What We Missed

Elle Magazine breaks down swimsuit controversies through out history.
ESPN writer Scoop Jackson tries to slut shame Brett Favre. Seriously?
Chiara Volpato, a professor of social psychology at the University of Milan, explains why conservative ideas die hard in Italy–especially while Berlusconi is around.
Feministe reports: Since 2005, nine women who lived at the edges of the poor community in this small North Carolina city have disappeared. And the mainstream media doesn’t seem to give a shit.
Bloggers react to Chris Brown’s pop apology.
Firing woman for taking unauthorized breaks to pump breast milk is just fine, Ohio top court rules.

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31 Comments

  1. uberhausfrau
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    this will be the only time i make this connection, but i have to wonder if isotoner has “authorised” bathroom breaks.

  2. llevinso
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    So basically this Jackson guy is saying slut shaming is awesome, everyone should do it, and not only should we keep appling it to women, it should also now be applied to pro athletes?
    I dislike Favre as much as the next person (I’m from Chicago: GO BEARS!) but come on!

  3. Katie93
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    I really couldn’t care less about the history of swimsuit controversies, but I did find it interesting that the bodies of the women in question, especially the woman from 1951, were not as skinny and toned as the women we claim are the most beautiful today, yet they were still held up as the epitome of beauty, femininity, and sex appeal. Just goes to show you what BS modern beauty standards are.
    Also, the about the breastfeeding story: I hate how society is totally cool with accepting that “Breast Is Best!” or whatever, but we can’t create an adequate support system for women who do want to make the choice that is held up as the best. The Totes/Isotoner company is just as anti-choice as those who oppose abortion rights.

  4. borrow_tunnel
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Isotoner only cared about white women’s breasts…
    http://www.totes-isotoner.com/category/isotoner/comfort+for+a+cure+.do
    Won’t ever buy that crap… not that I was planning to.

  5. allegra
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I’ve seen some major ignorant misogynist shit issuing from sports writer these past couple months, but the Scoop Jackson article takes the fucking cake. As an extended (OVEREXTENDED) metaphor, the thing manages to say pretty much nothing about Favre himself and everything about women’s sexuality being a fucking commodity in this culture. I think people must write this shit sort of inadvertently, not realizing that they just said ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING in 800 words except some elaborate variations on sexist double standards.

  6. Posted August 27, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow. For the first few lines I thought the Farve article was going to say we need to stop slut shaming women because we accept men like Farve’s behavior…At first. Once his meaning was clear…just…wow. I couldn’t believe the things that kept coming – and written with such an air of certainty. It just kept getting worse and worse and worse, and he seems to have no idea how hateful, judgmental, close-minded, and shallow he is behaving. Sigh.
    I really REALLY wish all of sports and sport media would get its act together. I love sports, I am a huge football and baseball fan, and this attitude and its general acceptance makes me sick.
    :And BEARS>PACKERS 4EVER:

  7. uberhausfrau
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    there was a story from a few years back about a woman who “offended” gym-goers by wearing a burqini. people got really uncomfortable with it. definite overtones of racism. im trying to find the link.
    and with france trying to ban headscarves and burqinis – http://news.google.com/news/search?um=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=burqini+, the bathing suit article does have relevance.

  8. Gopher
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Burqinis ARE oppressive. We should be uncomfortable with that. I dont see men with burqas on.

  9. Darkmoon
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I guess if someone needed to take a shit outside of “authorized” break times they’d fire them, too. It sounds like that company needs to educate themselves more about lactation. I’ve never experienced it but I know women who have, and they say it really starts hurting if they don’t express after a certain period of time. Does anyone know how long (approximately) it takes to pump breastmilk?

  10. Shy Mox
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Whats so offensive about a woman choosing to swim but not show off skin? There’s nothing inherently wrong with covering oneself up, as long as its the person’s own choice. Where do we get off countering other people telling women what to wear by telling women what not to wear?

  11. uberhausfrau
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    i took about 20 minutes with my single horned manual pump.
    it could be cut in half if you had a fancy double horned electric model. also assuming you responded well to a breast pump. some women dont.
    however, if you get your work done, i personally dont see what the problem is. before i was pregnant i know i took longer coffee breaks.

  12. uberhausfrau
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    my original comment was made while making dinner so i just want to elaborate on a few points, just in case this devolves as many breastfeeding stories here tend to do so.
    i found another link that has more of the court process in the story.
    http://www.journal-news.com/news/hamilton-news/west-chester-breastfeeding-case-has-divided-ohio-supreme-court-269293.html
    Five of the seven justices found that LaNisa Allen of Colerain failed to prove Totes/Isotoner Corp. violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and that Allen “was simply and plainly terminated as an employee at will for taking an unauthorized, extra break” and failing to “follow directions.”
    Ohio does not have any laws i can find protecting a woman’s right to pump at work. If she had at that explicit right, Ms. Allen could have “followed directions” when it came to autorised breaks.
    so what we have in this case appears to be a woman who was otherwised forced to “break the rules” in order to provide for her child. totes/isotoner was unwilling to “authorise” these extra breaks even though there are many companies that do so.
    in the court’s opinion:
    “In this case, the evidence in the record demonstrates that Allen took unauthorized breaks from her workstation, and Isotoner discharged her for doing so,” the court wrote.
    “Thus, the record as it was developed in the trial court fails to provide a basis from which a jury could conclude that Isotoner’s articulated legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for Allen’s termination — failure to follow directions – was a pretext for discrimination based on Allen’s pregnancy or a condition related to her pregnancy.”
    however, the only reason she was taking those unauthorised breaks was because of “a condition related to her pregnancy” for which she had no explicit protection and totes/isotoner did not see fit to extend special consideration. “the court said Allen’s status as a lactating mother isn’t relevant to the dispute.” um. what? the only reason she was taking not following directions to take unauthorised breaks was because she was lactating! she wasnt smoking crack or selling company secrets. cognitive dissonance: u haz it, Ohio Supreme Court!!
    and lastly, regarding “bathroom breaks.” the need to empty your breasts can be just as urgent as the need to empty your bladder. the original link called Ms. Allen a “new mother” which to me means the baby is under 6 months. at that stage, babies still nurse every 2-3 hours and the breasts respond accordingly. when i worked, if i tried to push my breaks past 2 1/2 hours, i would start leaking through my shirt. just thinking about my baby or reading breastfeeding support blogs triggered my let-down reflex. going 4 or even 5 hours without emptying the breast would be like chugging a big gulp and then being expected to hold it for two hours. eventually your body will say “fuck it” and you will need to find a change of clothes.
    not frequently nursing/emptying the breast can lead to plugged and infected ducts, and mastitis. it can lead to low supply and otherwise destroy a nursing relationship.
    and yet another issue might be basic worker’s rights. a 5 min bathroom break (or even a cigarette break) is probably not enough to pump unless one has a really nice electric double pump. however, are those breaks “authorised?” do we have another erhenriech example of workers not being allowed to relieve basic bodily functions? was ms. allen a union employee/is totes a union workshop?
    so TL;DR – the big problem is no direct legistlation on pumping at work. because of that, totes was able to fire her on trumped down charges. and because the supreme court didnt rule on whether lactation falls under pregnancy discrimination, the gates are wide open for other companies to file suit.
    *all gleaned from my J.D. from the university of pre-law co-taught women’s studies class*

  13. uberhausfrau
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    are you being sarcastic? i mean this sincerely, i cant tell.

  14. Pantheon
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I do see men at the beach in shorts that go past their knees and big T-shirts. It might not cover quite as much as a burqua but it covers way more than most women’s bathing suits.
    I don’t have a problem with someone wearing a bathing suit that covers them up. It seems a bit awkward to me (it holds more water, more of a pain to peel off when its wet, etc) but that’s their problem, not mine. I’d be less comfortable with something that covers the face, too, since not being able to see people’s faces can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings, but I don’t see any problem with covering up your body and hair if you want to.
    I don’t understand the comment about the cleanliness of a burquini. People swim in wet suits, and it looked like it wasn’t even as thick as one of those.

  15. allegra
    Posted August 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking exactly the same thing. ” … was [not] a pretext for discrimination based on Allen’s pregnancy or a condition related to her pregnancy”: How could this NOT be fucking based on her pregnancy? A man, somebody who does not have a uterus nor functioning breasts and who does not have the capacity to give birth, would not be taking lactation breaks. Obviously Totes was trying to frame it as some sort of objective NON-gender issue when it is clearly and obviously a GENDER issue.
    Bah. Fuck it. Just more bullshit in the corporate and government quest to figure out how to best restrain and police women’s (and workers’) bodies.

  16. Marc
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    CNN ran a story about how a county in Tennessee is requiring that men who are convicted of solitication of prostitution attend a class about tne “dangers of using prostitutes.”
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/08/27/tennessee.john.school/index.html
    The story is problematic to me, because once again, the argument is that we should not use prostitutes because of the dangers of diseases and others, without questioning why or how these prostitutes got the diseases in the first place. Once again, prostitutes are made to look like the “bad” people here. It really reminds me of the way the military, in the 1940s and on, ran campaigns of “just because she looks clean doesn’t mean she is” for Soldiers stationed overseas where prostitution was widely available to boost morale.
    But the silver lining in all of this is that the class also speaks of the personal experiences of prostitutes – focusing on a woman who was sexually abused at a young age, in trying to humanize prostitutes in the eyes of the johns.
    Thoughts on the story?
    Oh, and a side note – I hate Brett Favre, but will forever be thankful for his signing with the Jets last year. In doing so, he set Chad Pennington free, who eventually signed with my Dolphins, and went on to an 11-5 season, winning the AFC East Championship!
    Go, Dolphins!

  17. Cactus Wren
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    “Swimsuit controversies throughout history” … well, for certain limited values of “throughout”. (In Europe in the Middle Ages it was the custom for men and women to attend at the public baths together. They bathed in exactly what you’d wear in the bathtub today. Tubs were generally sized for two. The Catholic Church finally managed to get the bath-houses closed, plunging Europe into the Age of Grime.)

  18. Gopher
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Its not about showing skin or not, its tied to oppressive religious ideas that inhibit and dehumanize women. Men have speedos and women have bikinis, theres no male equivalent for burqas or burkinis.
    ” as long as its the person’s own choice. ”
    Misogyny is never a womans choice. I dont support a womans ‘right’ to ‘choose’ to live ina d omestic violent situation anymore than I support a womans ‘right’ to live under oppressive religious ideas. I mean, why even be a feminist if thats the case?

  19. Gopher
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Its not about showing skin or not, its tied to oppressive religious ideas that inhibit and dehumanize women. Men have speedos and women have bikinis, theres no male equivalent for burqas or burkinis.
    ” as long as its the person’s own choice. ”
    Misogyny is never a womans choice. I dont support a womans ‘right’ to ‘choose’ to live in a domestic violent situation anymore than I support a womans ‘right’ to live under oppressive religious ideas. I mean, why even be a feminist if thats the case?

  20. Gopher
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    No. I’m exasperated with feminists defending oppressive and clearly misogynistic religious wear under ‘right to wear what they want’ or comparing it to the inverse of exhibiting skin. Its neither, its just misogynistic.

  21. Gopher
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Those guys are probably covering a gut, its not any religious sanction, so its not the same thing. A burqini is quite different than a long t-shirt and shorts.

  22. monkeyhaterobot
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    http://www.breakingfree.net/prevention_johns_school.aspx
    Just thought I’d add that “John School” is also something that goes on in St. Paul, MN — and has been for 10 years now. The women confront the johns and share their personal stories and emotions they have while engaged in sexual activity. The women also share stories of how they wound up in prostitution.

  23. Marj
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    What you’re saying though, is that she can’t choose properly for herself, so you’re going to do it for her. That goes against the whole idea of ‘freedom of choice’. Besides, we’re talking about France, not the Taliban–I’m pretty sure these women know they have other options, and that it’s not necessary for them to dress so conservatively. They may not be comfortable wearing more mainstream bathing suits, and that’s not something you can change easily–plenty of women have hangups about revealing too much skin, and it takes time to get over it. So in your cause of ‘liberating’ these women, you’re actually restricting their choices.

  24. Gopher
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    In America we would call that domestic abuse, ie, covering a woman head to toes so shes not seen by anyone other than her husband. Lets call it what it is.

  25. Gopher
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    That sounds interesting. Better than ‘dangers of using prostitutes.’ That implies the sex worker is the one at fault rather than the john.

  26. Pantheon
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    And what if a woman wants to cover a gut? Or any part of herself she’s not comfortable showing off? Why shouldn’t she be able to? I don’t love the idea of burquinis, but I can think of plenty of reasons someone might want to wear one. If it were me, I might prefer something in between– knee length shorts and a Tshirt, say, for swimming if I didn’t want to be nearly naked. But if someone wants long sleeves and pants why shouldn’t they be able to? It would protect from sun damage and might be more comfortable than greasy sunblock. I hate putting on sunblock, it always ends up getting in my contact lenses.
    I’d be upset about the idea of a place where all women were forced to wear this. But women living in Europe know they have other options, and if they want to cover up there’s no reason to take that choice away from them. I know plenty of american non-religious women who won’t go swimming at all because they don’t want to be seen in a bathing suit. Telling women they must wear something that they feel is too revealing isn’t going to make them reveal their skin, its going to make them not go swimming.

  27. Pantheon
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Its only domestic abuse if she’s being forced to wear that. You have no evidence that she is. I see women all the time at university wearing cute, tight clothing and a coordinated sparkly headscarf. They are out on their own at university, taking classes, running their own life. They know what their options are. If they want to wear a headscarf, why stop them?
    Personally, I draw the line at covering your face, because it really causes problems with so many social interactions. I’d hate to teach a class with a student with her face covered, because I wouldn’t be able to tell if she was paying attention, or confused, or whatever. But I don’t need to be able to see anyone’s hair or elbows to have normal interactions with them.

  28. Darkmoon
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    So roughly about the same amount of time as taking a dump. I’m sorry to compare the two because they’re entirely different things, but if employees can take breaks for unauthorized shits they should be able to do the same for pumping milk.
    I got fired once for taking a break to take medication for menstrual cramps. I hate seeing women punished for being women.

  29. Emily
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I just went to the site and Breaking Free seems like an excellent program. You could argue they lean towards denying that prostitutes have agency, but mostly I think they are dedicated to helping women and girls affected by prostitution and it looks like they’re doing a damn good job. Anyway, they look like a great program to donate to or volunteer for and as a model for similar programs in every area. I wish more programs like theirs existed!

  30. electrictoaster
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m in total agreement about the “right to pump” business, but does it really take the average person 20 minutes to poop? That’s intense, lol.
    Whoever fired you was a shitbag, btw. Isn’t that illegal? I mean, you can make the (very weak) argument that denying women the right to pump on the job isn’t discrimination because they chose to have kids. But it’s pretty hard to argue that your menstrual cramps are a result of anything other than your being a woman.

  31. LalaReina
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I can’t stand Bret Favre and with his appearance here I now accept now there is no escaping him. It isn’t what Favre has or hasn’t done, it’s the way the media sucks his ass all the time. Favre throws the most braindead up for grabs passes and he is a “gambler” a “swashbuckler” let Eli Manning throw the same pass and he’s an “idiot”.

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