits, makeup, and wigs, and gutsy, lyrically skilled rapping. She creates personas or "masks" in her music and videos to communicate her message. Recently, she released an album cover online to promote her new release, Anaconda, and to create buzz. Boy did it. (All links NSFW.) [more inside]
Mey from Autostraddle interviews actress and advocate Laverne Cox on her Emmy nomination, the epidemic of violence against trans women of color, and how to create a more supportive and loving community. [more inside]
Talking gender to Africa
International donors have sought to improve the social, political and economic position of women in Africa through an approach known as “gender”. This donor-driven strategy is failing. The jargon of gender programmes is ambiguous and easily misunderstood. It fosters inaction and lip service on the part of patriarchal African governments and civil servants. Gender has become the preserve of the educated elite. The voices of African women have been lost.[more inside]
In the wake of a questionable article about feminist programming languages, a group of trolls leapt on the idea to create a parodic implementation. GitHub promptly removed the code repository, as did BitBucket, but the latter restored it amid the controversy. More commentary from Slashdot and Twitter.
Sexism at the border: A personal account. "For me, carrying my own condoms (in purses, wallets, camera bags; everywhere) is a routine act towards safer sex. For someone else with the power to not only deny passage but judge, moralize and intimidate, it has become enough evidence to put a woman through hell. My story has brought a number of women out of the woodwork stating that they have had similar experiences." [h/t Alex Grossman]
What would you think if I told you there is an ugly, self-sustaining, omnipotent invisible force that explains everything. It frames every argument, structures language, and every element of human experience.... This article will examine Patriarchy as a theory that is beyond falsifiability. - Naomi J. Chambers
As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others. If you are one of the newly-visible others, this all sounds whiny compared to the problems you face every day. It’s tempting to blast through such privileged resistance with anger and insult. Tempting, but also, I think, a mistake. The privileged are still privileged enough to foment a counter-revolution, if their frustrated sense of entitlement hardens.
Instead, your article suggests that women should be focused on making one shitty dude's life better.
If a man finds himself attracted to a woman who doesn't conform to this list (more on the specifics of the list in a minute), does he not count as a man? What if she's "perfect" for him? What if she makes him feel like a whole person for the first time in his life, but she just happens to have chunky ankles? What does "perfect" mean then? What does "hot" mean? What does "the One" mean? What we're setting up here is an impossible cultural standard that excludes...well...100% of women. Because literally no one is that weird Frankenstein's Monster-with-Benefits that your art department put together. In her typical masterful style, Jezebel's Lindy West reminds us that being a perfect woman is no excuse for being actively harmful to humanity.
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]
The philosophers have only sought to impregnate the world in different positions; the point is to pleasure it. "What is it to Philosophise Fatherlessly?" The inaugural post of the (slightly NSFW) #nodads Tumblr, which celebrates the #nodads Twitter hashtag. #NoDads Is Our Principal Of Solidarity. Happy Father's Day!
Husbands, tell us how you really feel about the coffee. (SLYT, 0:53) The jerk store called, and they're running out of coffee drinkers.
"A Quiverfull daughter is taught from a young age that her purpose in life is to serve the man whom God has placed in authority over her." An interview with ex-Quiverfull believer Vyckie Garrison (of NoLongerQuivering) provides some chilling insight into the lifestyle, fears, motivations, and movers and shakers of the Quiverfull movement. (also posted at PoliticusUSA)
The Daughter Test. Steven Levitt of Freakonomics decides he's ok with the government restricting things if they're something he wouldn't want his (extremely cute) daughter to do. Kevin Drum responds. Ross Douthat responds. Feminists are squicked. [more inside]
The End of Men, in The Atlantic. An article about the rise of women (now over 50% of the U.S. workforce), and implications of the attendant changes for both women and men. [more inside]
At the end of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, members of the men’s movement group RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting ) gathered on the steps of Congress to lobby against what they say are the suppressed truths about domestic violence: that false allegations are rampant, that a feminist-run court system fraudulently separates innocent fathers from children, that battered women’s shelters are running a racket that funnels federal dollars to feminists, that domestic-violence laws give cover to cagey mail-order brides seeking Green Cards, and finally, that men are victims of an unrecognized epidemic of violence at the hands of abusive wives."[more inside]
"Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves." Also: male gaze on the Gender Ads Project. Laura Mulvey's original 1975 essay on Male Gaze in cinema.
Moving beyond no means no. The anthology Yes Means Yes brings together writers, male and female, to explore the power of enthusiastic consent and to promote female desire free of coercion. The book has spawned a series of readings, live chats, and some interesting blog responses. [more inside]
Christian Sex Retailing. Christian Sex Toy Retailing There's a new sexual revolution happening, and the people driving it are not exactly a bunch of free-love libertines. Many people probably think of evangelical Christians as being more preoccupied with denying the pleasures of the flesh. Christianity has always had a lot to say about sexuality. But attitudes are changing and new approaches to Christian sex are emerging. Dagmar Herzog was interviewed today on CBC's The Current (second segment, requires Flash Player), and, who says in a recent interview with Salon: For liberals, sex has become the problem that has no name; one simply does not hear liberals articulate a defense of sexual rights. Instead, what we have witnessed is a coalescing of conservative evangelical and mainstream secular perspectives on sex. The conversation on sex in America -- when sex is discussed in a serious and earnest way at all -- tends largely to adopt the parameters set by the Religious Right. Herzog's new book. A collection of print interviews with Herzog can be found here. [more inside]
“With the number of human beings having increased more than six-fold in the past 200 years, the modern mind simply assumes that men and women . . . will always breed enough children to grow the population . . . Yet, for more than a generation now, well-fed, healthy, peaceful populations around the world have been producing too few children to avoid population decline. . . . Throughout the broad sweep of human history, there are many examples of people, or classes of people, who chose to avoid the costs of parenthood. Indeed, falling fertility is a recurring tendency of human civilization. Why then did humans not become extinct long ago? The short answer is patriarchy.”
Goreans are inspired by the sci-fi works of Gor, by John Norman, whose turgid prose lays out a way of life for male masters and female slaves...but also Free Women. So why not meet one? Or at least say hello. And don't forget their humor! It sure is something. It just isn't BDSM.
Acquitted of rape on basis of "sexsomnia" defense. Ontario resident Jan Luedecke said his unbidden penetration wasn't rape because he was asleep at the time. A judge agreed that "sexsomnia" is an illness. The websites which purport it to be a legitimate illness don't necessarily inspire confidence, and, unsurprisingly, some people are less than inspired. Meanwhile, the victim is appealing the ruling.
Whether she is called a geisha, a courtesan, a prostitute, or a dominatrix, women who make their living by offering intimate, one-on-one companionship to men (sexually or otherwise- as is more often the case) have been around since day one. Often reviled, marginalized, and belittled, are they truly the hapless victims and social parasites they are often portrayed as? Or is this sort of profession really one of the few areas where an intelligent woman can achieve financial security and prosperity, even in a patriarchal society? (note: I am well aware that sex is not normally part of the deal with geishas and dommes. However, they are frequently lumped in this category.)