Jury acquits escort shooter. Texas Penal Code s. 9.42 has been interpreted to possibly allow the shooting of sex workers who accept money at night but do not then perform sexual services, and Ezekiel Gilbert was therefore found to have the legal right to shoot at a sex worker over a $150 dispute. This interpretation of the defence of property has come under some criticism, and although the jury may have reached their decision on a different ground, the possibility of this defence under state law appears to be sound.
"In 1961, Phyllis Richman applied to graduate school at Harvard. She received a letter asking how she would balance a career in city planning with her 'responsibilities' to her husband and possible future family. Fifty-two years later, she responds." [more inside]
How the feminist internet utopia failed, and we ended up with speculative realism. Contemporary mass culture equates anonymity with secrecy or downright negative intent, not harmless experimentation. Who lies about who they are online? Pedophiles, scammers, hackers, bullies, Wikileaks. Anonymity has turned from thrilling to terrifying. 1:1 self-to-body ratio is a moral mandate. It’s no wonder that nailing down objective reality seems so attractive.
An Alternative History of 11 American Female Doctors: "A new producer, Glen A. Larsons, changed up almost everything fans knew about Doctor Who. Gone was the constant traveling, and in its place Jennifer Jones' Doctor was now a scientist working exclusively for the United States military in exile on Earth. The comedic style that had always been a tremendous part of the show was left behind in order to capitalize on the drama skills of the Academy Award-winning actress." [more inside]
Anita Sarkeesian has uploaded the second video in her Tropes vs. Women in Games series. The video was temporarily removed after "her harassers abused YouTube's flag function to get the video removed".
"But something happened. Once industrial music had fully transitioned from avant-garde venues into nightclubs, the stench of Axe body spray began to dominate the subculture as a certain douchey, bro-tastic vibe emerged. Where the goth/industrial scene had once existed as a safe haven for artists, weirdos, outcasts, geeks, dreamers and rebels, a disturbing trend of sexism, racism and anti-intellectualism is driving people out."
Coverflip is a one day Twitter project created by author Maureen Johnson. There are only three rules: 1. Take a well-known book. (It’s up to you to define well-known.) 2. Imagine that book was written by an author of the OPPOSITE GENDER. 3. Now, COVERFLIP! Make the new cover and put it online. Tweet or Tumbl it with the tag #coverflip.
"By the time Cathy began, the sexual revolution had ended, so the strip stands as a perfect artifact of a moment when the cultural understanding of coercion changed completely—a moment when, one could argue, second-wave feminism basically died. With its baby-boomer characters, Cathy dramatizes the aftermath: the ’60s ended when it became clear that a revolutionary movement toward a just society wasn’t happening; the ’70s ended up being about trying to navigate the wreckage of the ’60s. The ’80s were largely about looking for strategies to accept injustice and inequality, and to construe that acceptance itself as a positive value.
"Cathy takes its place in this cultural progression by drilling in the notion that it doesn’t matter what the law says: you are being coerced not by the state but by your desire to be valued."
"Cathy takes its place in this cultural progression by drilling in the notion that it doesn’t matter what the law says: you are being coerced not by the state but by your desire to be valued."
'The Great Gatsby' Still Gets Flappers Wrong “The Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into the battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure, she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do. Mothers disapproved of their sons taking the Flapper to dances, to teas, to swim and most of all to heart. She had mostly masculine friends, but youth does not need friends—it needs only crowds.”
Reductress is a new site that does to women's magazines what The Onion does to newspapers. There's also an interview with the site's creators
"Meanwhile, on the LASO setup, Cody and Rob could not defeat a group of two or three grunts. I asked the students to compare each other’s experiences. “What’s the problem?” I asked Cody and Rob, “Caitlin isn’t having any trouble staying alive and she’s fighting even more grunts than you.” This moment taught us that different people approach similar obstacles with certain preexisting advantages and disadvantages that radically alter the probability of their success." -- Samantha Allen teaches intersectionality through the use of Halo's difficulty settings, as inspired by John Scalzi's essay Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is.
A review of the 1971 novel "The Feminists," which portrayed the nightmarish future of 1992, where women ruled over men.
Drucilla Cornell On Dating. Drucilla Cornell on Feminism. Drucilla Cornell on Marxism.[obfuscated link to pdf]
Corners of the world where women have yet to tread. Visuals of leadership positions and organizations that are currently and historically boys' clubs. Some of it surprising, some of it expected. All of it sad. [more inside]
Weddings are inherently a form of performance art, and various artists have explored weddings as an artistic form. For example, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens held a wedding every year for 7 years to various parts of the environment and Maria Yoon held weddings in every US state to explore marriage as an Asian-American woman. Second Life also hosted a performance art wedding while Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis incorporated their House of Fairytales project into their own wedding. Kathryn Cornelius married and divorced seven suitors every hour on the hour while Chen Wei-yih opted to marry herself.
An Orange Prize nominee speaks out about her experience as a woman in literature: weakened titles, pink covers, snubbed for reviews. [more inside]
Death of a Revolutionary. Susan Faludi on the life, work, and decline of Shulamith Firestone, with some interesting words on the feminist movements of the last century. SLNY.
Sexism at the border: A personal account. "For me, carrying my own condoms (in purses, wallets, camera bags; everywhere) is a routine act towards safer sex. For someone else with the power to not only deny passage but judge, moralize and intimidate, it has become enough evidence to put a woman through hell. My story has brought a number of women out of the woodwork stating that they have had similar experiences." [h/t Alex Grossman]
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book Lean In aims at women to address what is holding them back from leadership positions. But it has been the subject of a feminist backlash calling it "Facebook's attempt to hi-jack feminism", distracting from more important issues of institutional change, part of the "war on moms" and irrelevant to all but the 1%. Is the backlash an unfair reaction to unapologetic feminism and an unfair dismissal of an inspiring woman?
In a Room Full of Naked Koreans, Margaret Cho’s Body Is an Unwelcome Sight. Margaret Cho discusses the disapproval of her fellow Korean spa visitors upon seeing her naked, heavily tattooed body as she enjoys the facilities. Single link Jezebel.
Popular transgender Lancashire teacher Lucy Meadows was found dead last Tuesday. Blame has quickly fallen on an inflammatory Daily Mail article by Richard Littlejohn, which has lead to a petition to sack the writer. Is this fair? Jane Fae at the New Statesman says it doesn't matter, while the New Scostsman calls it 'monstering'. The f word blog and the Guardian have longer articles on the case and the issues surrounding it.
"The snobbishness has struck me as irrational. They want the end of Page 3, but claim to be "sex positive" and pro porn. It's as if pornography for the upper classes - tasteful monochrome Testino images of nudes, Mapplethorpe coffee table books or vintage Tom of Finland* prints are acceptable, yet accessible muck for the working classes is simply de trop. A catwalk show for a milliner featuring chilly looking models completely nude apart from the hat is applauded as high art: Sandra from Dagenham, in a pair of lacy pants, is not."
French Feminist Babayaga Thérèse Clerc, is captured by photographer Elisabeth Schneider in a short French documentary. Thérèse Clerc is the founder of Maison des Femmes de Montreuil, a women-only feminist retirement community, in Paris. [more inside]
People have something to say about Mrs. Carter's new song. "Women do not have to be humble, nice, and modest all the damn time," says Sesali Bowen of Feministing. "Beyonce's new single marks a change in direction for the independent woman the US president handpicks to play at his parties," says Rush Limbaugh. The song "dangerously [straddles] the line between female empowerment and subjugation," says Rahiel Tesfamariam of the Washington Post. "We should view Beyonce's feminism as complex," says Akoto Ofori-Atta of The Root. Can a woman who sings "girls run the world" and "bow down, bitches" be a feminist? Read the lyrics here.
Women enjoy video games, to the astonishment of local TV newsreaders. Women enjoy science, to the astonishment of Facebook users.
Kelly calls herself “a flaming liberal” and a feminist, too. “I want my daughter to be able to do anything she wants,” she says. “But I also want to say, ‘Have a career that you can walk away from at the drop of a hat.’ ” And she is not alone. Via.
'Feminism' has often been seen as a Western concept, but African women are increasingly redefining it to suit their own purposes. This, in turn, is influencing the rest of the world.
"When looking at a sample of bloggers reviewing SF/F, a majority of men will skew toward reviewing more men. A majority of women will skew toward a more equal gender parity, or the opposite in which they review a majority of women. There will be a handful of outliers." -- An analysis of the visibility of women in (online) science fiction and fantasy reviews and whether the gender of the reviewer impacts that visibility.
The lack of female road narratives and why it matters Whereas a man on the road might be seen as potentially dangerous, potentially adventurous, or potentially hapless, in all cases the discourse is one of potential. When a man steps onto the road, his journey begins. When a woman steps onto that same road, hers ends.
Zine-publishing 13-year old girls from 1996, outcast as "Dirty Girls", talk about their experience. [more inside]
Feminist Frequency has released the first video in the "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" series: Damsel in Distress (part 1), hosted by Anita Sarkeesian (previously). It was funded by a kickstarter campaign that was notable for the level of backlash (previously).
If You Want a More Thoughtful Boyfriend, Try Pegging Him. Want to make straight men better in bed — and better feminist allies? The path may be simple: fuck them up the ass. According to one brand new book, the path to making men more compassionate, appreciative and playful may be straight through their butts.
Makers: Women Who Make America is a sweeping 3-hour documentary of the movement for women's equality in the last half of the twentieth century. Airing this month on US public television, it's accompanied by an online archive of videos of interviews with individual women in leadership across a variety of fields. Leaders and activists, celebrities and pioneers, and everyday women retell the story of their awakening, organizing, and world-changing efforts.
'I'm sick of being ashamed." Three days ago, an anti-harassment activist said those words to me in a flat above Cairo's Tahrir square, as she pulled on her makeshift uniform ready to protect women on the protest lines from being raped in the street. Only days before, I'd heard exactly the same words from pro-choice organisers in Dublin, where I travelled to report on the feminist fight to legalise abortion in Ireland. I had thought that I was covering two separate stories – so why were two women from different countries and backgrounds repeating the same mantra against fear, and against shame?[more inside]
When family and work obligations collide, mothers remain much more likely than fathers to cut back or drop out of work. But unlike the situation in the 1960s, this is not because most people believe this is the preferable order of things. Rather, it is often a reasonable response to the fact that our political and economic institutions lag way behind our personal ideals. [more inside]
The Everyday Sexism Project collects user-submitted reports from women to document their day-to-day experiences with normalized sexism, including sexual harassment and job discrimination. Entries can be submitted at the site, in an email to founder Laura Bates or to their twitter account. [more inside]
I told them to take a hike. I can't work where feminism is not celebrated. I'm proud to call myself a feminist. - Pastor and playwright Kristine Holmgren responds to being asked not use the word feminism in the title of her blog on a faith based site.
Sister Arts: On Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, and Others Starting off examining the friendship between Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich, Lisa L. Moore examines how poetry acted as the lingua franca of second-wave feminism. [more inside]
The Ballad of the Unpaid Intern. Not That Kind of Secretary. The Home Economics of Domestic Workers. Parts of Grace Bello's series Women's Work on how popular culture depicts working women. Via.
"I think Twilight is one of the best things to happen to young female sexuality in the same way that I think that Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the best things to happen to adult female sexuality. We live in a culture that is overwhelmingly sex negative, particularly for women. If the only porn that women will consume is “abstinence porn” and its fan fiction, that is okay with me." -- Emma Vossen argues that Twilight allows young women to fullfill "fantasies of sexual and supernatural empowerment" and that's why so many people hate it. [more inside]
Rhiannon Lucy Coslett, one of the women behind The Vagenda, writes on the phenomenon of the trigger warning.
What would you think if I told you there is an ugly, self-sustaining, omnipotent invisible force that explains everything. It frames every argument, structures language, and every element of human experience.... This article will examine Patriarchy as a theory that is beyond falsifiability. - Naomi J. Chambers
I’ve been thinking about the Bechdel test for films where a film must have a) two or more main female characters who b) talk for five minutes about c) something other than men. It’s amazing to see that not many films pass this test. So, I’m initiating this now (unless it’s already been done…): The Shukla Test, for books, films and television where a) two main characters who are people who of colour b) talk for five minutes without c) mentioning their race. [more inside]
"The Reconstructionists, a collaboration between illustrator Lisa Congdon and writer Maria Popova, is a yearlong celebration of remarkable women — beloved artists, writers, and scientists, as well as notable unsung heroes — who have changed the way we define ourselves as a culture and live our lives as individuals of any gender. Every Monday in 2013, we'll be publishing an illustrated portrait of one such trailblazing woman, along with a hand-lettered quote that captures her spirit and a short micro-essay about her life and legacy."
As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others. If you are one of the newly-visible others, this all sounds whiny compared to the problems you face every day. It’s tempting to blast through such privileged resistance with anger and insult. Tempting, but also, I think, a mistake. The privileged are still privileged enough to foment a counter-revolution, if their frustrated sense of entitlement hardens.
"When the National Football League locked out its referees’ union this year, it seemed to delight in exploiting the perceived “women vs. labor” split, putting a woman on the field for the first time as one of the replacement refs. Feminists cheered, labor folks groaned, and those of us who are both buried our heads in our hands, angered by the cynical move, wanting to cheer new ground broken for women but having learned the hard lesson that not all first steps by women are progressive. Whether it’s City Council speaker Christine Quinn in New York City blocking paid sick days or Marissa Mayer taking the helm at Yahoo or Shannon Eastin taking the job of a locked-out worker for less money, we have to recognize that some first steps are taken on the backs of workers, many of whom are also women." -- Sara Jaffe writing about mainstream feminism's obsession with the glass ceiling and corresponding lack of attention for working women's issues: trickle down feminism.
The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
Romance novelist Alisa Valdes' recent memoir The Cowboy and the Feminist describes how she found true love by forsaking her feminist opinions in favor of an assertive, independent cowboy (a staunchly traditional ranch manager) who to her embodied the best masculine qualities. Unfortunately, it turns out that the cowboy's masculine dominance turned into abuse, which Valdes described in a post-breakup blog post. Feminist writer Hannah Rosin, among others, was not surprised. According to Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory, Valdes said she took her post, which tends to contradict her book's message, down at the request of her publisher or agent. (via Lawyers, Guns and Money; warning: possible abuse and rape triggers)
In seventh grade, after school let out, Humaira Mohammed Bachal opened her home in Thatta (Pakistan) to 10-12 friends who weren't allowed to go to school, and taught them what she was learning. By the time she was 16 and ready to take her 9th grade exams, (over her father's objections,) she and four other girls were teaching more than 100 students. Now, her sister Tahira, (age 18,) is principal of the school Humaira founded: with 22 teachers serving more than 1,000 kids in a Karachi slum (yt). All in a country where if you are a young girl in a rural area, you are unlikely ever to see the inside of a classroom, and advocating education for young girls can be life-threatening. [more inside]