Posts Tagged Feminism

The Feministing Five: Stuff Mom Never Told You

 While at a friend’s house one afternoon, I overheard a friend listening to a really fantastic podcast. And I know what you’re thinking. “Not another one of those white dude hosts that tries hard to sound not overly geeky yet kinda cool but actually he’s copying that first dude with the glasses.”

This one featured the voices of two women exploring 19th century feminist history with a special emphasis on politics and race. Unlike most lectures you might find in college, the podcast was engaging, accessible, and impeccably researched. I posted up in the kitchen until its end and then I asked what was the name of the podcast. She said, “Stuff Your Mom ...

 While at a friend’s house one afternoon, I overheard a friend listening to a really fantastic podcast. And I know what you’re thinking. “Not another one of those white dude hosts that tries hard to sound ...

An open letter to privileged people who play devil’s advocate

You know who you are. You are that white guy in an Ethnic Studies class who’s exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. Or some person arguing over drinks that maybe a lot of women do fake rape for attention. Or, recently, someone insisting that I consider the idea that Elliot Rodger could have been a madman and an anomaly, not at all a product of a white supremacist and misogynistic society.

Most of the time, it’s clear that you actually believe the arguments you claim to have just for the heck of it. However, you know that these beliefs are unpopular, largely because they make you sound selfish and privileged, so you blame them on the ...

You know who you are. You are that white guy in an Ethnic Studies class who’s exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. Or some person arguing over drinks that maybe ...

The One In Which I Share My Entry Point To Feminist Thought

I want to tell you an old story. During my first year at Columbia, it occurred to me during a brief reverie that something was odd about the literature we were reading and how it represented women. In the margins of my notebook, I began making a branch of every book we read in Literature Humanities (aka Lit Hum), and I noted how each author in the western canon defined women over time– from St. Augustine, Boccaccio, Apuleius, Dante, to Goethe.

I remember some vague controversy my first year among instructors and administration about whether or not A Vindication of The Rights of Women should be mandated in the curriculum’s reading list. I think a mild concession was reached which allowed ...

I want to tell you an old story. During my first year at Columbia, it occurred to me during a brief reverie that something was odd about the literature we were reading and how it represented women. ...

#TransHealthcareNow: Why now is the time for the most vital form of trans inclusion

Conferences tend to be rather staid affairs that are rigidly structured by lovelessly adumbrated agendas. Pre-planned panels and speeches dominate those agendas. Thus, when someone goes off-script somehow, the results are bound to be fascinating.

Last Thursday the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) in New York City provided a happy off-ramp from the script of HX Refactored, a healthcare conference taking place in Manhattan, when they participated in a direct action on stage to advocate for trans-inclusive Medicaid coverage in New York. A banner was proudly unfurled, speeches were made, and everything flew off script—to the applause of many in the audience, no less, a hopeful sign if ever there was one. The state’s new health commissioner, Howard Zucker, bore ...

Conferences tend to be rather staid affairs that are rigidly structured by lovelessly adumbrated agendas. Pre-planned panels and speeches dominate those agendas. Thus, when someone goes off-script somehow, the results are bound to be fascinating.

Last Thursday the ...

A How to Guide for Male Feminists (with the caveat that I don’t know what I’m talking about)

The weirdest thing that has happened to me in my career as a writer is people asking me to talk. Churches, community groups, schools, organizations, TV/radio, birthday and bachelorette parties. For some reason, people want to hear words come out of my mouth, which makes me a little uneasy, because I became a writer in part so I wouldn’t ever have to talk.

But I do it more and more now, and provided I’ve had a chance to listen to my confidence building soundtrack (it’s Jay Z’s The Blueprint album for those wondering, but you choose whatever makes you feel like a boss), I’m OK speaking to crowds. And they get comfortable enough to ask questions.

I write a lot about ...

The weirdest thing that has happened to me in my career as a writer is people asking me to talk. Churches, community groups, schools, organizations, TV/radio, birthday and bachelorette parties. For some reason, people want to hear ...

Burning the single story: how modern Japanese art shatters relativist myths

The month-long retrospective of Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi’s films at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York provides for a unique angle of vision on the role of women in both cinema and society—as well as an overdue consideration of whether or not feminism is truly a “Western” phenomenon.

Watching them as a woman of color was a fascinating exercise in self-discovery and a reminder of why cultural relativism can be so deleterious to our empowerment; shuffling different peoples of color into separate silos not only denies us empathy with whites, but with each other, and cribs our ability to learn and grow together. Cultural relativism would hold that I, as a Puerto Rican lass who grew up ...

The month-long retrospective of Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi’s films at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York provides for a unique angle of vision on the role of women in both cinema and society—as ...

“You can’t self-help away deeply-ingrained structural discrimination.”

Jessica has a good piece in The Guardian today on the gender confidence gap and the new book The Confidence Code which “argues that what’s truly holding women back is their own self-doubt.” As Amanda Hess has noted, this book is part of a genre that’s enjoying popularity right now — one that she describes as teaching women how “you, too, can become a successful blowhard.”

As Amanda notes, it’s worth questioning if we really want to be imitating the attributes of overconfident high-achievers. And it’s also debatable if that’ll even work. The confidence gap, Jessica argues, is a reflection of a culture that gives women no reason to feel self-assured.” So you can “fake it ’til you make ...

Jessica has a good piece in The Guardian today on the gender confidence gap and the new book The Confidence Code which “argues that what’s truly holding women back is their own self-doubt.” As Amanda ...

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