Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet

The New Yorker Cover

This week’s New Yorker cover queers Mothers’ Day.

Air Force brochure on sexual violence tells victims to “submit” (and tells rapists… nothing).

More women are getting cosmetic surgery on their arms, and the trend is attributed to the FLOTUS.

“As uncomfortable as it is for some parents to imagine their teenage children as sexual beings, that discomfort is no excuse for denying all teenagers this form of healthcare.”

A map to living green in NYC.

Slut-shaming has been written into school dress codes across the country.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, explore a list of famous female teachers.

“Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis is going to prison.

False rape accusations are really, really rare.

The Guttmacher Institute takes on the stigma of abortion.

“Awareness” isn’t enough: Pentagon estimates of military sexual violence frequency have increased by a third since 2010.

Another take on Kiera Wilmot, in-school racism, and overcriminalization.

“If you’re a teen with a disability thinking about prom, please go.”

Bassey Ikpi wrote an open letter to Amanda Bynes.

On the paralyzing rage of sexual harassment.

Pro Publica is looking for journalists to cover issues of gender and sexuality and environmental stories.

Whatever his critics say, Danny Brown was raped.

“What Charles Ramsey and Amanda Berry Knew.”

San Francisco celebrates 100 years of queer Asian activism.

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX, a national legal education campaign against campus gender-based violence. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. Through Know Your IX, she has organized with students across the country to build campuses free from discrimination and violence, developed federal policy on Title IX enforcement, and has testified at the Senate. At Yale Law, Alexandra focuses on antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Alexandra is committed to developing and strengthening responses to gender-based violence outside the criminal justice system through writing, organizing, and the law. Keep an eye out for The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and forthcoming from the Feminist Press (2015).

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX.

Read more about Alexandra

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  • http://feministing.com/members/yojjsavemeawaffle/ Jenna J.

    (The abortion stigma piece was authored by Kate Cockrill et al of ANSIRH, not Guttmacher)

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

    Well, thank you to Alexandra again for that link, the strongest yet in support of Brown, and against abuse of men. It is precisely why he and many other people, may be prevented from speaking out.


    I can’t speak out about what one man did to me, or how numerous others have made advances on me near 25 years ago as a young, unmasculine man. Strange men would come up to me in public to try to chat me up in a sexually explicit manner. Ask me out. Stare at my legs when up, or up my shorts when sitting (I checked to make sure – I close my legs, they look away, I resume a “male” sitting position, they stare again). One man in a position of influence over my first job used to call for me long distance at home, again to talk to me in a sexually explicit manner about e.g., going to Japanese bath houses, or penis tattooing.

    They always seemed older than I was, all caucasian (I am Japanese-American), and when I was only 5’6″, 125 lbs., even after an intense fitness regimen with free weights in the athlete’s weight room alongside university football team members, my first two years of university; other men seemed bigger, stronger and more intimidating.

    They made me feel something was wrong with me (“gay”), at an awkward time when women did not yet find me attractive (I am in fact heterosexual), and I felt like a target to gay men, sexual predators, or violent criminals. After the assault, I stopped wearing shorts for nearly 15 years, until I started going to the beach with my children. I’m from Hawaii, but I refused to go to the beach, because I was afraid of people’s eyes (male or female) if I revealed skin. I wear surf tops, not going shirtless.

    I will dare to say based on that stage of my life, I have some understanding of what many women go through.

    But the incident with Brown (I am still undecided) still does not meet attorney-trained Bill Clinton’s definition of “sex”, many young people with virginity issues will not call this act “sex”, nor does it meet the Texas or federal government legal definition of “rape”. Assault, if non-consensual.

    This morning at work, I saw an amazing story on a patient’s TV about Justin Bychowski, a young man with Downs Syndrome, voted prom king. Nationwide, there have been about a handful of others, and more have tried and been accepted by peers.


    I am living in changing times. Thirty years ago, I would have mocked people for looking different or being differently abled (or LGBTQQ) myself.

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


    “Who gets to be the adventurous teenage genius mad scientist and who gets to be the criminal led away in handcuffs facing two felonies to juvenile hall? If you’re a white girl check Box A, if you’re an intellectually curious black girl with good grades check Box B.”

    I have not yet encountered a report of a caucasian girl with a bottle bomb. I’d be happy to hear of one. Wilmot is the only girl whose story I can find. You can find many boys online, caucasian or hispanic if names and photos are something to go on, no photos or descriptions of other ethnicities, who have been arrested and charged with felonies, however; because I have found bottle bombs to be reported as felonies in at least 16 states, explicitly categorized by fire officials, law enforcement, or prosecutors in those states as destructive devices or explosives under those state laws. Florida may be different.

    I am not going to question the big picture of what that writer has to say. It was me, as a teen, who used to do research to look into the discrimination inherent in the US Justice system (and in general), when there are more young African-American men who have been to prison, than have graduated from university, a full one third (at that time) who have been through the justice system, and an African American man seven times more likely to be sentenced to death for killing a white man, than a white man who killed a black man. That kind of curiosity led me to the Revolutionary Worker, official newspaper of the American Communist Party, and independent analysis of many of the claims within (I could still read fresh stories of the 1985 bombing of the MOVE occupied house in Philadelphia, killing 11, and burning an entire city block), showed me the communists’ social issues, including feminism, were real.

    But again, in Keira Wilmot’s case, the Polk County Code of Conduct for students is supposed to be applied fairly. This section is being cited against her. Attorney Larry Hardaway is in confidential negotiations with school officials, and law enforcement to appeal expulsion and avoid felony charges.

    The incident report:


    The Code of Conduct:



    A student who is in possession of a bomb, explosive device, or substance or materials intended for use in a bomb or explosive device or substance while at school or a school sponsored activity, on School Board property or a school bus (unless the material or device is being used as part of a legitimate school-related activity or science project conducted under the supervision of an instructor with the knowledge and consent of the principal), is guilty of a serious breach of conduct punishable as follows:

    8. Expulsion from School (for not less than one full year)

    Is a drain cleaner “bomb” (I know it’s not really) which created an “explosion” – NOT a “pop” with some smoke which endless supporters claim – which the vice-principal could hear from some distance and investigate, an explosive device or substance, while at school? Was it a legitimate school-related activity or science project with proper approval and supervision?

    Does the code allow for ANY other handling of such an incident, regardless of ethnicity or social status? Do you see parent-teacher conference? Do you see detention? Do you see suspension? Do you see white girls or honor students or first timers go free?

    Zero tolerance is the issue in this case, because that is what the Code says. It is the job of the authorities and the attorneys to fight this over. People can write and donate all they want, but I feel sorry for the people answering phones in that school district.

    The big unanswered question for me now that I have read the alleged original report is, who’s this friend who allegedly told Wilmot how do do this, and assisted in filling the bottle, then ran away? Where is he? Why can’t they find him? An “accomplice” not being treated like Wilmot, WOULD be discrimination. They should find this boy.

    There is no further mention in reports or blogs I have seen, about this so called friend. I and only two other sources I have found, have bothered to cite this original report, and I don’t see other people looking into the school code, either, but simply reacting emotionally.

  • http://feministing.com/members/llgm/ Jonathan Goodman

    About the Air Force brochure:

    “It may be advisable to submit [rather] than resist,” reads the brochure (.pdf), issued to airmen at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where nearly 10,000 military and civilian personnel are assigned. “You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon.”

    Police give advice like this to potential victims of all manner of crimes. Resisting a robbery or a rape can put your life in danger. If you are attached, your first priority is to survive.

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

    I missed reading how Ramsey just moved in last year, before wondering how he couldn’t have noticed, while other neighbors claimed they did. I see.

    It is not my intent to smear Ramsey, because he has done a heroic thing and he is a bigger man than I. Today, he has attracted more admiration because he has declared he wants any reward to go to the women, saying he has a job (as a dishwasher) and a paycheck. He says he is a Christian, and that would be doing the right thing. He denies he is a hero.


    I would not pass up the opportunity to take advantage of such a favorable situation. I am at this moment accepting the kindness of corporate sponsors and others to help my family through a financial situation.

    However, some people have taken time out of their day to dig up dirt on Ramsey’s past.

    I know that there are people here who believe humans are defined by their actions, and there are things which should never be forgotten, abuse and sexual assault in particular. Ramsey has been divorced and in and out of prison for a variety of things, beginning in the early 1990s until 2003. There is considerable irony in Ramsey’s statement that he helped Amanda Berry because “was raised to help women in distress.”

    Over the past ten years, Ramsey has tried to keep clean, and improve relations with his former wife and daughter. Do people here believe his past can be redeemed? Would people’s opinion of Ramsey or his actions change simply because they hear of things he did 10 or 20 years ago?