Weekly Feminist Reader


Image via Sociological Images
Page at the Bitch blog argues that Halloween queers us all. And a commenter at Sociological Images observes that grown women dress as sexualized young girls, and young girls dress as sexualized grown women.
Esperanza is the country’s first nonprofit dedicated to eradicating sexual assault and harassment of female farm workers.
On women combat veterans and PTSD: “Indeed, at home, after completing important jobs in war, women with the disorder often smack up against old-fashioned ignorance: male veterans and friends who do not recognize them as “real soldiers”; husbands who have little patience with their avoidance of intimacy; and a society that expects them to be feminine nurturers, not the nurtured.”
CNN bumped a story about ten missing black women to cover the disappearance of on non-black woman.
Bad-ass woman alert: Lan Yin Tsai, 84, bikes 150 miles (in a straight shot) for multiple sclerosis research every year
Recommendations for achieving global reproductive justice.
A high-school teacher in Illinois was suspended for having his students read a book about homosexuality in the animal kingdom.
A compilation of critiques of hate-crimes legislation.
KRS-ONE says hip-hop needs more women.


An early-childhood lesson in “yes means yes.”
If elected in Houston, Annise Parker will be the first openly gay woman to be mayor of a major American city.
At DePaul University say women professors were disproportionately denied tenure.
Latoya calls out the Jolie-Pitt hair police. (Tami and Shani-O have more.)
There has been a major increase in TV portrayals of violence against women.
Lambda Legal has filed a complaint on behalf of a teenage trans girl who was physically attacked by other residents at Philadelphia’s Youth Study Center and verbally abused by staff every day for almost a year and a half.
Wow, Elizabeth Hasselbeck is annoying.
Dodai officially declares blackface a fashion trend. And calls bullshit.
The meaning of speculation about the “real” Michelle Obama.
Shakesville has an update on the 15-year-old who was gang-raped at her homecoming dance. (And Broadsheet discusses the disgusting victim-blaming going on here.)
Sarah MacLachlan is bringing back Lilith Fair. (Amanda isn’t into it.)
A great post from Black Scientist on whiteness as a default in normative culture.
Why war is anti-LGBTQ.
Michelle Triola Martin, whose landmark lawsuit established a precedent for alimony settlements for unmarried partners, died on Friday.
I join Veronica in saying good riddance to Breast Cancer Awareness month!
What have you all been reading/writing this week?

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38 Comments

  1. Feminist Review
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Is Sleeping With a Married Man Sexist?
    Written by a feminist academic who had the (dis)pleasure of deliberately being “the other woman” in an ongoing affair, Cheating on the Sisterhood: Infidelity and Feminism explores Lauren Rosewarne’s personal struggles as a willing participant in an illicit relationship that resulted in another woman’s devastation, as well as her own. It is a political look at the motivations that fuel situations of betrayal and the justifications one provides oneself from the inside.

  2. Feminist Review
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    As a dancer, I feel most alive when I’m present in my body; when I breathe hard, feel the power of my feet on the ground, and sense the weight in my head and arms. To feel embodied is an exhilarating experience, and after seeing Sins Invalid’s fourth annual performance, “An Unashamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility,” I was struck by the complexities of being present and proud in a body that can make others feel deeply uncomfortable.
    As an avid consumer of coming out stories in more languages than I care to count, I decided that Girl Crazy: Coming out Erotica would be perfect summer reading.
    You might come to this film with some knowledge of hip-hop, or you might not. You might even have some knowledge of Islam, too. Neither is required, however, because New Muslim Cool is, when you get right down to it, a story of a man trying hard to know and be himself in the world.

  3. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I love this article: the History of Birth Control.
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/220089

  4. Feminist Review
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Is Feminism Men’s Work, Too?
    Brotherhood/Sister Sol is committed to deconstructing sexism and misogyny, promoting sexual education and responsibility and reducing gender bias as part of its youth development model. Further, it aims to empower black and Latino young women and men to develop into critical thinkers and community leaders. These men are probably not the faces that immediately spring to mind when one imagines “what a feminist looks like,” though perhaps they should be.

  5. Shinigami-Sidhe
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  6. Renee
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Monkey Sex: Looking at the way gender effects sexual relationships.
    What A Black Barbie Should Look Like: Look at traditional dolls reworked by an artist to more closely resemble African American women.
    Wanda Sykes Wouldn’t Fool Anyone With Black Babies: Looking at why choosing to adopt white children or use White sperm to reproduce means the neglect of Black children and stands as a sign of internalized racism.
    Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None: Looking at what happens when a trans woman decides she is no longer going to tolerate being abused.
    Joe The Plumber: Everyone is Entitled to an Opinion: Looking at how conservatives use free speech to defend their bigotry and then demand not to face criticism.
    Happy Halloween: Yes, fellow parents its time to admit the candy theft that happens the day after Halloween.

  7. FW
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I just got done ranting about Emma Thompson and how she’s not really a hypocrite.
    And I got pissed off.

  8. FilthyGrandeur
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    i only have fun Halloween posts this week:
    Fuzz Therapy: Princess is forced to celebrate Halloween :)
    I share my Sweeney Todd themed pumpkins and pics of me in my King Rat costume

  9. Posted November 1, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Looking at why Winona State U named 11th safest in USA shows how crime prevention can be so much more than lectures on self-defense.
    Examining evidence behind spiking of drinks with date-rape drugs as urban myth looks at misuse of a scientific study to call women who believed they were drugged liars and looks at how the study conflated not detecting certain drugs with proof that those tested hadn’t been drugged.
    Contrasting response to Richmond CA beating and gang rape and other reported gang rapes highlights that the outrage over gang rapes is often muted or absent by looking at the outcome of the De Anza gang rape case where an unconscious girl was rescued but nobody was charged.
    Where did those gang rapists and their cheering section get their ideas? (trigger warning) looks at what those who knew and approved of this crime were telling people and compares that to what many people say about rape online.
    Carnival against sexual violence 81 provides a variety of links.

  10. Posted November 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Some highlights this past week @GAB:
    This month’s Global Feminism in the News: Women in Progress
    A Beauty Pageant for Women with Untreated Skin in Cote d’Ivoire
    Are Bonobos Riot Grrls, Are Primates Feminist-Friendly?
    Women of Northern Uganda–A beautiful slideshow of photographs by Nora Chovanec of women in Uganda during the bitter war that has been battling the country for over thirty years
    Leave your links in tomorrow’s Global Feminist Link Love!

  11. Posted November 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    In response to the “Real Michelle Obama” and the idea of covering, I find that I do it when I interact with people who come from a more working class background. My mannerisms change, my accent is more pronounced, I make a conscious decision not to seem too educated, and I attempt to sound as “masculine” as possible. It’s a tactic meant to put the other person at ease more than for my benefit, since pretending to be something I am clearly not does not make me comfortable at all.
    But this then raises the question of what defines “mainstream”. In one sketch, Chris Rock suggested that most Americans were poor ass white people eating mayonnaise sandwiches and listening to John Cougar Mellencamp albums.
    I agree with the author that those who are adapt at covering or code-switching are usually quite successful. The actor Peter Sellers is admired for his acting ability (less for his personal conduct) because of his eerie knack for mimicry. This was much to the chagrin of his first wife who mentioned that dealing with him was like living with the United Nations.
    Only those people who feel no compulsion whatsoever to connect with those who are not specifically “like” themselves make no effort at this. Some have no choice but to be better at the task than others and some of us completely turn away from the society of our birth to find a new identity among those who are more in common sympathy with us. No matter where you look, you’ll find instance after instance of people who tone down or lose their accent to fit better into a different social group or to seem more socially acceptable. Certainly I have made a conscious effort to eradicate any southern drawl from how I talk and the longer I stay up north, the more it fades away. But the instant I am home, there it is again.
    Certainly certain ethnic and racial minority groups are forced to be more skilled at the practice and indeed I recognize their struggles, but to some extent, unless we live in some golden cage, navigating social strata and cultural differences is a skill we all possess, or at least should possess. It’s not just socially conscious, but those who wish to be good at business or in whichever field they choose would be wise to take up the skill as well.
    As for what I am writing, earlier last week I followed up with a community post I wrote here about the Niq?b (head scarf) and the implications of the practice outside of a strictly Western view.

  12. Toni
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I went to a Halloween party last night. Most of the women were wearing “sexy” costumes. It’s not like there’s much else to choose from. I did see a Dorthy that wasn’t “sexy” which was a bit of a relief.
    I was Luna Lovegood: http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/Sango1115/Halloween/DSCF0299.jpg

  13. magdalune
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I went as Voldemort. Genderbending and a use for my bald head!

  14. Gnatalby
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I wrote about women’s vs. men’s infidelity on tv, particularly, the Sopranos.

  15. asseenontv
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    My concern is just that all these gay animals are condemning themselves to eternity in Gay Animal Hell. This teacher might think he’s doing gay animals or humans a favor by legitimizing their “lifestyle choice,” but in reality he just condemning souls to hell. I’d much rather see the students read articles on baptizing and witnessing to animals.

  16. Gopher
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I had no idea the process was that sexist/homophobic. You would think they’d be more professional. Its sad that a woman who wants to donate her eggs should have to go through with all those hoops.

  17. Laura
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    ‘Bones’ and Invisible Disability: a guest post from the Feminist Scribbler looking at the representation of Dr. Brennan’s ‘invisible disability’ on Bones.
    Joss Whedon and the Able Body: as much as I love Joss Whedon, he tends to be pretty ableist in his shows.
    Denise Handicapped: a guest post from Danine Spencer about the recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry dates a woman in a wheelchair.

  18. Gopher
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    HA!
    I agree. I have yet to hear about the Flat Earth Theory. Its gotta be fact, its in the Bible!

  19. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I love the Rat King costume. that was awesome

  20. Toni
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    My dad also went with me and he was Xenophilius. I made both costumes and his was harder as he hasn’t been in the movies yet so I only had his brief book description to go by. We only had one person talk to us about our costumes and he knew me and he guessed he was Lucious Malfoy. Pretty close as both characters have very light hair and are probably around the same age seeing as their kids are only a year apart.

  21. Charybdis
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    What I’ve read this week:
    Please Set Me Free Forced to serve as a tourist attraction in a human zoo, the long-neck women of Thailand want to cast off their coils and live modern lives like the rest of us — if only the government would let them.
    http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/international/kayan-long-neck-thailand
    Survival Sex: Iraqi Refugees Imagine: One day you’re a nurse leading a quiet middle-class life; a few years later you’re in a strange country doing the unthinkable: selling yourself. For some Iraqi refugees, prostitution is the only trick they feel they’ve got left.
    http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/international/iraqi-refugees-prostitutes-sex
    Op-Ed Contributor: The Mismeasure of Woman, by a business magazine publisher, editor and reporter
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/opinion/24lipman.html

  22. Dykonoclast
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Re: Annise Parker, is Cambridge, MA not a major american city?

  23. lenady_s
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    http://nolongerquivering.com/ The No longer Quivering carnival days event started tonight. There’s quite a few blog entries already posted and the activity on the forum looks like it’s going to be interesting. It runs until the 5th. If anyone is interested in the affect fundamentalist religion has on women they should find the event, and the site itself, interesting.

  24. NapoleonInRags
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Not to be in any way difficult, but as a point of fact, Cambridge, MA is in no way a major American city. It has a population of 101,355.
    Houston, on the other hand, has a population of 2.2 million and is the fourth largest city in the country.
    All of which is just to say that this is kind of a big deal.

  25. Kim C.
    Posted November 1, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    In particular, baptizing cats.

  26. nikki#2
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    The title of that article is nonsensical and the content isn’t any better.

  27. gothhenge
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    In response to the cartoon:
    No Halloween is complete without a trip to the Girls’s Costume Warehouse!

  28. Tapati
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    I’m running a body image workshop as part of the http://nolongerquivering.com/ Carnival Days as well as having contributed some essays. Please join us! The workshop is part of the forum: http://nolongerquivering.proboards.com/index.cgi

  29. FW
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Yay! NLQ is one of my favorite sites, amazing stories and amazing women :)

  30. mk
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 8:00 am | Permalink
  31. nick mitchell
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I wrote a pretty lengthy article on the legislative focus of the mainstream LGBT movement and the way that that focus impacts its ability to ally itself with communities of color:
    “Marriage and Military: Missing the Point of Queer Advancement”

  32. FW
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    “I have questions” about a woman who has been sentenced to nine months in jail for “crying rape”. She met the guy online and the defense says:
    ‘This is an unusual case in that Ms Stephenson still maintains she was raped.
    ‘But she accepts the way in which she misled the police made it impossible for that allegation to be properly investigated.
    ‘She was ashamed and embarrassed by the way she met this man, and feared the police would not believe her or take her seriously if she told the truth about that.’
    …I can identify with that last statement far too closely.

  33. MOchem
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/11/02/astor.gang.violence/index.html
    interesting CNN op-ed on the recent gang rape at a homecoming dance in California

  34. mk
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Sigh. Totally forgot to close my tags. Safe spaces.

  35. Christine
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Feeling particularly saddened and angry by the gang rape in Richmond, CA, I wrote this piece for Brave New Traveler last Friday:
    http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2009/10/30/a-moment-of-reflection-for-women-the-world-over/

  36. Brittany
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    There was the opening “now, I know you have all been taught not to interrupt, but I want you to stop me if anything isn’t clear.”
    Oh my God, they actually said that? I swear at that point I would have laid into them.

  37. asseenontv
    Posted November 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Wanda Skyes is so bad-ass.
    I’m from a more working-class background and I enjoy the trappings of my culture. When I’m at work I basically act more like a humorless, stuck-up idiot to fit in. I don’t draw attention to the fact that I was raised by a single mother and didn’t have a car as teenager.
    I can fit in with most people who have less than yuppie money just fine, regardless of the specifics of their background. There’s little need to pretend I know less than I do or limit my vocabulary, I just don’t show off. Really, you just have to be nice and maybe indulge in low-brow humor.

  38. Shinigami-Sidhe
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    You’re right, I should have said something, but sometimes I just feel so uncomfortable in a situation that it’s difficult to speak up, and this was one of those times.

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