More Feminist News!

The math wars – Economic Woman: Allison at the fabulous blog Economic Woman takes an in-depth look at the recent study showing girls perform as well as boys in math.
Girls=Boys in Math – The Onion: I couldn’t let you miss The Onion’s take as well.
Recognising ‘gendercide’ – The Guardian: Heather McRobie proposes that we start talking about gender-based massacres, like Ciudad Juárez, in using the word ‘gendercide’.
Our Bodies Our Blog – Tribal Law and Order Act Aims to Address Abuse of Native American Women: “Last week, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that are intended to empower tribal governments to address crimes that take place on their lands, and, among other aims, to ‘reduce the prevalence of violent crime in tribal communities and to combat violence against Indian and Alaska Native women.'”
LENIN’S TOMB – Noam Chomsky on Pornography: Chomsky speaks out on porn in the video clip.
Popgadget – Samsung thinks patronising women will get us into tech; Engadget agrees: “As Engadget gleefully reports, Samsung has designed a concept compact hard drive that looks similar to a piece of make-up – and this picture shows it surrounded by make-up, to prove the point.”

1960s ad for rice – Boing Boing:
For funsies.
Picture from 2DaH Max.

Join the Conversation

  • vcmaude

    “My breasts get in the way.” Hahahahaha, I love the Onion. I’m storing that in the bank of useful and hysterical comebacks.

  • CNBC Sucks

    Geez, I knew somebody would mention the breast reference. I am trying to get over my breast obsession, be more feminist, less mysogynist. On my site today, I have people searching for content on “erin burnett bra shot”, “cnbc big tits”, and “i love flat chests”. (Erin Burnett bra shot? What are you thinking?) I told you ladies it doesn’t matter – big breasts or small breasts – the world is obsessed with breasts.

  • benni

    Speaking of feminist news, what’s with the American Apparel ad on your site? Is that a contradiction you think?

  • revsolcialist

    CNBC Sucks –
    Stop using feministing as an excuse to publicize your blog and make unnecessary (and usually sexist) comments.

  • Logrus

    Rice: “My man likes something unexpected now and then….”
    Then you should put a finger in his ass, he’ll forget all about rice. And if you do it right he’ll learn to cook for his damn self.
    Chomsky: If we judge the portrayal of an act as intrinsically degrading in all it’s forms then we are choosing to state that those acts are also degrading to those who do them privately, thus we are making a judgment on the private sexuality of women and men. This is not to say that there is not degradation in pornography, or even to say that it isn’t mostly degrading, but that we cannot call it 100% degrading w/o assuring the maligning of people who derive enjoyment from some of the acts depicted. I’m not comfortable with doing this. I’ve had women tell me they will not perform a sexual act because it’s degrading and have others request the same act. It’s ok IMHO to say “I feel that to do “a” would make me feel degraded” but it is not ok, again IMHO, to say “Any time someone does “a” they are degraded.” There is some really wild stuff that people do, stuff I think is gross for a lot of reasons; However I do not make it my business to judge them publicly (I reserve the right to make jokes about scat fetishes or baby fetishes), or to try and eliminate their choice to participate in said activity.
    The only thing I would strenuously agree with Chomsky on is working toward eliminating the external forces that would cause someone to perform such acts because it was the best choice they could make economically.
    This having been said: The degradation argument always fall short, as does the exploitation argument to a lesser degree. Sex work is not the only degrading job out there and tends to pay better than most (at least in the West, clearly I’m not referring to the literal slavery which exists prominently in places like SE Asia but is very unusual here), working a McJob is degrading, janitorial work is degrading, picking lettuce is degrading, etc. As to exploitation: Well, bring down capitalist structures whenever the opportunity presents itself; and support socialist or cooperative efforts to replace it. Porn does not have to be economically exploitive. Check out The Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative, support independant self produced porn which has proliferated mainly due to the web.

  • marilove

    benni, I don’t think they have much to do with the advertising choices, honestly.

  • Jessica

    Benni, if you email me where yous saw the ad and what it looked like, I’ll email our ad company and have them remove it. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Lime

    At the bottom of the rice ad, it tells about a booklet that you can mail away for called “Rice Ideas Men Like.” That’s even more funny.

  • spike the cat

    Re Chomsky and porn and degredation: what people do in private is indeed private. And I would agree that it’s none of my business.
    The thing is once you plaster something in a magazine or DVD and start advertising and promoting it, it’s no longer private is it? By offering up something to the public, it’s fair game for criticism. We make that the standard for pretty much everything else, so I don’t understand why porn should be different.

  • Logrus

    spike the cat: You’re missing the point, I’m not criticizing Chomsky or his right to express his opinion, I’m criticizing the nature of his argument.
    I’ll restate in analogy: If someone says it is wrong to portray homosexuality on television, then they are also saying it is wrong to be homosexual in general.
    For many people the very sexual practices which come under the heaviest fire are intrinsic to their own personal expression of sexuality. By stating that such acts are degrading in nature you are condemning to negative moral judgment the sexuality of those who practice those acts. The fact that a person gets paid to do a thing, or does a thing for the entertainment of others should not enter in to it. They are depicting the real life activities of some segment of society in every act.
    I was in no way saying that the performers should expect the kind of respect for people’s private lives, but that since they are portraying peoples private lives those who criticize these acts should at least be aware that they are unwittingly sitting in moral judgment over their neighbors. You may be comfortable in such a position, I am not.

  • Van

    benni – why are you such a whiner? that was an ad for political initiative, that quite frankly, we should be praising.

  • spike the cat

    Logrus@ “By stating that such acts are degrading in nature you are condemning to negative moral judgment the sexuality of those who practice those acts.”
    Let me ask this.
    Some (I said some) porn is marketed as degrading and humiliating (and I’m not talking about the BDSM). So SOME producers in describing their product, people who review the product and actors in the product use explicit terms to indicate that degradation is part of the act. They produce it this way and describe it as such because there is a market for it. I get that. Fine.
    In addition to that, in some genres there is a moderate degree of implied degradation that will probably always be open to some interpretation.
    But my point is that why is it OK for producers to explicitly or implicitly label/depict their stuff as degrading but yet you say Chomsky can’t make any analogous claims?
    Of course some of it’s up to interpretation, and it’s not 100% of what’s out there, but the idea that consumer driven sexual expression is now off limits from critique seems misguided.
    Regarding your homosexual example: Assuming you are just referring to the sexual act say a kiss between two men for example on TV, people can and will still criticize, no holds barred as people do with everything else. It creates dialog and raises awareness for example. People are free to point out the double standards, for example.
    Look. I’ve heard white people claim that seeing a black person kissing a white person is unnatural and taboo in a negative sense (and judging from some of the porn that caters to the “taboo”, there probably is some degree of truth to this idea at least in some parts of America)
    But do you think when I kiss my husband I give a shit? Hells naw.

  • Newbomb Turk

    The term “pornography” has been used to describe everything from Kate Winslet doing a nude scene in Titanic to some of the raincoater stuff you hear about. I wish people would be clear about what they mean by pornography. For all I know Chomsky could have only been referring to the depraved stuff, mainstream porn, even tame stuff like Playboy or Sports Illustrated or all of the above.

  • Lisa KS

    Omg, I love The Onion.

  • brouhaha

    In regards to the porn thing… I know it isn’t exactly fair, but I strongly suspect that all of the hyper-intellectual, abstract defenses of pornography (often frequently littered with shout outs to “feminist” porn and other obscure red herrings) are the product of a guilty– or perhaps nonexistent– conscience. Basically, I think most porn apologists happen to like watching women having their faces cummed on. I think they like the fact that men’s pleasure is visualized as a ritualistic humiliation of women while women’s pleasure is caricatured via obnoxious fake orgasms. Either that, or they’ve never bothered to investigate the kind of porn that most men beat off to, which makes them even more annoying and useless to the debate (if you can even call it that). Until we can get beyond theoretical bullshit and actually start talking about content (which, ironically, tends to make many an apologist blush), then we are just blowing smoke up our asses.

  • Logrus

    Yeah, that must be it. My beat-off shame.

  • Maggie Franz

    Man, I loved that Noam Chomsky interview. I always hate it when people justify pornography that degrades women by saying that they chose to do and reap the benefits. But as he said many people choose to do degrading things, but that does not make them any less degrading. Chomsky rocks!

  • Maggie Franz

    Man, I loved that Noam Chomsky interview. I always hate it when people justify pornography that degrades women by saying that they chose to do and reap the benefits. But as he said many people choose to do degrading things, but that does not make them any less degrading. Chomsky rocks!

  • nerdalert

    Thank you for the Noam Chomsky interview. The mainstream pornography I have seen makes me uncomfortable. It is almost always set up so the man is in a position of power and uses it to exploit the woman into having sex with him, whether she’s at a job interview, a baby-sitter for his kids, a cheerleader, a school girl, extremely drunk, or in a bind for cash. Then she’s undressed and displayed like she’s being sold on QVC, then he has at ‘er.
    How is that not exploitative?

  • dr_dog

    Chomsky’s commentary on porn was embarrassing. Never heard of (The) Hustler, even after those landmark First Amendment cases? Yeah, Noam. Right.
    And if pornography is pure exploitation akin to being locked in a burning factory, then who is being exploited if, say, two women film themselves having sex? Are they exploiting themselves? I hope so. Nothing like some good ol’ consensual crimes to get the moralistic blood flowing.
    Pornography is, “by definition”, nothing but sexually explicit material. The rest is interpretation.