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"The justice system is invisible, unable to deter or heal."

In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2012 - 14 comments

Why Women Still Can't Have It All

"I had always assumed that if I could get a foreign-policy job in the State Department or the White House while my party was in power, I would stay the course as long as I had the opportunity to do work I loved. But in January 2011, when my two-year public-service leave from Princeton University was up, I hurried home as fast as I could." Anne Marie Slaughter, the former policy director for the State Department and professor at Princeton University, has written a nuanced essay for this month's Atlantic Monthly, about the feminist generation gap and work-life balance at the top levels of government and academia: Why Women Still Can't Have It All. [more inside]
posted by lunasol on Jun 21, 2012 - 125 comments

If they are going to legislate my anatomy, I see no reason why I cannot mention it.

"And finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'" After this pointed observation, Michigan Representative Lisa Brown (D) was subsequently barred from speaking on a bill about the retirement of school employees. Twitter responds. Meanwhile, many remember a similar kerfuffle over the word "uterus" in Florida last May.
posted by emjaybee on Jun 14, 2012 - 241 comments

This story could be called "The Quest for a Personality" -- or "15 Guys in Search of a Feminine Identity" -- or "How Miss Virginia Slims Got to Be the Kind of Girl She Is."

From UCSF's Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, "How an Agency Builds a Brand--The Virginia Slims Story." [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Jun 13, 2012 - 32 comments

The ugly backlash to feminist-geek critiques

Dear The Internet, This Is Why You Can't Have Anything Nice [more inside]
posted by Tevin on Jun 13, 2012 - 372 comments

The ‘precious vagina’ can easily become the ‘shameful vagina’.

One thing I am going to do differently as a parent is go easy on the ‘save sex for someone special’ rhetoric with my kids – both with my daughter and my son. Feminist and mother Blue Milk on the downside of encouraging young girls to "save themselves."
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jun 5, 2012 - 82 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

Happy Century Ruby

Have you looked at the sky today? You probably should. She would have been a hundred today, she just might have had a bit to do with how we understand our universe.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan on May 28, 2012 - 15 comments

"Female artists are the bargain in today's markets."

Conservative Art Critic Brian Sewel born in 1931: "The art market is not sexist," Mr Sewell said. "The likes of Bridget Riley and Louise Bourgeois are of the second and third rank. There has never been a first-rank woman artist.... ...Maybe it's something to do with bearing children." Top contemporary Art Dealer and collector Iwan Wirth born in 1970: "..Female artists are the bargain in today's markets...It's a constant source of disappointment to see the discrepancy in prices between outstanding female artists and their male counterparts.... [more inside]
posted by snaparapans on May 25, 2012 - 33 comments

Friday Feature: First Feminist Film

The Smiling Madame Beudet made in 1922 is generally regarded by scholars and theorists as history's premier "feminist film".
Germaine Dulac (wiki) was a central figure in 1920's French avant-garde cinema, and its only woman director. A filmmaker with her own production company who worked in narrative, avant-garde, and documentary genres, Dulac was also an active feminist, critic, and a prolific writer who wrote some of the earliest treatises on avant-garde film.
Later she made what was considerered one of the first surrealist films: The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928) from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud who later denounced it.
This resulted in a letter to La Nouvelle Revue Française, because the journal had omitted to mention her as the “author” stating that the intellectuals and the filmmakers should develop a closer kinship to one another, for it is only nuances between words that irremediably keep them apart.
posted by adamvasco on May 11, 2012 - 4 comments

Vatican reprimands US nuns.

The findings of a multiyear Vatican study on US nuns have been announced: the largest and most influential group of nuns are promoting "radical feminist themes incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church."
posted by apparently on Apr 19, 2012 - 140 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

"[T]here is no winning here as women . . ."

"The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others—and in my case, to the actual public." Actresses and female entertainers are frequently the subject of much ridicule and scrutiny vis-a-vis their appearance. Rarely do they publicly return similar scrutiny those doing the scrutinizing. Ashley Judd writes a searing condemnation of "the assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification" of women's (and men's) bodies.
posted by schroedinger on Apr 9, 2012 - 197 comments

"No dame ever ran the Boston Marathon!"

"To cajole me through tough evening sessions like this, Arnie told and retold stories of famous Bostons. I loved listening to them--until this night when I snapped and said, "Oh, let's quit talking about the Boston Marathon and run the damn thing!" "No woman can run the Boston Marathon," Arnie fired back. "Why not? I'm running 10 miles a night!" Arnie insisted the distance was too long for fragile women to run and exploded when I said that Roberta Gibb had jumped into the race and finished it the previous April." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 7, 2012 - 29 comments

"Bringing up the women’s question — I mean the women’s fiction question — is not unlike mentioning the national debt at a dinner party."

If “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention? Or would this novel (which I loved) have been relegated to “Women’s Fiction,” that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated? Certainly “The Marriage Plot,” Eugenides’s first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Middlesex,” was poised to receive tremendous literary interest regardless of subject matter, but the presence of a female protagonist, the gracefulness, the sometimes nostalgic tone and the relationship-heavy nature of the book only highlight the fact that many first-rate books by women and about women’s lives never find a way to escape “Women’s Fiction” and make the leap onto the upper shelf where certain books, most of them written by men (and, yes, some women — more about them later), are prominently displayed and admired.
So begins The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women, an essay in the New York Times by novelist Meg Wolitzer. She was interviewed about her essay in the NYT Book Review podcast (mp3 link, interview starts at about 18:30). Wolitzer references the classic 1998 essay by Francine Prose, Scent of a woman's ink: Are women writers really inferior?, and further back in time you find Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, which, as literary critic Ruth Franklin notes, still sounds fresh today.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 4, 2012 - 105 comments

A woman in the shape of a monster / a monster in the shape of a woman / the skies are full of them

Poet Adrienne Rich, celebrated over her 60-plus-year career with the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the National Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and many other awards, and known for both her vivid and original poetry and her advocacy of feminist and civil rights causes, has died at the age of 82. Read, watch, listen.
posted by aught on Mar 28, 2012 - 108 comments

Stag Party

The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
posted by Artw on Mar 27, 2012 - 160 comments

The Dinner Party

Feminist banquet or confrontational gynocentrism? You decide. From 1974 to 1979 Judy Chicago orchestrated the creation of The Dinner Party, a collaboration with hundreds of artists, craftspeople and volunteers. Now permanently installed at the Brooklyn Museum, this project has sparked controversy, analysis and discussion, and was considered quite shocking when initially unveiled. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Mar 22, 2012 - 97 comments

Sweetheart, please stop perpetuating the patriarchal dividend. It's SO over.

Shit Men Say to Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street, a project by Stop Street Harassment and Meet Us On the Street for International Anti-Street Harassment Week (which runs through the 24th). [more inside]
posted by The demon that lives in the air on Mar 20, 2012 - 197 comments

On the Aftermath of Sexual Misconduct

Having heard way to many similar stories, Dr. Kate Clancy, author of the popular Scientific American blog Context and Variation, has recently run two accounts written by graduate students about their experiences with sexual harassment in the hopes that they will spark a wider discussion. The comments in the second article are uncharacteristically amazing and include several more women sharing their experiences. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 13, 2012 - 94 comments

Pinterest and Feminism

Take Wikipedia: 87% of its contributors are male; a bigger discrepancy than Pinterest by any count. However, when discussing Wikipedia, it certainly is not the norm to go on and on about how male the site is. Instead, it is far more common for the site to be praised for its “neutral point of view.” Pinterest as a tool for analyzing difference vs. dominance feminism. Via The Beheld.
posted by latkes on Mar 9, 2012 - 127 comments

"My body is not obscene; veiling it is."

[All links NSFW] In solidarity with Egyptian women's rights activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (previously), 14 women have posed for the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar [pdf] for release on International Women's Day. #NudePhotoRevolutionary
posted by troll on Mar 7, 2012 - 44 comments

Footsy

The authors reviewed historical literature and hypothesized a relationship between epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases and foot fetishism.
posted by latkes on Feb 17, 2012 - 48 comments

"We've agreed this is casual sex, so as long as we decide not to develop feelings, we won't."

The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. (Probably SFW in itself, depending on your W - no naughty images - but links out may go to NSFW content) Holly Pervocracy (previously), a feminist sex blogger, revisits Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's classic but contentious Geek Social Fallacies (previously).
posted by running order squabble fest on Feb 10, 2012 - 74 comments

Slumber parties and sisterhood

Jezebel. The Hairpin. xoJane. Rookie. The ladyblog isn't quite the same as a feminist blog, but what is it? n+1 says, The notion that women might share some fundamental experience and interests, a notion on which women’s websites would seem to depend—'sisterhood,' let’s call it—has curdled into BFF-ship." Salon counters, "On the ladyblogs, adult womanhood is a given, and within our shared womanhood we carve out a comfortable space we can all inhabit."
posted by naoko on Feb 5, 2012 - 46 comments

On Becoming Infertile - by an Anonymous Feminist Philosopher

Let's Talk About Reproductive Norm Enforcement, Baby. An anonymous philoso-blogger recounts, in an honest, intelligent, compelling, and occasionally poignant way, the process of undergoing medically necessary surgery that would cause infertility. If you care about the reproductive expectations with which women are saddled by contemporary society, you should read this. You should also read this if you care about bioethics, medical decorum, feminism, women in academia, the ethical behavior of philosophers, or, you know, justice. If you care about those last four things, you should have been reading Feminist Philosophers already.
posted by MultiplyDrafted on Jan 24, 2012 - 114 comments

When a benefit is suggested for men, the question asked is: "Will it benefit men?" When a benefit is suggested for women, the question is: "Will it benefit men?"

Are Women People? A writer for The Hairpin discovers the satirical poetry of Alice Duer Miller.
posted by flex on Jan 20, 2012 - 44 comments

“This is about more than a definition. It is about how seriously we take this as a country"

Almost one year after Congressional Republicans tried to limit the definition of rape to only include "force" (previously), the Department of Justice is redefining the term--but this time to to expand it dramatically:
The outdated definition that has been governing national rape statistics since 1929, “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,” has been updated to "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” According to Susan D. Carbon, director of the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the previous definition “excluded an untold number of victims.” For the first time, men will be included in national rape statistics, as well as those raped while unable to give consent due to intoxication or other mental and physical incapacity.

posted by zombieflanders on Jan 6, 2012 - 47 comments

DON'T DRINK THE NECTAR OF PROPAGANDA UNTIL AFTER YOU'VE FINISHED WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE

JENNY HOLZER, MOM [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing on Jan 5, 2012 - 63 comments

"She certainly has “doll-like, almost delicate limbs, small hands, and hardly any hips."

Softening and sexualizing Lisbeth Salander: David Fincher's casting for Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo examined.
posted by Fizz on Jan 4, 2012 - 104 comments

Princeless, Bayou Arcana, and more

"Princeless" is a new comic book in the self-rescuing princesses genre (more page previews here and here) - perhaps a younger-audience example of women kicking back against comic-book sexism? (previously on MeFi - wik, alsø wik, alsø alsø wik)
posted by flex on Jan 1, 2012 - 18 comments

Feminism's Uneven Success

Feminism's Uneven Success: "Class and racial and ethnic differences among women have intensified over time. The higher earnings of college-educated mothers make it possible for them to purchase child care and help with housework (typically performed by low-wage women workers)... the number of low-skill immigrants living in a large city reduces the tradeoff between employment and fertility for women college graduates. Outsourcing of care responsibilities can have many positive effects, but it reduces the potential for cross-class gender coalitions. Emphasis on changes in women’s average or median earnings relative to men often conceals growing inequality among women." (via)
posted by flex on Dec 29, 2011 - 98 comments

Why I Resigned from The Good Men Project

Why I Resigned from The Good Men Project [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 21, 2011 - 98 comments

Imagine an alternative science, or sciences.

Vandana Singh is a science fiction writer and a physicist. She describes her work as "ponder[ing] deep questions about the universe." In a series of three essays for Strange Horizons she just does that, probing the relationships between (as her subtitle indicates) science, emotions and culture. [more inside]
posted by overglow on Dec 21, 2011 - 3 comments

A lady can do no wrong

An Essay On The Noble Science Of Self-Justification: "Timid brides, you have, probably, hitherto been addressed as angels. Prepare for the time when you shall again become mortal. Take the alarm at the first approach of blame; at the first hint of a discovery that you are any thing less than infallible:--contradict, debate, justify, recriminate, rage, weep, swoon, do any thing but yield to conviction. I take it for granted that you have already acquired sufficient command of voice; you need not study its compass; going beyond its pitch has a peculiarly happy effect upon some occasions. But are you voluble enough to drown all sense in a torrent of words? Can you be loud enough to overpower the voice of all who shall attempt to interrupt or contradict you? Are you mistress of the petulant, the peevish, and the sullen tone? Have you practised the sharpness which provokes retort, and the continual monotony which by setting your adversary to sleep effectually precludes reply?" For remember, "a lady can do no wrong."
posted by shivohum on Dec 15, 2011 - 5 comments

The crime against women that no one understands

The crime against women that no one understands "They would be 10 educated, professional women versus a demonstrated liar—a man who had pretended to be a doctor, a CIA employee, even an astronaut—whom a court-appointed psychologist would decide met the legal definition of a "sexually violent predator." And yet the most remarkable thing about both trials wasn't the way they exposed the alleged tactics of a serial date rapist. It was that despite the outrageousness of the accusations against Marsalis, the testimony of 10 women wasn't enough to get a single rape conviction against him. The verdicts in these cases would be far lighter than his accusers sought—and victims' advocates say the outcome reveals a disturbing truth about the justice system. Nationwide, despite all the legal advances of the past three decades, little has changed for women who report a date rape. Because in far too many instances, juries don't believe date rape exists."
posted by nooneyouknow on Dec 14, 2011 - 253 comments

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

Nudity in Islamic countries; the case of the Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (nsfw). #NudePhotoRevolutionary
posted by - on Nov 18, 2011 - 34 comments

Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us

"As someone who [...] advocates against violence against women and for rape survivors' rights, I never really felt I was allowed to participate in the fantasy of my own violation."
posted by zeek321 on Nov 10, 2011 - 97 comments

"While we still live in a sexist society, any woman who sticks her head above the parapet will encounter misogynistic abuse."

"You should have your tongue ripped out." Female bloggers speak out about misogynist comments, rape threats and death threats. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 4, 2011 - 102 comments

Machisma

Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
posted by the young rope-rider on Nov 1, 2011 - 25 comments

"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."

The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 31, 2011 - 11 comments

Cinderella, Cinderella, Night and Day it's Cinderella

You probably know the Perrault version. And chances are, you haven’t been able to escape the Disney version. Maybe you know the slightly-darker Grimm version, or even the original story of Yeh-Shen. Maybe you’re a fan of musicals, and love Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella or Sondheim’s Into the Woods. But chances are, there’s a bit about this classic story you don’t know yet… [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe on Oct 27, 2011 - 46 comments

Still Waters Run Deep

The upcoming sandbox action game Saints Row: The Third has been getting attention for being a blast of anarchy and absurdity in a mostly staid gaming landscape. However, indie game developer and blogger Anna Anthropy argues that Saints Row 2 is has some exciting ideas about gender and gender presentation and allows for a much broader range of characters than the usual gruff action hero clones. A live action Saints Row 3 ad suggests it too will have this customization.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 20, 2011 - 66 comments

IT IS A BIG DEAL. IT IS A VERY, VERY BIG DEAL.

...IN THE MIDNIGHT LINE THE OTHER NIGHT THERE WERE ABOUT 90 GUYS ALL STANDING AROUND READY TO BUY. AMONG THEM, A FEW RANDOM GIRLS INTERSPERSED WHO RIGHTLY LOVED THE LAST GAME AND ARE NOW GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH A REALLY, REALLY STRANGE TONE. OH SURE, CHANCES ARE THEY’RE USED TO MOST OF THE SEXISM IN VIDEO GAMES, BUT THIS IS A SPECIAL KIND OF ORNAMENTAL. THIS IS STEALTH SEXISM. SOMETHING FAR MORE INSIDIOUS THAN THE NAKED PANDERING OF DUKE NUKEM.
Gender roles among contemporary comics characters has been scrutiized in the wake of DC Comics' rebooting of its product line (previously), as well as in its prior days of stuffing damsels inside refrigerators. But the latest writeup on the Male Gaze's role in superheroics has emerged from the irradiated brow of...The Hulk. And not Feminist Hulk, nor Drunk Hulk but...well, the one who analyses movies.
posted by Smart Dalek on Oct 20, 2011 - 168 comments

Disappearance

Disappearance: The History of Women's Pubic Hair (NSFW)
posted by SkylitDrawl on Oct 14, 2011 - 232 comments

Lactivism and Feminism

You've (Not) Come a Long Way, Baby: Why feminism and lactivism make such a dysfunctional couple
posted by the young rope-rider on Oct 10, 2011 - 73 comments

Starfire as portrayed here is porn for kids. You know what I mean. Feh.

Jim Shooter, the comics writer and former Marvel Editor-in-Chief has weighed in on DC's comic relaunch, The New 52. Shooter is no stranger to controversy regarding his tenure at Marvel and has received his share of criticism over his handling of female characters. He also claims his analysis is more about the writing and artwork but nevertheless, he has added this comment to the chorus of complaints about the handling of DCs female characters and female fans:

"But, let it be known, personally, I didn’t like the way the female characters were portrayed. It’s not that I think that there is anything, any situation or any type of character, male or female, that cannot be done if it is done with rare excellence and surpassing skill. The problem is that, too often, comic book writers and artists who belong in creator kindergarten think they’re already Ph.D’s."

[more inside]
posted by happyroach on Oct 7, 2011 - 41 comments

Nobel Peace Prize for 2011.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen share the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work".
posted by Sticherbeast on Oct 7, 2011 - 18 comments

Man Up!

Men Photographed in Stereotypical Pin-Up Poses Flikr link
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 5, 2011 - 94 comments

Death of Wangari Maathai announced.

I am sorry that Wangari Maathai, inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winner famous for tree-planting programme, has died.
posted by maiamaia on Sep 26, 2011 - 28 comments

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