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There is no such thing as concrete, binary "biological sex."

Secular trans feminist Zinnia Jones debunks the myth of biological sex and the inaccurate ways the concept has been used to invalidate trans people.

Mey from Autostraddle explains why it’s time for people to stop using the social construct of “biological sex” to defend their transmisogyny.

Inter/act explains that intersex people, despite having disorders of sex development (DSDs) that contribute to what doctors define as a "biological sex other than male or female," may identify as male, female, or somewhere else on the gender spectrum. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jul 11, 2014 - 96 comments

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn "Stop interrupting me." "I just said that." "No explanation needed." [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jul 6, 2014 - 72 comments

stop street harassment!

A study (pdf) released by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment shows that 65% of American women have experienced some form of street harassment – 41% of women were subject to physically aggressive harassment in public like being flashed or fondled. Men also report being harassed (and men who identified as LGBT were much more likely to be harassed than heterosexual men). No matter who was being harassed, men were most likely to be the harassers.
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 4, 2014 - 156 comments

17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex

Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 28, 2014 - 120 comments

Female Pain

Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain. "The pain of women turns them into kittens and rabbits and sunsets and sordid red satin goddesses, pales them and bloodies them and starves them, delivers them to death camps and sends locks of their hair to the stars. Men put them on trains and under them. Violence turns them celestial. Age turns them old. We can’t look away. We can’t stop imagining new ways for them to hurt." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 14, 2014 - 62 comments

A day late and 23 cents short.

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day. President Obama signed an Executive Order to prevent discrimination and address the gender pay gap. According to The National Women's Law Center, "In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, a woman was typically paid 59 cents for every dollar paid to her male counterpart — a 41-cent wage gap. In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, women working full time, year round were typically paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. Although women have narrowed the gap by 18 cents over the past five decades, the wage gap today stands at 23 cents." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Apr 9, 2014 - 92 comments

O Woman's Day

Talking gender to Africa
International donors have sought to improve the social, political and economic position of women in Africa through an approach known as “gender”. This donor-driven strategy is failing. The jargon of gender programmes is ambiguous and easily misunderstood. It fosters inaction and lip service on the part of patriarchal African governments and civil servants. Gender has become the preserve of the educated elite. The voices of African women have been lost.
[more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 8, 2014 - 6 comments

Female portrayal in video games

QCF Design talks about making their game Desktop Dungeons more gender neutral. [more inside]
posted by arcolz on Mar 4, 2014 - 27 comments

Model View Culture

Model View Culture is a new online publication that concerns itself with technology, culture and diversity. [more inside]
posted by tempythethird on Jan 14, 2014 - 2 comments

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy

"Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else."
posted by Jacqueline on Dec 29, 2013 - 90 comments

"James Tiptree, Jr.: two decades of new wave science fiction (1968-88)

"We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words. And if we want all those things at once — a sense of escape, a sense of injustice, a sense of mortality and an ear for language — we can read the stories of James Tiptree, Jr.," the reclusive, award-winning author whose vague biography started out in the Congo, routed through a period as a painter, then service as a photo intelligence officer in WWII, and finally a researcher and teacher of "soft" sciences before getting to writing science fiction. There was another facet that was only guessed at by some, dismissed by others: the fact that "Uncle Tip," and his reclusive friend, the former school teacher Racoona Sheldon, were the same person. And they were Alice Bradley Sheldon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 20, 2013 - 31 comments

Across Europe, a Growing Sense That Legalized Prostitution Isn't Working

Don't believe France's reputation as a country where sexual peccadillos are always overlooked. After a vote by the country's National Assembly on Wednesday, it has just joined a growing group of European nations where buying sex is now illegal. France is not alone in its fresh efforts to curb prostitution. The move follows similar bans in Sweden and Norway, while other European countries are also scaling back laissez-faire prostitution policies. Germany is poised to change its liberal sex trade laws, while Ireland is also debating a measure similar to France's. Is the end of legal prostitution in Europe in sight?
(Don't miss the deep and interesting links found within the article.)
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 8, 2013 - 87 comments

Where My Ladies At?

Recently Emily Graslie, of the fantastic natural history tumblr and youtube series TheBrainScoop, was asked a question about whether she had personally experienced sexism in her field. Her response is fucking amazing.
Inside is her goldmine of awesome female science educators online with channels that focus on Science Technology Engineering and Math. My work day is fucked.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 6, 2013 - 37 comments

The 'Gods of Food' Club (No Goddesses Allowed!)

Last week, Time magazine put out a feature on the Gods of Food, a series of articles on 60-some-odd empire-building chefs who the magazine thinks are influencing and leading cuisine today. Beyond the statistical problems with the article ... some folks had the temerity to point out that this culinary Mount Olympus was basically a bunch of white dudes. Actually it was all dudes, not a single woman deified. Eater's interview with Time's food editor Howard Chua-Eoan about the story. Amanda Cohen's scathing takedown of the clusterfuck. The New York Times' Room for Debate feature asking leading female chefs about underrepresented women in food media. Eater's latest piece on the question of gender bias in food journalism. [via]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 15, 2013 - 61 comments

"Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits"

After several years out of the mainstream music scene Lily Allen returned last week covering Keane's "Somewhere only we know" in this year's John Lewis Christmas TV ad. However, today Lily released her latest video which is ... somewhat different in tone and nature. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 12, 2013 - 103 comments

The Problem with Warrior Princesses

Jennifer Sky, a former model/actress, recently published a NYT op-ed about her recurring role as Amarice in Xena: Warrior Princess, stating, "Gender was not relevant in the Xenaverse." Her perspective has been met with some contention.
posted by rcraniac on Sep 21, 2013 - 57 comments

How to Design a City for Women

In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city's ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. "Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes," says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. "But the women couldn't stop writing."
posted by cthuljew on Sep 21, 2013 - 38 comments

Peach can change her emotions at will

Anita Sarkeesian has released the 3rd video in her Tropes vs Women in Games series, focusing on gender-reversals on the Damsel in Distress formula.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Aug 1, 2013 - 120 comments

Manchester man arrested after tweeting rape threats

A 21 year old man was arrested for tweeting rape threats. The target of the tweets, Caroline Criado-Perez, had successfully campaigned to have a woman (Jane Austen) shown on the UK's new 10 pound note, and has been subsequently receiving incessant rape and death threats via twitter, a violation of UK law. Twitter's Terms of Service are being repeatedly and flagrantly violated in this episode, and the company appears to be having issues responding to a backlog of reports; it responded to Criado-Perez only that she take the matter to the police. This resulted in shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper asking Twitter to review its policies for handling abuse complaints. [more inside]
posted by vira on Jul 28, 2013 - 128 comments

"How about you just decide how not to *repel* the women?"

David Gaider, senior writer at Bioware, delivers a talk on sex, sexuality, and sexism in video games and the gaming industry at the 2013 Game Developers Conference. (single-link 49-minute video)
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jun 20, 2013 - 87 comments

Back when a textile factory worker had the right stuff

Fifty years ago today, Valentina Tereshkova became the first textile factory worker, first civilian and of course first woman in space. She completed 48 orbits, in the process amassing more space time than any of the American astronauts had logged. It would be almost twenty years before a second female astronaut got into space, slightly more than that for the first American woman. In total, fiftyseven women have flown into space, or roughly ten percent of the total number of astronauts.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 16, 2013 - 14 comments

Coverflip

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.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 6, 2013 - 29 comments

Women, they're just like us!

Women enjoy video games, to the astonishment of local TV newsreaders. Women enjoy science, to the astonishment of Facebook users.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 21, 2013 - 48 comments

How African Feminism Changed the World

'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.
posted by infini on Mar 18, 2013 - 21 comments

How science fiction/fantasy blogs cover female writers

"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.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 16, 2013 - 20 comments

Why Gender Equality Stalled

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]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 21, 2013 - 25 comments

The Everyday Sexism Project

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]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2013 - 200 comments

The Reconstructionists

"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."
posted by cheerwine on Jan 20, 2013 - 8 comments

Freedom from....

The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 16, 2013 - 260 comments

Writing About Games

As the conversation about the state of games criticism continues, there is a site that acts as a platform for some of the best writing in the field by theorists, critics, and independent developers: Nightmare Mode dot net. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 9, 2012 - 11 comments

Why are men so emotional?

"I wish to dispel the notion that women are “more emotional.” I don’t think we are. I think that the emotions women stereotypically express are what men call “emotions,” and the emotions that men typically express are somehow considered by men to be something else." Jen Dziura in The Gloss: "When men are too emotional to have a rational argument."
posted by escabeche on Nov 18, 2012 - 85 comments

Jenn Frank: "I was one of the guys. I was always one of the guys."

I Was A Teenage Sexist - "Girls – the ones we think of as “cool” – don’t trust other women, women who play by gender “rules” that the rest of us cannot quite understand. The most important things those women can seemingly do are spend money on clothes and appeal to the opposite sex. Meanwhile, we ourselves don’t feel particularly female. We only feel like people. It’s a tough fall. People intuitively detect that attitude, go out of their way to remind you that you’re not fooling anybody. You are a woman, and you will only ever be a woman." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 18, 2012 - 83 comments

Liberate Little Ears!

On the 40th anniversary of the release of "Free To Be... You and Me," a three-part piece in Slate examines the genesis and impact of this influential album and its accompanying TV special.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 22, 2012 - 56 comments

Take that, Caitlin Flanagan

Focusing on career -- how hookup culture empowers women
posted by msalt on Sep 9, 2012 - 51 comments

Facts Didn't Get In Their Way

Rebecca Solnit explains The Problem With Men Explaining Things. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells on Aug 21, 2012 - 687 comments

The Man Box

They avoid the treacherous edges, they navigate the contradictions as best they can, they do everything they’re supposed to to stay inside the box. And what’s the prize? Noah Brand and Ozy Frantz on the "man box".
posted by Evernix on Aug 15, 2012 - 62 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

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

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

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

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

"We get a very clear and detailed shot of her butt in black latex before we ever see what her face looks like."

The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their 'Liberated Sexuality'
posted by desjardins on Sep 22, 2011 - 231 comments

What It's Like To Get A Breast Reduction

A young woman writes about her breast reduction.
posted by reenum on May 18, 2011 - 99 comments

With one voice

Mariella Frostrup on International Women's Day, feminism and the emancipation of women in the developing world.
posted by Artw on Mar 6, 2011 - 10 comments

And the battle of the sexes continues...

Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life. Remember this thread from last weekend? Here is another interesting take on the dynamics of modern heterosexual relationships.
posted by fernabelle on Feb 25, 2011 - 138 comments

What makes a chef great?

Why Are There No Great Women Chefs? In 2007 Michelin awarded French chef Anne-Sophie Pic three stars, making her only the fourth woman in her country’s history to receive that honor (fifty years had passed since the last of her sex had garnered that third sparkler).2 The following year, in the United Kingdom, it was considered breaking news when ten female chefs won any Michelin stars at all...[For] the 2009 James Beard Awards gala... “Women in Food” was the chosen motif, but since only sixteen of the evening’s ninety-six nominees were, in fact, women, it seemed like a cruel joke. In the end, only two of those sixteen went home victorious, out of nineteen winners total...[I]n Bravo tv’s Top Chef Masters competition, a paltry three out of twenty-four American “Masters” were women. [via 3 Quarks Daily]
posted by caddis on Dec 6, 2010 - 131 comments

Girl Hitler, Yoko Ono and an Honorary Jewish Mother walk into a bar...

Writing a work of fiction? Want to know if the female character in it is a strong one? There's a flowchart for that. (more info) Though you'll want to go through the flowchart at least twice if you want any hope of passing The Bechdel Test (bonus link)
posted by 256 on Oct 12, 2010 - 109 comments

Better than the Borg Queen

A gynoid is a humanoid robot designed to look like a human female, as compared to an android modeled after a male. NSFW; includes Photoshop work of famous female faces on robot bodies. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Aug 28, 2010 - 90 comments

You’ll be pleased to note, it also makes it easier for you to dust.

My Fault, I'm Female [more inside]
posted by lunasol on Jul 19, 2010 - 712 comments

"Really? Are you sure? Because that's awfully ... sweet."

—it takes some work for me to be convinced that men have the short end of the stick in this system that has set up masculinity to be superior. But I know there's something wrong with masculinity, and I know it's hard to express one's self as masculine without falling into the many, many harmful trappings of the limitations of a masculine gender, because I'm butch. A Manifesto for Radical Masculinity. [more inside]
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 on May 7, 2010 - 72 comments

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