Genie Leslie

I'm a Southern feminist writing and working in Mississippi. I love taking naps, reading magazines and drinking overly sweetened coffee. I'm also the author of the blog Feminism: Not a Naughty Word at http://notanaughtyword.blogspot.com

Posts Written by Genie

Why the “Year of the Woman” is still another year of sexism

“I want to win as an athlete. I want to shine as a woman.”

This is the tagline for a Pantene Pro-V commercial starring Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin.

We all know that ads geared towards women are ridiculous and that beauty ads tend to equate products with ruling the world, or having it all, or other ridiculous ambitions that, in reality, are rarely linked to the shampoo or razor one uses. But for some reason, this ad just irked me more than most.

This is, as some have said, the “year of the woman” at the Olympics. Every single country, for the first time ever, has at least one female athlete representing them. Many female athletes have been featured on TV, magazine covers, blogs, and just about any other media option out there. I opened my Rolling Stone magazine recently to find a short piece on Holley Mangold, which managed to touch on both her talents as an athlete and her thoughts on women competing in typically male sports: “It’s hopefully paving the way for more women to realize they don’t have to be crazy-manly and crazy-feminine. They can be a mixture of both.” And weightlifter Zoe Smith had a great response for men suggesting that female weightlifters are unattractive.

But just as there has been great coverage of women athletes, there have also been plenty of sexist and misogynistic representations of them. Zerlina here at Feministing wrote about the ridiculous coverage of Jordyn ...

Obama’s declaration of support: what does it mean?

Today the Internet is buzzing about Obama coming out (no pun intended) in support of gay marriage. In an interview with ABC (the full interview has not actually aired but this clip has been released), Obama talks about the “evolution” of his views on gay marriage.

Now, we all know why he is announcing this today. This week, Joe Biden said publicly that he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage, an announcement that Obama staffers began trying to correct, putting it more in line with Obama’s support-of-equality-falling-just-short-of-marriage-to-toe-the-political-line platform. The Chicago Tribune writes,

While the White House claimed the remarks were essentially a restatement of the president’s position, it was obvious they were everything the president’s stance was not: open and clear.

After ...

Today the Internet is buzzing about Obama coming out (no pun intended) in support of gay marriage. In an interview with ABC (the full interview has not actually aired but this clip has been released), Obama ...

Once Upon a (Feminist) Time

I’ve gotten sucked into the new ABC show Once Upon a Time. For one thing, I’m a sucker for fairy-tale stories with a twist. (OUAT is about fairy tale characters who have been cursed, sent into the future, and forgotten who they are. Yes it sounds ridiculous; watch it and you’ll love it!) For another, from the very first episode I was struck by the show’s feminist undertones. I have no idea if they are intentional, or if maybe TV’s representations of women are getting just a little bit better. Either way, it’s making this show very enjoyable for me.

The main character is Emma Swan. She is an orphan, raised in the foster care system, who now (at 28) works as ...

I’ve gotten sucked into the new ABC show Once Upon a Time. For one thing, I’m a sucker for fairy-tale stories with a twist. (OUAT is about fairy tale characters who have been cursed, sent into the future, ...

Seriously?! Herman Cain, a “Pimp”

I’m so sick of hearing about Herman Cain I almost don’t want to write this post, but it’s not really about Cain; this is about how sexual harassment (and rape, too often) are perceived in our society.

Recently, listening to the radio, I heard a man discussing the latest Herman Cain news and the fact that a fourth woman had now come forward with accusations. The man, trying (oh so hard) to be funny, said “Wow. I never knew anyone with the name Herman could be such a pimp!” Haha! Hilarious! A man with a dorky name a ladies’ man! So funny!

Wait a second…really? We are describing an alleged harasser as a ladies’ man? Now, my mother doesn’t understand how the ...

I’m so sick of hearing about Herman Cain I almost don’t want to write this post, but it’s not really about Cain; this is about how sexual harassment (and rape, too often) are perceived in our society.

Recently, ...

Why Mississippi’s defeat of personhood is important

First of all: Whooooooo!!!!! We did it!!!! I don’t know if I’ve ever woken up singing and dancing, but I did On November 9.

Ok. So why is this a big deal? We know that personhood initiatives are in the works in other states, and less than twelve hours after our victory, we know that personhood supporters are going to try to work this through our legislature (which is now even more Republican and anti-woman [not that Republican and anti-woman are synonymous, but in today's political climate, they are more than they aren't]). So how much of a victory is this?

A HUGE ONE! After failing twice in Colorado, Personhood USA handpicked Mississippi as the conservative and uneducated state that might just ...

First of all: Whooooooo!!!!! We did it!!!! I don’t know if I’ve ever woken up singing and dancing, but I did On November 9.

Ok. So why is this a big deal? We know that personhood initiatives are ...

Personhood and Mississippi

As a woman and a feminist living in Mississippi, I have to comment on the personhood movement and the upcoming vote in November for Amendment 26. Aiming to define life as beginning at the moment of conception, not only would abortion become illegal, but we could lose many types of birth control pills, contraceptives, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research, and life-saving procedures that have to be performed in emergencies when a pregnant woman’s health is endangered by her pregnancy.

It’s not surprising that, after this kind of law failed to pass (twice) in Colorado, personhood activists have set their sights on my consistently conservative home state. And, as in Colorado, the tactics used to recruit votes for personhood are extreme ...

As a woman and a feminist living in Mississippi, I have to comment on the personhood movement and the upcoming vote in November for Amendment 26. Aiming to define life as beginning at the moment of conception, ...

The Girl With…No Clothes?

So far, I am not excited about the English-speaking version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved loved loved the book series, and saw the first Swedish film adaptation of it. I loved the film. I was amazed with the amount of violence they were able to show without being too gruesome (basically, the book was very violent, and while I was afraid of having to see some of the violence, I also knew that censoring it would damage the story). And I loved the way the filmmakers dealt with the character of Lisbeth Salander.

Lisbeth is not necessarily a feminist character. While very tough, she’s always described as looking like a young boy instead of a woman, and the ...

So far, I am not excited about the English-speaking version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved loved loved the book series, and saw the first Swedish film adaptation of it. I loved the film. I ...