“No matter what anybody thinks about any of them,” said Patti Smith, “every record I’ve done has been done with the same amount of care, anguish, pain, suffering, and joy. We never threw a record together. Each record was done really seriously, as if our life depended on it.”Alan Light interviews Patti Smith, discussing her life and work. [more inside]
The women's empowerment conference industry (sl Bloomberg)
You see them everywhere—exhausted young women pouring all their spare energy into organising, encouraging and taking care of young men who resent them for doing it but resent them even harder when they don’t. You see them cringing for every crumb of affection before someone cracks and it all goes wrong and the grim cycle starts again. You can fritter away the whole of your youth that way. I know women who have. - Laurie Penny, Maybe you should just be single [SL NewStatesman]
"In 1915 women could neither vote, divorce nor work after marriage, yet in that same year the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman envisaged a revolutionary world populated entirely by women who were intelligent, resourceful and brave." -- For Radio 4 science fiction writer & critic Geoff Ryman looks at the utopian feminist tradition in science fiction, with contributions by Stephanie Saulter, Laurie Penny, Dr Sari Edelstein, Sarah Le Fanu, Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill and Sarah Hall. Related: ten women who changed sci-fi.
Zoë Quinn explains “why [she] just dropped the harassment charges [against] the man who started GamerGate.” (via Ellen Pao’s Twitter.)
She’s the dead hooker in the trunk. A universal cautionary tale, the drug-using sex worker is too wretched to be relatable, too scorned for even countercultural cred. She is repulsive, unclean and immoral. She is pitiable at best, inhuman at worst—dismissed by police lingo about murders whose victims are drug-using street workers: “No Human Involved.” If she’s white, she’s lucky enough to be merely an abject victim. If not, she’s a deranged criminal. She’s a scarred, blotchy mugshot in your local paper’s coverage of prostitution stings—recycled without regard for privacy by anti-drug PSAs to let kids know that that’s what they’ll look like after years of doing dope. She’s the woman I’ve heard my escorting clients joke about not wanting to fuck with someone else’s dick—not realizing that they are talking to a sex worker who uses heroin, as I force myself to laugh along with them.
An open letter to Gloria Steinem on Intersectional feminism. By Sarah Grey at theEstablishment.co [more inside]
Feminist Lindy West writes in The Guardian about how she's experienced years of extreme online harassment from a misogynist blogger and his minions, and about why she's not particularly happy to see them receive the same treatment.
The shadow leader of the House of Commons, Chris Bryant, has joined calls for the Tom Jones song Delilah to be banned from Six Nations rugby matches because it incites violence against women. [more inside]
A few weeks earlier, the male elders of their caste had decreed that village women working at nearby meat-processing factories should leave their jobs. The reason they gave was that women at home would be better protected from the sexual advances of outside men. A bigger issue lay beneath the surface: The women’s earnings had begun to undermine the old order. It came as a surprise when seven of the women, who had come to rely on the daily wage of 200 rupees, about $3, refused to stop. The women would have to, the men said, blocking the lane with their bodies. They did not expect the women to go to the police. (SLNYTimes). [more inside]
"It’s like parenting or establishing friendships, or pretty much any other intimate, cooperative endeavor: It takes attention and recalibration to be done well even when you’ve made a particularly felicitous match." Sex can be unpleasant, awkward, or even upsetting - and that's okay. In Defense of Bad Sex.
Coates sees the mass incarceration of African Americans as the “national action” that America chose to undertake to address the problems Moynihan described. Moynihan’s framing of poverty as a problem of black families—of black people—has enabled political leaders for half a century to look away from restitution and towards punishment as a way to address social problems. We are still living in Moynihan’s moment.The Moynihan Report Resurrected, by Sam Klug [more inside]
"Marcia Zug is an associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina who specializes in family law. She is writing a book due out in May 2016 on the international marriage industry, called 'Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches.' The reason that mail-order brides continue to be popular, she tells me, is that conditions for women in some countries remain bleak, and as long as women have few prospects for a good match at home, they will look elsewhere for someone to start a family and life with. [more inside]
It's Payback Time for Women - "Society is getting a free ride on our unrewarded contributions to the perpetuation of the human race." (via) [more inside]
“To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion." The Center for Reproductive Rights and law firm Paul Weiss submitted an amicus brief [pdf] to the U.S. Supreme Court signed by 113 attorneys, detailing the importance of abortion rights in their own lives. [more inside]
Jennifer Moss on Fashion Photography: With this renewed awareness, I started noticing that it can be as subtle as the pose. I, myself, told models to hunch their shoulders, lean forward, angle the head. Industry standard. But why was it industry standard?
Writer Hale Goetz had just finished Christmas dinner with her family when she got the call: “A picture of you is on the front page of r/funny,” my friend told me. I’m not a regular Reddit user, but I know about r/funny—it’s a popular subpage, a place with a lot of cat pictures. Funny? Had I been funny? I traced back through the past week, wondering if I had finally made one of my 119 Twitter followers laugh, but then my stomach clenched as my friend explained my stardom wasn’t because I had been funny. It was because I had gotten fat.
What to do when you're not the hero any more by Laurie Penny [NewStatesman] From Star Wars to Mad Max, a new, more diverse kind of storytelling went mainstream this year - and the backlash shows how much it matters. [more inside]
jane st. is an advertising agency that specializes in creating unique, authentic female empowerment messaging for any brand. -- Jane st.
An Example: Terry's work[more inside]
There's this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women's issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren't there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren't you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you're being rational about this? Every. Single. Time. And every single time I get frustrated. Why don't they get it? I think I've figured out why. They don't know. They don't know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing. [slhuffpo]
TV episodes about abortion, reviewed by women who've actually had one. The recent episode of Scandal was excellent, as was an earlier one. The episode on Parenthood was very good. That notorious one on the The Facts of Life was terrible (and their other one wasn't much better). You know what you're getting from 90210, but you'd expect something better from House. An early treatment of abortion was on Buffalo Bill and Maude had an abortion prior to the Roe v Wade decision! There's also Felicity, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, Call the Midwife, and Friday Night Lights. There's Star Trek: The Next Generation and Degrassi: The Next Generation. A full alphabetized list of reviews (to date) is below the fold. [more inside]
Porpentine, creator of excellent games such as Ultra Business Tycoon III (previously) and High End Customizable Sauna Experience (previously), writes on the topics of PTSD, exile from feminist spaces, online and offline harassment and abuse. Hugely insightful and amazingly relevant.
At Philosop-her, Meena Krishnamurthy invites women in philosophy to introduce themselves and their work. For example, Elizabeth Barnes, "Confessions of a Bitter Cripple": "I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island ... I have been told that, while it isn't bad for me to exist, it would've been better if my mother could've had a non-disabled child instead ... And these things weren't said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument ... They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it's the uncontroversial part of your talk." [more inside]
“Black Folk Don’t...” is an open conversation that invites everyone to take a second look at the grey areas between us all, no matter the race, and most importantly to do it with a sense of humor. This documentary web series is a special presentation of BlackPublicMedia.org, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Did you know that black folk don't… [more inside]
Throughout our lives, women hear insidious, often-conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman, about how we should act, talk and look. [more inside]
The year 2050 is right around the corner, and yet it is hard to imagine the sweeping changes the world will confront by then. In a multimedia series, The Wall Street Journal helps readers envision how we will work, how we will age and how we will live. [more inside]
Goldieblox brings you the most adorable Year in Feminism.
Feminist Frequency (the website created by pop culture critic and Gamergate scourge Anita Sarkeesian) has published a guide for protecting yourself against harassment in digital spaces.
What is actually going on with men, right now? What are they afraid of and unwilling to talk about? How do the inner lives of men affect women, other men, our culture? We see men struggling to define themselves at a time when gender definitions are expanding. We see men dealing, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not, with the weight of their power. And we learn that what it means to be a modern man is just like everything else: complex, messy, and always changing. Medium presents: The Men Issue [more inside]
"That night, Soloway sat in the bathtub, while her husband, Bruce Gilbert, a music supervisor for film and television, brushed his teeth. She remembers telling him, “ ‘I don’t want to use the money to pay off our debt. I want to be a director, and I want to make a film with it and get into Sundance. I want to double down on me.’ And Bruce was, like, ‘O.K.’ ” Then, just as Soloway was making the leap to directing her own material, her father called one afternoon and came out as transgender." (SL New Yorker)
Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence [The Belle Jar]
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is not your average vampire flick. For one, it features a who's who of Iranian actors (all speaking Persian), with various bits of the [Inland/]Southern California landscape serving as stand-ins for Iran. Plus, there's the stripped-down storytelling and the fusion of styles. It's been billed as the first "Iranian vampire Western."Join director Ana Lily Amirpour for Q&A on Iranian vampires and weird SoCal towns and learn more about her feminist horror film that turns horror film (and every day) tropes on their heads. [more inside]
“The distance between the station and the train was accurately measured ... I was not nervous as it approached and I leaped without hesitation,” she recalled. She landed safely, but the rocking motion of the train rolled her straight toward the end of the car. Just before being pitched off, “I caught hold of an air vent and hung on.” Then, with a sense of the dramatic, silent film actress Helen Gibson let her body “dangle over the edge to increase the effect on the screen.” [more inside]
Alexandra Kimball writes about pregnancy, miscarriage, grief and feminism. Women make and unmake our children, not just in the biological sense, but in the ontological sense, too. The fetus is a fetus, and the child a child – only the woman knows. If we deny her the power to define her own pregnancy, we deny the power inherent in womanhood.
The Internet is blowing up over this 70's "radical lesbian separatist" shirt. i-D has the story. [more inside]
Caitlin Stasey talks about beauty and sexism in the entertainment industry. (SLYT) (NSFW swearing) [more inside]
In a recent Dazed article, artist Audrey Wollen explains "Sad Girl Theory" and how it's empowering women on the internet. [more inside]
"Jane the Virgin is doing some of the most serious, most valuable work I’ve seen in a long time, and that work is rooted in a radically frank depiction of new motherhood." Links may contain spoilers, but also this show is very silly so knowing some things that happen will probably not ruin your enjoyment of the rest of it [more inside]
I have built a working miniature replica of the patriarchy in my mind. I would like very much to bust it up or burn it down. But I am afraid I don’t know how. Though I do have some ideas.Claire Vaye Watkins On Pandering. [cached version]
Professor of Mathematics Izabella Laba's "A Response to … " Scott Aaronson's "Words Will Do". An exchange between a mathematician and a computer scientist, on the use of terms including: privilege, hegemony, false consciousness, mansplaining, etc., and the general problem of clear communication, when the social sciences are applied towards political causes. [more inside]
When Fiona Ingleby took to Twitter last April to vent about a journal’s peer-review process, she didn’t expect much of a response. With only around 100 followers on the social-media network, Ingleby — an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Sussex near Brighton, UK — guessed that she might receive a few messages of support or commiseration from close colleagues. What she got was an overwhelming wave of reaction. Social media has enabled an increasingly public discussion about the persistent problem of sexism in science.
The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chapters. "Nothing destabilizes power more than an individual that knows his or her own worth, and the campaign against selfies is ultimately a crusade against widespread self-esteem. What selfie-haters fear, deep down, is a growing army of faces they cannot monitor, an army who does not need their approval to march ahead."
Why men don't like funny women:
When they would ask men and women what they looked for in their long-term partners, both genders would say they wanted someone “with a good sense of humor.” It was only when researchers pressed their subjects on what they meant, specifically, by “sense of humor,” that the sex difference became clear. Women want men who will tell jokes; men want women who will laugh at theirs.
"Young women could now do more than read about feminist issues and discuss them in class; they could find communities of women on Twitter or Tumblr whose experiences they could relate to—or who could open up new vistas for them on what other women’s lives are like. They could participate in the creation of a new feminism—one that would be a far cry from Friedan’s. By 2011, the writer Flavia Dzodan was famously declaring on her blog: “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” Her words became a rallying cry."
On Gawker's Problem with Women. A former staff writer describes how a media company founded on whistleblowing and radical transparency failed its female employees.
When it comes to human resilience, our culture has grand ideas about the nobility of hardship and suffering. “The world breaks every one, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places,” Ernest Hemingway wrote. And certainly, I became the woman I am today, for better and worse, because of the hardships I have endured. If I had to choose, though, I would prefer to have not lost my sense of safety in the way I did.--Roxane Gay on Safe Spaces
The 'Empire' Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto Trans media theorist Sandy Stone's 1987 essay on transsexual women and radical feminism, written in response to TERF works of the time, was a foundational text for transgender studies, located within a particular cultural moment but calling for a new discourse of transsexual and transgender womanhood beyond the gender binary. [more inside]