Bonnie Burton (previously) is a favorite around these parts, thanks both to her keen eye for awesomeness, and her next book, Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy (Oct 18), looks like a big ole ball of perfect. (with a foreword by Felicia! Day! (never weird!)) Read the rest
In an op-ed for the Guardian today, I shared the primal and personal experience I felt as a woman watching another woman make history, as Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States.
“It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor,” Jane Bockholt said. She refused to reveal the nature of the customer’s complaint.
Ann Moliver Ruben, the 70-year-old psychologist who designed the shirt and sold them to the store, said the retailer’s response means “that promoting females as leaders is still a very threatening concept in this country.
A buyer at the company reportedly said that the shirt "goes against Wal-Mart's family values," but it didn't respond to press inquiries other than to confirm a customer complaint about the shirt and their removal from the store in which they were being sold. At the time, the United Kingdom, Israel and Pakistan were among countries to have elected women leaders.
After the story hit the papers, though, the company admitted its mistake.
"We made a mistake," Jay Allen, a Wal-Mart spokesman, told the Associated Press. "In this case, we overreacted."
The shirt appears to pop up on Ebay and Etsy often.
Correction: 1995, not 1985.
Update: Walmart Director of Corporate Communications Danit Marquardt spotted this doing the rounds and sent an email: “Wow, it still pains us that we made this mistake 20 years ago. We’re proud of the fact that our country – and our company – has made so much progress in advancing women in the workplace, and in society.” Read the rest
The 471 pages of documents released Friday by the Santa Clara County Superior Court show that Turner lied to investigators about having no experience with using drugs and alcohol before college.
Laurie Penny reviews Andi Zeisler's ‘We Were Feminists Once’ and considers the progressive dilemma of popularity: how do you turn new popularity into change, when the idea of change is so easily turned into an ersatz commercial product?
As a founding editor of Bitch Magazine, which was first published as a zine in 1996, Zeisler understands the fraught relationship between feminism and pop culture. It’s a relationship of toxic codependency. Activists need the media to help spread the word, even as it pumps out sexist stereotypes; the media, meanwhile, cannot risk losing touch with the zeitgeist. In her introduction, Zeisler describes her book as “an exploration of how the new embrace of marketplace feminism — mediated, decoupled from politics, staunchly focused on individual experience and actualization — dovetails with entrenched beliefs about power, about activism, about who feminists are and what they do.”
However, Penny writes that things have become more nuanced, less monolithic, and that feminists are one again engaging the in the "time-honored tradition" of being too hard on their own movement -- and especially on grassroots creativity that's succeeded despite media indifference.
Read the rest
Granted, as she points out, this newfound feminist populism hasn’t stopped the relentless conservative assault on abortion rights in the United States. Given the tireless work of abortion rights activists, however, perhaps it’s time we stopped blaming feminists for that and started blaming Republicans. The women’s movement has always been good at rebuking itself for every imperfection. The “confidence” promised by Dove body lotion may not be the revolution we have waited for — but feminism could use a little more faith in itself.
With a couple of days left, Feminist Frequency is about to hit their funding goal for Ordinary Women, a lavishly animated series about women who dared defy their times--and who history hasn't given their dues. Below is the complete set of preview videos for Ida Wells, Ching Shih, Emma Goldman, Murasaki Shikibu and Ada Lovelace; go help push them over the line at Seed & Spark.
Ida B. Wells (by Sammus)
Ada Lovelace (by Teddy Dief)
Ching Shih (by Jonathan Mann)
Emma Goldman (by The Doubleclicks)
Murasaki Shikibu (by Clara Bizne$$)
The creators of the series are Anita Sarkeesian (of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games fame), Laura Hudson (recently of Boing Boing and Offworld) and Elizabeth Aultman (producer of Yosemite) Read the rest
Starting with this awesome shot of Bettie Page pretend-ladyfighting with a sexy foe, here are some wonderful photographs of female wrestlers from the 19th century through the 20th, all the way up through the '80s and '90s.
Paper Magazine's "Girl Crush" series pairs notable women for fascinating conversations, which they transcribe and publish. The series is spectacular, and this interview, between author/feminist/activist bell hooks and actor/feminist/activist Emma Watson, is the best yet. Read the rest
Ad agency Boone Oakley created a provocative campaign in posters and stickers for hospitals to promote breastfeeding to first-time moms.
Because it’s the holiday season, Lady Parts Justice League is giving back by reminding us about the anti-choice forces responsible for creating these terrorists with a reinterpretation of a scene from the Christmas classic, “Love Actually”.
When trying to make sense of these horrifying killing sprees, it's easy to lump the attackers into neat little boxes that give us peace of mind. When we look into those boxes, we don't see ourselves.
There’s a box for the “religious extremist” (but only if it’s in the name of Islam) and one for the “delusional loner” (because if we keep pushing the “loner” idea then we don’t have to face the American epidemic of gun violence).
But there is one mass murderer who doesn’t easily fit into any box: the abortion clinic terrorist.
During his arraignment, Robert Dear said, “I am a warrior for the babies!” 17 times. There's no evidence presented that he had a psychotic episode, but we all hear the voices that dominate our airwaves and the national conversation. Certainly, the clinic terrorist may be a “religious extremist” or a “delusional loner.”
What’s different about the abortion clinic attacker is that the voices in their head are not self-created delusions. Rather, they are the voices of mainstream politicians, mainstream religious figures, and mainstream media. Read the rest
For 50 years, the Pirelli Calendar has featured mostly naked models captured by famed photographers in exotic locales. Not this year.
Way back in 1902, a French manufacturer released a set of trading cards designed by artist Albert Bergeret that imagined the "women of the future." The cards envisioned women stepping into roles that would have seemed fantastical to most ladies at the time: doctor, lawyer, politician, firefighter, even members of the military.
Although there's a pin-up quality to many of the images—they're showing an awful lot of arm, after all—there's something charming about this retrofuturistic attempt to expand the role of women in society, even if it was nothing but fantasy at the time. Indeed, fantasy and science fiction can often help us open our minds behind the limitations of the world we live in and imagine a better one instead. In the small and fashionable world of these cards, at least, women were given a more equal role in society, not to mention some spectacular hats.
Here are some of my favorites:
(Master of Arms)
Stassa Edwards' "History of Female Anger" is something more than that: a history of how society deals with and neutralizes a recurring challenge.
Women's anger is a powerful force; coded as a dangerous and destabilizing, it wreaks havoc on blissful homes and placid communities. Stereotypes about female anger ubiquitous: the shrill wife, the crazy ex-girlfriend, feminazis, and the angry black woman. These phrases are familiar haunts, easily conjured when women's anger threatens to sabotage a certain sense of social order.
Here's an excerpt from Protection for Women by Jane Anger, published in 1589.
The desire that every man hath to shewe his true vaine in writing is unspeakable, and their mindes are so caried away with the manner, as no care at all is had of the matter: they run so into Rethorick, as often times they overrun the boundes of their own wits, and goe they knowe not whether. If they have stretched their invention so hard on a last, as it is at a stand, there remaines but one help, which is, to write of us women: If they may once encroch so far into our presence, as they may but see the lyning of our outermost garment, they straight think that Apollo honours them, in yeelding so good a supply to refresh their sore overburdened heads, through studying for matters to indite off.
More than 400 years later, "they run into rhetoric as they overrun the bounds of their own wits" is a perfect description of men on twitter. Read the rest