Weekly Feminist Reader

I’m scheduling this post a day early, as the rain begins in Brooklyn and I obsessively refresh this page, in case by tomorrow morning I’m hunkered down with no electricity–but plenty of chili and wine–thanks to Hurricane Irene.

Image of Hurricane Irene off the east coast of the U.S.

Hurricane Irene approaching the East Coast on Friday. Image credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video

WTF. Despite being in the mandatory evacuation area, New York City’s Riker’s Island prison was not evacuated. A plan for evacuating the roughly 12,000 inmates there doesn’t even exist.

Depressing chart of the week: Student loan debt has grown by 511% since 1999.

Clutch puts together a list of 10 black women making moves in the film industry.

A review of the original 1972 edition of The Joy of Sex, which includes such gems as: “Hide-and-seek with the woman’s pubic triangle is one of the oldest human games.”

“The First Lady can double-dutch, can you?” I can! I was really good in middle school.

On the problem of self-objectification within geek culture.

An awful story of a trans woman who was raped by a prison guard and then transferred to a male prison after reporting the assault.

Susan Stewart reviews four recent elegies by woman poets.

Very sad news: Legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.

Hundreds have been arrested at the “Stop the Pipeline” protest outside the White House–which is being called the biggest act of civil disobedience in the history of the climate movement. Join the effort.

Apparently GQ couldn’t think of a single woman to include in its list of the “25 Coolest Athletes of All Time.”

I agree with Pat Robertson that the crack in the Washington Monument is a sign from God. I think it’s a message about our shameful class war against the poor.

Amanda Hess notes that a new study on weight gain after marriage shows one of “the many social perks of marrying as a man.”

The community comes together to protect a 82-year-old woman from eviction in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

Leila Ahmed explains how “the oppression of women in Islam” is used as justification for war and imperialism.

“To love without labor is a beautiful thing.” On women and unrequited love.

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.

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

    I wrote a book review (TW fat shaming, weight loss, dieting) of Sasha Paley’s young adult novel Huge, which I understand is somewhat different from the TV series. (I’ve never seen the series, so I can’t compare.)

    Non-Censorship and Skeevy Novels (TW rape culture, rape apology) — Wondering what to do with another YA novel that I read as rape apology.

    My Deal with Heels — Balancing “performing femininity” with actually doing my job.

    Rape Is Not Your Metaphor for Popcorn (TW rape culture) — Pretty much exactly what the title says.

    I also wrote an asana post on plank variations as well as reviewed Rodney Yee’s Ultimate Power Yoga DVD for body friendliness and accessibility.

  • http://feministing.com/members/hilary528/ hilary

    I’m confused by Ahmed’s piece, or rather, by why she puts ”the oppression of Islamic women” in quotations, and she even talks about their ”alleged” oppression. Certainly not all Muslim women are oppressed in their religion, but let’s be real. Just because the issue of Islamic women’s rights has been co-opted by Islamophobic imperialists to justify war, doesn’t mean that women’s oppression under Islam is ”alleged.” This is all too reminiscent (in a weird, perhaps loose way) of the tension between the sexual revolution and feminism, or more specifically of feminists who took issue with woman-degrading porn and feminists who took issue with those feminists because they thought the latter were siding with social conservatives.

    My loyalty is to women, not to a party. I do not mean to say that I am siding with the imperialists who have co opted the issue of Islamic women’s rights, but I do mean to say that I will never call the violation of their rights “alleged” for fear of being superficially grouped with those imperialists.

  • http://feministing.com/members/lilya/ lilya


    This is a very interesting set of photos of women in the prison in Ciudad Juarez, MX. About 80% of these women are imprisoned for drug-related crimes, often by association with boyfriends/husbands or because women widowed by drug-related crimes have few other options than to be involved in trafficking or other crimes. Many of these women have little choice in their situation yet their faces are rarely seen and their stories are rarely told. I was happy to see these photos; I wish there were even more photos documenting all those women devastated by the drug war outside of the prison walls.

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

    Obelisks were traditionally symbols of the solar rays of Ra, or perhaps of the resurrected Osiris/Asar’s phallus, all very male energy based stuff symbolically. If shifting in the Earth cracked one and Pat Robertson wants to insist this has metaphysical significance maybe then it’s the overemphasis on a largely patriarchal phallocentric culture lacking the balance of the feminine. So there. :p

    Tongue in cheek-ness over and out.