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You'll hear of a wife murdered before you hear another one come forward.

Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.
Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.

[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 20, 2014 - 42 comments

Had NASA believed in merit

“I would give my life to fly in space. It’s hard for me to talk about it but I would. I would then, and I will now.” The terrible injustice of Jerrie Cobb, who deserved to be the first female astronaut, yet never made it to space at all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Oct 20, 2014 - 29 comments

"There's progress in imperfection."

How Gail Simone of DC Comics changed the way we think about female superheroes.
posted by ourt on Oct 17, 2014 - 18 comments

I am here for other women

Fariha Roisin: let me love you [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 16, 2014 - 18 comments

Women in Clothes

Through original interviews, conversations, surveys, projects, diagrams and drawings from over six hundred contributors – including Miranda July, Cindy Sherman, Elif Batuman, Mac McClelland, Lena Dunham, Molly Ringwald, Tavi Gevinson, Rachel Kushner, Roxane Gay and Sarah Nicole PrickettWomen in Clothes explores the wide range of motives that inform how women present themselves through clothes, and what style really means.
Feeling inspired? Answer the book's inaugural survey here. A selection of completed surveys, sorted by author or by question, can be found at the Women in Clothes website. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 16, 2014 - 20 comments

Companies have been down-sizing little girls

This mom got fed up. Companies have been down-sizing their clothing for years as fashion trends call for "slimmer" cuts and silhouettes. Clothing sizing is an issue. Maybe there needs to be a mandated standard of clothing sizes? No cutting corners or skimping on measurements. [more inside]
posted by ourt on Oct 11, 2014 - 80 comments

His writings fuel the biggest threat to abortion rights in a generation.

This Alabama Judge Has Figured Out How to Dismantle Roe v. Wade
posted by davidstandaford on Oct 10, 2014 - 64 comments

What if You Just Hate Making Dinner?

Eating healthy food and eating together is important. But if you hate to cook, what's the best way to do that? (SLNYT)
posted by Margalo Epps on Oct 9, 2014 - 109 comments

People ask me why my mood's always so acrid. This is why.

Microsoft CEO to women: Don't ask for a raise. CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration and told women to use their "super powers" to get raises. [more inside]
posted by ourt on Oct 9, 2014 - 93 comments

Call Her Name

Japanese women, when they marry and have children, often are no longer called by their given names. Instead they are addressed as Okaasan "Mother, Mom," Okusan "Mrs," or Mama. This video shows the reactions of several women when they are once again called by their first names. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by kadonoishi on Oct 9, 2014 - 64 comments

The most radical thing I can do as a woman scientist is, well, science.

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.

I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 8, 2014 - 32 comments

The Brown Sisters, in forty portraits

Who are these sisters? We’re never told (though we know their names: from left, Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie; Bebe, of the penetrating gaze, is Nixon’s wife). The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.*
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 3, 2014 - 15 comments

Women make up only 29% of all movie characters

The Herculean Effort Taken By One Group To Show Hollywood Is Sexist. "In dissecting the top 100 grossing films each year, Smith and her team have analyzed a total of 26,225 characters in 600 films for gender, body type, age, race and more. In their most recent annual review, released in July, they found that in 2013, only 29 percent of characters were female, and a mere 28 percent of the films had a female lead or co-lead." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 3, 2014 - 53 comments

"None of this is a competition."

Beyonce feminism vs. Emma Watson feminism. "The Internet’s overwhelmingly positive reactions to Watson’s feminism were exciting, but also troubling when I remembered the way Beyoncé’s feminism was dissected, critiqued, and doubted last year when she dropped her self-titled album that included a recording of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking about feminism."
posted by Librarypt on Sep 29, 2014 - 49 comments

GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine

GUTS is a new online feminist magazine. Topics from the first two issues include Canadian feminist documentary filmmaking; feminist strategies for commemorating gender-based violence; "postfeminist" parliamentary political discourse; Canadian novelist Sheila Heti's genre-bender on women's relationships, How Should A Person Be?; women's paid and unpaid labour; institutionalized gender inequality in organized sport; Indigenous women, decolonization, and institutionalized racism. There's also a blog.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Sep 26, 2014 - 8 comments

#WomenTweetScienceToo

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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 18, 2014 - 23 comments

Pretty in ink

Women Who Conquered the Comics World
Robbins knows something about the glass ceiling for women cartoonists because she first hit it herself in the early 1970s, when she tried to join the male-dominated “underground comix” movement based in San Francisco. After the men cartoonists shut her out, Robbins joined forces with other women cartoonists to create their own women’s-lib comic books. She went on to become a well-respected mainstream comic artist and writer, as well as a feminist comics critic who’s written myriad nonfiction books on the subject of great women cartoonists and the powerful female characters they created. Naturally, Robbins has spent some time hunting down the original cartoons from the women who paved the way for her career, and as luck would have it, she found the very first comic strip ever drawn by a woman, “The Old Subscriber Calls” by Rose O’Neill, practically in her backyard.

posted by Room 641-A on Sep 16, 2014 - 18 comments

An Indian Woman Engineer from Bangalore post

What India Can Teach Silicon Valley About Its Gender Problem [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 16, 2014 - 28 comments

Missouri abortion waiting period bill: a veto override is imminent

Republican legislators in Missouri are pushing to expand abortion restrictions in the state. A bill mandating a 72-hour waiting period, vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon in July, is likely to become law on Wednesday in a special legislative session. [more inside]
posted by ghostbikes on Sep 9, 2014 - 54 comments

Ray Rice cut by the Ravens, suspended indefinitely

Earlier today, TMZ released a new video (warning: graphic/disturbing) of a February 12 incident involving NFL running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancée. A few hours after the video's release, the team terminated Rice's contract; shortly thereafter, the NFL reportedly suspended Rice indefinitely. [more inside]
posted by Kybard on Sep 8, 2014 - 533 comments

What she prefers to be called is “Martine.”

The Trans-Everything CEO (SL New York Magazine, trigger warning: some weird pronoun stuff and misogyny.)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 8, 2014 - 48 comments

Pratchett's Women

Pratchett's Women: nine essays (by Australian fantasy author Tansy Rayner Roberts) on the portrayal of women in the Discworld books [more inside]
posted by flex on Sep 7, 2014 - 57 comments

The most potent political sedative in women’s history

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]
posted by drlith on Sep 6, 2014 - 30 comments

Birth Culture

Since 2006, Alice Proujansky has photographed childbirths around the world for a project entitled 'Birth Culture.' Her intent is to highlight 'the universal aspects of childbirth, elements that are culturally-specific and the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful maternity care.' Images: Photographer's site. NYTimes Gallery. Agnostica. Slate. Some photos may be NSFW.
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2014 - 21 comments

Publish or PERISH!!!

LEGO Academics experience the trials and tribulations of their taller, less-plasticy peers (previously 1, 2).
posted by ChuraChura on Sep 1, 2014 - 14 comments

a current overview of nuns in the US

The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it.

“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
[more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 31, 2014 - 79 comments

Federal Judge Overturns Some Provisions of Texas Abortion Law (Again)

Just 3 days before they would go into effect, Federal Judge Lee Yeakel struck down the admitting-privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements of Texas's recently passed HB2 (remember the one with the filibuster?), finding that they placed an undue burden on women, especially those in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso. [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz on Aug 30, 2014 - 31 comments

More evidence that assertive women are perceived as abrasive?

"The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews" A study of 248 performance reviews of 180 people found that women received a much higher ratio of critical feedback than men. Moreover, the reviews of women were much more likely to contain criticisms of their personalities in addition to constructive criticism. According to the article: "This kind of negative personality criticism—watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental!—shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women."
posted by jazzbaby on Aug 28, 2014 - 35 comments

objectification and its effects on women

"If a woman is objectified in a relationship, the research indicates, it's more likely that her male partner will sexually coerce and pressure her." [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 28, 2014 - 106 comments

Easily agitated protuberances and the thing you shouldn't call a flower

Talking to women about their vaginas and men about their dicks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 27, 2014 - 38 comments

Ninety-four years ago women won the right to vote

On Aug. 26, 1920, with the formal adoption of the 19th Amendment, women won the right to vote. Now, a newly discovered collection of Susan B. Anthony letters will help show how. 'The letters were written by Anthony to her “most cherished young lieutenant” Rachel Foster Avery from 1881 through the turn of the century. Acquired last week by the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries, the historic collection will help bring to life the suffrage movement through the eyes of two of its most important members. Anthony and Avery were connected through the National Woman Suffrage Association and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The new collection includes more than 60 autographed and typed letters, signed cabinet cards and photographs, and other related material.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 26, 2014 - 22 comments

"I collect spores, molds, and fungus."

"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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 25, 2014 - 47 comments

The All-Male Cast is a Revelation!

If pop culture treated men the same way it treats women. I know you're all way too cool for Cracked but I thought this was both hilarious and on point.
posted by phunniemee on Aug 22, 2014 - 93 comments

girls and technology!

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 and toys (even dollhouses!) 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]
posted by divabat on Aug 16, 2014 - 70 comments

why we care about what we wear

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion? [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 15, 2014 - 33 comments

What Can a White Man Say About a Black Woman’s Hair?

Jenée Desmond-Harris, associate editor of features for The Root, answers a reader who wrote in wondering if his compliment of a stranger's Afro was out of line. Though acknowledging that some women won't want to hear a compliment, regardless, Desmond-Harris elucidates three points on how to compliment a black woman's hair without being a jerk: 1) Hands to yourself. 2) Compliment, don't query. 3) Consider the context.
posted by girlmightlive on Aug 14, 2014 - 136 comments

In conclusion, LEGO is a land of contrasts.

LEGO does something good! (Sets revolving around female scientists sold out in one day; previously.) LEGO does something bad! (Sets with major petro-company branding.) [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Aug 12, 2014 - 85 comments

Abortion Crisis in New Brunswick

On July 18, the only Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick closed. Its closure has an interesting backstory and has sparked a fight. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Aug 8, 2014 - 7 comments

Armoring Up: Surviving Sexism As A Female Founder

Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking. After much persuading, she agreed to write about her experiences but asked that I omit her name, for several reasons. First (again, as she writes), the startup community is a small one, and founders rely heavily on social capital and goodwill to navigate it. Speaking up carries big risks. But fear of retribution wasn’t her only concern. While putting an individual human face on an issue, it can also be a way for critics to short circuit the discussion by engaging in ad hominem attacks. ”I don’t want it to be about me, but about the issue at hand,” the author says. “When we get into a witch hunt around particular personalities, we lose sight of the problem we should be tackling.
Read on to learn more about that problem.

posted by Blasdelb on Aug 8, 2014 - 71 comments

Women have always been healers.

Changing the Face of Medicine is an online exhibition from the National Library of Medicine, first published in 2003 but continuously updated, that honors the lives and achievements of American women in medicine. It is divided into sections (see the "more inside"), but you can also browse the biographies of the physicians alphabetically or by other criteria. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 6, 2014 - 4 comments

This Woman Just Shattered One of Pro Sports’ Most Enduring Glass Ceiling

Becky Hammon becomes first woman (assistant) coach in the NBA. With the San Antonio Spurs
posted by edgeways on Aug 6, 2014 - 27 comments

support, salvation, transformation, life

Recently I overheard a man say at a yoga class, "Yeah, well, you get two women together and it's like bitch central." I could have told him he only needed one, in fact, and that would be me, but it also made me realize how much people diminish and poo-poo the real power and strength of female friendship, especially between women, which is either supposed to descend into some kind of male lesbian love scene porn fantasy or be dismissed as meaningless or be re-written as a story of competition.

Here's the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, "bonus" relationships to the truly important ones. Women's friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children.
Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship, an essay by Emily Rapp (previously).
posted by divined by radio on Aug 5, 2014 - 53 comments

Your godmother was Elizabeth Zimmermann?

Channeling Elizabeth: Recreating a Family Heirloom: The sweater was threadbare and holey, but it had clearly been much loved - and, as it turned out, it had been knit by one of the greatest knitters of all time. Elizabeth Zimmermann (1999 NY Times Obituary) popularized knitting in the round, re-introduced the continental method of knitting to the US, and was dedicated to greater clarity in knitting instructions. She also came up with a much-used formula for sizing proportions (EPS), the I-cord, and encouraged knitters to experiment and be creative. [more inside]
posted by julen on Aug 4, 2014 - 22 comments

The Confidence Gap

Why are women so less self-assured and why are men so overconfident? The Atlantic takes on what they are calling the "confidence gap," the tendency of women to underplay their expertise to lack confidence in both their achievements and their potential. [more inside]
posted by amanda on Jul 31, 2014 - 57 comments

social inequality breeds game

Cockblocked by Redistribution: A Pick-up Artist in Denmark [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 31, 2014 - 30 comments

Feminism, stereotypes, and Nicki Minaj's album cover (NSFW)

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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 29, 2014 - 325 comments

the purity myth

Female 'Purity' Is Bullshit [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 29, 2014 - 135 comments

On balancing career and family as a woman of color

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", (previously) where "the discussion too often ends where it began: with privileged, mostly white women at the forefront." [more inside]
posted by drlith on Jul 28, 2014 - 11 comments

It’s not like she walked in here for a Diet Coke and I broke her arm

The New Yorker talks with “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, the worlds best female fighter, about why she loves to be hated. [more inside]
posted by misskaz on Jul 25, 2014 - 36 comments

WAF? More like WTF.

Still shaking your head over that ridiculous "Women Against a Feminism" tumblr? The inimitable Bloggess weighs in with some welcome comic relief. (Time, right on schedule, helpfully pops up to explain it all for you).
posted by misha on Jul 25, 2014 - 246 comments

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