Weekly Feminist Reader

Empire State Building lit up with rainbow colors

Remember when New York legalized same-sex marriage? That was awesome.
(Image source: Neighborhoodr)

93% of top staffers on Capitol Hill are white and nearly 70% are male.

Irin Carmon and Mary Elizabeth Williams take on Scott “rape is a natural instinct” Adams.

Tumblr: “another White, kyriarchical, status-quo upholding, oppressive medium.”

Two lawmakers propose lifting the federal ban on pot. Sadly, it will never pass the GOP-controlled House. Looks like some people need to take a look at this chart and think about it a little more.

Where are the lady rappers?

Mandy Van Deven asks: who determines the difference between a compliment and street harassment?

117 communities in Gambia pledged to abandon female genital cutting and early and forced marriage.

Andrea Plaid explains how she came around to SlutWalk.

Two headlines say it all.

In the wake of New York’s marriage equality victory, Nancy Goldstein isn’t about to send any “thanks-for-finally-getting-it-together-to-support-my-basic-human-rights” cards.

A sad look at homophobia in African women’s soccer.

Animals Being Dicks

At Feministe, Juliet discusses the often painful work of calling out people we love in order to create “a space where we can stay together.”

Tracy Clark-Flory asks her mom about her sex life.

Reminder: sexism against Palin and Bachman is not ok.

What have you been reading/writing this week?

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

Read more about Maya

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  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    I was so happy when I came back from a little detox and performance planning session in Western Mass to discover my own state had passed marriage equality! Seriously! My city is home to the monumental Stonewall, the impetus for much of the LGBTQ civil rights movement. It was getting kind of embarrassing, NYC of all places, not having this simple, fundamental equal right.

  • http://feministing.com/members/frolicnaked/ Tori

    A couple of fabulous body acceptance pieces (TW for discussion of body shaming):

    Size Acceptance actually means SIZE ACCEPTANCE at Dances With Fat.

    real women by Hanne Blank.

    In terms of my writing:

    It Gets Lonely, talking about the emotional impact of dealing with endometriosis.

    Normalizing Pain, reacting to a public remark minimizing significant dysmenorrhea and talking about its relationship to diagnoses and care.

    Sort of related to pain stuff, I started a chair yoga series to focus on yoga, mobility, and accessibility.

    Matters of Intent, about the sometimes discrepancy between intent and action.

  • http://feministing.com/members/markkernes/ Mark Kernes
  • http://feministing.com/members/shomerchampagne/ C. H.

    I am curious as to why it is permissible to link to a site that compares the actions of silly and/or mean animals to male genitalia? Would Feministing promote such a link that did the same thing to women’s body parts?

    • unequivocal

      No, no, it’s totes different. Because there is a power differential between men and women, it isn’t possible to be sexist towards men. Therefore it isn’t harmful to encourage or support language, attitudes, activity or media that objectify or degrade men. Because of the patriarchy, you see!

      Or, if that explanation doesn’t serve to silence you, we could always move on to something like “lighten up, it’s just a joke!” or “aren’t there more important things that you could be worrying about?”

      • http://feministing.com/members/maya/ Maya

        Well, for the record, I do think it’s possible to be sexist toward men. But that doesn’t mean I think that insults based on male genitalia are completely and exactly comparable to insults based on female genitalia. Because, yeah, the patriarchy and all that jazz (which you seem remarkably quick to sarcastically dismiss, btw). That said, I generally try to use gender-neutral insults in my own writing. As to whether I would promote a link that did the same thing with female body parts? I guess that would depend on the context and how funny the link was.

        • davenj

          Even if said insults aren’t comparable in impact, are they desirable? Is it a good thing to associate the penis with aggression, ignorance, and general rudeness in language? If not, wouldn’t it just be easier not to promote the link, seeing as it’s an “animals being funny” website, of which there are many.

          Or, to put it more succinctly, if this is the line that IS acceptable for making jokes about male genitalia, where DO you draw the line?

          I don’t think unequivocal was being sarcastic about patriarchy itself, but rather the notion that patriarchy justifies a massive gap in acceptability for male and female genitalia jokes.

          Also, it’s worth noting that there are women out there who have dicks and are oppressed by the patriarchy, too.

        • unequivocal

          I’m hardly dismissing the patriarchy; I’m just noting that its existence can be (and is) used as a convenient bludgeon to defend decisions and actions that really aren’t in keeping with feminist ideals.

          As to whether I would promote a link that did the same thing with female body parts? I guess that would depend on the context and how funny the link was.

          I don’t think “but it’s FUNNY” really serves as a particularly strong justification for promotion of offensive material.

        • http://feministing.com/members/mjameson/ Matthew T. Jameson

          No one said they were “completely and exactly comparable.” The comparison is not comparable, but it’s offensive because it equates a “dick” with being a “jerk” (see the website’s subtitle!).

          It’s really disheartening to see a poster in this community not only post something like this, but then attempt to justify it by saying, in essence, “Well, it’s not AS offensive, because its just MALE genitals being compared to a nasty personality trait, not female ones. Besides, it’s funny!” How funny does a site have to be before we post it on here with the title, “Animals being [insert slang term for female genitals]“?

    • http://feministing.com/members/shomerchampagne/ C. H.

      Wow. I have come to expect much more from Feministing. For years, I have enjoyed this site because it has sought to eradicate the spirit of patriarchy that has belittled and castigated the contribution of women. Instead, I find that it has, intentionally or not, mimicked that spirit. Disappointed, I expected more eloquence and pensiveness from readers/contributors.

      The larger complexities of patriarchy do not provide anyone, especially not us feminists, the opportunity to chase away the obligation of sensitivity and respect that this site has sought to reinforce in all discourse, whether about women or men, gays or straights. I guess I expected more. As for taking a joke, I am among the best, of course, where it’s warranted.

  • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ Jessica “Jess” Victoria Carillo

    New York you’re one helluva town!!!!

  • http://feministing.com/members/pamantha/ Pamantha

    I’m surprised no one pointed out that the chart on reasons to legalize pot linked in the article is based on a hefty amount of BS.

    • davenj

      Just took a look. It really is just a load of nonsense.