Weekly Feminist Reader

woman with baby

A photographer examines the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful care during childbirth.

Rush Limbaugh says VAWA is just a mean plot by the Democrats to make the GOP look bad. Obviously.

There’s a profile of feminist bad-ass Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this week’s New Yorker.

A interesting discussion of women’s position within Sikhism.

“Women don’t just need to lean in. They need to carefully calibrate the angle of their approach to suit every possible scenario.” Amanda Hess on the contradictions in Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to working women. And alternative takes from Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister.

How the War on Terror in England became a war on women and children.

“I’m tired of constantly establishing my value. I’d rather just assert it.”

Lies, Walgreen’s, lies. 

The push for abstinence-only education will apparently never die.

Neither will the push for a Personhood amendment in Mississippi.

A profile of Madeline La Framboise, a prominent early Native American businesswoman.

A Utah lawmaker say cockfighting can’t be a felony because abortion is legal.

Amadi asks, “What is your feminism?”

Ugh, gendered advertising. So old and boring.

Take a stand against misogyny in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Tunisia has opened its very first domestic violence shelter.

Could it really be? A nuanced look at “hook-up culture”??

The Crunk Feminist Collective turns three!

You should keep your name, says Jill. Kate agrees. Responses from Melissa and Grace.

The “terrible power” of the covered face, female or otherwise.

Joan Morgan talks black identity and the politics of pleasure.

Oz the Great and Powerful should have picked one of the series’ awesome heroines rather than a reluctant hero.

How do we ensure equal opportunities for female academics?

Gloria Steinem on the “concept of democracy in the home vs. in the street.”

A case of optimism.

Young students are the “frontline of feminism.”

The wage gap persists, even when male and female students studied the same subject.

On harassment on the Tube.

Is identifying as a feminist a privilege?

A reminder of what we have ahead in celebration of International Women’s Day.

College debt and graduation rates are feminist issues.

The Queen’s gone feminist and queer-friendly!

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.

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

    Hair — I got my hair cut recently, noticed a mother trying to manage her daughter’s haircut, and thought about the times that’s happened to me.

    For Endometriosis Awareness Month, I wrote I Hate My Hips about a disease that goes further than chronic pain. (If you’re not sure what endometriosis is, I’m writing an introductory series at the PPAZ blog.)

    Trail Mix, a fun story about food.

  • http://feministing.com/members/skoelle/ Spencer Koelle

    No Rush Limbaugh, I think the current GOP platform and voting block is a plot by the democrats to make the GOP look bad. xP

    also…cockfighting because…as far as troll logic goes, that’s right up there with “If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must acquit.” It’s not like we take out fetuses and have them battle other fetuses for our amusement!

    Been reading Polterheist, and hoping it will turn out to have a more competent and active heroine than some of the urban fantasy I’ve been reading recently.

    Watching the Brony documentary.

    Learning how to paranormal romance novel.

  • http://feministing.com/members/amale/ a male

    This view of the gender gap – the earning gap between male and female new university graduates who had the same major, is much more significant than a simple view of ALL male full time vs female full time workers. A woman with a master’s degree working 48 hours a week with ten years experience, is not supposed to be comparable to a man with a bachelor’s degree working 40 at completely different jobs. In this study at least, the men and women should be at the same starting line, with the same qualifications, at their first jobs after graduation. Any discrepancies should be looked into.

    However, please take note of what one important passage – in the view of the study’s author, Jane Artess, HECSU director of research

    “It is difficult to see why male and female graduates of the same subject discipline do not achieve very similar earnings. Since this is unlikely to be a consequence of employers paying males and females doing the same job differently – as this would be unlawful – we infer that something else is happening to account for this.”

    The author herself does not believe it is due to discrimination on the part of employers, because she acknowledges it would be illegal.

    So just a few important unanswered questions from the article are:

    Despite having the same degrees, and comparable qualifications on paper,
    WHERE did the men and women study? (Is there value in the school from which someone graduated?)
    WHERE did they gain employment? (Do different employers pay different amounts, and in different regions of employment with differing costs of living?)
    DID they have to negotiate their own salaries?*
    HOW MANY hours do they work?
    HOW MUCH do they earn on an hourly basis?
    ARE THERE benefits not included in the simple salary amount? (e.g. subsidized further education, housing, company vehicle, company gym, childcare . . . )

    *I have never been in the position to apply for or interview for a job where I did not know what I was going to be paid ahead of time. I am not in that line of work, some corporate office where people negotiate their own salaries which are to be kept confidential. I DO NOT WANT to ever negotiate my own salary, as I am not that kind of person. [I also LOATHE the process of shopping for automobiles, and if I could afford one, would hate to shop for a home. Something should cost what it is worth, period, and everyone should have an opportunity to pay the same.] To my knowledge, ANYONE hired for a position advertised at X per month, or Y per hour, is going to be earning exactly that. I also do not believe it is fair that certain kinds of workers will earn raises ad infinitum, based simply on years of service, vs. actual accomplishments on the job or ACTUAL increases in skill.

  • http://feministing.com/members/andejoh/ John

    Concerning How the War on Terror in England became a war on women and children.

    So it’s a war on women because “Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta estimated that there could be as many as 19,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. military” First does she not realize that 10,000 of those rapes were committed against men. Not to excuse it, but how can it be a war on women if more men are raped?

    “On the other end of that war, in a world where “terror suspects” have next to no recourse — and Washington’s record of doing terrible things to innocent men is daunting — are women and children connected to those suspects.”

    Yup, even when innocent men are tortured and imprisoned, the real victims are women.

  • http://feministing.com/members/amale/ a male

    University graduation rates and debt are feminist issues, but again, its not as simple as discrimination. From the article:

    “It may be harder for men than for women to see the advantage of staying in college because in the early years after college, men who complete college make no higher pay than men who drop out.”

    “In contrast, women who complete college earn on average upwards of $6,500 more than women who have dropped out. The authors explain, ‘Female dropouts simply face worse job prospects than male dropouts.’ In particular, women who drop out are more likely to be employed in lower-paying service work, while men who drop out have opportunities in higher–paying manufacturing, construction, and transportation work.”

    According to the article itself, the reason women who drop out of university earn $6,500 less than women graduates (and less than male dropouts who do not face a similar penalty in income) is because they doing “lower paying” work. I will not deny the barriers facing women who want to enter traditionally male entered fields, but the point is many women would not consider those jobs from the beginning. As I am unable to provide for my children’s further education outright (100k plus room and board, times two? no thank you), I am encouraging my children, male and female, to consider practical (and well paying) fields such as automotive or construction related, which they can study in our local college where I went to nursing school. Working retail, service, or even holding a degree doing entry level work is not enough to own a home where we live.