Making no apologies for Potterotica

Brenna Twohy performs "Fantastic Breasts and Where To Find Them" [NSFW], a witty, epic rant about erotic Harry Potter fanfic and sexual politics.

WWII's VD posters: exciting nexus of propaganda, Mad Men, gender and design


Ryan Mungia's Protect Yourself: Venereal Disease Posters of World War II uncovers many obscure propaganda posters that were, once upon a time, just as popular as the iconic "We Can Do It!" woman.

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Why you have to make your own rules for love and sex

Author Sarah Mirk never tells readers what they should do in bed, writes Glenn Fleishman, only what they might do.

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SDCC and gender: Bechdel Testing Comic-Con

Dave writes, "This year, for its annual Comic-Con issue, San Diego Citybeat views the convention through the lens of the Bechdel Test. The altweekly is free on stands throughout the city."

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When all the jobs belong to robots, do we still need jobs?


Zeynep Tufekci's scathing response to the establishment consensus that tech will create new jobs to replace the ones we've automated away makes a lot of good points.

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Anatomically correct bra and panties


Why Are You So Afraid Of Your Own Anatomy? is Eleanor Beth Haswell's senior art project, a feminist fashion intervention.

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3D printed Barbie armor


$30 gets you printable STL files for three suits of Barbie armor -- you'll need your own printer (or use one at your local makerspace).

Google's badass "Security Princess" profiled


Parisa Tabriz 's title at Google is "Security Princess" -- meaning that she runs the adversarial internal team tasked with continuously testing and probing Google's security to find flaws before the enemy does.

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Barbie-head-filled wedges


Even if you've got $265 to spend on a pair of wedges whose hollow soles are filled with doll-heads, you're out of luck. They're sold out. (via Neatorama)

Supreme Court ruling creates urgent need for abortion clinic escorts


The Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts law establishing a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics, defining an area in which anti-choice protesters may not harass women who visit clinics. An important Metafilter post by Anotherpanacea points up the urgent need for more clinic escorts to help women through the gauntlet (I used to do clinic defense in Toronto's Morgantaler Clinic, which was later bombed by anti-choice terrorists).

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Bikini top that looks like bare breasts


The $28 Tata Top is a bikini top with nipples situated to suggest that the wearer is topless (should the wearer have skin color that matches the top, of course!). It's a pretty effective illusion, at least for the model used in the publicity photos, and the maker suggests it's a way to challenge discriminatory laws that hold that bare chested women in public are damaging to the social fabric, while men are able to wear as much or as little above the waist as they choose.

(via Crazy Abalone)

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Online roundtable on the works of Octavia Butler

The Hooded Utilitarian is hosting an online roundtable on the work of Octavia Butler, one of science fiction's greatest writers, and also one of the first women of color to attain widespread recognition in the field. The initial installment, from Qiana Whitted, is a challenging, sharply critical essay about the ways that Butler's work (including Fledgling, a book I very much liked) literally nauseated the writer, and what that says about both Butler and her critics.

Ugliness, Empathy, and Octavia Butler (Thanks, Noah!)

(Image: Leslie Howle)

Dainty feminine portraits (with assorted weapons)


Danny Galieote's series of vivid paintings of feminine figures with fists and weapons clenched behind their backs is extremely satisfying. Something about the savage strength and defensive might lurking beneath the pinafores and bows. He's currently exhibiting a one-man show of recent works (including these) at the Arcadia Contemporary in NYC.

Vancouver school-board adds genderless pronoun

Xe, xem, xyr are the new preferred pronouns for transgendered students in the Vancouver school system. Although the National Post is skeptical that this attempt to add a nongendered pronoun to English is doomed -- based largely on the fact that every other attempt has failed abominably -- the VSB's manager of social responsibility and diversity reminds us that not so long ago, no one said "firefighter" while today, "fireman" fairly clangs on the ear.

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Women in Video Games: women as background decoration

Anita Sarkeesian has posted Women as Background Decoration: Part 1, the latest installment in her Feminist Frequency Tropes vs Women in Video Games critical video series. Gamers are insanely (and I mean that literally) threatened by Sarkeesian's analysis, which is carefully and closely argued, and backed by solid scholarly research.

Every one of her interventions, starting with her original kickstarter, has been met with vicious, violent smear campaigns that contain some of the most stomach-churning overt misogyny you're likely to find this side of a mass-murderer's manifesto.

If you don't believe me, just hang out in the comments for this post, which will shortly be filling up with dudes mansplaining why Sarkeesian is a con artist, why games whose story rewards players for murdering prostitutes are only jokey-jokes, why feminism is a giant lih-buh-rul plot, and so forth. As the husband of a retired nationally ranked pro gamer and the father of a daughter (and as a human being), these guys scare and depress the shit out of me.

Women as Background Decoration: Part 1 (via Metafilter)