Weekly Feminist Reader

Best cat video on the internet right now?

Great piece from Laurie Penny on the Occupy movement, desire and victim-blaming.

The odds are still stacked against women in Hollywood.

Why do we use sex to sell everything except safe sex?

Native American youth made a video to tell 20/20 that they are more than just poverty porn.

Our Feministing blanket made Ms. Magazine’s list of feminist holiday gifts. Check out the rest of ideas.

So…the Shit Girls Say video? Kinda funny but super sexist? Also, not necessarily even accurate?

As a follow-up to the controversy over that anti-drinking PSA this week, Jaclyn Friedman on girl-on-girl victim-blaming.

An African-American natural-hair group is giving away Barbies with natural-looking curls.

A French mother, who is set to become the first woman jailed for wearing the veil, says, “I’m not taking it off. The judge needs citizenship lessons, not me.” Word.

A really sweet and romantic story of a trans woman coming out to her new boyfriend.

“The marriage debate highlights the need for black women to tell our own stories.”

Are you a pro-choice football fan? A suggestion from the Abortion Gang: “For every touchdown Tebow throws next week donate $5 or $10 to your local pro-choice organization.”

Women’s professional soccer lived to see another season–and I wrote about it.

A response to a post on TechCrunch claiming that women just don’t want to join startups. [Via]

What have you been reading/writing/watching/learning 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/toph/ Christoph

    I wrote a couple of posts on the topic of rape culture and/or masculinity from a male feminist perspective, might be interesting for some of you
    My 2 cents on Hugo Schwyzer’s article on rape culture and guilty men http://clarityandchaos.tumblr.com/post/14258186269/in-our-culture-where-rape-and-harassment-and
    and a expanded that train of thought a bit further here: http://clarityandchaos.tumblr.com/post/14305589832/rape-culture-awareness-tw
    I also took on Tom Matlack’s sexist/gender essentialist piece on dudes vs. women http://clarityandchaos.tumblr.com/post/14265903760/it-seems-that-the-blame-game-in-the-mainstream

    The original Schwyzer text is definitely worth a read: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/in-rape-culture-all-men-are-guilty-until-proven-innocent/

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

    I wrote about somebody touching me in public to see whether my body jiggled.

    Also a couple of short posts about my growing up conflict between queerness and religion as well as wondering how much socialization has played a role in the relationships I choose to make public.

    Finally, an asana analysis of how to let go and be awkward.

  • http://feministing.com/members/cliff/ cliff arroyo

    I don’t understand the support for the woman wearing niqab.

    Just because she’s woman against the state doesn’t mean she’s right. Niqab seems completely incompatible with the kind of secular civil society that we presumably want to live in. Look at the status of women where niqab is the norm and tell me you really want to support someone who wants to spread that set of cultural norms into the west.

    • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

      Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. Of course, freedom from religion is just as much a right, but a woman choosing to wear the veil doesn’t violate your rights. It’s hurtful to a lot of people to have the government dictating what you can or cannot wear or what religion you can or cannot practice. There have been reports of anti-muslim sentiments growing in France since the ban, and women wearing the veil have been harassed and assaulted.

      It’s one thing to disagree with the beliefs that have lead to women being required to cover themselves in certain countries, it’s quite another to jail women for what religion they choose to practice.

      • http://feministing.com/members/cliff/ cliff arroyo

        There is nothing in Islam requiring a woman to cover her face.

        I have nothing against hair/neck covering and the fact is that governments put restrictions around the edges of religious practice all the time without preventing people from following particular religions or the sky falling.

        And a woman who refuses to show her face to state authorities is trying to violate my rights because civil society requires that people be identifiable. This particular woman refuses to uncover her face in court which means her very presence cannot be verified.
        I expect her next move be to claim that since her face was covered the police cannot identify her well enough to arrest her (there’s precedent from Australia for a woman refusing to show her face to the police and then escaping driving penalties because the police could not prove it was her).

        Niqab is social poison.

        • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

          There is something in Muslim culture that makes women want to cover their faces. Just because it isn’t in the Qaran doesn’t mean they don’t see it as a religious practice, they do. Just so you know, I have no problem with these women occasionally being required to show their face for security purposes, but that shouldn’t be an outright ban. If so, you’d have to make it illegal to ever wear masks in public or wearing a hat and sunglasses, and possibly drastically changing your appearance for a short period of time. The way a Muslim woman will wear a veil outside doesn’t violate anyone’s rights anymore than these other things I’ve mentioned, which is not at all.

          The only reason religion should ever be legislated is when it comes to protecting others from having to participate in it. And, come on, you understand it’s a religious practice, otherwise you wouldn’t have mentioned the secular civil society in your original comment.

          • http://feministing.com/members/cliff/ cliff arroyo

            “I have no problem with these women occasionally being required to show their face for security purposes”

            Well they do have a problem with it. She wasn’t allowed in court because she wouldn’t show her face in court. That goes beyond religious freedom into open antagonism for the rule of law (which is, I suspect, the goal).

            Again note the Australian case where a veiled woman refused to unveil before a policeman and then used the fact that she couldn’t be identified to get out of paying a fine.

            Or the case where a teacher wanted to cover her face while teaching children in the presence of a male teacher. Would you want your child being taught be someone in niqab?

        • http://feministing.com/members/lisavil/ Elle

          “civil society requires that people be identifiable”

          Can you expand on this? It’s an interesting concept and I’d like to learn more.

          Also, I’m new here and accidently hit “report”, please disregard.

        • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

          Again, I can see identification concerns as a legitimate issue. I’m not sure if you’re actually trying to argue with me about that or not. But, I still don’t think an outright ban is the answer to that problem. As I said before, the same issues can come up with masks. A lot of people cover their faces with masks or hats in robberies, yet we don’t see the same ban on masks or hats, and that’s a pretty good indication that this ban is just Islamophobic.

        • http://feministing.com/members/tashabunny/ natasha

          I’m also scratching my head a bit about your mention of an Australian case since this is discussion of a French ban. And, no, I wouldn’t have a problem with a woman in veil teaching my hypothetical child.

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

      My presumption was that we wanted a society where people were free to make the choice of what beliefs they wanted to practice, including wearing items in support of those beliefs. Forbidding one possible choice can be just as oppressive as forcing it.

  • http://feministing.com/members/ekissling/ Elizabeth

    This week at re:Cycling, the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, we’ve got news about the new warnings — and lawsuits — about Yaz and Yasmin and the risk of blood clots; and an article about why endometriosis is hard to diagnose (the delay between onset of painful periods and diagnosis of endometriosis is measured in years: average is 8 years in the UK and 11 years in the US). Plus lots of good stuff in our ‘Weekend Links’ feature — should nuns be on the pill, gross tampon stories, and an awesome new menstruation primer.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thedelphiad/ Dom

    On hugs and the “sissies” who give them. A(nother) takedown of Canadian columnist Christie Blatchford.

    Prevent this! a personal history. Intense trigger warning for sexual assault.

    The right to age while female.

    Hypatia and the history of misogyny: portrait of the astronomer as a naked blonde.

    CGI bodies are a symptom of the sickness, not the cause

    Online threats, hostile comments, and how free speech and censorship do not mean what misogynists think they mean.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thedelphiad/ Dom

    oops – link not working for one of my posts. This should do:

    Prevent this! a personal history. Intense trigger warning for sexual assault.

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

    I wrote a brief write up of my impressions at Occupy 2.0. Should be noted this is a personal take, not a comprehensive article on the action – http://jennydevildoll.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/baby-baron-samedi-occupy-2-0/

    Didn’t watch the “Shit Girls Say” video but looked at the twitter for it. A lot of the statements seem gender neutral to me, stuff like “It’s cold” or “I hope I’m not getting sick”, so I really didn’t get it. Though I did promise never to find cause to say “I can’t stop smiling” or “I wish I was mad”.

  • http://feministing.com/members/cliff/ cliff arroyo

    Is there any reason my comments are still put in the moderation line?

    Do you want real discussion or an echo chamber?

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

      All comments are moderated.

      • http://feministing.com/members/cliff/ cliff arroyo

        No wonder there are so few real comment threads….

        • http://feministing.com/members/zazzibrydges/ Catherine Brydges

          I think the point is that if someone says something potentially damaging to another person, that comment can be removed before it does any harm: for example if someone comments with a rape joke, if the blog wasn’t moderated, a rape survivor could see that and potentially be triggered or extremely distressed. It’s not an attempt to stop free speech, just to have a discussion that is safe for everyone.

  • http://feministing.com/members/billywilliams/ billy williams

    If tebow hears about this i reckon he’ll just donate 20-25 dollars for every 5-10 dollars pro choicers donate,-He’s filthy rich so who do you think is gonna win that game?

  • http://feministing.com/members/hiktout/ Laurence de Bruxelles

    I’m not sure if anyone’s read these (first post! I hope it’s okay), but there’s an interesting series of articles related to women in the games industry, and the particular sexism there.

    http://lookspring.co.uk/in-which-i-dont-try-to-write-like-a-man is a about admitting to self-censorship, after this really strong article by an ally: http://www.bewareofthesorrell.com/2011/12/dear-men-please-listen-love-man.html

    Most of the links in that second post are good, but this one touched me especially (trigger warning for very sexist comments) http://paxvalkyrie.tumblr.com/post/11399537687/no-flat-girls-how-allies-are-born-guest-post

  • http://feministing.com/members/hanstantgo/ Hannah

    Child psychologist John Rosemond wrote a disturbing article about how to handle a 14 year old who has expressed that she wants to have sex with her boyfriend. The article is here: http://www.daytondailynews.com/lifestyle/its-ok-to-say-no-to-your-14-year-old-daughter-1301138.html

    My (shortened) response (can you tell I’ve read The Purity Myth :D):

    Rosemond’s Article Fails to Address Real Issues

    Rosemond’s article about a 14-year-old’s decision to have sex with her boyfriend missed the real issues while failing to acknowledge the teenager’s autonomy and well-being. In a world where young women are constantly told how to be and who to please, this teenager is seeking guidance but Rosemond’s advice is shallow and hurtful.

    It’s concerning that this young woman will be/is being/has been coerced into having sex with her boyfriend so it’s imperative that these parents have a discussion about manipulation, boundaries, and how to say “Yes” to sex as well as “No.” It is also their responsibility to ensure that she understands birth control methods, STI risks and female pleasure from masturbation.

    We want to cultivate in young people an understanding of what a healthy sexual relationship with themselves and others looks and feels like. Telling a young woman that you’ll be disappointed in her if you cannot walk a virgin down the aisle does nothing to empower your daughter. Rosemond’s assumption that this young woman will get married denies the reality of the world we live in.

    As a parent, you can deny your child the right to see their partner but you also have a responsibility to help your child understand sex and its implications. By approaching this situation in a nonjudgmental way that encourages safer sex, emotional development, and exploration of one’s own body first, this young lady would be set up to make well thought-out decisions regarding her sexuality and health throughout her life.

    I’d love some Feministing thoughts.