Weekly Feminist Reader


switcheroo by hana.

The maker of the new “female viagra” pill is no longer pursuing FDA approval.

Is It Sex? A helpful flowchart from Autostraddle.

As the Afghan government negotiates with the Taliban, women’s rights are at risk.

Why Did She Wait So Long? Later Abortions and the Implications of the New Nebraska Ban

Liz Phair on 90s nostalgia.

The New York City Council considers a paid sick leave bill.

Birth control changes women’s brain chemistry.

On the male protagonist’s perspective in Catfish. (spoilers!)

Time To Start Thinking About Trans Senior Issues.

Betsy Reed and Rebecca Traister talk about women, politics, and the 2008 election.

A column about women and fighting.

Katha Pollitt responds to Susan Faludi about young feminists.

A new movie is inspired by Constance McMillan’s story.

The “bankrupt culture” at the Tribune  Company included a healthy dose of sexism.

Shark-Fu on the Westboro Baptist free-speech case before the Supreme Court.

New data on poverty demographics.

Google Instant won’t show results for “Latina.”

Muslimah Media Watch on the campaign by a group called NiqaBitch against the French head-scarf ban.

Is there such thing as the “art of womanliness“?

An NYC corrections guard was arrested on charges he assaulted an inmate who is a trans woman. Cara writes, “rape is an enormous problem for all inmates in U.S. jails and prisons throughout the country, but specific manifestations of oppression ensure that trans women are among the most vulnerable of inmate populations.”

Mad Men does not have a race problem. We do.”

Starbucks in DC makes its bathrooms gender-neutral — but has no plans to expand the policy beyond the District.

What have you been reading/writing this week?

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12 Comments

  1. Posted October 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Re: Starbucks and gender-neutral bathrooms

    Okay, does it not bother anyone else when single-stall restrooms (which is that Starbucks has) are designated as male or female? I mean, even if you have very antiquated opinions of gender, why should I have to stand in line for the female single-stall restroom when the male one is not occupied??? Who in their right minds thinks that’s a good idea?

    While I’m obviously happy that DC is passing laws to protect transgendered individuals, why wasn’t this a “duh” issue in the first place?

    • Posted October 10, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      It bothers me every single time, which is why I never hesitate to use the men’s single-stall restroom when the lady’s bathroom is occupied. It’s my way of making a statement without being horribly offensive.

      Labeling two identical things two different names is just poor logic.

      • Posted October 11, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        I understand why there are problems with this system, but honestly as a cis woman I like it. Women’s bathrooms tend to be cleaner than gender-neutral or men’s bathrooms, and if I’m using a public bathroom I prefer it to be clean. I’ve definitely used men’s single-room restrooms when there was a line for the women’s, and I don’t have a problem with other people doing so, but I generally prefer that my public restroom be a space free of male-identified folks if at all possible.

        • Posted October 11, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          I’m a little confused by your stance on it’s ok to use male identified spaces but don’t want male identified individuals to use female identified spaces?

          I’ve found a trend of some men’s washrooms being rather unpleasant, and those places have also lacked: air fresheners, regular garbage disposal and any form of mopping.

          My work for example uses no water in their urinals, by convention this should cause the bathroom to wreak. However their is an abundance of air fresheners and is cleaned daily. I firmly believe if a space is cared for then so will those who use it care (typically, of course there are assholes).

    • Posted October 11, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I actually was just discussing this last night at a restaurant that did this. I consider it to be a purely decorative sign, and yes, if I was waiting and a man came and waited behind me, and the men’s room opened up, I would cut him off to get to it and tell him flat out I was first. Thankfully that only happened at a Dunkin’s at like 2 AM once and the guy backed off, probably because he thought I was drunk. Usually there’s not really a line at all, but the women’s is occupied and the men’s is not.

      I do use the women’s bathroom first if it’s open, but that’s just a courtesy since I know most men wouldn’t use it. The good news about this, though, is even my completely non-feminist mother and grandmother do this and think it’s absurd, so I doubt they’ll face terrible opposition for changing them all to gender-neutral.

  2. Posted October 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    To the older Feminists: you may have devoted your life to an organization, but that rarely means you’re up to date with what was is current. If you want your organization to live in a time warp, then keep things exactly the way they are.

  3. Posted October 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Here’s some additional weekly feminist reading: a comic strip called The Adventures of Evil Bitch and Mean Wit. We’re running a day late on posting this week’s comic but check it out!

    http://evilbitchmeanwit.blogspot.com/

  4. Posted October 10, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    RE: “Birth control changes women’s brain chemistry”

    How is this article in any way credible?

    • Posted October 11, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Agreed. The study doesn’t sound even remotely definitive.

      • Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        But… catawampus! That has to be bad, right?

  5. Posted October 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I know, I’m late, but yesterday was glorious and too lovely to sit in front of computers:

    My first and only cartoon so far in my career is The Adventures of SuperLinda. Inspired by the fact that no matter how hard we try, we have to look hot while we’re saving the universe.

  6. Posted October 12, 2010 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Hm, Latina brings up results for me. Odd. Maybe it’s down to which version of Google you use? *Tries the US one* Nope, comes up for me there, too.

    I would only ever go into a man’s toilet if I had a bad stomach and it couldn’t wait :| . Other than them supposedly being dirtier (public toilets are usually bad enough to me), it could be dangerous. Probably less so in a restaurant, but still. I guess I might be concerned about that in gender neutral toilets, then. Still, they probably have a lower risk, and my partner might enjoy them because then they wouldn’t have the issue of having to go to the woman’s toilets, being a pre-T transguy who is afraid to go to the men’s.

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