Weekly Feminist Reader

Rope Piece,” 1983-1984, in which Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh were tied together via a rope for a year.
What if the tea-partiers were black?
A young lesbian was attacked in Kentucky — and despite some strong evidence to the contrary, police are dismissing it as a “prank.”
Gender, dance, and Janelle Monae’s new video.
Why hasn’t Nazia Quazi’s story gotten the attention it should?
The state of Minnesota can refuse welfare benefits to women who have had miscarriages?! Oh hell no.
A US Air Marshal is accused of raping a woman at gunpoint.
The Obama administration is strengthening Title IX!
Assessing the state of women in new media.
Dana Goldstein profiles two women running for a New York House seat against each other.
Abortion promises to be an issue in the next Supreme Court confirmation battle. In other news, the sky is blue.
A closer look at how Ciara displays her sexuality.
What will it take for professional sports governing bodies to care about domestic violence and sexual assault perpetrated by players?
A trans man at UCLA California State University, Long Beach was the victim of a horrible transphobic attack.
On sex selection in adoption.
There’s a new report on murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
What have you been reading/writing this week?

Join the Conversation

  • lovelyliz

    I liked the “Imagine” piece.
    However, I also think even though the tea-partiers are sometimes made into patriots, they are equally made into villains.
    Also, there are SOME black tea-partiers – a very miniscule percent, but I don’t think they can be totally overlooked.
    I have a Father who is a tea party protester. He’s not a racist, he doesn’t want to have Obama “suck on a machine gun” and he certainly doesn’t want to overthrow the government. He thought the racism of some of the tea-partiers was absolutely disgusting [he dealt with anti-semitism] throughout his school years and he’s involved with some community stuff. We’re a middle class Jewish/Irish/Italian family and my parents typically vote conservatively.
    My Father, though he is somewhat of a Reagan-conservative, disagrees with Obama’s policies and can support his arguments with solid reasoning and examples. He doesn’t like the results of the health care bill. He believes the bill itself was deformed and he believes there are alternative ways to empower care facilities and hospitals. I definitely don’t agree with a great deal of what he says, but I really dislike the way media outlets focus on tea party extremists and try to paint them as poor hillbillies out of a job, or moneygrubbers that don’t care about the individual, the environment, the community, etc.
    Recently, I attended a NOW conference and Patricia Ireland spoke. She immediately villified every tea-partier and explained how she was worried her “poor, lower class sibling would fall to their harmful ideology.” This stereotype deeply offends and upsets me and frankly, sounds like classist drivel.
    SOME tea-partiers are terrible people. SOME tea-partiers are racist idiots that are just going with another right-wing trend. HOWEVER, a great deal of them just disagree with Obama’s policies and might just disagree with YOU. I consider these individuals people who have just chosen to express their opinion, and, honestly, they don’t deserve to all be grouped together and stereotyped in such a negative way.
    I certainly wouldn’t group any other organization [even members of PETA] in this way, and I don’t like it when feminist orgs distribute this small-minded and stereotypical speak. [This is partially in response to the cartoon last week, but also because I frequently see a mocking of the tea-party movement on every feminist site I belong to]

  • BuddhaBaby

    holy crap the “imagine if the tea partyers were black” article is amazing

  • Brianna G

    I found the bit about sex-selection interesting. I always knew that people were more likely to adopt Chinese and Eastern European girls, because of the perception that they will be abused or neglected if they are not “rescued”– not that their adoptive parents aren’t loving and genuinely seeking a family, but it’s like, “well, this little boy will grow up to be poor and bitter, but this little girl may grow up to be a prostitute.” I can see the other explanation, too– that they are “easier” somehow, and when your child is already struggling with emotional issues it’s better to adopt a girl.
    It always struck me as weird because I always think of myself as adopting a boy. Specifically, an African-American boy in a domestic adoption. I wouldn’t request it, but I do plan to adopt a child some day (in my family, it’s normal to have one or two biological children then adopt others to get the size family you want, which usually means one or two adoptees) and when I picture my family I always picture the adopted child as young and dark skinned, but very American and American-born.
    I can understand the aversion to adopting black girls more than black boys, though. The debate that still rages over how white parents style their black daughter’s hair is insane– style it wrong, and you’re a horrible parent and should give your child away. At least with a boy you can trim it short until he’s ready to style it himself.

  • Rae

    For the record, the transphobic attack occurred at California State University, Long Beach (CSLB).

  • Allegra

    The trans student was actually attacked at Cal State Long Beach, not UCLA:

  • Murray

    Surely others will beat me to the punch, but that horrible transphobic attack was on the campus of CSULB, California State University Long Beach, on the other side of LA from UCLA. (The article says that the report was RECEIVED by someone at UCLA Law.) Totally different school, different school system even.

  • caroline

    haven’t quite figured out the time or place to bring up these things, but i just thought i’d point out one of the front page yahoo articles: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100425/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan
    Within the opening lines, I was pretty angry that their first critique was that the girls could just be hysterical, not actually sick. (“whether they were targeted by militants who oppose education for girls or victims of mass hysteria.”)
    The article doesn’t make sense to me. If there is a group of people that have violently acted upon the young girls pursuing education, why on earth would the girls be doubted?! I understand mass hysteria IS a very real thing, but their symptoms could be just as real.
    It’s not only disrespectful but detrimental to question a victims psyche, before believing them. I think it mirrors, maybe not to the same extreme, the injustices many women face everywhere; the dismissal of rape and blame of the victim.
    I don’t know…this just doesn’t seem right. I’m only 16 but I’ve faced the issue of doctors blaming my psyche before exploring my symptoms.
    The idea that mass hysteria is even an option for a targeted (stress the word TARGETED) group disgusts me.

  • Pantheon

    A young lesbian was attacked in Kentucky — and despite some strong evidence to the contrary, police are dismissing it as a “prank.”
    Did you even read the article you linked to? It says that they aren’t charging the perps with a hate crime, but they ARE charging them with kidnapping and attempted murder. That is hardly dismissing it as a prank!
    In fact, if you search that blog post for the word “prank”, it appears in the title of the blog post but not in any of the quotes from the news sources or police. The title of that blog post seems purposely misleading, since it directly quotes the part where they are being charged with kidnapping and attempted murder.
    Dismissing it as a prank would mean filing no charges, or only minor charges like disorderly conduct. Kidnapping and attempted murder are extremely serious charges.

  • Anonymous

    The study on the unequal treatment of men and women who display anger has really stuck in my craw the past few months. So I decided to write about it, and the relationship of anger to status – more specifically, the fact that high-status people not only get away with anger more often, but in fact, have their privilege reinforced by the display of anger:
    Women, anger and status: taking the long view

  • MandyV

    Bright Lights, Big City, Temple Garments: A Mormon Girl in New York
    Being a single Mormon gal in New York City isn’t without its unique challenges, and Baker addresses them with just the right blend of earnestness and self-deprecating humor. More Sex and the City than Big Love, Baker’s story is an uncommon version of a common enough conflict for the modern American woman: how to be yourself and nab the man of your dreams. For a liberal Mormon like Baker, religion gets added to the mix, and The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance takes us through her coming of age—and coming to terms—as she attempts to reconcile her desire to embody conflicting identities: that of a headstrong, adventurous, sexually curious young woman who wants to be desired by men (and envied by women) versus a submissive, straight-laced wife and mother.
    A New Dé Is Donning India’s Publishing Industry
    Dé’s form of rebellion is based in shallow, individualist consumerism rather than a progressive ideology with a goal of widespread social change. Positioned by Penguin CEO John Makinson as a revolutionary woman of courage, a compliment to which there is some truth, Dé is not universally believed to be a feminist heroine.

  • Anonymous

    This is an account of a (scary) conference in Toronto on April 22 dealing with guns in the world, and in Canada, and their role in femicide.

  • Athenia

    On the real, historical Cleopatra:

  • PamelaVee

    anyone else depressed by this week’s stories?.. :(

  • Toongrrl

    Well, I have an uncle that watches the “O’Reilly Factor” And PETA’s sexist ads and their paint throwing is too much.

  • konkonsn

    Everyone has a personal story of an exception to some rule, but that doesn’t mean the rule doesn’t apply. Yes, some members of PETA are good and want to see good things done. Yes, some members of the Tea Party really are just angry about economics.
    But the overwhelming majority of these groups, and when you look at what they put out as their front for the public to consume, aren’t like that. There’s a difference between a stereotype that’s unproven or based on surface information rather than digging deeper into the problem. Most of what I have seen on feminist sites looks at the underlying issues; the rest is just a break from thinking too hard about it (because sometimes you don’t want to write an essay on why you’re pissed off).

  • BuddhaBaby

    i was surprised to find that black representation in the tea party is actually 6%, still only about half of the percentage in the general population but 3 times the representation in the republican party: http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/Tea-Partiers-Fairly-Mainstream-Demographics.aspx
    however, from the post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/18/AR2010041802724.html
    “The poll asked: “In recent years, do you think too much has been made of the problems facing black people, too little has been made, or is it about right?” Twenty-eight percent of all Americans — and just 19 percent of those who are not Tea Party loyalists — answered “too much.” But among Tea Party supporters, the figure is 52 percent, almost three times the proportion of the rest of the country. A quarter of Tea Partiers say that the Obama administration’s policies favor blacks over whites, compared with only 11 percent in the country as a whole. ”
    i dont know if you can call that racism but there certainly does seem to be a disproportional amount of confused, unexamined feelings about race in the tea party

  • johanna in dairyland

    On Catholicism and sexuality – a roundtable discussion with three young feminist Catholics:

  • makomk

    I have a Father who is a tea party protester. He’s not a racist, he doesn’t want to have Obama “suck on a machine gun” and he certainly doesn’t want to overthrow the government.
    If he and the other Tea Partiers were mostly black, it wouldn’t matter in the slightest that he personally didn’t want these things. There’d still be a serious police reaction against him and his fellow protesters, with a high chance of arrest and beatings. (That’s just the start of it – look at how some of the early black civil rights activists were treated by the FBI, for example.)

  • EvilSlutClique

    Hi Feministing comments moderator…
    Just out of curiosity. Is there a reason our comment (from Sunday) was not approved? Is it still in moderation or was there something you objected to?

  • Jessica

    Hey folks – I just checked on the back end and there isn’t any comment on this thread from you all…maybe got lost somehow?! Please submit again if you’d like and I’ll make sure it gets thru. Sorry about that!