Weekly Feminist Reader

New York judges can no longer bar people from changing their name to one that matches “the other gender.”
Obama will reportedly push for ratification of the women’s equal-rights treaty known as CEDAW, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Check out Sociological Images’ series of posts on people of color in advertising.
On the high rate of cervical cancer in Nicaragua.
New media: Gawker lays off its lone female employee. Old media: Meet the Press will again be hosted by… a white dude. Totally shocking.
In Maine, the Senate president, House speaker, and attorney general are all women.
The Vatican still considers gay people criminals.
Shark-Fu on the conservative definition of “life” and “family.”
Jessica Yee on native youth and the power and importance of native land.
Who was overlooked in the ’100 Greatest Movie Characters’ list? Women.
Obama’s speechwriter and the “boys will be boys” defense of sexism.
Krista at Muslimah Media Watch on a truly bizarre fundraiser for Afghan women: the wine-bottle burqa. Just… wow.
How the child marriage rate in Nigeria relates to the prevalence of obstetric fistula.


Obama looks likely to appoint the first openly gay cabinet member.
Read Dan Barry’s moving piece on hate crime in the wake of the election.
The New York Times reviews Alison Bechdel’s new The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.
Renee remembers the women of École Polytechnique.
Actions
Ask Congress to Act Now: Reimbursement for Birth Centers
Support Antigone magazine by buying their 2009 calendar, Dreams for Women.
Action Alert: Empowering Women & Girls Against HIV/AIDS
The DC Abortion Fund is seeking emergency donations.
Sign the petition asking the Obama administration to be a pro-breastfeeding administration.
Teen Voices is looking for volunteers.
Call for papers: Representing Disability and Emotion.
Call for papers: The Palin Factor: Political Mothers and Public Motherhood in the 21st Century
Make a donation to help Cara and Marcella make it to this year’s Women Action and the Media conference.
Become an ongoing supporter of Bitch by joining the B-Hive.
Events
Join a live chat at RH Reality Check about the future of reproductive health, December 17.
What have you all been reading/writing this week?

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57 Comments

  1. MzBitca
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    What I was refering to was the fact that the act of blood drinking is often times interpreted as sexual in nature. Many stories play on the level of intimacy and erotica in the drinking of the blood. IF edward has any desire to drink Bella’s blood against her will, if looking at it from a sexual point of view that would equal rape. If I was viewing him as a human than I would look at it strictly from the abstinence point of view but there is also the layer of vampire and what the drinking of her blood would mean/signify. I was just commenting on how people miss that analogy.

  2. nightingale
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    There isn’t a picture of them molesting John McCain’s image, so where are you getting this from? Sure, hypothetically you might have a point, but the situation your describing is incredibly unlikely. You’re offering a totally hypothetical situation to justify their actions, but that hypothetical situation doesn’t exist, so their actions are unjustifiable, sexist, and totally inappropriate.

  3. Roni
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Yeah I see your point that if you equate sex with blood, a vampire drinking a presumably unwilling victim would be akin to rape. Even in that context, I don’t think people “miss” the analogy because Bella enthusiastically consents to having Edward drink her blood. Repeatedly. And yes, the whole “all for love even unto death,” is part of what’s problematic. However arguing it’s rape because Bella is presumably unwilling goes against the text of the book.
    Incidentally, I do think the “Edward’s perspective” book mitigates a lot of this because Stephanie Meyers writes Edward as just as much or more of an insecure, melodramatic puppy-lovestruck teenager.

  4. SaraLaffs
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I was pulling for Gwen Ifill, myself. BTW, Betsy Fischer will stay on as the executive producer of “Meet the Press.”

  5. pandora
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of an episode of “Scrubs” (back in the first season, IIRC?) where Turk ended up photoshopped into his college’s pamphlet covers not once, but twice in the same picture because they couldn’t find any other black students. It happens again later in Sacred Heart ads/billboards.
    (Now that I think of it there are very few POC in Sacred Heart, except among the nurses.)

  6. a.k.a. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted December 8, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    YOU are the one making claims that his actions aren’t sexist on the basis of the assumption that these kinds of jokes happen to men and women equally. (which you seem unable to prove, and which I think many of us doubt)
    Other people were saying it WAS sexist based on the fact that sexual assault and sexual harassment happens more often to women than to men, which is something we KNOW based on numerous studies.

  7. TinkTheTank
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Here’s the issue regarding the sociological images post:
    Yes, these women are black. And including them in ads are a good thing right?
    Well, not in the way they did it. The facial features, the way the hair is done up- is in the stereotypical “white” way. The noses are narrow, the hair is straightened and lightened, their skin is very light.
    And you could argue that they are looking for a “beautiful ideal.” However, that ideal is based on white standards. The underlying attitude says basically that “its ok to be a black woman, as long as you look like a white woman.”
    Or better put, “Black women are beautiful and deserve to be in magazines and on TV, only if they look like white women.”
    “We celebate diversity, but only if they look white.”
    Does that help to understand the post better?
    She doesn’t offer alternatives because she doesn’t see any yet, as she mentioned to one of her commenters. I don’t remember if she was optimistic about figuring it out or not…
    And Oskar, I must respectfully disagree- I am really happy to see something like this on feministing- this is something that bothers me greatly. Oh! And this post is not necessarily directed at you, your post is just the latest in a series of posts that didn’t see the point in SI’s blog entry.

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