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)

bell hooks feminist auto-responder for creepy guys

If a creepy dude is insistently demanding your phone number and you want to get rid of him with style, why not give him feminist phone intervention number (+l-669-221-6251). If you call or text that number, you'll get a canned response taken from the work of writer/activist bell hooks, such as "If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency." The hotline also seeks your donations to cover its operational expenses. (via The Hairpin)

(Image: bell hooks, Cmon Girl, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Zombie Disney princesses


Tumblr's Zombie Disney Princess tag is a rich seam of transgressive, gruesome, wonderful (and thoroughly unauthorized) creativity (above: Leimanaang). The stylistic variation is what (metaphorically) kills me here -- who'd have thought that there were so many different ways to zombify the Disney princess pantheon, each one so clearly perfect and yet so different from all the others?

Zombie Disney Princess (via Sean Bonner)

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How to stop hurting -- and start helping -- women in games

Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu gave this awesome talk at AltConf a couple days ago about sexism in the gaming industry. No punches pulled. Discussions of all the %$#@ girls have to put up with just to do their jobs, and what we all can do to help."

How Wikipedia can become a no-asshole-zone

Sumana writes, "I gave the opening keynote address at Wiki Conference USA last weekend, and told Wikipedians what needs to change to make the site friendlier and more hospitable. I mixed in wisdom from John Scalzi, XKCD, Hacker School, and the Ada Initiative. The transcript and a thirty-minute audio recording (Ogg) are now up."

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Kickstarting a kids' picture book about girls and science by Zack "SMBC" Smith

Zach Weinersmith, creator of the wonderful Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and the Kickstarter-record-busting Trial of the Clone choose-your-own-adventure is unstoppable: he's kickstarting Augie and the Green Knight: A Children's Adventure Book , a girl-positive kids' picture book about science. $25 gets you the book and the ebook (I bought in!).

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Women who'd never seen their vulvas given a mirror and a modesty screen

Women who'd never seen their vulvas were offered a modesty screen and a hand mirror and given the chance to have a peek. They liked what they saw, and were sweetly affirmed by it. (via Dan Hon)

Transgender tipping point: Laverne Cox on the cover of TIME

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This TIME cover story, the first to feature a transgender person, is a very big deal. Not just for trans folks, but for all of us.

As the headline suggests, it's a tipping point in the acceptance of gender diversity, and respect for all human beings.

Also Laverne Cox is awesome and talented and an amazing activist and looks totally fabulous.

Here's a TIME video interview.

If you haven't already watched 'Orange is the New Black,' get on it with Season 1.

Portraits of asexual people

Worth checking out: this photojournalism project about people who identify as asexual.

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Feminism and tech: an overdue and welcome manifesto


Alan writes, "A group of nine women involved in the tech industry have posted a manifesto listing some of the awful sexist things that have happened in tech during the past few months. The women frame this as a simple statement: 'we really just want to work on what we love.' But the reality of the industry and the societies in which we do our tech work make this far from simple."

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Jo Walton's "My Real Children": infinitely wise, sad and uplifting novel

An ambitious and nuanced story that left Cory Doctorow in tears, the new novel from award-winner Jo Walton is about an elderly woman who remembers two lives.

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