Tucking his shapely legs underneath his curvaceous body in the dimly lit booth, Chris Hemsworth looks longingly at the bread basket the waiter places on the table in front of us. “Screw it — I could die tomorrow, right?” He smiles charmingly at me as he grabs a crisp roll and wraps his mouth around it, not even caring who’s watching. He closes his eyes and moans, savoring the carb-loaded moment like it could be his last. “If I die, bury me in a bread casket,” he says, displaying the kind of outrageous humor that doesn’t quite match his angelic looks.
It's possible you don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe you're a moderate drinker who baby-sips two glasses of wine and leaves every party at a reasonable hour. Maybe you are one of those lucky people who can slurp your whisky all afternoon and never disappear. But if you're like me, you know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.An excerpt from Sarah Hepola's new memoir: "Everyone has blackouts, don't they?" [more inside]
After seeing a young friend struggle with body image and depression, Florida-based photographer Natalie McCain was inspired to start the Honest Body Project, a series of portraits of mothers showing their beauty and imperfections to their children, paired with their stories in their own words. “My goal with this project is to help mothers everywhere learn to love their bodies and wear them proudly in front of their daughters,” McCain says. “Stop calling yourself fat. Stop shying away from being in photos. Stop body-shaming. Learn to love your body, and in turn, set a good example and start conversations with your children about how women really look.” A small number of images may be NSFW or triggering. Further details within. [more inside]
"[W]hat moves me [about women's soccer] is not a beautiful pass, or a bad refereeing call, or even the players’ backstories. What moves me is the players’ faces, and watching women want. ... And we need to see this, because when you’re in the act of wanting something badly enough, there isn’t room for self-consciousness. How you look, your stance, your hair, your makeup, whether you appear pretty, your sex appeal: all of these things that coalesce in my brain, and maybe yours, to form a hum so low and so constant that I take it as a state of being—and when you want, they disappear. When you want, the want goes to the fore. The you can take a backseat."
The Grass Ceiling: How to Conquer Inequality in Women's Soccer [Atlantic link] An attorney who helped players file a gender-discrimination lawsuit over artificial turf in the World Cup proposes a way forward for the sport. [more inside]
A photo feature on five Mauritanian women, now freed from contemporary slavery. Slavery in Mauritania has been called a major human rights issue, with roughly 4% (155,600 people) of the country's population – proportionally the highest for any country – being enslaved against their will. 
Magic: the Gathering is a fantastic strategy trading card game, currently in it's 22nd year and more popular than ever. But as it becomes more mainstream, an ugly issue is coming to light: there just aren't many women players. The official company line is that 38% of players are female, although that number is not represented in high level play. Gaby Spartz's article 6 Things You Can do to Get More Women Into Magic puts the percentage of women in tournament play closer to 1-2% of the field. Spartz's article, as well as her followup 7 Counterpoints to My Women in Magic Article, has sparked a debate that has raged over the past few months. [more inside]
New research into the pain processing of mice has found male and female mice process pain differently, and the discovery may also apply to other species, including humans. Scientists are now questioning what this means for the future of medical research, which until now, has had a strong bias towards experimenting on male mice. [more inside]
On the heels of their recent discussion of "Aliens" in their Movie of the Week series, the folks at the Dissolve have put together an impressive list inspired by the last survivor of the Nostromo: "The 50 Most Daring Film Roles For Women Since Ripley"
Rape on the Night Shift: Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. On Tuesday, a PBS Frontline/Reveal investigation explored ways sexual violence against janitors is going unreported and unpunished. All content is SFW, but some may find descriptions in the links in this post disturbing. [more inside]
Here's what happens when a man eats nothing but food made for women. When I began my exploration of gendered food items, I was hoping for a dramatic payoff.... Instead, I got a pile of cardboard packaging and confirmation of my thesis: marketing something as “for women” -- the pinks and purples, the low-calorie labels, the suggestions that life is just sooooo crazy and women need to take a break with a thumbnail-sized brownie -- is the dumbest gimmick in food marketing.
23 Games from E3 2015 with Badass Playable Female Characters - Sam Maggs for The Mary Sue
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has announced that a woman will be joining Alexander Hamilton on the US $10 bill in 2020. [more inside]
An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath" Project features short videos of people from all walks of life slowly stripping down to their underwear, while giving revealing interviews intended to show that 'style is not the clothes one wears, but spirit, and comfort in one's skin.' Topics covered are as diverse as their subjects, and include beauty, fashion, disability, diseases and chronic conditions including albinism and cancer, career, gender, identity, body image/dysmorphia, abuse, miscarriage, etc. The majority of the subjects are women. Some videos may be NSFW. (Via)
New U.S. government research indicates that female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women and at rates nearly equal to that of male veterans -- a finding that surprised researchers because women are generally are far less likely than men to commit suicide. The findings raise questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the United States' armed forces. [more inside]
"So last week, when country radio promoter Keith Hill controversially suggested that stations should stop playing songs by female artists, it’s easy to label his actions another example of misogynistic, conservative politics.The Conversation's Clifford Murphy, on why [country radio promoter] Keith Hill’s comments about women in country music cut far deeper than misogyny [more inside]
However, Hill’s comments are actually indicative of something much bigger and far more troubling: the consolidation of an entire genre of music, and the type of environment this can create. In the case of country, it’s allowed for the repurposing of the genre’s history, and the exclusion of certain individuals."
Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index covers journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages. [some pages may contain medieval nudity] [more inside]
This Is What It’s Like To Get Fit For A Bra At Six Different Stores: Kristin Chirico goes on a bra crawl. (SLBuzzFeed, lots of bra photos) [more inside]
IN 1969, WE PUT A MAN ON THE MOON. IN 1982, WE INVENTED THE INTERNET. IN 1998, WE DISCOVERED THE FULL ANATOMY OF THE CLITORIS.
For those at the top, James Brown’s observation that it is a man’s, man’s, man’s world still holds true. Some 95% of Fortune 500 CEOs are male, as are 98% of the self-made billionaires on the Forbes rich list and 93% of the world’s heads of government. In popular films fewer than a third of the characters who speak are women, and more than three-quarters of the protagonists are men. Yet the fact that the highest rungs have male feet all over them is scant comfort for the men at the bottom.
The myth of the pregnant mother who is high on hormones has had considerable staying power. Something sentimental in us likes the notion that the physical discomfort of pregnancy is outweighed by the thrill of nurturing a new life within your own body...We have not acknowledged how appropriately anxiety-ridden pregnancy is, how traumatic the change in identity that accompanies prospective motherhood can be. (slnyt) [more inside]
"The record store, the guitar shop, and now social media: when it comes to popular music, these places become stages for the display of male prowess. Female expertise, when it appears, is repeatedly dismissed as fraudulent. Every woman who has ever ventured an opinion on popular music could give you some variation (or a hundred) on my school corridor run-in, and becoming a recognized 'expert' (a musician, a critic) will not save you from accusations of fakery." The World Needs Female Rock Critics, by Anwen Crawford for the New Yorker. Discussed in the piece is Jessica Hopper's new collection of essays, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, which has been greeted with glowing praise. Here's an interview she did with Hazlitt: 'Am I Womansplaining To You?' And here she speaks to Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy: "Being a fangirl is all the qualification you need. And don't wait for anyone to give you permission. They won't. And you should do it anyways." [more inside]
Jill Lepore talks with Amelia Lester and David Haglund about the role of women in contemporary science fiction - A discussion on the New Yorker Podcast
The New Mexico Law Review just published an issue dedicated entirely to Breaking Bad. It features eight articles that analyze the illegal acts committed on the show, their real-world parallels, and the consequences attached:
Given the array of legal issues raised, our editorial board was excited to take the opportunity to present analysis of Breaking Bad by scholars and legal practitioners. In April 2014 we issued a call for papers requesting abstracts on topics including the application of the Fourth Amendment to drug crimes under the New Mexico and/or U.S. Constitutions; the War on Drugs; ethical duties of lawyers; drug-offense sentencing; drug enforcement in rural, urban, and/or Tribal areas; and substance abuse and the law.Some of the greatest legal minds in New Mexico (and the country) came together to examine how Walter White would look to a jury, how the war on drugs affects peripheral citizens like Skyler, and whether Heisenberg could have stayed legit by fighting for his stake in Grey Matter in the courts. [via] [more inside]
Michelle Obama's painful discussion of America's racial inequality and deep misogyny exists, for many, on the same spectrum as [Saida] Grundy's blunt remarks about race, power and privilege. Where the first lady used her commencement speech at one of the nation's premier HBCUs to deliver a seminar on institutional racism and our nation's anti-black culture, Grundy's social media commentary dispensed with complexity to deliver screams, sometimes angry, other times humorous, that reflect equally important truths about contemporary race relations, black women's activism and the limits of freedom of expression in the 21st century.Peniel E. Joseph for The Root: What Happens to Black Women Who Boldly Speak Truth About Racial Inequality [more inside]
So you gotta go for it. Just do me a favor and FUCK SOME SHIT UP. Surprise yourself, wake up your actors, get wild with your performances, try shit, put in that funky dialogue you’re embarrassed of, in fact, rub your fucked-up-ness all over your scripts, add some shame and embarrassment and glee, and then dare yourself to shoot it, SERIOUSLY, go big or go home -- be a creature unlike any other.Transparent creator Jill Soloway gave an amazing speech full of advice for women in filmmaking a few days ago.
A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their group lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history. Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.”
I hadn’t thought direct action would be so much fun. Habits of a lifetime peeled away. The world bristled with opportunities for a woman in her 70s to take a stand. I shouted on planes. I fought for my place in queues. I talked to myself out loud in public. I walked along the street singing a little song under my breath: “Back off. How dare you? Make my day.” I wouldn’t say I was on a hair-trigger. I was just primed for action. Helen Garner's assault on condescension in The Monthly.
In some parts of America, the accessibility of abortion has remained unchanged, but not in great swaths of the country — not in places such as Texas, where more than half of the clinics have closed since 2013, or in South Dakota, where the single clinic has a mandatory 72-hour waiting period between appointment and procedure, or in Wyoming, where there is one private provider and no clinics in all the state's 98,000 square miles, and where the nearest facility Emily could find an appointment was six hours away.One woman's long drive to end a pregnancy. [more inside]
My approach in shooting the portraits was to create a community experience. I set up open calls for women and female-identifying individuals to have their photographs taken holding whatever made them feel most safe walking home alone.Iowa-based artist Taylor Yocom presents: Guarded. [more inside]
The psychotherapist Carl Jung, after seeing a photo of the Arctic explorer Augustine Courtauld, remarked that Courtauld's was the face of a man 'stripped of his persona, his public self stolen, leaving his true self naked before the world.' For women, this is doubly true: a woman's life is one lived under surveillance, a system of inner and outer regulations even more restrictive than a man's. Even a simple stroll down the sidewalk becomes an exercise in self-loathing. Suck in your stomach. Straighten your hem. (What if it rides up, exposing you?) Every shop window offers a glimpse of your own reflection. Adjust, adjust, adjust.So where are all the women hermits? [more inside]
It's enough to drive a woman crazy (and isn't this what we're always being accused of?). It's enough to drive any woman to the woods.
Every April for the past several years, Fantasy Cafe has published a series of guest posts for Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month. This year, the article that generated the most discussion was "'I am ... ?': Representation of Mature Women in Fantasy" by Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian, who asked, "So where are the older women in fantasy? Mature women who are the hero of their own story?" The many other guest posts this year offered an interesting range of questions, observations, and reflections--often by well-known names in the field. [more inside]
Shit People say to Women [film] Directors. Tumblr - Exactly as described. The first part of their About page states: SHIT PEOPLE SAY TO WOMEN DIRECTORS is an anonymous open blog for any female-identifying individual to submit personal accounts of absurd, offensive, threatening, or downright fucked-up “shit” people have said to you while working in the film business. [more inside]
How Hollywood Keeps out women In 2013, 1.9 percent of the directors of Hollywood's 100 top-grossing films were female, according to a study conducted by USC researcher Stacy L. Smith. In 2011, women held 7.1 percent of U.S. military general and admiral posts, 20 percent of U.S. Senate seats and more than 20 percent of leadership roles at Twitter and Facebook — and both companies now face gender-discrimination lawsuits.
Vocal fry (previously) is an auditory tic associated, currently, with young women (although it is by no means a new phenomenon or a female-exclusive one). That said, the prevalence of vocal fry may be growing in young women--which has implications for the prevalence of vocal fry across English speakers, since young women are linguistic trendsetters. Given all that, it's a shame that vocal tics like vocal fry and uptalk are so frequently criticized as a specifically female phenomenon--imposing an extra cost of vocal self-monitoring on female professionals.
Women haven't always gotten to play a big role in the scientific advancements, studies and cultural conversations concerning sexuality. […] But numerous powerful women have elbowed their way in, taking control over female sexuality and introducing innovations that actually what women want and need.[more inside]
Unravel ‘Maybe the water is too expensive to wash them’: a short documentary on how Indian women recast and recycle the clothes the West throws away
Yesterday, the organizers of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival announced that this summer's festival will be their last. [more inside]
Located in the heart of the Bible Belt, South Carolina is a deeply conservative state where men have ruled for centuries. The state elected its first female governor four years ago, but men continue to dominate elected offices, judicial appointments and other seats of government and corporate power. In many respects, the state's power structure is a fraternity reluctant to challenge the belief that a man's home is his castle and what goes on there, stays there.The 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service has been awarded to Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier newspaper for their seven-part special investigation on domestic violence and femicide in a state that consistently places in the top ten nationally in the rate of women killled by men: Till Death Do Us Part. [more inside]
Dear Brothers in SA Hip Hop: a letter by Ntsiki Mazwai/Women In South African Hip-Hop: 6 Leading Female Rappers
"The lack of female genitals on statues seems thoughtless until you see it repeated."--Syreeta McFadden, noticing that Greek and Roman statues of women don't have genitalia.
Mary Putnam Jacobi challenged Clarke’s thinly veiled justification for discrimination with 232 pages of hard numbers, charts, and analysis. She gathered survey results covering a woman’s monthly pain, cycle length, daily exercise, and education along with physiological indicators like pulse, rectal temperature, and ounces of urine. To really bring her argument home, Jacobi had test subjects undergo muscle strength tests before, during, and after menstruation. The paper was almost painfully evenhanded. Her scientific method-supported mic drop: “There is nothing in the nature of menstruation to imply the necessity, or even the desirability, of rest.”
"Second, it is a mistake to pit post-modernism and social constructivism against evolutionary psychology as though they are in an intellectual death match that only one side can win. This tribalistic, us-versus-them thinking isn't helpful to science. Much like partitioning the causes of human behavior into nurture versus nature or culture versus biology or learned versus innate, social constructivism versus evolutionary psychology is a false dichotomy that may feel intuitively correct but should not be utilized very often by serious scientists (exceptions include behavioral genetics studies)."
The Women I Pretend to Be, by novelist and game writer Naomi Alderman (previously):
No one in tech has ever been as sexist toward me as teachers and rabbis before I was 12 years old. But I've come to notice more and more how working within the particular masculine sexism of the tech industry has nudged the way I present myself, just a little. I've noticed how, very slowly, I've started to acquiesce into playing roles that get assigned to me. I've noticed how I disappear behind these masks.
What follows is not a horror story. It's a series of moments.
Tilting In Our Favor: Pinball May Be The Most Inclusive Gaming Space For Women
Sustainable, supportive relationships are crucial to me as an intersectional feminist, and there's only so far picking up the check at a fancy restaurant can take you. So I left behind a decade of working in tech to keep kids off the glass at the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, California.[more inside]
Orange is the New Sorry Not Sorry | The third season drops June 12. It has everything. [more inside]