Sheila Michaels, popularizer of the honorific "Ms." for women, is dead at 78. The BBC:
"I didn't belong to my father and I didn't want to belong to a husband - someone who could tell me what to do."
Born in St Louis, Missouri, Ms Michaels spent some of her childhood in New York City. She was a lifelong feminist activist, biblical scholar, and collected oral histories of the civil rights movement later in life.
In her professional life, she worked as a ghostwriter, editor, and even ran a Japanese restaurant - but her obituary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes her favourite job was being a New York City taxi driver.
"Ms." — referring to women without reference to a husband or lack thereof — dates to 1901, but was only adopted by the New York Times in 1971.
In this Allure video, model/writer/activist Ebonee Davis and actors Zazie Beetz and Dascha Polanco discuss the cultural bias against natural hair and the way it’s affected them on both a personal and professional level. As the accompanying article explains:
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For Allure’s April 2017 issue, 41 women of color were interviewed about how their appearance and how race played into their careers and experiences. Editor-in-chief Michelle Lee sat down with five women of color who come from various backgrounds in fashion, entertainment, and beauty, to talk about their experiences as women of color in their fields.
Conversations about race in beauty can very often veer towards shared experiences as to how one’s racial identity and appearance affects everything in their lives from how they are treated to the success of their careers. Hair has categorically been a hot topic especially when it comes to natural hair textures for WOC. When what grows out of your head becomes a topic of political and socio-political discussion, it can’t help but affect your sense of identity as well as a large part of the experience being a person of color.
You know the type: the guy whose bio advertises "feminist," who wears the t-shirt and the pink hat, is well-versed in feminist doctrine but rather too eager to harangue women about it rather than get on with smashing nearby patriarchies. Lurking between desperate need and narcissism, the "woke misogynist" lingers, wanting what's his and spying in feminism a fashionable way to get it.
Nona Willis Aronowitz writes:
When I put out a call for “woke misogynist” stories, I received tales of behavior all across the spectrum: The college guy who bought his girlfriend feminist zines and also slapped her so hard she reeled backwards. The boss who was an enemy of the patriarchy on the internet but regularly intimidated and talked down to his female employees. The outspoken women’s rights advocate who went out of his way to call Kellyanne Conway ugly.
Women recalled chronic patronizing, compulsive manterrupting, and classic sexism excused with self-awareness (“I know this is super-sleazy of me, but…”). Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna, who skewered her woke misogynist fans last year in her song “Mr. So and So,” told me she “was raped in college by a guy who’d read more feminist books than [she] had.”
I heard countless versions of my awful Tinder date: a supposedly feminist guy who bent or broke the rules of consent in some uncanny, unsettling, unconventional way. The worst thing about this phenomenon, one woman remarked, is that it’s often “a general feeling, not necessarily a momentous incident. And that makes it feel less real.”
A stunning new ad campaign from Nike “pays homage to Middle Eastern athletes and explores the challenges young Arab women aspiring to a professional sporting career may face,” per Vogue.
Clair writes, "In light of all the coverage of Trump Valentines, I wanted to share a kickass content piece I helped create that is a feminist alternative. With the Women's Marches and Trump's complete disregard for the American people--especially women--it's important to share positive, pro-female content too!"
Of all the nice tributes since art critics John Berger's death on January 2, this Dazed piece is a short and sweet summation of how far ahead of his time he was. The second episode of Ways of Seeing is a brisk jog through the ways in which the male gaze manifests, even in women:
A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another.... One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.Read the rest
The DIY Feminist Guide to Cybersecurity, available in Spanish and English, is designed to be a quickstart for "gendered, racialized, queerphobic, transphobic, ableist, and classist" threats to digital autonomy, created because "companies and developers frequently ignore or underestimate the digital threats to these spaces and their users." Read the rest
What's the difference between modern memes and old ones? Edwardian-era bigots used paint, not MS Paint. Adrienne LaFrance writes on "The Weird Familiarity of 100-Year-Old Feminism Memes." Even the same embittered mirthless "humor" prevails—the same fears of emasculation, too—though I rather like this one: Read the rest