Weekly Feminist Reader


Alice Rossi, a noted sociologist and one of the founders of NOW, who died this week.
The House passed a health-care bill, and a major anti-choice amendment along with it.
The Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) is conducting free video and filmmaking workshops for Two Spirits, or queer Native Americans.
Nick Kristof on bisphenol A, the synthetic estrogen that’s been linked to breast cancer and all sorts of other health problems.
What if we did as much to prevent rape as we do to prevent H1N1?
Beyond slogans: Neda’s mother speaks.
Men’s rights groups just won’t go away.
An astounding fact: “Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood.”
A great post from Sharanya Manivannan on women, language and experience, inspired by Penelope Trunk tweeting her miscarriage.
Iraqi women take refuge in underground shelters.
A woman in Texas was fined $204 for not speaking English.
Richmond is dealing with the fall-out over the gang-rape committed at a high school homecoming dance two weeks ago.
The New York Times did not agree to refer to women as “Ms.” on its own
How the Internet is democratizing comics — and women are benefiting.
What have you all been reading/writing this week?

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26 Comments

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

    I wrote about the cringe factor of this week’s private practice about disability, dwarfism, and PC language.
    Nip/Tuck features a “feminist.”
    Then there’s the over-exposition on season 6 of Melrose Place, and about the over the top ridiculousness of the first episode of season six.

  2. Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the link love. This week I also wrote the following:
    Roger Ebert Proves “Good Hair” Was made for White People: Looking at his review of the movie in which he infers that he has special knowledge about Black hair and why it is considered problematic
    Vampire Hotties: Examining the recent vampires and deciding who has played the greatest undead character.
    What if Jesus was a trans woman: Looking at a play in which Jesus is understood to be a trans woman and how the protest against it is a display of cisgender privilege in the guise of religious beliefs.
    My Friend Called to Say She Was Raped: Looking at the difficulty that I am having as a fellow survivor to help my friend deal with her sexual assault.
    Polite Prejudice : Looking at why even when said in a polite manner homophobia is still dehumanizing and intolerable. There can be no friendship when a person “disagrees” with ones sexuality.
    Finally, Sunday Shame Kids Movies: Looking at how to deal with children who watch the same shows repeatedly. The post also encourages the confession of the ridiculous shows we subject out loved ones to.

  3. April
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Sarah Haskins recent “Doofy Husbands” “Target Women” made me think about that stupid stereotype, and theorized about where it came from.

  4. FilthyGrandeur
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Does “lady stupid” exist?: looking at how movies portray dudes being stupid make me wonder if women are also afforded the luxury to be stupid–without being stereotypical (i.e. ditsy, blonde, etc.)
    Fuzz Therapy: Princess has decided to help me sew.
    The “odd” news category is so “clever” when it comes to “women”: i vent about the use of ironic quotes in a post about a woman who was “harassed.”
    Bonus kitty: because the world really sucks, and sometimes a fluffy kitty is necessary…

  5. Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    This week in Evil Slutopia:
    ~We updated the continuing saga of our comic, I Read While He Plays Video Games: You say she’s just a friend…
    ~We covered the protest of a transphobic article in the November issue of Seventeen.
    ~Some people just do not deserve a free pizza.
    ~We weighed in on a recent New York magazine feature on the issue of circumcision: Sexual Mutilation or Routine Medical Procedure?
    ~We took a look at a recent lesson from the Rock for Life blog on phrases to drop from the “pro-life vocabulary”.
    ~A recent article on Oprah.com suggests that we replace feminism, which is just for ugly and bitchy women anyway, with “feminine-ism”. We’re ever so slightly skeptical.

  6. abyss2hope
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Here are my posts from last week:
    Sometimes it’s too late to say you aren’t a rape apologist looks at advice which claims to help girls avoid being raped but which provides backhanded support for the rapes being warned against.
    Understanding the diversity and limitations of rape statistics looks at why the National Crime Victimization survey underestimates overall sexual violence and violence against people with disabilities.
    Accidental rapists? highlights a man’s assumption that if a man is not a stereotypical sexual predator that when he rapes it is just an accident.
    MN sexual violence prevention network meeting highlights a quarterly meeting and the planned presentation for Nov. on the serious mental health consequences for women and children who have been victims of sexual violence.

  7. feministrising
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    This week I decided to resurrect my small feminist blog over at http://feministrising.wordpress.com
    Right now there is a short “resurrection” post and all of the older posts, but I’m hoping to update it daily so I hope to see some of you there!
    abby

  8. FW
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    A little ramble about my time in jail years ago, and I’m getting quite critical about the anti-sex trafficking movement’s ‘end the demand’ tack because so many abolitionists seem to have problem with a twisted glorification of sex.
    Most of the stuff I wrote was sparked by this excellent series on contexts.org.

  9. Posted November 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey all! Here’s what’s been going on at Gender Across Borders:
    Once a Battle, Now an Outright War about Mexico’s abortion wars
    Comfort Women Still Seek Justice: about the women in Japan who were forced into sex slavery during WWII
    We just had our Circumcision series this past Friday: one post on the ethics of neonatal circumcision; another on feminism, brit milah, and circumcision in the Jewish faith; and finally one on female genital operations.

  10. Posted November 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    After a particularly confrontational meeting, I wrote out my reaction to what happens when constructive criticism runs up against good intentions.
    This one is a bit on the ouch side, I have to say, so my apologies in advance if it rubs someone the wrong way. I was feeling kind of frustrated at people who are born with so much and who, in my opinion, have a tendency to take it all for granted.

  11. Brittany
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    The comments on DoubleX’s article, especially by “Manhood 101″ makes me realize why I’m an asexual feminist.
    Pretty damn disgusting.

  12. kaje
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    How I found out I was “politically correct”.
    http://johnnykaje.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/how-i-found-out-i-was-politically-correct/
    And why people should be proud to be referred to as such.

  13. oddrid
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    The comments on that Double X post are horrifying.

  14. Charybdis
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    About the men’s rights advocates: I can’t believe they think they are remotely justified in “warning us” about the future violence we as feminists are generating from “frustrated men”. Oh really? Well, I’m an extremely angry and frustrated woman. Can go out and shoot you now, according to your logic, and have my actions be “completely understandable” due to the lack of action against sexual assault, or do I have to just “move on” when a sexual predator makes a forced and half-hearted apology? See the double standard angry harry? See? See?????

  15. bbbf
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I know, I feel sick. I just sent an email asking them to moderate reader comments.

  16. alexandra__n
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    did anyone else read about the woman at University in Brazil who was expelled and harassed for wearing a short dress? The way other students treated her is scary and horrible
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33771623?GT1=43001

  17. nattles_thing
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    After taking a break, I started posting on Natalie Does New York again.
    In my first post after my hiatus, I talked abouthow the idea that porn women look almost completely different from “normal” women is incredibly annoying.

  18. kaje
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Another one: I wrote a piece in response to Stupak. Two women debate whether American citizens are humans, or walking cars.
    http://johnnykaje.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/cars-vs-people/

  19. s.
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Review: Where the Wild Things Are – Spoiler alert: I really disliked it and thought the strange characterization of the wild things left us to witness an abusive parental relationships.
    A (tiny) Room of One’s Own – I can see the appeal of the women’s residences profiled in the NYT’s, and they remind me a bit of my first San Francisco apartment.

  20. aletheia_shortwave
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Me too.

  21. Feminist Review
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Coming to Terms with Abortion Addiction
    I am one of those pro-choice people who say things that are so insensitive, so anti-natalist that I frequently make other pro-choicers cringe. Irene Vilar’s confession of having had fifteen abortions in as many years made me cringe. I cringed continuously as I made my way through her painfully honest story not because I stand in misconstrued judgment of her actions, but because the writing breathes such raw emotion that it becomes difficult to read it with the same air of necessary detachment with which Vilar has lived a great deal of her life. (Continue reading on RHRealityCheck.org)
    Compelled by Faith: When Prayer is Not Good For You
    How does an eleven-year-old girl cope with the trauma of losing both her favorite aunt and her beloved father in the span of one calendar year? She may pray to God daily to ask Him to protect her loved ones. But what happens when prayer becomes more than just a comfort? What happens when it becomes a compulsion? This question is at the heart of Abby Sher’s memoir Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn’t Stop Praying (Among Other Things). (Continue reading on ReligionDispatches.org)

  22. sbeath
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    This is a little nit-picky, but could we call the “Men’s Rights Groups” what they are and refer to them as “Anti-Woman Groups”? Men have their own set of inequalities to fight, whether it’s registration for the draft, stigmatization of male stay-at-home-parenting, or the need to *expand* domestic violence laws to better protect men, who appear much less likely to recognize and report abuse against themselves.
    Calling these woman-hating vigilante groups that seek to shore up patriarchal relationships “Men’s Rights Groups” tars the work of people actually working for gender equality and men’s rights.

  23. Charybdis
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I don’t take DoubleX seriously

  24. Sloppy Sandwich
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Kristol called BPA “a synthetic estrogen” and “a chemical variant of estrogen.” Neither is true.
    Calling BPA “a synthetic estrogen” implies that it is somehow intended to be an artificially made estrogen, and this is quite simply false.
    Part of the BPA molecule is similar to estrogen, as is true of thousands of other molecules. If BPA is “a chemical variant of estrogen,” then the alcohol in your gin and tonic is a chemical variant of formaldehyde.
    Look up the chemical structure of the two molecules. It will take two minutes using google and wikipedia. A person with no chemistry background will find it obvious that the molecules are very different.
    Kristol might have done well to note that the FDA equivalents in Australia and New Zealand, the EU, and Japan have all determined BPA not to be a hazard to human health or the environment.
    I am not a BPA supporter. My 18 month old son drinks from BPA-free bottles (and now sippy cups) But Kristol’s column was ignorant and one-sided.
    The BPA battle has been mainstream news for years and the most cursory research yields much better information than that johnny-come-lately column.

  25. Sloppy Sandwich
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I agree a different name that denotes the true nature of their goals and activities would be more appropriate, but “Anti-Woman Groups” is too broad. It could be applied to a great many other groups that aren’t in line with the specific brand of misogyny the MRA knuckleheads are selling.

  26. Teresa
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I just picked up Jessica’s book “Yes means Yes!”. I have the hardest time putting this book down. The essays I’ve covered have been phenomenal to say the least. My favorite article thus far is Thomas Macaulay Millar’s essay “Toward a Performance Model of Sex”. The beginning paragraph he uses to show that in its literal sense it makes none, and that when taken in the “sex as a commodity” context it still doesn’t make any, yet as a performance concept it makes absolute sense. And really he’s right. Sex isn’t a commodity, it is as much a performance as singing, painting, or dancing.
    I’m still in the beginning stages of sorting out my sexuality and owning it, and reading this essay definately resonated with how I feel about sex.
    Seriously jessica! Thank you for putting this book together!

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