Weekly Feminist Reader

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the attacks in Mumbai. Bastard.logic has a list of resources.
Cecelia at Ojibway Migisi Bineshii gives her view of Thanksgiving, and Renee asks, “what are we really giving thanks for?
Nezua on men who don the traditional costume of Zapotec women in southern Mexico, and constructions of Mexican masculinity.
The situation in Gaza has gotten really bad.
Shark-Fu on Nebraska’s safe haven law, which allows parents to drop off children of any age, not just infants.
Horrible news: Jdimytai Damour, a Long Island Wal-Mart employee, was trampled to death on Friday. As Matt says, “Talk about a great reason to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.”
Is the New York State senate backing away from its pledge to enact same-sex marriage rights?
Edith Kent, the first woman to receive equal pay in Britain, turned 100.
On anti-domestic violence programs that meet victims where they’re comfortable.
Obama will reportedly wait until 2010 to remedy the fact that gay Americans cannot serve openly in the military. Dana Goldstein has more.
Toni Morrison talks to the Times about her new book.
Roy on a new twist on shaming women’s bodies. More at Sociological Images.
Conservatives are freaking out because Planned Parenthood in Indiana is offering gift certificates. Granted, a pap smear is not the most exciting Christmas gift I can think of, but it sure is practical. Oh, wait — you mean they’re claiming these are going to be used for abortions? As if that’s all Planned Parenthood does? I’m shocked.

On the potential Catholic reaction to Obama’s pro-choice policies.
A Korean court basically gave a pass to three men who raped a disabled family member, a 16-year-old girl.
Last week marked the two-year anniversary of Sean Bell’s murder.
A Chicago Bears football player, Brian Urlacher, has been in court with his ex-wife over her concerns that he lets their son wear pink and paint his nails. Ulracher said, “It doesn’t make him feminine. It doesn’t make him gay.” Also, read Jill on how “we’d all be better off if our understanding of maleness and femaleness weren’t so straightjacketed.” And check out this photo project on kids who are only into gender-specific toys and games.
Jack and Jill Politics on recent Obama appointees Melody Barnes and Desiree Rogers.
Ah, another super-classy sexist product.
Our beloved Rachel Maddow goes soft on Mike Huckabee and doesn’t bring up his bigoted views on gay people.
The human rights situation in Burma is worsening, especially for women.
The board game Risk gets a gendered makeover.
I’m just going to quote the lead from this article: “A man who says he eats 10 Mars bars a day has claimed a lack of sugar prompted him to attack his girlfriend when she wore big, Bridget Jones-style knickers instead of a G-string, a British court has heard.” WHAT?!
On the right-wing obsession with the “myth” of heterosexual AIDS.
What have you all been reading/writing this week?
Milwaukee, WI: TODAY head over to a fundraiser at Broad Vocabulary, an awesome feminist bookstore which is in danger of closing. (You can also mail in donations if you miss today’s festivities.)
New York, NY: Belladonna hosts a series of readings and events guest-hosted by women writers who’ve invited writers who influence and inspire them, through June 2009.
Washington, DC: Attend the DC Abortion Fund’s Winter Holiday Party, December 9.
Chicago, IL: Oakton Community College Women’s & Gender Studies Conference, “Chicago Feminisms: Past, Present & Future” March 2009
Ask that the HPV vaccine be removed from the list of mandatory vaccinations for immigrants. (Also see Miriam’s post on the subject.)
Sign the petition to end false and deceptive advertising practices and federal funding for fake clinics.
Today is the last day to submit to the latest Down Under Feminists Carnival.
Apply for the 2009 Progressive Women’s Voices program, an intensive media training for women!
The queer POC traveling performing arts group Mangos with Chili seeks donations to help out one of its members.

Join the Conversation

  • Renee

    In defense Of Womens Studies: Taking down MRA Glen Sacks attack on Womens Studies.
    Boo Yaa Period Time: A discussion of sex and menstruation. Comment section is filled with personal accounts

  • Cedar

    God yes, that Planned Parenthood story is being framed by conservatives as being PURELY about abortions, and it’s driving me crazy. Other articles and blog entries are already pulling out the “abortion mill” and “let’s not fool our selves thinking they provide other services card.” In a way, I’m so missed off at that branch of Planned Parenthood for doing something so open to misinterpretation and bad publicity.
    RE: The Boob Jar fund jar: I think what’s so especially offensive to me about it is that it looks like that website is geared toward tweens/teenagers.

  • aideenjohnston

    – a post on my own blog trying to work through some of the issues surrounding feminism and fashion that are brought up on The L Word…I’m writing my dissertation about third-wave feminism and Sex and the City/The L Word.

  • EvilSlutClique

    We did a Totally Gay Good News Roundup.
    Our thoughts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
    And our discussion about the Walmart incident, which happened not too far from where a couple of us live.

  • matttbastard_

    Thanks for the links, Ann!
    Hot off the RSS reader, Caroline recounts a recent all-too common scenario involving entitled male fuckwittery.

  • MzBitca

    I’m going to read the “Twilight ” Series and am planning on doing a live-blogging thing with my impressions about it and whether or not in deserves all the crticism it gets due to the relationship between edward and bella. My beginning post is there to start the discussion off and get everyone’s opinion on the books and what I should keep in mind while reading.

  • PamelaVee

    Indiana Family Institute President Curt Smith said he is appalled by the certificates.
    ‘I think the way to help family planning is to give the money where there’s no agenda. So if somebody wants to help a woman at a time of crisis, they can support the life centers throughout Indiana,’ said Smith.”
    (emphasis mine).
    No agenda? Huh. Here’s their website! Decise for yourself.

  • Cedar

    I should add–now that I’ve thought of it some more, I’m pretty torn about those Planned Parenthood gift certificates. Had they been available a couple years ago, I might have bought some for my sister, who went years without a pap smear, as she fell into that income bracket where she was poor enough to get free services, but couldn’t afford stuff out of pocket.
    But something about it just seems like a publicity stunt. And, yes, I do hold Planned Parenthood to higher standards than I would hold a lot of other non-profits or medical agencies, because they are so controversial and political. As soon as I saw the article, I immediately thought of the bad publicity it would garner, and wondered if that was intentional (that is, just to put themselves in the spot light?).

  • deerly

    I would think Planned Parenthood has enough problem with negative attention. If we can give PP the spotlight on the AMAZING GOOD that it does for women around the world then I think publicity stunts would be a great thing!
    I would love to see “Truth” (the antismoking) style commercials for PP aired on television.
    Attention to the critical services they extend to women and poor communities would be great!

  • earthychick

    I think a lot of the problems lately, are because people still haven’t recognized that gender is constructed purely from arbitrary ideas… and everything is about control… It is creating way too much misery, from Prop 8 being passed, abortion issues, the struggle for equality with wages, and inequality among humans period.
    What about the freedom to just be, human, to love, live, and try not to hurt others. There needs to be more openness, dialogue, and understanding. I hope 2009 does something wonderful…

  • Hilary

    I wrote a blog about being a mother in medical school.
    I also linked to a MENding monologue called Dr. Vaginsky.
    And, I asked for people to wish me luck with my application for a research fellowship.

  • Flower

    So you like the gift certificates, but you blame PP because conservatives will misconstrue it?
    Talk about blaming the victim. Did PP wear a short skirt too?

  • nightingale

    I really fail to see how it’s a publicity stunt, any more than any kind of donation drive is, and any of their donation drives are going to be taken the wrong way. Could you please elaborate a bit more?
    Not that I see anything wrong with holding them to a higher standard; for better or worse, they have become the face of the pro-choice movement. It’s not their fault, but it happened, and we need them to be top shape.

  • Elsewhere

    I sent a letter to the WakeupFrankie “Boob Collection” jar. What jerks.

  • MzBitca
  • rhowan

    RE: the Boob Job fund piggy bank
    This product is especially innapropriate because the Wake Up Frankie website is definitely geared towards teens/tweens. The About Us section of the website says: “This site offers room fashions for females between the ages of 13-22.” and their Press page includes advertising and marketing promotions done with Degrassi, Bratz: The Movie, and Miley Cyrus, as well as magazines like FGBG (For Girls By Girls), Seventeen, Cosmo-Girl, J-14, and Girl’s Life (aimed at 10-15 year olds).
    The interesting thing is that the company claims to have been started in 2001 by a 14 year old girl (now 22). While it’s admirable for a young girl to have started her own business, I think its really sad that she’s promoting a product that is so undermining. It’s also extra creepy that the Boob Job fund piggy bank is being promoted for the holidays in the “Great Gifts Under $25″ section of the site. Honestly, in what context would it be healthy and appropriate to give that to a teenage girl as a present?

  • wondertramp

    Nick Kristof’s column in the NYT this week is about the little-talked about, but shockingly common, practice in some parts of the world of pouring acid on women’s faces, leaving them permanently disfigured. (Warning: the top of the page has a picture of a severely disfigured woman and the whole column is pretty graphic):

    This month in Afghanistan, men on motorcycles threw acid on a group of girls who dared to attend school. One of the girls, a 17-year-old named Shamsia, told reporters from her hospital bed: “I will go to my school even if they kill me. My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”

    Oh, and the money quote from the PP story:

    “I think the way to help family planning is to give the money where there’s no agenda. So if somebody wants to help a woman at a time of crisis, they can support the life centers throughout Indiana,” said Smith.

    Since “life centers” that presumably bully and deceive women out of getting abortions and maybe even birth control have no agenda. None at all. The hypocrisy, it makes my head explode.

  • Jessica F.

    Yeah, I loved that a pro-life center clearly has no agenda. Especially because most of the ones out there probably don’t offer services like GYN exams and pap smars.
    I LOVED the “sample wall posts” on the blog about female bodybuilders. So true! Which is sad, because it means there’s a lack of real discussion going on on the subject of women’s self esteem. It’s talked about a lot, but many people seem to believe a person should have good self-esteem only if they’re worthy of it. So while it’s a shame that a pretty, thin person has poor self esteem, fat or muscular women should be ashamed of themselves for thinking their bodies are OK.
    While I can’t fully cheer Brian Urlacher because it sounds as though both he and his child’s mother are using the kid to fight with one another, I do think it’s mighty cool when people don’t dress their children according to societal norms.
    Re: the man whose low sugar intake caused him to beat his girlfriend–I thought the “Twinkie defense” was something so ridiculous it could only be used once, but I suppose I was wrong.

  • Cedar

    So I’m just kinda of typing out loud here–I’m not trying to be offensive, but rather trying to figure out my own feelings toward this move. Yes, it IS unfortunate that the first thing I thought was, “Oh, God, how are (my conservative, relgious) family members going to interpret this? How am I going to have to justify my volunteer and activism work with Planned Parenthood (which I make no secret of) this Christmas?” I think it’s the use of the phrase “gift certificate,” which just does seem sort of. . . flippant. I don’t know. I wonder how many people are going to take advantage of this gift certificates. For me, right now, it just seems like an attention-seeking device(and DON’T EVEN compare that to “She wanted attention she was wearing a short skirt.” PP is a business, and a political cause; in addition to providing medical services, they make attention for themselves.”)

  • kurd55

    Shark-Fu is right!
    Goddamned America could give a shit about families.

  • lucy0189

    Clearly there is no agenda present on the Indiana Family Institute website (gag).
    I especially enjoyed my quick scan of the “marriage facts” page (i’m feeling a little queasy today already, so I saw no reason for a close reading). By far the best “fact” was this one:
    Research strongly suggests that an intact, married household protects girls from premature sexual development and, consequently, teen pregnancy.
    Now, if they knew about comprehensive sex ed, maybe pregnancy wouldn’t be the only logical result of “premature sexual development.” But thats just me speculating.

  • GamesOnline

    I sent a letter to the WakeupFrankie “Boob Collection” jar. free online games