As translation contretemps go, the one surrounding French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) and her foundational work of modern feminism, Le Deuxième Sexe, first published in two volumes in French in 1949, remains one of the most tempestuous and fascinating. For decades, Beauvoir scholars in the English-speaking world bemoaned, attacked, and sought to replace the widely used 1953 translation by H.M. Parshley (1884-1953), a zoologist at Smith College who knew little philosophy or existentialism, had never translated a book from French, and relied mainly on his undergraduate grasp of the language. A few years back, they succeeded in getting the rights holders [...] to commission a new translation. [... But] Norwegian Beauvoir scholar Toril Moi, a professor at Duke and one of the foremost critics of Parshley's translation, savaged the new version in the London Review of Books. [...] How everyone involved got from vituperative discontent to hopeful triumph and back to discontent makes an instructive tale in itself and offers some lessons for what matters and doesn't in the evolution of a classic.
posted by No-sword
on Jun 27, 2010 -
I'm just not sure that "happiness" is supposed to be the stable human condition, and I think it's punishing that we're constantly being pushed to achieve it. Screw Happiness
, an essay on the folly of using happiness as a measure to define women's lives.
posted by desjardins
on May 10, 2010 -
We are two women from different worlds with very different experiences. I, Annie, have performed in, directed and produced pornography for twenty five years. Mae Tyme has been anti-pornography for equally as long. We met at a lesbian video night several years ago. You might think that we'd be enemies, because we have such different viewpoints. Could we come together to record a conversation
, share our ideas, and show that women of desparate [sic] backgrounds and beliefs can communicate and collaborate?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9
on May 9, 2010 -
The American Academy of Pediatrics
is proposing that doctors be authorized to perform a “ritual nick”
on the genitals of pre-pubescent girls in order to satisfy cultural requirements and hopefully stave off more invasive forms of Female Genital Cutting (FGC):
Most forms of FGC are decidedly harmful, and pediatricians should decline to perform them, even in the absence of any legal constraints. However, the ritual nick suggested by some pediatricians is not physically harmful and is much less extensive than routine newborn male genital cutting. There is reason to believe that offering such a compromise may build trust between hospitals and immigrant communities, save some girls from undergoing disﬁguring and life-threatening procedures in their native countries, and play a role in the eventual eradication of FGC. It might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ritual nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm. (source: PDF; not safe for work, contains line drawings of female genitalia.)
posted by Rumple
on May 7, 2010 -
In Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women Rise.
The half-day school system survived feudalism, the rise and demise of Hitler’s mother cult, the women’s movement of the 1970s and reunification with East Germany. Now, in the face of economic necessity, it is crumbling: one of the lowest birthrates in the world, the specter of labor shortages and slipping education standards have prompted a rethink.
posted by msalt
on Jan 20, 2010 -
Transphobic feminism makes no sense, argues Laurie Penny
For decades, the feminist movement has been split over the status of trans people, and of trans women in particular. High-profile feminists such as Germaine Greer, Jan Raymond and Julie Bindel have spoken out against what Greer terms “people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody”. Some prominent radical feminists have publicly declared that trans women are misogynist, “mutilated men”.
posted by parmanparman
on Dec 21, 2009 -
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."
posted by andoatnp
on Nov 21, 2009 -
We're all familiar with the thrilling, pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat spectacle that is Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
(Essay containing spoilers
), and we've all run out to buy the new Criterion Collection
DVD, and of course, we often spend our time fantasizing about what it would be like to lead the glamorous roller-coaster ride that is Ms. Dielman's life. Well, now you can make those fantasies a reality:
"In honor of the release of Jeanne Dielman on DVD, we’re sponsoring the world’s first Jeanne Dielman–Criterion Collection Cooking Video Contest. Make a video of yourself (or someone else) cooking 1) meat loaf, 2) cutlets, or 3) potatoes, and upload it as a video response to Jeanne Dielman–Criterion Collection Cooking Video Contest on YouTube."
posted by Greg Nog
on Sep 1, 2009 -
Jimmy Carter leaves the Southern Baptist Church [M]y decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief - confirmed in the holy scriptures - that we are all equal in the eyes of God.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Jul 20, 2009 -
“...the Platonic nerd is invariably male. The stereotype is flexible to incorporate women and girls on an individual basis, but few people conjure up the image of a woman when they think about nerds
.” Feminist blog Pandagon reviews
two books about nerdiness and geekery, Jason Tocci addresses
the question of why female involvement in geek culture seems to call for a special explanation, and two feminist geeks
set out in search of an egalitarian future.
posted by velvet winter
on Jun 26, 2009 -
Get Your Kid Off Your Facebook Page by Katie Roiphe You click on a friend's name and what comes into focus is not a photograph of her face, but a sleeping blond four-year-old, or a sun-hatted baby running on the beach. Here, harmlessly embedded in one of our favorite methods of procrastination, is a potent symbol for the new century. Where have all of these women gone? What, some future historian may very well ask, do all of these babies on our Facebook pages say about the construction of women’s identity at this particular moment in time?
posted by Locative
on May 16, 2009 -
Virginity at age 22. Two approaches:
1. Sell it.
"It became apparent to me that idealized virginity is just a tool to keep women in their place. But then I realized something else: if virginity is considered that valuable, what’s to stop me from benefiting from that?"
2. Keep it.
"It is puzzling and disturbing to me that regnant feminism has never acknowledged the empowering value of virginity."
posted by Pater Aletheias
on Jan 30, 2009 -
Is the new feminism lipstick and fashion?
“I think the proper reaction to a beauty pageant these days is to be bored by it. I would have thought that old version of feminism, which was violently opposed to lipstick and high heels, had died out by now. It’s an extinct image of feminism
— that you can’t be both frivolous and serious or care about clothes and read books at the same time. And, in a way, it’s sort of depressing that these same old-fashioned battles keep on being recycled.”
posted by four panels
on Dec 23, 2008 -
Men Can Stop Rape
is part of a growing movement to stop rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence by focusing on educating men
. There are efforts to change the climate
on college campuses and curriculum
, Kansas State
, Idaho State
, University of Wisconsin
, University of Texas
, University of Minnesota
, University of Maine
, Portland State
, University of Rochester
, University of Delaware
, Franklin and Marshall
, and Colorado State
, to name a few. Want to start your own? Here's how
Not in college? There's [more inside]
posted by lunit
on Nov 11, 2008 -