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The Problem With Labeling Women 'Crazy'

"Labeling women as 'crazy' is a way of controlling them...[a] quick and easy shut-down to any discussion. Once the 'crazy' card has been pulled out, women are now put on the defensive: The onus is no longer on the man to address her concerns or her issue; it's on her to justify her behavior, to prove that she is not, in fact, crazy or irrational."
posted by rcraniac on Nov 15, 2013 - 138 comments

On "Survivor" and Sexism

Does the long-running reality TV program Survivor have a sexism problem? A few weeks back (Mefi's Own) Linda Holmes published "The Tribe Has Broken: How Sexism is Silently Killing 'Survivor'" in response to a controversial episode where a male contestant was soundly ridiculed by host Jeff Probst for following a suggestion made by his wife ("Does she tell you what to do all the time?"), while a female contestant who followed a much more direct command from her husband did not receive similar teasing. Over the weekend, Holmes joined former Survivor contestants Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach on Cesternino's Robhasapodcast show for a lively discussion of this topic (runs just over an hour).
posted by The Gooch on Nov 6, 2013 - 90 comments

Stalwart And Steady And True

The anti-Communist Captain America was ret-conned into being a crazed history graduate student named William Burnside who had himself surgically altered and then dosed with a flawed version of the Super-Serum, which drove him insane to the point where he saw communist sympathizers everywhere. The subtext isn’t particularly thick here: the “Commie-Smasher” was a paranoid wannabe, whereas the real Captain America is the “living legend of WWII” waiting in suspended animation during the Second Red Scare, who emerges back onto the scene with the arrival of the New Frontier and the Great Society. - Why Captain America Is the Progressive-Era Superhero We Need.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 1, 2013 - 80 comments

The Great British Row Off

"The criticism ranged from the gently cynical to the downright obnoxious, but as the series went on I noticed an increasing degree of personal vitriol and misogyny. We (female) finalists are supposedly too meek, too confident, too thin, too domestic, too smiley, too taciturn … If I see one more person used the hackneyed "dough-eyed" pun I will personally go to their house and force-feed them an entire Charlotte Royale." -- Great British Bake Off runner up Ruby Tandoh speaks out against the sexist criticism aimed at the show's female contestants by people like tv chef Raymond Blanc. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 26, 2013 - 68 comments

Violence against women—it's a men's issue: Jackson Katz at TEDxFiDiWomen

Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities. An author, filmmaker, educator and social theorist, Katz has worked in gender violence prevention work with diverse groups of men and boys in sports culture and the military, and has pioneered work in critical media literacy. Katz is the creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which advocates the 'bystander approach' to sexual and domestic violence prevention. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 19, 2013 - 31 comments

"Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?"

When DNLee was approached to write blog posts for Biology Online, she quite reasonably asked about the terms of the agreement. When she turned them down, their response was...somewhat less than reasonable. And when DNLee posted to her blog about it, Scientific American – who hosts her blog as part of their science blog network – responded in perhaps the most tone-deaf manner possible. [more inside]
posted by freelanceastro on Oct 12, 2013 - 195 comments

It’s a double-bind: consume, but look like you don’t

Don Jon and the Digital Porn Dystopia [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 8, 2013 - 58 comments

Don't Be That Dude

Don't Be That Dude: Handy Tips for the Male Academic.
posted by goatdog on Sep 30, 2013 - 105 comments

Same Shit, Different Band

Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry: 'I will not accept online misogyny' "Being part of a band born on the internet means a daily sift through a barrage of sexually explicit abuse. Why are female musicians expected to put up with this?" [more inside]
posted by SansPoint on Sep 30, 2013 - 102 comments

Baa baa black sheep / have you any wool / yes sir yes sir / kill all men

Misandrist Lullabies.
posted by mightygodking on Sep 24, 2013 - 289 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

It's not weird for girls to play videogames!

Elizabeth Simins is an illustrator and a gamer. The latter wasn't always easy, though, which she illustrates in a four-part comic on growing up as a girl gamer.
posted by gilrain on Sep 16, 2013 - 77 comments

He's not an officer, so I let him open the door, right?

The National Archives' Media Matters blog recently highlighted several newly digitized military etiquette training films from the late 60s and early 70s. These included a series of three films aimed at the difficult intersection of military service and gender dynamics for the members of the Women's Army Corps: The Pleasure of Your Company (background post), Mind Your Military Manners, and Look Like a Winner (background post). Bonus film for the guys: How to Succeed with Brunettes.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 11, 2013 - 7 comments

Visual Basic? Seriously.

To my daughter's high school programming teacher: "I spent 16 years raising a daughter who had all the tools and encouragement she needed to explore computer programming as a career. In one short semester, you and her classmates undid all of my years of encouragement."
posted by Mezentian on Sep 10, 2013 - 303 comments

I thought "gender inclusivity" meant more apps about boobies?

TechCrunch Disrupt Kicks Off with "Titstare" App and Fake Masturbation [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Sep 9, 2013 - 219 comments

Super PAX Man

Penny Arcade and the Slow Murder of Satire. Also: Why I’m Never Going Back to Penny Arcade Expo.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2013 - 337 comments

I am an intruder; I am a stranger; I am a woman in public spaces

"My desire for experience, for openness, for adventure, had been overpowered by a stronger imperative, one I had internalized without realizing it: Don’t get yourself raped." Travel writer Tara Burton writes about her different opportunities and experiences, and the changed values they have brought her.
posted by corb on Aug 29, 2013 - 139 comments

"there is no neutrality when bigotry is the status quo"

"So lately I haven’t talked about how infuriating it’s been to be told I was “asking for it” — “it” being Mr. Beale’s racist, sexist abuse and that of his commentariat. (What was I wearing? My skin.) I’ve watched ostensibly reasonable people ask whether it’s racist to call an entire group of people savages — no, really — and I haven’t talked about how nauseating that was. I’ve seen fellow SFWA members suggest that there must be room in the organization for white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry — because of course some members’ right to be assholes should trump all members’ right to operate in professional spaces free of harassment, intimidation, and abuse." -- Fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin comments on the recent sexism/racism crisis in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and her own role in the controversy. (previously). [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 17, 2013 - 88 comments

Lucy Kellaway's 'History of Office Life'

A series of BBC News Magazine articles on the office as workplace: (i) How the office was invented; (ii) The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment (previously); (iii) The invention of the career ladder; (iv) The arrival of women in the office; (v) Do we still need the telephone?; (vi) Are there too many managers?; (vii) The era of the sexually charged office; (viii) The decline of privacy in open-plan offices; (ix) How the computer changed the office forever and (x) Why did offices become like the home?—by columnist Lucy Kellaway. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2013 - 22 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

We saw your boobs

"The high street is becoming a no-go area for kids, which is really unfair. Why shouldn't they be able to go into a supermarket, or a newsagent? The people who make the displays aren't thinking about it from a child's point of view. I don't think David Cameron goes to a supermarket with his kids very much." Following the No More Page 3 campaign and a backlash against lads mags, the Guardian asks readers to send in and comment on sexualised images of women on the high street. But is this just another form of censorship, hypocrisy, or even sexual repression?
posted by mippy on Jul 19, 2013 - 215 comments

Simply Irresistible?

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that it is legal to fire someone for being too attractive. An Iowa dentist fired his assistant because his (unreciprocated) feelings of attraction to her might have tempted him to try to start an extramarital affair. The Iowa Supreme Court, an all-male body, determined that it was not a case of sex discrimination because it was based on feelings rather than gender. Many disagree, seeing it as a clear case of cultural, institutional, and even religious sexism (the firing was advised and encouraged by the dentist's pastor.)
posted by kyrademon on Jul 18, 2013 - 266 comments

The summer sexism was called out?

There have been some high profile examples of sexism in the UK media this summer. Are we seeing a groundswell of strong female voices calling out sexism? Big Brother has in the past caused the UK media to focus on uncomfortable issues such as bullying and racism. Following the removal of a housemate for aggressive behaviour towards a fellow female housemate, how will the conversation continue this summer? [more inside]
posted by Ness on Jul 16, 2013 - 19 comments

Changing the Creepy Guy Narrative

How being a writer helped me rewrite a sexist trope...for real. Submitted for your approval: a writer (Chris Brecheen) uses his narrative skills to turn the tables on an everyday creeper.
posted by ShutterBun on Jul 13, 2013 - 166 comments

"Games are a special medium, completely separate from our wider culture"

There's no sexism in gaming: "Furthermore, reasonable people would see that asking to put male soldiers in the Call of Duty series is simply not do-able. Since the age of the Amazon, women have waged wars, because they have a higher pain threshold than males and have more stamina in every area of war. Who would take a male Battlefield seriously? Including men would simply cloud the matter; when crawling through tunnels, as is often necessary in war, our eyes would fall on the male backside - from then on women would be irreparably compromised."
posted by Phire on Jul 9, 2013 - 148 comments

Penny Arcade and its Krahulik problem

No stranger to controversy, Mike Krahulik, gabe of Penny Arcade, has found himself embroiled in yet another debacle over a series of transphobic tweets he's made, coming right off the heels of public criticism and outrage over an apparently racist/misogynistic panel that was to be held at the upcoming PAX Aus convention. Citing this and past controversies, The Fullbright Company, the indie developer of "Gone Home", has pulled out of PAX's coveted Indie Megabooth. gabe has issued a pair of apologies for his tweets, swearing off ever talking about topics other than comics or video games again. [Previously]
posted by yeoz on Jun 21, 2013 - 481 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

Despite what memes keep telling us, reading is not sexy

These images of cisgendered, scantily-clad females reclining salaciously with books with quotes touting ownership do very little to promote reading and much more to bolster sexism and classism.
posted by josher71 on Jun 10, 2013 - 189 comments

Answering Harvard’s question about my personal life, 52 years later

"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]
posted by DarlingBri on Jun 8, 2013 - 54 comments

"There was never a call for suppression. There was a call for respect."

"So. I get it. The world used to agree with you. You used to be able to say things like, “I really like those lady writers in this industry, especially in swimsuits!” and your fellow writers, editors, agents, and other assorted colleagues would all wink and grin and agree with you, and Asimov would go around pinching women’s asses, and it was so cool!" -- Kameron Hurley is not amused by the ongoing sexism problems in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America or the idea that criticism of this is censorship. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 4, 2013 - 285 comments

Bruised and Blattered: How Fifa's great survivor has stayed on top

"On Sunday, Joseph S Blatter attended a ceremony on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to celebrate the renaming of the country's FA headquarters in his honour. The Fifa president would perhaps say it was a fitting tribute, given his promotion of African football and the amount of "development" money poured into the continent over recent decades. His critics would say it was typical of his egomania and note the importance of African votes in keeping him atop world football for 15 years." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on May 30, 2013 - 9 comments

The Hawkeye Initiative

A female data scientist working on HAWKEN (a videogame) takes issue with the poster of a scantily clad comic character her CEO displays on his wall, and while he is away, replaces it with something else... [more inside]
posted by xdvesper on May 15, 2013 - 164 comments

Disney Rejection Letter, 1938

Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.
posted by latkes on Apr 26, 2013 - 55 comments

There's Amazonian and Then There's...

Video game character design is frequently questionable, but some designers don't like being questioned. Penny Arcade imagines equal opportunity questionability, while their reporter Ben Kuchera examines the broader issue.
posted by gilrain on Apr 24, 2013 - 177 comments

Grimes is not your waif

"I don't want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living" - Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, has apparently canceled her 2013 tour via Tumblr. (previously)
posted by mrgrimm on Apr 24, 2013 - 222 comments

"Sexism is over!"

An Orange Prize nominee speaks out about her experience as a woman in literature: weakened titles, pink covers, snubbed for reviews. [more inside]
posted by Andrhia on Apr 10, 2013 - 62 comments

U.S. Customs and Patriarchal Protection

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]
posted by jaduncan on Apr 6, 2013 - 203 comments

In defence of Page 3

"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."
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 24, 2013 - 68 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

Furore over sexism being called out at PyCon

Developer evangelist Adria Richards snaps a photo of two men at the recent PyCon whom she overheard making quips about "big dongles". PyCon responds, following which one of the men is fired. Adria justifies the callout as a step towards securing the future of programming for women. Full discussion at Hacker News.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Mar 20, 2013 - 1449 comments

Bright Futures

Steubenville and the misplaced sympathy for Jane Doe's rapists
posted by Artw on Mar 18, 2013 - 374 comments

Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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).
posted by rmd1023 on Mar 7, 2013 - 173 comments

Fourth Wave?

'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]
posted by eviemath on Feb 26, 2013 - 19 comments

“We Saw Your Boobs.”

“We Saw Your Boobs.” The Academy is supposedly a trade group, and yet it devoted its opening number to degrading a good part of its membership. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Feb 25, 2013 - 824 comments

Another Day, Another Press Conference Without Women

Another Day, Another Press Conference. Yesterday's Playstation 4 announcement was perhaps most notable in what it didn't include: any female presenters. Also discussed by Kotaku and The Verge. (The Verge also notes similar trends in press events from Nintendo, EA, HTC, and Apple.)
posted by kmz on Feb 21, 2013 - 86 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

A woman walks in to a comic book shop

HaterfreeWednesdays, a new tumblr to help comics fans find shops that are friendly to those of us who aren't straight white guys. [more inside]
posted by dinty_moore on Feb 9, 2013 - 23 comments

The Distress of the Privileged

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.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jan 18, 2013 - 49 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

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