"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 -
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 -
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 -
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
posted by MultiplyDrafted
on Jan 24, 2012 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Quincy Jones sat in the Tenafly, New Jersey den of 16-year-old vocal student Lesley Gore, playing demo after demo
, looking for the right song to cut for her first record. Out of over 200 tapes, Jones and Gore had moved only one to the "maybe" pile, and so that song, It's My Party
, was recorded on March 30, 1963 in a Manhattan studio. After the session Mercury president Irving Green warned Gore not to get her hopes up, but Gore gratefully told him that it had been a great experience anyway, and it was okay if he didn't want to release it. However, later that evening Jones learned that Phil Spector had just recorded
"It's My Party" for The Crystals
, so Jones rushed back to the studio to press 100 test copies of the single and immediately mailed them to key radio stations across the country. [more inside]
posted by swift
on Sep 13, 2011 -
Angry Jane Doe:
"I have started to sleep around. I sleep with men I am not dating. I sleep with men and refuse to date them, actually. I come to their houses, fuck them, say thank you for a nice time, and don't let the door hit me on the ass on the way out. You might think this is a pretty good deal, but it is not. Because I fuck and tell. Because I'm pissed." (NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by velvet winter
on Jul 27, 2011 -
"You know, I don't really know how else to explain how this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but I'll just sort of lay it out that I was a single woman, you know, in a foreign country, at 4 AM, in a hotel elevator, with you, just you, and - don't invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner..." Rebecca Watson
, founder of Skepchick
, spoke in Dublin at the World Atheist Convention a month ago (video)
. Afterwards, in a video post (relevant part starts at about 2:30)
, she discussed an incident that occurred there. She received some dismissive responses. PZ Myers
. Richard Dawkins
. Dawkins is called out
. PZ Myers weighs in again
. Dawkins still doesn't get it
. [more inside]
posted by flex
on Jul 4, 2011 -
As de Waal says, couldn't the full range of human nature encompass both those who want to rape and those who are powerfully averse to it? Put another way, just because some men commit rape doesn't mean all other men are only restrained from it by the artificial strictures of society. In fact, the fantasy of a hyper-willing female partner, one who is both exceedingly desirous of sex and exceedingly satisfied by a man's skills, is common in both porn and pop culture. A few current videos on XTube, for instance, include Climax2000, Cuming [sic] For You, Debbs Dark Desires, and Wanting Some Big Dick, all of which appear to depict women in various states of hunger-for-your-cock. Of course, Debbs Dark Desires may depict more what dudes want Debb to want than what she actually craves, but the point is that even quite male-centric depictions of female sexuality often include not just consent but enthusiastic desire and orgasm. The idea that men's natural instincts are rape-centric isn't supported even by media that serve their most private predilections.
posted by outlandishmarxist
on Jun 28, 2011 -