Weekly Feminist Reader

Beyonce on the cover of Ms. magazine

Bey is on the cover of Ms., giving the feminist blogosphere another month to police her feminism and then yell at itself for this policing.

Read Kiera Wilmot’s story in her own words.

Advertisers can’t ignore the #FBrape campaign.

Prosecuting Ariel Castro for murdering a fetus will endanger pregnant women.

Kanye raps against mass incarceration and private prisons.

How many times does Jerry Lewis have to tell you that ladies just aren’t funny?

The Sun‘s May interview is with Ai-jen Poo.

Reject anti-trans bigotry from Deep Green Resistance.

Students from four more colleges have filed federal complaints against theirs schools for mishandling sexual violence.

Princess Bubblegum rejects a suitor and misogynistic narratives in a single episode!

Recent grads: two sociologists have some advice for you.

Your point of view is not the default.

Hell yeah, Journos of Color.

Can we stop with the fembots already?

Young women of color killed in the 1963 Birmingham bombing were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Queer bash back.

Support the creation of a documentary about Obama’s mama.

The Boy Scouts will now welcome gay youths but not gay leaders because homosexuality is the same thing as pedophilia, right?

Facebook censors breast cancer ad, but not the glorification of rape.

Haifa project challenges gender and sexuality taboos.

What should you know about the Chicago school closings?

Reddit weighs in on how to please your man. No way that could go wrong!

Sorry guys, but pictures on Trayvon Martin’s cellphone aren’t relevant to his murder.

Baylor told Brittney Griner not to talk about her sexuality.

We need more working moms and female anti-heroes on TV.

In honor of today’s Season 4 Netflix debut, a 2012 look at the feminism of Arrested Development.

Self-promotion alert: tomorrow is the last day to donate to Know Your IX!

What have you been reading/writing/watching/listening to last week? Enjoy the long weekend, and we’ll be back on Tuesday!

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8 Comments

  1. Posted May 26, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Reading: A blog post on Sylvia Plath’s writings (at age 19) on marriage vs. being a writer. Her belief that ” a workable union should heighten the potentialities in both individuals.” creatively was not the prevailing attitude of her day…

    http://writingforfoodinindy.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/being-a-writer-or-becoming-a-wife-reflections-from-a-young-sylvia-plath/

    I did this write up (yeah, and flyer) regarding the “Punks In Recovery” lecture series, the founder (Craig Lewis)is very active in mental health awareness & advocacy. I write a little about feeling alienated within a marginal subculture–anyone else here with mental health challenges might be interested in knowing about it:

    http://jennydevildoll.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/punk-rock-mental-illness-recoveryand-a-flyer-by-me/

  2. Posted May 28, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    In a comment of mine which was rejected, I asked when the story was new, whether we wanted Angel Castro to be charged with murder for causing miscarriages, because of the implications of granting personhood to a fetus.

    I agree with the assessment of fembots as some people’s flawed idea of a perfect woman. Viewing the “Quantic Dream” video, however, I believe the viewer is intended to identify with the android as a person, and share in her fear of being deprived of life.

    I read Kiera Wilmot’s account. “Someone suggested to me to combine aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner in a water bottle to make a volcano.” Mt. St. Helens, Pompeii or Krakatoa are examples of what happens to a volcano under pressure with a tight fitting cap. Someone who was really expecting a reaction to “give off some smoke” should perform the experiment in an open topped vessel like a beaker, to be able to see the smoke. I wonder who else is willing to admit there is something fishy about performing the reaction in a water bottle with cap.

  3. Posted May 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    LOL because having a radical view of gender is “transphobic”. The concept of cis privilege comes from white western academia and yes it is insulting to say being socialized to be subordinate is a privilege. Big ups to Rachel Ivey for the bravery to speak on this matter. Shame to see Feministing contribute to the silencing of women. Real feminist…

  4. Posted May 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m disappointed in you, feministing editors. “Reject anti-trans bigotry”? How about offering some analysis of HOW the organization in question is being “anti-trans”? So many pundits and so-called feminists are writing off any radical critique of gender with the unsupported claim of “transphobia.” A moment’s google search of DGR and radical feminism turns up this link (http://www.deepgreenresistance.org/faq-radical-feminism/), which answers a lot of the questions that feministing’s editors didn’t bother to ask before they outright told us what to reject and what to accept. How about reading it and offering a cogent argument, or are we doing away with thoughtful conversation and openmindedness nowadays?

  5. Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m troubled by Savannah’s blog and the ongoing misrepresentations of both DGR and of feminist critique of trans ideology and activism. It’s interesting that from the outset–the word “criticism” is put in quotes as a suspect category. the constant suspicion and accusation is that “criticism” supposedly veils a core bigotry if not extermination-mission for trans people on the part of radical feminism. This outright refusal to engage with criticism–with argument– is a repeated theme of trans and trans allied attacks on groups like DGR and other feminists who dare to question the politics of trans gender activism. Connected to this refusal to recognize that there are actual arguments to be engaged rather than insult-trading is the refusal to do anything but take for granted and without question the idea that anybody has a *right* to define themselves any way they want. People certainly should free to express themselves in any style of identity they want, and it is a right for trans gendered individuals to be recognized as group and to make claims on the state that follow in terms of anti-discrimination measures. What is not a *right* is for one group to claim the identity of another group. Women is an identity group insofar as a liberal political system is in play and granting or stealing back certain rights. But woman is not fundamentally a “right” and no human being has a *right* to be a woman–Historically and still currently in most of the world being born a woman means automatically lacking rights–including the right to not be killed on the basis of sex-assignment. Articles like Savannah’s and a huge host of similar blogs perpetuate the mindlessness of the whole discourse- because before we can even begin having any kind of useful discussion–the insistence that self-definition as woman, or self definition per se–is to go unquestioned, and if questioned-the questioner is to be tarred automatically as bigotry –all this ENSURES the circular reasoning of the trans position, the deadlock, the dead-brained discourse surrounding all of this. It’s outrageous that the single thing to be put on the table in this debate, namely, what is a woman, is taken off from the get go. Trans gender is the trojan horse in feminism, ensuring the impossibility of women autonomously organizing –This is impossible if woman becomes something anybody can claim as a personal expression rather than a specific position in most or all societies.

  6. Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I object to the characterization of Deep Green Resistance’s position on gender as “transphobic.” In fact, DGR’s view is that gender is an oppressive social structure that must be eliminated; gender (the social roles “man” and “woman”) should not be celebrated as acontextual, naturally occurring, and benign identities that we can and should preserve.

    The original poster at autostraddle says:

    “I do have a history of male privilege and I would never deny that, but attempting to erase my very real present from that picture does nothing to benefit any of us involved in this conversation.”

    No one wants to erase the “very real present” of transwomen, but erasing the past is no better! Further, erasing the physical realities of living in a female body is similarly unhelpful to feminist political discourse.

    Fully understanding–in attempt to eradicate–women’s oppression requires us to acknowledge the creation of the class “woman” itself. The class “woman” is not created by infants (all female) actively “identifying” with femininity or by expressing some kind of essential “girl-ness.”

    “Women” as a class of persons is created by the assignment of the social role “girl/woman” to infants with insufficiently sized phalluses at birth (insufficient to be assigned “boy/man,” that is). Binary sex-based social role assignment at birth is the most objectively provable and mechanically predictable form of social-class determinism that humans have ever known. !! The resulting hierarchy that develops between boys/men and girls/women is oppressive to girls/women.

    What is the problem with acknowledging the effects of sex-based social role assignment at birth *in addition to* whatever social treatment all “women” endure in the present moment?

    What is “bigoted” about discussing the significance of sex-based social role determinism on both individual female people (lived experience!!) and on society as a whole?

    This entire conversation is backwards. Let’s look at the whole picture of “woman” and stop with false equivalencies. Acknowledging difference between transwomen and females does not make someone a Bad Person TM who is filled with hatred. It makes them intellectually honest. Please stop characterizing DGR’s position on gender as “anti-trans bigotry.”

  7. Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    @anne: You’ll notice that this is the Weekly Feminist Reader, which is filled with links to other articles. So we didn’t “offer some analysis” of our own since the whole point was to highlight the analysis offered by Savannah at Autostraddle. We found it convincing. You are, of course, free to find it unconvincing.

    @KM: Again, I have no patience for accusations that there is any “refusal to engage with criticism–with argument” happening here. Savannah engaged the arguments at length and explained her problems with them. She never accused DGR of having an “extermination-mission” and spent waaaaay more time and energy than I would have on providing a counter-argument to their ideas about gender and trans identity.

    @ElizabethHungerford: See, this is what I will never understand about rad fems’ ideas of gender. I also think that “gender is an oppressive social structure” and yet somehow I manage to have a theory of gender that acknowledges the complexity of all people’s lived experiences. It is frankly confusing that a movement that claims to want to eliminate gender altogether spends so much time reifying the idea of “women as a class.” That’s no less essentialist just cuz it’s based in socialization instead of biology.

    And that’s all I have to say about the arguments, because frankly, I don’t think it’s worth engaging with a worldview that is so unable to coherently account for the actual realities of gender in the real world. And there’s no way you’ll convince us that it’s not anti-trans bigotry to deny trans people’s identities, so if you want to continue this debate, I suggest you take it over to Autostraddle.

  8. Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Keira Wilmot’s mother, Marie Martin Wilmot has her own Facebook page. She is a funny and thoughtful lady. In addition to the prosecutor dropping charges in the felony case, Keira is not expelled from her high school. Ms. Wilmot’s remaining concern is Keira’s arrest record. I believe it will be sealed or cleared when she reaches adulthood. Quite frankly, for anyone who knows her widely publicized story (it’s not like millions of people won’t know she was arrested or facing charges even with no official record), it could be a positive. It will be an opportunity for her to present her experience for a school or potential employer.

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