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"If they’re watching TV, I ask, “Where are the brown girls?”"

Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens.
What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That's exactly what happens in the conversation below, where Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi.

posted by Lexica on Jul 26, 2014 - 28 comments

La Course - The Race

On Sunday 27 July, history will be made when a group of professional cyclists rides the Champs-Elysées. Among the riders who have never before been allowed in the Tour de France, is an athlete The Guardian has called "the finest cyclist of their generation" and who Bicycling Magazine recently touted as one "who could be the most naturally gifted, hardest-working cyclist who ever lived", Marianne Vos. Also riding will be writer, filmmaker, former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine. Triathlete and marathoner Emma Pooley described her expectation for the event: "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say that La Course is 11 on the excitement levels." Along with the athlete who holds/held all three Ironman world and championship records (including the overall world record), Chrissie Wellington, they created the campaign Le Tour Entier, whose motto is Liberté, Égalité, Cyclisme, a play on the French national motto. [more inside]
posted by fraula on Jul 26, 2014 - 15 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 - 199 comments

Current marketing buzzword: Feminism

Not too long ago feminist ideals and other (mainly) women's issues like body image, street harassment or double standards in the workplace would have left most advertisers and brands running for the hills. The current fourth wave made feminism so popular that major brands discover it's actually a great way to sell stuff and are joining in with feminist messages in their advertising. Dove, Nike or Special K are fairly successful. Others not so much. Their "new and improved approach to gender equality [is] packed with 83% more cliches, 92% more hashtags, and 103% less meaning."
posted by travelwithcats on Jul 24, 2014 - 25 comments

"a whisper of perfection in an otherwise cruel and inhumane world"

Beyoncé's "Rosie the Riveter" Instagram photo is causing internet waves. The Independent has a more substantive, historically concerned article.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 23, 2014 - 287 comments

"Be excellent to each other" is not a code of conduct

Why Silicon Valley Needs The Coder Grrrls Of Double Union, The Feminist Hacker Space
The lack of women in the tech world isn't just a pipeline problem--it's one of rampant sexism. Enter the haven of Double Union.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 23, 2014 - 77 comments

No Skin Thick Enough

The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry. "It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
posted by Librarypt on Jul 22, 2014 - 16 comments

How women got in on the Civil Rights Act.

For twenty years, the belief that the sex provision was a monkey wrench that unintentionally became part of the machine was the conventional wisdom about Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964]. But when scholars—including Michael Gold, Carl Brauer, Cynthia Deitch, Jo Freeman, and Robert Bird—dug into the archives they not only learned that the real story of the sex amendment was quite different; they essentially uncovered an alternative history of women’s rights.
The Sex Amendment by Louis Menand tells the story of "how women got in on the Civil Rights Act." It focuses especially on the role of the National Women's Party, led by septuagenarian suffragette Alice Paul. Here is a long interview with her which focuses on her activist youth.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 20, 2014 - 5 comments

I Don't Care If You Like It

Rebecca Traister writes at the New Republic on being tired of women's choices, accomplishments, and existence being measured by barometers which are "calibrated to dude," as exemplified by a recent Esquire piece. [more inside]
posted by Stacey on Jul 17, 2014 - 58 comments

Orphan Black: "the TV embodiment of modern feminism"

While the New Republic praises Orphan Black for its portrayal of the Female Gaze and avoidance of the usual male orientated titillation:
As a show chiefly concerned with the ways women’s bodies are commodified and controlled, “Orphan Black” is careful not to view its female characters with that same hungry eye. This is a triumph: On so many shows, the camera works at cross-purposes to the high-minded themes. “Game of Thrones” depicts women and girls straining against a world that abuses and sexualizes their bodies—then it glamorizes and fetishizes that abuse. “True Detective” criticizes men who violate girls, then lovingly reduces women to bouncing breasts or artfully posed corpses.
(Spoilers inside) [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 16, 2014 - 47 comments

Urban Inclusivity: Women's Mobility in the City

What does a city for women look like? "In the city for women, a woman can sit alone in parks, linger, run, jog, without much diminished fear at any time of the day. Women too can be flaneurs and have the right to loiter. Rather than just prioritise safety and freedom from harassment, women can prioritise speed and convenience of mobility. Women’s mobility is not just about getting from point A to B, but also about social mobility. Greater physical mobility for women is conducive for social mobility and self-actualisation." [more inside]
posted by rue72 on Jul 15, 2014 - 23 comments

"we’re not used to seeing fat people represented positively in media"

Doing this – fucking the programming – is actually really freeing. It means I can stand up at a reading and give a performance in a loud, snarky voice. It means I can sit on and moderate panels without fear. Because I know how fat shaming works. I know that if somebody wanted to try and shame me using the “fat” call-out, the same person would say that whether I was 70lbs lighter or 70lbs heavier.
Science fiction writer Kameron Hurley on public speaking while fat.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 15, 2014 - 143 comments

They all have optimal strategies but pursue different victory conditions

Big Game Theory! Board games that tell stories. The Bored Gaymer. A girl likes games. HiveGod's Yell Matrix. QWERTYUIOP. 365 Days of Gaming. Those are a few of the most favorited current blogs on BoardGameGeek, and these are a few of their most favorited posts. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Jul 15, 2014 - 17 comments

Web culture's revolutionary celebration of powerful female leaders

"The ability to present women like [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, [Hillary] Clinton and [Wendy] Davis as bone-crushingly robust yet simultaneously appealing, revered—practically adorable!—in their rugged severity, is a crucial expansion of the American imagination with regard to powerful women." (via librarina) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 13, 2014 - 38 comments

There is no such thing as concrete, binary "biological sex."

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]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jul 11, 2014 - 96 comments

Boldly going where no feminist has gone before.

Trekkie Feminist. Feminist fans of Star Trek take a look at what Star Trek gets wrong (and gets right) about gender issues, with individual episode reviews and series Bechdel test results.
posted by Librarypt on Jul 9, 2014 - 71 comments

"So, like, what are you?"

A microaggression is defined as "a question, a comment, even an intended compliment, sometimes, that nevertheless suggests something demeaning." (More from NPR.) The Microaggressions Tumblr publishes experiences with all kinds of microaggressions. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jul 9, 2014 - 98 comments

Social Justice and Language

Several recent articles draw attention to the power of demonisation, outrage and weaponised language within contemporary activist culture - and question whether this focus is doing more harm than good. Jack Halberstam, director of the Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California: When groups that share common cause, utopian dreams and a joined mission find fault with each other instead of tearing down the banks and the bankers, the politicians and the parliaments, the university presidents and the CEOs? Instead of realizing, as Moten and Hearny put it in The Undercommons, that “we owe each other everything,” we enact punishments on one another and stalk away from projects that should unite us, and huddle in small groups feeling erotically bonded through our self-righteousness. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Jul 8, 2014 - 143 comments

Hollywood Magic: impossibly young mothers, ageism against women

Hollywood is tough on older women -- it's like they're filed away in a folder simply marked "old" — and it’s a problem their male counterparts rarely have to contend with. To prove it, we’ve rounded up some recent examples of age-inappropriate casting, then imagined what would happen if some of these believability-busting pairings got a gender flip. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 7, 2014 - 161 comments

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn "Stop interrupting me." "I just said that." "No explanation needed." [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jul 6, 2014 - 72 comments

"And you think Mark ignored you because you're a woman?"

The Ping Pong Theory of Tech Sexism by Ariel Schrag. A web comic about the subtleties of workplace sexism in male-dominated industries.
posted by Librarypt on Jul 5, 2014 - 120 comments

"It reveals what we as a culture consider sexy and decadent today."

Did Hollywood Give the 1920s a Boob Job? 'Gatsby' Costume Designer Tells All
Breasts are everywhere in 2013’s new "Gatsby"… They’re pushed up to create cleavage, peeping out of frocks and fringed flapper dresses, and hugged tightly by clothes cut to show off curves. As Daisy Buchanan, Carey Mulligan is clearly wearing some sort of shapewear or bra under even her most modest clothes, to make her breasts seem perfectly perky.

Catherine Martin, the producer, production designer, and costume designer of "The Great Gatsby," says that she simply took the styles of the 1920s and amped up the sexy quotient—and made the dresses fit more like the designers intended.…

"Frankly, I am a bit shocked by Martin’s quotes regarding the 1920s—that she considers the clothes frumpy looking," [co-founder of the Fashion History Museum Jonathan] Walford says. "She was the wrong costumer to get the job if she can’t see the beauty in the real 1920s silhouette."
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 4, 2014 - 46 comments

The Princess Effect

"It is often said that “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people,” but the adage is only half true. Women are not allowed to be ugly people because women—and nowhere more than in such women’s magazines that reduce female political leaders to their supposed fashion and lifestyle choices—are not really allowed to be people at all."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 4, 2014 - 41 comments

"Clarence" Creator fired from Cartoon Network after Harassment

Skyler Page has been fired from Cartoon Network. The Clarence creator and voice of the title character has been fired for groping a co-worker on the show. The news broke yesterday from Maré Odomo (her work previously on the blue), and Emily Partridge came out shortly after as the person Odomo was talking about. And Partridge had been talking about an unnamed incident since June 29th. This morning, it was rumored that Page had been fired from Cartoon Network and banned from the premises, and later today, Cartoon Brew confirmed that this was the case. Pen Ward, creator of Adventure Time -- which Page had worked on prior to Clarence -- met with Partridge and the two talked about how to set up an online safe place for women in her situation. [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Jul 3, 2014 - 44 comments

men as feminist allies

35 Practical Tools for Men to Further Feminist Revolution: "This list entails suggestions for some practical tools all men can apply in their day-to-day lives to foster equality in their relationships with women, and to contribute to a culture where women feel less burdened, unsafe, and disrespected." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 3, 2014 - 343 comments

How can you do justice to all? You can't.

While interviewing Indra K. Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, at the Aspen Ideas Festival Monday, David Bradley, who owns The Atlantic, asked two questions that elicited as frank a discussion of work-life balance as I've seen from a U.S. CEO. Pepsi CEO's Mother Had A Brutally Honest Reaction To Her Daughter’s New Job. (Previously)
posted by naju on Jul 2, 2014 - 198 comments

Murder, She Wrote. And Played.

"But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let me tell you a story: a story about a board game. The Murder, She Wrote board game. You didn't know such a thing existed? Neither did I, before my friend Sarah brought it one summer to camp. (For the sake of clarity: I mean camp in the upstate New York sense, i.e., a small un-insulated cottage on a freshwater lake that has a preponderance of mismatched glasses and forks with wonky tines and maybe exposed studs but is the greatest place to family-vacation on earth.) Sarah and I met in day care, and had been friends for years—but this year, when she came to visit, she unknowingly brought the one thing that would enflame my jealousy." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 1, 2014 - 35 comments

"This is no very striking resemblance of your own character, I am sure."

Manfeels Park
Manfeels Park is an exercise in flogging a pun for all it’s worth. The male dialogue in this webcomic is all taken word for word or adapted only slightly from web commentary by hurt and confused men with Very Important Things To Explain, usually to women. Artistic license is exercised in editing commentary for brevity, spelling and grammar, but the spirit of the original comment is always faithfully observed. Witty rejoinders are also ‘found dialogue’ where possible.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 1, 2014 - 126 comments

"why Frozen left me cold"

The problem with false feminism: "My friends have asked for it and I feel like the internet needs it, so I’m going to go through, point-by-point and in no particular order, the top handful of reasons people have given for thinking Frozen is a feminist triumph, and I’m going to debunk them all." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 29, 2014 - 201 comments

These women fulfill the same function as vending machine beverages

Anita Sarkeesian has released the third video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. It's an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at how women have been used as background decorations in video games for the last three decades. [previously]
posted by Ouverture on Jun 16, 2014 - 208 comments

Miss American Dream

How Britney Spears went to Vegas and became a feminist role model. No, really. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 13, 2014 - 53 comments

"Within the university system today, adjunct faculty are made invisible"

”Practicing openness and making oneself radically vulnerable is not only scary, it is the opposite of what we are taught to do within the logic of the contemporary university (and society more generally). Our marginalization, meager pay and lack of job security, along with the attacks on professors by students and the administration’s refusal to back up even tenured professors, all contribute to a culture of paranoia and enmity (among administration and faculty, among tenure-track faculty and adjuncts, among professors and students). Even when we manage to maintain our commitment to our students (and we do), the university seeks to capture this affective relationship and use it to further exploit us when we ask for fair wages or better conditions with the reprimand that ‘we are doing this for the students and not the money.’ Just as the practitioners of modernity gutted the erotic and sold us the pornographic, administrators attempt to gut the material and affective conditions of teaching and sell us ‘passion.’” Dr Priya J. Shah: "My Last Day as a Professor."
posted by koeselitz on Jun 6, 2014 - 40 comments

stop street harassment!

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.
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 4, 2014 - 156 comments

You are disgusting.

"... trolling wasn’t the work of just a few bad apples. Instead, there were many, many people who sent us mean messages saying that they simply thought the blog shouldn’t exist." Amanda Levitt of FatBodyPolitics.com writes about the role that trolling, up to and including threats of violence and doxxing, plays in maintaining privilege and furthering oppression.
posted by emjaybee on May 22, 2014 - 95 comments

What the hell is wrong with DC?

Most mainstream comics have a serious problem dealing with women. See Women In Refrigerators (previously). But DC seems to be doing particularly bad lately. Witness this conversation by David S Goyer in which he compares She-Hulk to a porn star.(more She-Hulk info here and here) [more inside]
posted by lumpenprole on May 21, 2014 - 140 comments

Consumer feminism? Say Yes to the Dress

The AV Club argues that Say Yes to the Dress is quietly bringing feminist TV mainstream. Are the wedding consultants 'accidental feminists' as they stand up for the brides' desires against family and friends? Others disagree strongly. The Onion sums it all up with Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show. [more inside]
posted by viggorlijah on May 17, 2014 - 93 comments

bell hooks sounds off on Beyonce

bell hooks calls Beyonce a "terrorist" and a "slave" At a panel discussion at the New School yesterday, bell hooks raised eyebrows in a conversation about the controversial Time magazine cover seen here, saying that Beyonce "colluded in the construction of herself as a slave," going on to say “I see a part of Beyoncé that is in fact anti-feminist — that is, a terrorist, especially in terms of the impact on young girls.” [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog on May 8, 2014 - 177 comments

On Being One's Own Fairy Godmother

Amy Schumer's tale of courage, sex and self-worth as told at the Ms. Foundation Gala. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it."
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto on May 3, 2014 - 60 comments

17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex

Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 28, 2014 - 120 comments

Where is Laverne Cox?

This year's Time 100 List is out: conspicuously missing is trans activist and actor Laverne Cox, who had been consistently on the top of the poll. Many online are deeply unhappy, calling it a snub against trans women of colour (though not everyone agrees). Time has not responded; Laverne Cox is gracious and thankful.
posted by divabat on Apr 27, 2014 - 62 comments

the endgame to every woman's story

"Of course women can have it all. Nor is the question should women have it all. The question is, must women have it all." The AV Club on Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope, feminism, and a problematic sitcom trend. (Contains major spoilers for this season.) [more inside]
posted by changeling on Apr 24, 2014 - 105 comments

"It’s possible I have bitten off more than I can chew"

"This is the petty tyranny of inconvenience — just as the heroine believes that her individual comfort somehow justifies the enslavement of roughly a hundred other human beings, romance readers feel it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to reflect on the ways the genre not only has marginalized but continues to marginalize not only characters, but also readers and authors of color. This book was not written by an obscure self-published writer with a small niche audience. Sandra Hill is a New York Times bestselling author, a genre mainstay for the past two decades; she is still writing books set in the contemporary South, though I am certainly not going to read them." -- Romance author Olivia Waite reviews Sandra Hill's Frankly My Dear, set on a sugar plantation in 1845 Louisiana, as part of the blogging from A to Z challenge. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 16, 2014 - 40 comments

Female Pain

Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain. "The pain of women turns them into kittens and rabbits and sunsets and sordid red satin goddesses, pales them and bloodies them and starves them, delivers them to death camps and sends locks of their hair to the stars. Men put them on trains and under them. Violence turns them celestial. Age turns them old. We can’t look away. We can’t stop imagining new ways for them to hurt." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 14, 2014 - 62 comments

Barbie girl in a not so Barbie world

"And the amazing part is, it works, her thing. It does. In a place that expects a woman to prepare for marriage and motherhood "from the moment she is given her first baby doll as an infant," as Hutsol has put it, Valeria has gotten a degree of power, a degree of control, and a major say in her own destiny. It could be that the world and I have misjudged the Human Barbie in a fundamental way. Her steady drift from reality and into the twenty-first dimension is not about submissiveness, fame, or snagging a husband. It could be about finding a way out, however random, bizarre, and costly the route appears from the outside. It could be about gaining some measure of freedom." -- Russian GQ editor in chief Michael Idov visits human Barbie doll Valeria Lukyanova (previously).

GQ also aks the question, can what Valeria Lukyanova has made herself into be called feminist, considering the background culture in Ukraine?
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 11, 2014 - 27 comments

A day late and 23 cents short.

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day. President Obama signed an Executive Order to prevent discrimination and address the gender pay gap. According to The National Women's Law Center, "In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, a woman was typically paid 59 cents for every dollar paid to her male counterpart — a 41-cent wage gap. In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, women working full time, year round were typically paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. Although women have narrowed the gap by 18 cents over the past five decades, the wage gap today stands at 23 cents." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Apr 9, 2014 - 92 comments

I'm Gonna Do Something Incredibly Entertaining For You People

Safe for work unless there are concerns about the word merkin: Nadia Kamil's Feminist Burlesque (single link video)
posted by juliplease on Mar 27, 2014 - 36 comments

"What message are we sending to young people?"

Julianne Ross asks: Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? Amy McCarthy asks a similar question: Why do all our young adult heroines look the same? Mandy Stewart also offers up her own advice: Be Divergent and Other Lessons for My Daughter. Interview with Veronica Roth on her book 'Insurgent' and feminism. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 27, 2014 - 142 comments

O Woman's Day

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]
posted by infini on Mar 8, 2014 - 6 comments

Female portrayal in video games

QCF Design talks about making their game Desktop Dungeons more gender neutral. [more inside]
posted by arcolz on Mar 4, 2014 - 27 comments

The mozzarella's tools will never dismantle the mozzarella's house

Pizza Feminism [more inside]
posted by jammy on Mar 3, 2014 - 13 comments

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