Weekly Feminist Reader

On Iran’s first female race car driver.
Henry Hyde, who worked hard to ensure that low-income women were denied reproductive health access, has died.
Related: Medicaid covers penis pumps, but not abortion services.
I’ll take “gender parity” for 500, Alex: This season, 52% of Jeopardy! contestants were women — a vast improvement for a show that historically skews male.
This Christmas, most girls are asking for toys designed with boys in mind.
Whatever happened to all the lesbian feminists?
Hillary Clinton’s AIDS plan would strip out requirements that anti-HIV/AIDS programs discuss abstinence.
The New York Times characterizes Barack Obama as “postfeminist.” WTF? (A longer post on the article to follow…) And Michelle Obama chatted with Rebecca Traister.
A new site, Abuse Aware, documents violence against women. (It features many of Donna Ferrato’s groundbreaking — and heartbreaking — photos on the subject.)
On the unacceptable lack of coverage of Latasha Norman‘s disappearance and death. The major cable news networks couldn’t find a few minutes in between all their Stacy Peterson updates to talk about Norman?
Extreme anti-choicers are flush with cash.
Sexist gamers rate the breasts of sexed-up video game heroines. Barf.
Did you have any idea that one of Bush’s first actions in office (right after reinstating the Global Gag Rule, I’m sure) was to require that all women in the West Wing wear pantyhose at all times? Ugh.
How about some decent Hollywood biopics about black women?


Massachusetts gets 35-foot safety buffer zones around women’s health clinics.
More deeply problematic language and comparisons from Mike Huckabee.
Feminists in Sweden are demanding the right to swim topless in public.
Our Bodies, Ourselves talks to Hillary Clinton about women’s health initiatives in her health care plan.
Miss Landmine Angola is a beauty pageant for landmine survivors.
In case you had any doubt at all that anti-choicers aren’t just anti-abortion — they’re anti-contraception.
An important post on the Saudi gang rape and threats to Muslim women.
Shockingly, the 1950s weren’t really a golden era for women in college. (Jill has more.)
On Disney’s booming “princess business.” Plus, Deborah Siegel has a scathing review of Enchanted.
There are fewer women at the very top of the business world.
Stephanie Coontz on why marriage should be a private institution.
The major price hike in campus birth control prices has been all over the mainstream media lately. Now everyone needs to lean on Congress to do something about it before the end of this session.
Older white women are going to Kenya as sex tourists.
A follow-up on the panel discussion with leading voices in the opt-out debate.
A Wisconsin man accused of drugging his girlfriend to induce abortion against her will has been released from jail on bond. (We’ve said it before, and will say it again: forced abortion is NOT pro-choice.)
A Spanish woman is murdered after she rejects her boyfriends on-air proposal.
More on Hillary and misogyny.
There will be an open mic and abortion speak-out in NYC on December 14. Click here for more info.
And South Dakota DV shelter Pretty Bird Woman House needs your donation — they need to buy a new building after their old one was broken into and burned down. (via Boltgirl.)
Got more links? Leave ‘em in comments.

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91 Comments

  1. Lucie
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Domestic Violence is being used because they were a couple. You don’t have to live together for violence or battering to be called Domestic Violence. It doesn’t need to happen frequently, one time is enough. There are specific criminal statutes covering DV, so it is important to classify this kind of violence as DV. These statutes are better for the circumstances than, for example, charging battery.

  2. Roxie
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Re: Huckabee
    The really odd thing is that ever since I heard Ron Paul saying “let the states decide”, I’ve screaming “Oh, like they did with slavery? Yeah, that worked out SO well!” *eyeroll* …. was that out of order?

  3. MrMorden
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Peach is also an active character in Super Mario RPG. She also plays an active (but noncombatant) role in Paper Mario.
    I have wondered why Nintendo gets a free pass from the gaming community in continuing to make “rescue-the-princess” games, and the conclusion I came to is that the Zelda and Mario series have and continue to be benchmarks for Zelda-type games and platformers, and the originals happen to have “save-the-princes” stories. Anyone who tried to make a new game with the same plot would probably be jeered for it.
    RoymacIII, it sounds like you’re trying to split hairs by drawing distinctions between “regular” Mario games and games like Mario Kart. You called for a change in structure of Mario games, so why does it not count when they make one?
    Besides, Peach gets captured all the time because she’s weak. It would we wrong to read her as a stand-in for all women. You wouldn’t expect every male character to be Gordon Freeman, why would you expect every female character to be Terra Branford?

  4. Eloriane
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    MrMorden–
    Peach doesn’t have to be weak. In Paper Mario 2, as soon as she became a playable character, my brothers chose to play her at all times because she best suited their playing style. There were points in which we had to rescue her, but IIRC, we also had to rescue Bowser. Nintendo really got Peach right in Paper Mario 2.
    So why can’t they do it again?! Why, oh, WHY is she stupidly kidnapped again at the start of Super Mario Galaxy?

  5. Posted December 3, 2007 at 1:26 am | Permalink
  6. MrMorden
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Eloraine-
    It doesn’t have to be anything, but that’s the way this game was made. Maybe Nintendo thinks that they would stretch the narrative too far by making Peach playable in the “standard” Mario games, and felt that they had some more freedom when they changed the game’s structure to give us Paper Mario, SMB2, and Smash Brothers? Maybe Nintendo is afraid of being condemned for “political correctness” if they make Peach playable in a standard Mario game?
    But I’m just speculating at this point, and we all know that that’s worth. From a practical standpoint, you can either buy Super Mario Galaxy, enjoy it as the gaming benchmark that it is, and ignore the retrograde, paper-thin story like most gamers do, or you can pass it up.
    Nintendo is obviously aware of the question, judging from the active roles they give her outside of the main Mario games. She certainly gets her due in Super Smash Bros. Melee when she gets the opportunity to knock Bowser clear over the horizon.

  7. Posted December 3, 2007 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Mr. Morden, it would be wrong to have her stand in for all women if there were other female characters to choose from either within that game or if there were a plethora of female characters in other Nintendo games. We don’t let Mario stand in for all men, b/c there are tons of other male characters.

  8. MrMorden
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    kissmypineapple-
    If you’re letting Peach stand in for all women, that’s your mistake. As for the main Mario games, there are only three characters: Mario, Bowser, and Peach. (Luigi is just Mario colored green.)
    As for female characters in other Nintendo games, here’s a brief list. All of these are combatants, BTW.
    Samus, Terra, Celes, Rosa, Rydia, Quistis, Yuffie, Aeris, Tifa, Rinoa, Selphie, Edea, Garnet, Freya, Eiko, Yuna, Lulu, Riku, Ashe, Penelo, Fran, Purim, Marle, Lucca, Ayla.

  9. MLEmac
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Roxie, I felt the same way when Ron Paul said that.
    I actually do agree with Huckabee that the issues of Gay Marriage and Abortion are moral issues and we don’t want every state to have a different law regarding them. However, I’m on the totally opposite side when it comes to what I want the federal laws to be.

  10. Posted December 3, 2007 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    i can understand the excitement over the working car wash, when i was a little boy i really wanted a working toy garage, where cars went up little ramps and up on tiny hydraulic jacks.
    but i also asked for (different christmas) a baby thumbalina doll.
    i got the doll, but didn’t get the garage.
    yet i grew up pretty well adjusted. so i’m not so sure how big an impact toys have on kids’ gender identity.
    i will take back that “grew up pretty well adjusted” part…i’m still pissed at my folks for not buying me the garage.

  11. Misspelled
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Same here, MLEmac.

  12. Mina
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I just saw another relevant article here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7121397.stm
    on a woman being pressured to test her 4th pregnancy for sex and abort it once she and her husband found out the fetus was female. She makes it clear that this pressure is *not* pro-choice.
    Caveat: in the article she says “fitted in” without using it as a synonym for “been expected by the White majority to act according to their views,” which I recently saw someone else here insist it should be.

  13. Staar84
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if someone already poseted this information because I got so excited when I saw someone mention the Dealing With Dragons book that I looked it up. I read that series when I was young and I LOVED it. The author is Patricia C. Wrede, and heres the link to amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles-Dealing-Searching/dp/0152050523/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196687291&sr=1-2
    Also, what about the Wrinkle in Time books? Its been years since Ive read them, and I know it’s not about Princesses, but I remember Meg being very strong. I think Im going to start keeping a list of these books for when my neice gets older!

  14. Lauren
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I want to echo the previous sentiments about the ridiculous opinion piece about lesbian feminists. I identify as a lesbian feminist.
    Also, this piece was lacking even if one only considers it unsubstantiated opinion. If lesbian feminists aren’t as visible as they used to be, maybe it is because the straight feminists have pushed them to the margins. It is common knowledge that lesbian feminists were at the forefront of the feminist movement of the 60s and 70s and that they were marginalized…

  15. JennD
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for all the great book ideas, everyone! I am new to feminism and I can use the extra tips. I really want to give my two daughters an advantage in this area that I did not have.

  16. Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I have wondered why Nintendo gets a free pass from the gaming community in continuing to make “rescue-the-princess” games, and the conclusion I came to is that the Zelda and Mario series have and continue to be benchmarks for Zelda-type games and platformers, and the originals happen to have “save-the-princes” stories. Anyone who tried to make a new game with the same plot would probably be jeered for it.
    Ico, Shadow of the Colossus,
    any number of Final Fantasy games (VIII had the damsel in distress kidnapped and saved, what, five or six times?), Prince of Persia,
    Resident Evil 4.
    “Rescue the woman” is still a pretty common video game trope.
    RoymacIII, it sounds like you’re trying to split hairs by drawing distinctions between “regular” Mario games and games like Mario Kart.
    And I think it’s disingenuous to pretend that a party style game like Mario Kart or Mario Party is comparable to a platformer like Mario Galaxy. Party and sports games, by their very nature- a focus on multiplayer experience- rarely have much by way of plot or character development. By their very nature they need to provide a bunch of different character options. So, no, I don’t think it’s hair splitting to say that Nintendo doesn’t get a lot of credit for putting Peach and Daisy in those games.
    Besides, Peach gets captured all the time because she’s weak.
    She’s a character created by Nintendo in a world that Nintendo also created. If she’s weak, it’s because they made her weak. Nintendo has started to make Zelda less weak. If they wanted, they could also make Daisy and Peach less weak. They’ve certainly changed Bowser, Mario, and Luigi over time, so there’s no reason that they couldn’t also change the Princess.
    It would we wrong to read her as a stand-in for all women.
    I’m not. I don’t have to read her as “all women” in order to think that she’s not a particularly empowering character, or to think that it’d be good if Nintendo could offer a better representation of women in the Mario world.
    You wouldn’t expect every male character to be Gordon Freeman, why would you expect every female character to be Terra Branford?
    Again, that’s not a position I’ve seen anyone take. The sad reality is that there are very few powerful women in video games that don’t end up being hypersexualized as well. There are even fewer that are in popular mainstream games.

  17. Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The Belle wedding is a little scary. But I consider most lavish, expensive, overdone weddings of any kind scary.
    However, I don’t think that all princesses are bad. I was really into the Little Mermaid when I was little, and now that I think back, it wasn’t too bad. Yeah, Ariel’s motive was love and her prince, but she wasn’t exactly waiting in a tower for him to save her. Quite the opposite, she saved him when his boat blew up THEN fell for him. She wanted to be a human before she met him too.

  18. Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    P.S.
    the conclusion I came to is that the Zelda and Mario series have and continue to be benchmarks for Zelda-type games and platformers,
    I think Zelda is actually pretty cool. Take Ocarina of Time, for example (spoilers?). She’s actually guiding Link through the whole second half disguised as Impa. She’s much more badass than most princesses.

  19. Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    P.S.
    the conclusion I came to is that the Zelda and Mario series have and continue to be benchmarks for Zelda-type games and platformers,
    I think Zelda is actually pretty cool. Take Ocarina of Time, for example (spoilers?). She’s actually guiding Link through the whole second half disguised as Impa. She’s much more badass than most princesses.

  20. Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    THANK YOU EVERYONE for all the great book suggestions!!!
    My wife and I were just having the “What new books should we buy?” discussion. Now I know.
    And a question/request for those who suggested books on this comment thread:
    I wrote a post on this. I think it’s too common and important of a topic to have these suggestions buried amidst a lot of other stuff. Can I copy some of your suggestions to said post, with proper attribution?
    Also, if anyone wants a post that is solely focused on Good Feminist Books For Girls, see below:
    Moderately Insane: Raising Feminist Daughters: GOOD FEMINIST BOOKS FOR GIRLS said:

    I am SO damn psyched by this recent comment thread on Feministing, which gives me some great book ideas with strong girl characters and/or less of the patriarchal bullshit a la Disney.
    To avoid letting such a great idea get lost, I’m linking to the comment thread and will soon put this post in my “favorite posts” section of the sidebar.
    And to avoid the good books getting lost in the remainder of the arguments about video game breast sizes (good points but not what I want in this thread) I have asked for permission to report the recommendations here.
    Got suggestions? Let’s hear ‘em…

  21. marle
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    As for female characters in other Nintendo games, here’s a brief list. All of these are combatants, BTW.
    Samus, Terra, Celes, Rosa, Rydia, Quistis, Yuffie, Aeris, Tifa, Rinoa, Selphie, Edea, Garnet, Freya, Eiko, Yuna, Lulu, Riku, Ashe, Penelo, Fran, Purim, Marle, Lucca, Ayla.

    MrMorden, except for Samus, all those characters are made by Square, not Nintendo, and most of them (Quistis – Fran) haven’t even been on Nintendo systems, and one’s a guy (Riku).

  22. annajcook
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Sailorman,
    Later this evening I’ll come check out your post and add any more suggestions I can think of . . . I love talking books! Meanwhile, you certainly have my permission to copy and paste my earlier posts on this thread.

  23. sara
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    1) They must be educational (eg. no dolls)
    Hype, I wouldn’t be so hard on dolls. Using dolls in imaginative play can have tons of educational value for kids: Children can use dolls to practice human interaction and problem solving; they can create their own stories and use dolls to act them out. These are very educational and developmentally beneficial activities. The issue should not be whether toys are “boy” or “girl” toys, but whether they encourage children to play in a variety of creative ways and to develop their own ways to use the toy. A lot of the toys on that list seemed to be mostly popular because of their identification with a well-known brand name and to be designed around a very specific activity or trick the toy does–not a lot of creativity. Trading in dolls for highly commercialized, specific use toys that are conventionally coded as “boy” toys is not necessarily progress for today’s little girls.

  24. EG
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m coming late to the party, but some great fairy-tale books that feature strong heroines:
    The Maid of the North – Ethel Phelps
    Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters – Kathleen Ragan
    Outfoxing Fear – Kathleen Ragan
    anything edited or written by Jane Yolen–she co-edited a particularly good one with her daughter on mother-daughter pairings in folk- and fairy tales
    Don’t Bet on the Prince – Jack Zipes (a mixture of tales for kids, tales for adults, and critical essays)

  25. sojourner
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    “Using dolls in imaginative play can have tons of educational value for kids: Children can use dolls to practice human interaction and problem solving; they can create their own stories and use dolls to act them out.”
    I totally agree with that. When I was a kid my cousin and I used to come up with very creative and elaborate plotlines when playing with dolls in a little doll house that my dad had made. Thinking back I wonder what it says about me but I remember several occasions where male dolls where subjected to different types of penis torture (the dolls didn’t have actual penises) … No wonder I ended up a man-hating feminazi!

  26. nerdalert
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh, the Disney princess phenomenon. I know I’ve expressed my loathing before, but since, we’re on the topic…
    ARG! My cousin has 2 little girls under the age of five, and she SHOVES the princess crap down their little throats. They have all of the official liscensed Disney Princess merchandise (from videos to toothpaste to shoes to etc etc etc), and they won’t eat their food unless she sprinkles, “Princess Powder” (salt) on their meals. I asked the 5 year old what she wants to be when she grows up, and she said, “A princess or a ballerina.” And I said, “Jules, you know that a princess isn’t a real job, right?” and it was like, *crickets*. She also goes through magazines and points at different women and says, “Too skinny. Too fat. Ugly. Pretty.” I wanted to die.
    I confronted my cousin about perhaps getting some more empowering messages to the girls and she was wholeheartedly offended and called me a buttinski.
    My whole family thinks I’m some sort of weird commie-pimko feminazi hippie because I’m so anti-corporate.
    Disney Princess shit embodies everything I hate. It’s making girls strive to a white, upper-class, sexist, appearance-based norm, while Disney laughs all the way to their bank in the Caiman Islands off of the backs of sweatshop laborers in developing nations.
    *deep breath*

  27. BrokenParadigm
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Re: fairy tale princesses–
    I’m really surprised to see so many people unhappy with “Enchanted” after all the positive comments I saw on this and other blogs about “Shrek 3″. “Enchanted” was a mixed bag with some progressive values mixed with ‘traditional’ (read ‘sexist’) plotlines, but the entire PREMISE of Shrek 3–that because Shrek didn’t want the throne it had to go to another male since neither Queen Lillian nor Princess Fiona (the actual hereditary heirs–both the king and Shrek married in) were apparently fit to rule–was blatantly sexist. I thought “Enchanted” was downright progressive compared to most of what else is out there right now, especially for a Disney ‘princess’ movie.

  28. Hooter21
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Re: Video games, I was surprised to see myself taken seriously when I blamed Peach for always getting herself kidnapped–I was trying to be funny, and the crux of the joke was in attributing volition to a video game character.
    Once again without being too serious I wanted to note that the Mario games are mostly the product of the Japanese Nintendo Corp. Might it say more about Japanese culture than it does about American culture, that Peach is always getting caught and having to be saved by Mario? I mean, we still buy the games and play them, but it’s some Japanese guy (Miyamoto, I think) and his team who comes up with this stuff.
    There, now I’ve managed to blame a video game character and the Japanese.

  29. Misspelled
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Sure, Sailorman.
    To add a few more suggestions (I can’t help myself)… in the YA range, for anyone who likes fantasy, Tamora Pierce’s books are definitely worth checking out. The ones set in her Tortall universe are the more overtly feminist, though the Circle of Magic books certainly have strong female characters. The older Tortall series starts out a little cheesy, focusing on a girl who disguises herself as a boy to become a knight and the sparkly adventures she has as the first female knight in centuries, but the more recent books, and the newer characters, just get better and better and branch out quite nicely into dealing with more nuanced issues of feminism and gender, and in the meantime there’s magic and monsters and evil sorcerers and stuff. They’re a good time. She has a website at tamora-pierce.com, for anyone who wants better synopses of the different series and books.
    Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith is just a good fantasy book in general, but one of the nicest things about it is that it’s set in a world totally egalitarian in terms of gender — with never a comment about it, so with a female main character, it’s not even a question of whether she can match up to the guys — her struggles are really her struggles. And in that context, the other nice thing is that she’s the most normal fantasy heroine ever — she has honest-to-God strengths and weaknesses, insecurities about her appearance, the capacity to be embarrassed and doubtful of herself — and yet she holds her own and comes out on top. She’s really easy to identify with, at least for me, so it’s especially satisfying that she has a happy ending.
    And finally, I’ve always loved history, so the Dear America series was my favorite thing ever from the time I was about ten to, well, now, really. They’re in diary form, and they’re written by (fictional) girls living through significant periods/events in U.S. history — slavery, westward expansion, all the wars, etc. They make sure to get in some of the less-heard stories — there’s a Tory girl during the Revolutionary War, for instance, a Sioux girl being re-educated at the Carlisle Indian School, a mail-order bride, a recently freed slave trying to figure out how to make a life for herself independent of all the forces influencing her… they’re just the most awesome thing ever.
    There are several spin off-series — I think the My America diaries are aimed at a slightly younger age group; the My Name Is America ones are narrated by boys; and the Royal Diaries are about various princesses (or whatever equivalent) from different countries at different points in history. But anyway, some of them are really great, and obviously there’s a wide variety to choose from. I’m not sure how widely available they are outside the U.S., but the Royal Diaries might be.

  30. tinfoil hattie
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Re: pantyhose — why did UPS require pantyhose, when their MALE DRIVERS run around in SHORTS year-round?
    Re: “domestic” violence and “partner” violence — why is it just “murder” if it’s a man who’s killed, but “domestic violence” if it involves a woman? Domestic implies tame, or light — and it’s neither of those.

  31. MrMorden
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    roymacIII,
    Point taken about Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, I hadn’t played them so I didn’t think of them.
    Let’s not drag out attack words like “disingenuous.” I don’t appreciate it when people call me dishonest. Unless you’re going to bring some additional argument to the table, we’re just going to have to accept that I’m willing to give Nintendo credit for the nonstandard Mario games and you’re not.
    As for FF VIII, IIRC Rinoa only needs rescue once. I think I’d remember more because I remember thinking “Aw geez, did Square really need to throw that stupid trope into an FF game?”
    Good to see that you don’t read Peach as a stand-in for all women, you’re more sophisticated than some in this thread. To be more precise than “not every woman should be Terra Branford” and “Peach is not a stand-in for all women,” my argument is that it should take something more than the existence of a weak female character to raise your ire, especially in a story with so few characters to begin with. Does every world really require a feminist ambassador? I’d argue that you’d need to show a consistent pattern of weak female characters before I’d buy that there’s a problem.
    As for hypersexualized heroines…if you really want to get into that discussion, which of the characters I mentioned would you consider hypersexualized?
    And now for something completely different.
    It’s not a book, but it’s still a good story for the teenage set: Revolutionary Girl Utena takes a look at the fairy-tale prince, destroys him, and constructs a hero to take his place. It doesn’t have the level of sophistication that one would find from, say, Atwood or Plath, but it’s still fun and there’s some good substance there.

  32. Mina
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    “and the Royal Diaries are about various princesses (or whatever equivalent) from different countries at different points in history.”
    I haven’t read those, but from the list of titles (see http://www.scholastic.ca/titles/royaldiaries/ ) the focus seems to be princesses who did *not* become princesses via marrying royalty. There’s a volume on Elizabeth I, a volume on Nzingha, etc.
    Meanwhile, even if you’re looking for adult-reading-level history books instead, that link can be handy as a starting point (learn from the link that someone existed, then go look up more about her in the adult section of the librart). :)
    “Re: ‘domestic’ violence and ‘partner’ violence — why is it just ‘murder’ if it’s a man who’s killed, but ‘domestic violence’ if it involves a woman? Domestic implies tame, or light — and it’s neither of those.”
    Good points. It’s a shame that “domestic violence,” “crime of passion,” etc. are seen as excuses.
    Meanwhile, a few years ago I heard that in Boston law “domestic violence” charges try to imply domicile. In some welcome-to-the-dorms orientations campus police will warn the new residents that if you beat up your roommate you can be arrested for domestic violence (even if your roommate is some stranger the school assigned instead of someone you’re dating).

  33. Mina
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Here’s another link:
    Taking on the Economics of Gender Inequity
    By Valerie Strauss
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/02/AR2007120202136.html?hpid=sec-education
    “…Nobel laureates laud her work and call her brilliant; some economists credit her with an important economic theory. She is involved in the economics of fighting global warming internationally, and she was recently elected to the university senate.
    “Chichilnisky is also embroiled in a bitter 16-year fight, including two lawsuits and a countersuit, against the Ivy League school where she teaches. She says she has been a victim of sex discrimination. Her salary, she alleges, has not kept pace with those of her male counterparts. Research grants have been taken away, and administrators have retaliated because of her complaints, she says…”

  34. Lucie
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Re: domestic violence and murder:
    domestic violence, in the law at least, can imply that there was a system of abuse going on in a relationship, and can help the jury to understand questions like “why didn’t she leave him?” If you charge him with domestic abuse you can bring in past circumstances of battery, imprisonment, threats, ect. You can also have an expert testify to BWS.
    Domestic violence isn’t often taken seriously in everyday culture, but that doesn’t mean it is a label that shouldn’t be applied when a man is taking ultimate control over his wife or girlfriend. If he killed her, it would be domestic violence and murder.
    If a woman killed her husband it would also be domestic violence, but only a fraction of the stats for spousal abuse are women killing men, and in those cases it is usually a woman killing her abuser. I think the only reason we don’t think of women as being able to commit domestic violence is the normal gender stereotype thing.

  35. Mina
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    “If a woman killed her husband it would also be domestic violence, but only a fraction of the stats for spousal abuse are women killing men, and in those cases it is usually a woman killing her abuser. I think the only reason we don’t think of women as being able to commit domestic violence is the normal gender stereotype thing.”
    Good points, and that reminds me of this:
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916339
    “…The Article focuses on how the gender assumptions in the domestic violence discourse affected the representation of the Framingham Eight, a group of women who killed their batterers and were incarcerated in the women’s prison in Framingham, Massachusetts. These women petitioned as a group for the commutation of their sentences. Seven of the women had killed their male partners; one had killed her female partner. Professor Goldfarb discusses why the lesbian petitioner faced the longest odds in her struggle to be seen and heard…”

  36. Mina
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Another article here on body image and discrinimation against people for being “ugly”:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7125580.stm
    Interestingly enough, it includes a picture of America Ferrera as “Ugly Betty” and still looking like an unattainable ideal for some of us…

  37. Posted December 5, 2007 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Posted this in a few places hoping it will get to someone on their staff—Open letter to Matt Stone and Trey Parker:
    I’m terribly disappointed in you guys for the first time since South Park aired, so I’d thought I’d tell you why.
    Somehow I missed the episode referred to here……..
    http://www.newhouse.com/hillary-hatred-finds-its-misogynistic-voice.html
    (which I found via feministing.com)
    ….where apparently you depict Mrs. Clinton having a bomb inserted into her pussy and then detonated. I wonder if it’s because of what the reporter said, no one was offended at your poking fun at killing a woman. I missed the original broadcast of the Tom Cruise/Scientology episode too but when I heard about it all over the news, I tracked it down and laughed my fucking ass off.
    If you’ll bear with me, I’ll explain to you the difference. You see I can easily laugh at your brilliant satire about Mr. Cruise because, other than a few true wack jobs, there is not a large group of people who would actually take pleasure in exploding Mr. Cruise’s dick or raping his ass or killing him. That’s not the case with Mrs. Clinton. If you’ll look around and read some you’ll see that there are a lot, a whole lot, of ordinary men, not bad guys really, just your average NASCAR fans or football crowds who didn’t think your bit was a funny joke because they seriously think it would be a lot of fun to do.
    Did you ever see that interview (I think it’s from Oprah) with Dave Chappell where he is trying to explain why he stopped doing nigger jokes the way he used to, like the bit about the nigger fairy? He was doing a bit about the fairy one day and some of the laughter out in the audience caught his attention. When he looked out he saw a few groups of white guys, who probably fit the red-neck stereotype, older, scruffy, lower class. He noticed they were laughing hard, a bit too much and too long and too loud. He looked at their faces and realized that they were enjoying his sketch a great deal and thought it was very funny but for completely different reasons than he had intended.
    I’m hoping you’ll have a moment like that. Maybe you’ll talk to some of the women you love and are close to and see violence against women from a different perspective. Maybe you can even find a woman who’s been terrorized by a man AND gets your comedy and talk to her and see what you feel. It shouldn’t be hard in a country where violence against women is so prevalent that the leading cause of death among pregnant women is being murdered by their impregnator. I hope you decide that maybe it wasn’t so funny after all.
    I love South Park. I think you guys are truly talented geniuses and should be studied beside Voltaire. You totally got me to believe in your idea that NOTHING was so sacred it couldn’t be made of fun, if handled properly. Over the first year you managed to gain my trust and I was ready to watch you take on some of my own sacred cows—like abortion rights, and the environment. You had me laughing so hard I was blowing snot bubbles.
    But you got this one wrong, guys. Way, way wrong. And you owe a lot of people an apology.
    I’ll be watching for it.

  38. Posted December 5, 2007 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Should have stated that was in response to the article at Hillary and misogyny

  39. Mina
    Posted December 5, 2007 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Here’s a clip of a recent column:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/03/AR2007120301621.html
    “…In fact, the Great Sudanese Teddy Bear Controversy, like its Dutch, Danish and papal precedents, was not actually a religious or cultural affair: It was purely political. Nobody — not the other teachers, the parents or the children — was offended by Mohammed the teddy bear (who received his name in September) until the matter was taken up by a totalitarian government, handed over to what appears to have been a carefully orchestrated mob, and briefly turned into yet another tool of domestic terror and international defiance. The Sudanese government, which pursues genocidal policies in Darfur when it is not persecuting British teachers, is under pressure to accept peacekeeping troops from the West. At least some of the Sudanese authorities thus have an interest in building anti-Western sentiments among the population and intimidating those who disagree.
    “But is also true that these affairs too quickly become politicized in the United States and Europe as well. NOW’s refusal to tell Fox News that it supported Gillian Gibbons probably had less to do with politically correct anxieties about Islamic culture than it did with fear of being perceived — in any manner, however distantly, however improbably — to support George Bush’s war on terrorism. In fact, there is no logical reason Fox News and the Sun newspaper should have been any louder in their condemnation of the Sudanese regime than NOW and the archbishop of Canterbury: Here was a situation so thoroughly ridiculous and so completely unacceptable that it clearly offended Western values, however you want to define them…”

  40. Posted December 5, 2007 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    annajcook:
    CAREFULLY RECONSIDER RECOMMENDING THE LITTLE HOUSE SERIES TO CHILDREN!
    I loved the books and the TV series as a kid but when I started to learn about my Native American ancestry I came across some interesting information about The Ingles and Ms. Wilder’s books.
    According to this website…
    http://www.oyate.org/books-to-avoid/littlehouse.html
    …there is documentation that the reason Mr. Ingels was not granted title to the “Little House� plot is because he was illegally squatting on the Osage Indian Reservation.
    I think most Native People would consider her work to be blatantly racist and not appropriate for children.

  41. Mina
    Posted December 6, 2007 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    BTW, speaking of novels about cool girls and children’s history books about cool women, how about a novel about a cool girl who reads about a cool woman? I just remembered _Harriet’s Daughter_ by M. NourbeSe Philip (see http://www.nourbese.com/ ).
    From http://users.rcn.com/alana.interport//feature.html : “As usual, I’ve decided to include a book suitable for a younger audience. In this case, the book is _Harriet’s Daughter_. This is a delightful book about the friendship between two girls. Margaret is a Canadian of West Indian heritage and Zulma is a newly-arrived immigrant from Tobago. The story revolves around Margaret (whose hero is Harriet Tubman) and Zulma devising a way to return Zulma to her grandmother in Tobago.”
    I didn’t read it until I was an adult, and I still enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it at 10 too, but it might have been too hard for me to read at 6.
    “The two girls embark on a series of adventures, unbeknownst to their parents, in an effort to mimic the life of Harriet Tubman.”
    The way this is a touchy subject is part of the plot too (some of the other characters disagree on whether it looks respectful or disrespectful). Also, it wasn’t obvious to me at first that they had created a live-action role-playing game because there aren’t any of the usual RPG trappings, but then I realized “They’re gamers too!” Who says only white guys into D&D or SCA can be GMs? ;)

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