Over one hundred years ago, Lizzie Borden became infamous for supposedly brutally killing her parents with an ax. Few know that she was actually acquitted of the crime, and there was little evidence in fact suggesting that she had done it. Why was Lizzie maligned in history and the press? Some feminist interpretations, such as Carolyn Gage's, argue for another look at the story, suggesting that prejudice, not evidence, ruled the day. Fortunately for those interested, the advent of the internet has provided many opportunities for passionate scholarship and the presentation of evidence, providing the interested observer closer looks at the case, the trial   , a potential plethora of suspects and at Lizzie herself.
She had taught a Sunday school class for Chinese men and had also taught classes for young women who worked in the mills. She participated in many women's groups at her church and had been a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, a hotbed of feminist organizing in its day. She had been elected a member of the board of the Fall River Hospital, a rare appointment for a woman, and in 1891 was a board member of the Good Samaritan Hospital... In other words, Lizzie had a full life outside the home at a time when employment opportunities for middle-class women were severely restricted.
Coding Like a Girl - sailor mercury at Medium:
"Apparently, presenting as feminine makes you look like a beginner. It is very frustrating that I will either look like not a programmer or look like a permanent beginner because I have programmed since age 8. I have basically always wanted to be a programmer. I received undergrad and grad degrees from MIT. I’ve worked as a visiting researcher in Honda’s humanoid robotics division on machine learning algorithms for ASIMO.[more inside]
"I don’t think that any of these things make me a better programmer; I list them because I am pretty sure that if i were a white man with these credentials or even less than these credentials no one would doubt my programmer status."
Who Farts? And Who Cares? "Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally." [more inside]
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
Did Amazon Sink the Queen of Online Erotica? - Phoebe Reilly, Vulture
"Engler is an underappreciated pioneer, a self-proclaimed feminist in furry-cat slippers. To put her crowning achievement demurely, she challenged the book-publishing industry's denial of women's appetite for sexually explicit books. She wrote tawdry, lowbrow novels, and published hundreds of others, that freed romance from its lame euphemisms well before Fifty Shades of Grey, and she did so in a digital format long before the Kindle and the iPad allowed e-books to flourish.
"To put it less demurely: There were readers out there, lots of them, who didn't want to read about thick manroots. They wanted hard cocks. So that's what Ellora's Cave gave them. Easily and often."
Masha Tupitsyn interviewed by Keaton Ventura for Sex Magazine:
What sort of trouble? Mainly the reaction was, what is this? What are you doing? This isn’t a novel. This isn’t fiction. This isn’t straight criticism. It’s all mixed up. Or this criticism is too personal or too critical about the wrong things. But the minute I would call Beauty Talk nonfiction people would accept the terms that I using. So it was always about how I was categorizing that book. What I was calling it. That would determine how people would respond to the book and its ethos, which I always thought was absurd. If I called it nonfiction, if I called it essays, if I called it criticism, people accepted the book more. But if I said it was fiction, people would say, Well, this is not what fiction does. Fiction does this and criticism does this, and you have to keep these things separate and clear. But I am really not interested in keeping things separate. Not in my work and not in my life either. I’m interested in looking at them and putting them together because I think one of the problems with Western culture in general is that everything is reduced to binaries and categories because it keeps us from fundamentally being able to make valuable links. To connect the dots.[more inside]
Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire, an opinion piece by Michelle Goldberg at The Washington Post. Geek Feminism Wiki has a page on mitigating internet trollstorms, snippet: "This document intends to provide actionable guidance for people who are being attacked or who are concerned about being attacked in the future, and includes both information security, physical security, and self-care advice drawn from the experiences of the Geek Feminism community."
Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is this Supreme Court's liberal hero, but her work sits on the shoulders of Dr. Pauli Murray [more inside]
"It's not just that feminist ideas may be more accessible when packaged in a clever Internet meme. It's also that, for decades, opponents of the movement have painted feminists as unattractive, humorless, man-hating, lesbian militants. And we tend to find our feminist messengers more persuasive when they challenge these stereotypes." Can Feminist Ryan Gosling Really Make Men More Feminist? [more inside]
Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Mark Bernstein on recent editorial decisions at Wikipedia: "The infamous draft decision of Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) on Gamergate is worse than a crime. It’s a blunder that threatens to disgrace the internet." [more inside]
Pitchfork interviews Björk about the inspiration for and methods behind her newest album. Awesomeness ensues.
"For them it was an amazing feminist experience, but it didn’t last." Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti questions the attempt to turn "slut" into something positive:
Tanenbaum told me that, when women are in closed circle or close-knit community – like a protest with like-minded people, or among friends who understand the cheeky appropriation of the word – identifying as a “slut” can be empowering. But what inevitably happens, especially in today’s digital culture where revenge porn, stolen pictures and cyber harassment is the norm, is that “it always spills outwards.”[more inside]
"As Maggie Gyllenhaal put it in accepting an award for her performance in 'The Honorable Woman': 'What I see, actually, are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.'" The 'strong female character' is dead. All hail the complicated woman., by Alyssa Rosenberg for The Washington Post. [more inside]
"I want first to thank you, watching/reading you advocate is an inspiration. I hope to one day be as articulate and hard-working as you. If you're able, could you point me to some favorite writings on privilege/intersectionality/feminism? I'm interested to see what's inspired/informed you. Thank you!" Writer, feminist (and crafter) Ijeoma Oluo provides ten solid links to educational resources online (caveat: she does state, though, that these links barely scratch the surface.) [more inside]
From October 1950 to January 1952, the Mexican American miners at the Empire Zinc mine in Bayard, New Mexico were on strike, protesting the racial discrimination between them and their Anglo counterparts in pay, safety standards, and quality of life in company housing. Two events make this particular strike stand out from similar strikes at other mines are the involvement of the miners' wives in both requesting better living conditions and later in taking to the picket lines themselves, and after the strike was over, the feminist and pro-labor docudrama made by blacklisted Hollywood film makers, Salt of the Earth (YouTube; lower quality on Archive.org; Wikipedia). [more inside]
"From a seven-year-old who took on a supermarket to the girls who stood up to authority against violence, racism and inequality, these girls make the future look bright." Laura Bates looks back at a year of young feminist action in the Guardian piece, "2014: a year of brave, inspiring, young feminists". More feminism year-in-reviews below the fold. [more inside]
Top Feminist Hashtags of 2014, and the accompanying infographic; Time Magazine's overview of Feminism on social media (trigger warning for domestic abuse). An alternative view: The trouble with Twitter Feminism. Bonus link: Wikipedia entry on Networked Feminism and examples.
Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – [Trigger warning for this and all following links] by Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill):
The seminars, workshops, blogs, op-eds, research, policy papers, luncheons, and happy hour discussions are all valuable, and important, and they need to continue. But when the beer is drunk, and the pizza gone cold, and the printed articles relegated to the recycling bin, we are left with words: words written by us and about us, spoken in confidence, tossed like poisoned barbs in the comments sections, smoldering as craters in our in-boxes, pounding in our ears when we run it out at the gym.[more inside]
I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War, by Laurie Penny and her in-your-face feminism. [more inside]
We Hunted The Mammoth digs deep into the varied worlds of Mens Rights Activism to examine anti-feminism through such lenses as giant harassment machines, pro-life horror movies, MRA automation, Islamophobia, Metafilter's own Scott Adams, and flatulence. Trigger warning: every imaginable type of MRA language. Also, explaining the mammoth thing.
"I'm not sure whether it mattered. One young man very kindly said to me, 'You don’t understand, women are holier than men.' I said, 'That’s rubbish and it doesn't excuse the insult,' and then I added that I spent 13 years in yeshiva and there's nothing he could tell me that I haven't already heard. Then the original man, the one who refused to sit next to me, muttered to another man as he was walking away, 'She doesn't understand.' I said, 'I understand everything, and don't talk to me as if I'm not here.' He ignored me, and all the other men turned their backs and did not respond or even look at me." [Similar version at JewFem blog.]
GUTS is a new online feminist magazine. Topics from the first two issues include Canadian feminist documentary filmmaking; feminist strategies for commemorating gender-based violence; "postfeminist" parliamentary political discourse; Canadian novelist Sheila Heti's genre-bender on women's relationships, How Should A Person Be?; women's paid and unpaid labour; institutionalized gender inequality in organized sport; Indigenous women, decolonization, and institutionalized racism. There's also a blog.
"What a bizarre day. I'm sitting here watching my email fill up with message after message from people from so many different times and places of my life, all congratulating me for the astonishing good fortune of receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. Not to mention a flurry of texts and tweets, and I haven't had the energy to even look at Facebook." Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist Alison Bechdel (previously on MetaFilter: 1, 2, 3, 4) has won the prestigious MacArthur Genuis grant, giving her the opportunity to dig into her archives for a previous comic she drew in 2004 to conclude her reaction blog post. [more inside]
Perils of The Lady Gamer. – a New Graphical Diversion by webcomic artist and writer Shaenon K. Garrity (previously). [more inside]
The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it.[more inside]
“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
"One of the most exhilarating cinematic works of the Czechoslovak New Wave is Vera Chytilová's 1966 film, Daisies, the story of two young women who declare the world is spoiled and rotten, and so make a pact that they will be too." -- Katarina Soukup, "Banquet of Profanities." "In a 1966 interview, Chytilová described Daisies as a 'philosophical documentary in the form of a farce,' a 'bizarre comedy with strands of satire and sarcasm.'" -- Bliss Cua Lim, "Dolls in Fragments." [more inside]
Big Game Theory! Board games that tell stories. The Bored Gaymer. A girl likes games. HiveGod's Yell Matrix. QWERTYUIOP. 365 Days of Gaming. Those are a few of the most favorited current blogs on BoardGameGeek, and these are a few of their most favorited posts. [more inside]
Trekkie Feminist. Feminist fans of Star Trek take a look at what Star Trek gets wrong (and gets right) about gender issues, with individual episode reviews and series Bechdel test results.
35 Practical Tools for Men to Further Feminist Revolution: "This list entails suggestions for some practical tools all men can apply in their day-to-day lives to foster equality in their relationships with women, and to contribute to a culture where women feel less burdened, unsafe, and disrespected." [more inside]
The problem with false feminism: "My friends have asked for it and I feel like the internet needs it, so I’m going to go through, point-by-point and in no particular order, the top handful of reasons people have given for thinking Frozen is a feminist triumph, and I’m going to debunk them all." [more inside]
Safe for work unless there are concerns about the word merkin: Nadia Kamil's Feminist Burlesque (single link video)
ROSLER, Martha: Martha Rosler Reads Vogue (1983) and Born to be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads The Strange Case of Baby S/M (1988) are accessible works of video art created by Martha Rosler in association with Paper Tiger Television to illustrate basic issues in feminist thought. Rosler is also well-known for her video performance piece, Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), which continues to inspire new work. Her Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained (1977) has a similar take on the measurement of a woman's body. KREISINGER, Elisa: Pop Culture Pirate is the home of remix artist Elisa Kreisinger's feminist utopian works, including videos related to Mad Men: Set Me Free (2012); Don Loves Roger (2012); and The Evolution of Peggy Olson (2013). But also Queer Housewives of NYC (2009): One & Two. Queer Carrie (2009-2010): One, Two, & Three. The Real Feminists of Beverly Hills (2011). The Real House Husbands of New Jersey (2012). Ann Romney Loves Women (Remix) (2012). And For Your Consideration: Oscars 2011 (2012). That's two ... [more inside]
The project centers on nine women in the feminist lesbian porn industry who are recorded for a 24-hour period, with 10-second blips of their everyday lives playing out in five-minute intervals. What’s revealed is an intimate portrait of a marginalized community opening up about sex, gender politics, depression, and their daily grind in a way that’s downright real.
'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.
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.
The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
Gerda Lerner: "In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist. I asked myself how this checked against my own life experience. ‘This is garbage; this is not the world in which I have lived,’ I said."
Feminist historian Gerda Lerner has passed away at 92. An original member of the National Organization for Women, Lerner was a pioneer in the field of women's history, teaching what is thought to be the first women’s history course in the world and later establishing the first women's history graduate program in the United States. She led a fascinating life. [more inside]
Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
"Reading comments on any article about pantyhose, you’d think we were talking about the Gaza strip, not flimsy tubes of nylon. Trends come and go... But there’s something about pantyhose that’s oddly divisive." Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on The Beheld with Hosed: Conservatism and the Return of Pantyhose. [more inside]
"Older parenthood will upend American society." "Is waiting to have kids a big mistake?" "Why do women believe they can delay children for so long?" "Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age."
"It’s really simple. I just want as many guys as possible who have an opinion about how they see women treated in culture whether it’s an observation about the news or speaking up about how they feel when their wife comes home and tells him about an instance of gender discrimination." - Comedian Jen Kirkman on why she started MA'AM: Men Against Assholes & Misogyny.
Ariel Meadow Stallings (creator of Offbeat Mama and Offbeat Bride) on liberal bullying: "...what's the biggest challenge we deal with every day? The challenge that has my editors second-guessing every post and quaking in fear, just waiting for the awfulness to begin? It's attacks from our fellow progressives... Increasingly, I've started recognizing this kind of behavior for what it is: privilege-checking as a form of internet sport. It's a kind of trolling, with all the politics I agree with, but motivations and execution that turns my stomach. It's well-intended (SO well-intended), but when the motivations seem to be less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don't agree with you… well, I'm not on-board." [more inside]
Does Facebook Hate All Women—or just Feminists? An article looking at how Facebook's content standards appear to be unevenly applied in a way that ends up suppressing Feminist content.
In 1972, an early version of best-selling novelist Lois Gould's X: A Fabulous Children's Story was published in Ms. Magazine as part of its monthly "Stories for Free Children" feature. In 1978 it was expanded and turned into a wildly delightful children's book with a distinctive illustration style, critiquing gender expectations in infancy and childhood. The New York Times, for which she wrote, has more about her in her obituary, while Google Preview has some history on the publication of X, now in print only as part of the 2008 anthology Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature.
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