Weekly Feminist Reader

Media scaremongering about women’s “ovarian reserves.”
As Jessica puts it, “We’re suffering under the mass delusion that women in America have achieved equality.”
The story of Sharbat Gula, the woman who, as a 17-year-old, was featured on the cover of National Geographic.
How the college abstinence movement falsely bills itself as pro-woman.
What if there was just a Best Acting category in the Oscars?
“Not to be a broken record about this, but the notion that most rapes are a matter of women making drunken choices and regretting it later doesn’t match the realities.”
This is an abbreviated list of links this week, as my internet connection is spotty… So let me turn things over to you all: What have you been reading/writing?

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  • Renee

    Lady GaGa’s Vagina Is Not Your Business: Looking at the way transphobia is thrown at Lady Gaga in an attempt to discern whether or not she has a vagina.
    The Olympic Flowers Represent Women’s Activism: the flowers have been arranged by a woman dedicated to teaching sex workers, domestic violence survivors and ex cons flower arranging.
    Facebook Group: Reasons when it is acceptable to punch a woman in the face: Please report this site that believe that domestic violence is a joke.
    Dear Oprah: Wondering why she has not had trans women of colour on her show.

  • Becky

    This week at Happy Bodies,
    I wrote about Gender dynamics in the classroom: How do I change the fact that the same men speak every day?
    Nko said Oh HELL no to Carrie Underwood’s fat talk.
    We asked our campus to c’mon get happy, and made posters specifically about male body image.

  • http://genderacrossborders.com Gender Across Borders

    Hey all,
    Wanted to let you know of the first-ever Blog for International Women’s Day event on March 8! This year the theme is “Equal rights, equal opportunity: Progress for all” and any blog can sign up. To see what other blogs are participating and for more information on this new blogging event, click here.
    Trouble for Women of the Wall
    Women who run, and women who RUN
    Don’t forget to leave your own links in tomorrow’s Global Feminist Link Love [GFLL], where we highlight our favorite blog posts and news articles from around the internet.

  • http://www.austintotamu.blogspot.com Courtney S.

    Abby Johnson and how Texas A&M’s campus paper can’t write an unbiased news article: I respond to the ridiculously biased article in my campus paper about Abby Johnson, the anti-choice “convert” who made a splash in right-wing circles a couple months ago.
    Doctor Who fans disappoint me: I have one of those terrible confrontations with anti-feminists on the Doctor Who forum Gallifrey Base and my skin is still crawling. Post forthcoming about why women so often avoid fan culture in science fiction and gaming communities.

  • April

    I’ve been so busy with school, and obsessively playing the Wii (just bought it, how exciting), that I have been neglecting my blog lately. I did, however, write a quick post about how weird it is that discussing marijuana use in public is totally normal, and how that makes the fact that it’s still illegal in most all circumstances really… ridiculous.

  • NapoleonInRags

    What would happen if we just had a best acting category? The same thing that would happen if we had no gender segregation in sports. Women would get the short end of the stick. The present system at least ensures that some women will be honored for their acting ability each year. Would anyone here be willing to give that up for the possibility of women being skipped year after year? Keep in mind that the non-divided award of best director has never gone to a woman. Not a single time.

  • beckeck06

    ugh, that National Geographic article was really awful. Why did the journalist take her brothers’ opinions on her happiness and what sort of life she lives?
    Read just like another white man’s journaling of the poor, victimized, oppressed brown woman. I think it really speaks to how our culture romanticizes and then commodifies the oppression of brown women. Why was this article posted on this blog without any of the sassy (in a good way) commentary that usually accompanies trash like this?

  • laurylen

    Violence & Not Getting It Where I complain about the media treatment of the Alabama Huntsville tragedy.

  • Rebecca K.

    Holding a mourning ceremony – Can I give myself permission to grieve for the pre-transition life I never had?
    Cupcake and Shut The Hell Up Day – I’m trying to figure out how much a good joke is worth (in response to Steak and BJ Day)
    Depression as a hole – My therapist gave me a useful analogy for depression

  • April
  • hannahb

    Check this out: Anorexics Who Cook
    My sister, a freshman in college, blogs about the process of recovering from anorexia, dealing with therapy, and the abusive voice of the Eating Disorder. She’s witty, intelligent, and makes me cry. For me, as her sister, it’s a valuable insight into the way she thinks about anorexia, especially since I live in another state.

  • MandyV

    We recently began our I ? FR Campaign, with the goal of raising $5,000 between Valentine’s Day and the end of March. So far, you have donated $525 – over 10% of our goal! While we’re off to a great start, we still have nine-tenths of the way to go. Your support is what keeps Feminist Review going, and we appreciate the opportunity you give us to continue moving forward.
    Cynthia E. Orozco attempts to shed some light on one of these ignored civil rights movements in her book, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed. Her chronicle is a fascinating exploration at an overlooked chapter of American history.
    This documentary, which clocks in at just twenty-four minutes, will continue to haunt you long after it ends. The Line is Nancy Schwartzman’s wonderfully brave effort to interrogate the circumstances of a sexual assault she endured while living aboard. Because she is not a “perfect victim” (the incident happened after she willingly went home with a guy, as opposed to having been raped by a stranger), she soon finds that this leaves her no recourse in the eyes of law.
    Luc Besson is credited with the “story” for this violent comic book of a thriller that is an insult to Paris. Years ago, Besson wrote Le Dernier Combat and The Fifth Element, flicks that are still worth seeing. He either wrote From Paris With Love in one second on the back of a postage stamp, is imaginatively bankrupt, or really needs the money. (All three perhaps?) Here’s the so-called story.

  • MandyV

    “Deeply Divided”: Sri Lanka through the Eyes of Adele Barker
    During the year she taught Russian literature at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Arizona University professor Adele Barker found herself more comfortable in the role of perpetual learner than educator. Barker’s apt and thoughtful descriptions of being a fish out of water provide an excellent place of departure for the detailed exploration of the current social, cultural, and political struggles of her temporary home. In Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka she offers a profound historical reflection written with accessible prose and a desire to present an evenhanded look at the country’s precarious past—a past we continue to see play out in the immediate aftermath of a 26-year civil war and last week’s dissolution of the country’s Parliament.

  • Flowers

    Pointing out that the Batt is a sexist piece of crap that’s not even useful as toilet paper is liking saying that the sky is blue. I found that the only way to keep my sanity was to ignore it all together. TAMU ’02

  • MandyV

    This Week on Bitch Magazine’s Blog
    The Visibility Project: A female, Asian American, queer portraiture project by Bay Area Photographer Mia Nakano and Los Angeles collaborator Christine Pan.
    Out, Damned Spot: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London will hold its first-ever play penned by a woman.
    The Rachel Maddow Backlash: Which liberals are turning on her and why?
    Reality TV MP Busted with Hidden Cash in Brassiere: After agreeing to live in a housing block for eight days on the weekly public asistance earnings of a job seeker, Parliament Member Nadine Dorries was caught with additional money in her bra.
    The Short Cut To Sexy: Glamour thinks some women may have sexual anorexia. WTF is that?!

  • Anony-mouse

    The Olympic Flowers Represent Women’s Activism: the flowers have been arranged by a woman dedicated to teaching sex workers, domestic violence survivors and ex cons flower arranging.
    One would think that teaching then automotive repair or welding would be more useful.

  • Anony-mouse

    What if there was just a Best Acting category in the Oscars?
    Then women would never win and only rarely be nominated. The Roman Polanski bullshit should tell you the extent of misogyny in Hollywood.

  • Elizabeth

    At re:Cycling, the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, this week we wrote about whether PMDD will be in DSM-V, an ad for a PMS remedy from Chile that portrays a woman with PMS as a wrestler, the “Last Stand” Dodge Charger ad and feminist response, an upcoming presentation in NYC about marketing ladyproducts (we wish we could be there!), a program to distribute cloth menstrual pads in Africa, a proposed invention to reduce the duration of menstrual flow (looks sketchy to us), and special running shoes for menstruating ladies.

  • http://whoreisacompliment.wordpress.com/ Melina

    I made a bunch of posts at my new blog about my experiences as a prostitute, Whore Is A Compliment.
    Whoring Taught Me About Beauty How working as a prostitute made me both less shallow and more capable of seeing beauty.
    It Is Rape My feelings about clients who fuck us and then don’t pay are essentially rapists.
    I’m Going to Lie + Ask Away Clarification that I’m gonna be changing some details about my life so as to keep my identity safe from nosy internet-goers. Also, an invitation to ask any questions you may have about being an escort.
    Who I Am in “Real Life” Breaking down a few misconceptions about escorts.
    Whoring Taught Me To Orgasm How whoring helped me to get more in touch with my body and what brings me pleasure.
    I’m Really Tired of Being Talked About Demanding the right to have my voice heard, especially in feminist circles, instead of merely being talked about as a statistic.

  • MLEmac28

    I don’t think that’s actually the same woman. Her nose is a fundamentally different shape, and her eyes, mouth, and jawline don’t match either. I think the main thing they were looking to match was the eye color, but that doesn’t seem right either. I know eye color has a tendency to change, but little things, like the size of her iris compared to the rest of her eye doesn’t match.

  • MLEmac28

    Of course, if she was younger that 17 at the time, most of those changes could probably be accounted for, but at 17 her mature features would be mostly there.

  • Emily

    agreed. Plus, the segregation of male and female acting awards doubles the most popular (for the audience) awards. It would be nice if more interesting leading actor roles went to women but very few of the best films I’ve seen have been written that way. I think we need to change our culture to see women as active interesting participants instead of acted upon, convenient 2-dimensional plot devices and prizes before we can see that in our movies and thus our awards.

  • IAmGopherrr

    I really liked Jessica Valentis article in the Washington post!Its good to see feministing and ilk represented in mainstream publications. :)

  • s.

    I do a weekly post, “Your Friday Awesome” that is usually kittens and puppies and other unicorn chasers, but this week I celebrated awesomeness. Specifically, the awesomeness of a friend who is a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. She is working to connect a reliable, clean water supply to a health clinic and you can help her do it.

  • Gnatalby

    The mother-daughter dance: This week’s SLAT featured a strained and very offensive comparison between high school and the holocaust, and a huge hullabaloo over girls who carry condoms. Apparently that means you’re open for business, slatterns!
    One Tree Hell: A confusing tale in two promos.

  • Gnatalby

    People always say in these articles that the category was divided because otherwise only women would have won, but that sounds apocryphal to me, like all the other empty phrases that are said as consolation to women. Behind every man there’s a great women is, after all, just a way to keep women complacent about being behind.
    So too, I think people say “Well if they weren’t separate, only women would win!” as a way to keep women quiet about the fact that, for the most part, there aren’t a lot of great parts being written for women.
    If the category were combined no woman would ever win because studios would lose the only incentive they currently have to create good parts for women.
    No thanks.

  • tinfoil hattie

    That article is 8 years old. Now and then it makes the rounds of blogs, not sure why.

  • Thomas

    This week at Yes Mens Yes:
    Things Nice Girls Don’t Do. What do BDSM and the inability to scream during sexual assault have in common? Mental blocks created by gender role socialization.

  • dirtybird

    Not saying I necessarily agree with you, but just to play devil’s advocate, the older woman also appears to have a slightly cleft chin while the younger one doesn’t. I don’t think that’s something that tends to appear out of the blue as someone ages.

  • Ximena
  • NoticingTheGap

    One sentence from Tiger Woods’ apology really stuck with me this week, so I wrote about “entitlement.”

  • Brittany-Ann

    This week at BookishBeemer:
    Get Your Activism On! Sign a petition to send to a company that fires women for being sexually harassed in the workplace.
    To be or not to be: A Princess or an Equal? This post looks at the two options women are seen to have in a relationship.
    Women are Boys’ Toys Why you shouldn’t ask permission to date your friend’s ex.
    <a href="Women are Boys’ Toys Why you shouldn’t ask permission to date your friend’s ex.”>To Speak and be Listened to. In which I talk about my frustration when talking to my brother.

  • rhowan

    Ann made a mistake when she listed Sharbat’s age as 17 in the original photo – she’s actually somewhere between the ages of 10 and 13. The photo was taken in 1984 and it was 17 years before they found her again in 2002.

  • rhowan

    I found the documentary that this article summarizes to be incredibly riveting, but maybe that’s because I remember reading the original article as a child. They’ll be airing it again on Feb 27th. Sharbat Gula’s story really is moving, even if cultural inhibitions mean that we have to hear much of it through her brother.
    For those who may have missed it there are some video clips from the documentary on the National Geographic web site, and I found another brief clip on YouTube.
    Also, for what it’s worth, the identification wasn’t based on simple “eye colour”, it was based on iris feature biometric analysis done by the FBI.

  • Brianna G

    Why is it scaremongering to point out the very real biological fact that a woman’s fertility decreases with time, while her risk of miscarriage or of birth defects in her fetus as well as the danger she is exposed to by undertaking the pregnancy at all?
    Younger women have healthier children (thus are less likely to have to not work to care for a special-needs child), have fewer problems getting and staying pregnant, and are themselves healthier as they go through the pregnancy. This isn’t scaremongering. It’s fact. And what’s more, it’s fact that many young women don’t really understand– they know they should get tested for conditions if they have kids later, but they don’t think of their fertility as having a time limit other than just menopause. Then they go to start their families and have to deal with the heartbreak of infertility, pregnancy loss, premature births and other complications, or birth defects, the recovery from difficult and dangerous births, and the extreme costs of fertility treatments, invasive tests, active management of their deliveries, NICU care, and post-birth care.
    Women who want children need to know this.