The secret history of science fiction's women writers: The Future is Female!

Eminent science fiction scholar Lisa Yaszek (Georgia Tech Professor of Science Fiction in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication) has edited "The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin," a forthcoming anthology of science fiction (and scientifiction!) by woman writers from the 1920s published last month by Library of America. Read the rest

Copyright and the "male gaze": a feminist critique of copyright law

Film theorist Laura Mulvey coined the term "male gaze" to describe the "masculine, heterosexual perspective that presents and represents women as sexual objects for the pleasure of the male viewer": in a paper for the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Southwestern Law School professor John Tehranian applies Mulvey's idea to the complex and often nonsensical way that copyright determines who is an "author" of a work and thus entitled to control it, and shows how the notion of authorship reflects and amplifies the power imbalances already present in the world. Read the rest

Scenes from the Bangalore Literature Festival

I still have Indian dust on my shoes from the city of Bangalore, where I spent almost a week at the international literary festival.

I was mind-boggled at the scale of this national Indian event: literature, politics, activism, feminism. There was music and even street art, but what a crowd. Sixteen thousand highly literate participants, roaming from one outdoor stage to another, and engaged with every atom of their souls.

Literary culture persists in this part of the world, where people still believe that leafing through books is a transformative spiritual experience that can change the world.

Authors of the first world, beset with Internet and economic crisis, often seem like plastic vanity-toys kept past their sell-by date, but maybe what they lack most keenly is a creative readership. As a passionate reader, I often claim it is more difficult to read a book well than it is to to write one. As a less passionate writer, I know that even one ideal reader is enough to motivate a decent book.

The beautiful literary carnival -- held on the broad, leafy grounds of one of Bangalore’s finest hotels, an oasis of glamor and privilege -- contrasted with the crooked streets of Bangalore where the sacred cows, pariah dogs and torrents of honking traffic live with a passion for survival. This was not my first visit to India, so I was ready for the epic scale of grandeur and abject poverty, but it was still a culture shock.

The jet-set’s digitized skyscrapers tower like phantoms over vast bazaars seething with a seize-the-day human vitality. Read the rest

Riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna's new t-shirt line pays for girls to attend school in Togo

OG riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre has launched a new t-shirt line with all the money going to Peace Sisters, a non-profit that helps pay school tuition for underprivileged young girls in the West African nation of Togo. The shirts feature the likes of Kim Gordon, Jill Soloway, Chuck D (all seen below), Patton Oswalt, W. Kamau Bell, and Carrie Brownstein. The money from each $40 t-shirt sends a girl to school for a year. Buy 'em at Tees 4 Togo.

From Rolling Stone:

Hanna devised the concept after meeting Peace Sisters founder Tina Kampor. A former teacher in Togo, Kampor immigrated to Pasadena 15 years ago, where she would become a full-time registered nurse. Still, she could not forget her students back home: “[Tina] grew up there and she just saw all these girls who weren’t able to go to school,” explains Hanna. “A lot of them are orphans, or very poor. Past the fifth grade in Togo, you have to pay for [education]. She saw all these girls dropping out in the sixth grade. So when she came to California she started sending money home, then opened it up for other people to help. She’s put 130 girls through school herself and supported members of her family at the same time. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and [said], ‘I want to be a part of this!'”

Read the rest

In U.S. prisons, women are disciplined at a higher rate than men

Even women in prison can’t escape the sexist stereotype of the “difficult woman.” Read the rest

Support abortion access with 'Broadway Acts For Women' and 'A is For'

Kavanaugh got you pissed off about the future of Roe v. Wade? Support this awesome event, and this awesome nonprofit.—The Editors.

In 2012, A is For was launched as a response to the ever-escalating legislative attacks on access to safe reproductive healthcare. I'm proud to be one of the co-founders and its vice president. Read the rest

Russian feminist blogger faces 5 years for "inciting hatred" against men

Kazakh blogger Lyubov Kalugina has been charged under Russia's Article 282, an "anti-extremism" law now being used by men who claim women sharing jokes and memes offend them. Via Quartz: Read the rest

Suffragetto, an early 20th century board game, pitted suffragettes against the cops

Several years ago, the Bodleian Library mounted an exhibition called Playing with History. It featured one game enthusiast's historical collection of games and pastimes with an eye toward how games have been used through the ages to address the issues, challenges, and ideals of the time. One of the more fascinating games in the collection is Suffragetto, a board game from sometime around 1908/9 (the release date is debated).

Suffragetto was created by members of the militant British suffragette group known as the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). A piece on Suffrajitsu explains gameplay:

Players enact the roles of either the suffragettes, represented by 21 green markers, or police constables, represented by 21 dark blue markers. The suffragettes’ object is to occupy the House of Commons with six markers while defending their home base of the Albert Hall against the police, whose object is, likewise, to occupy Albert Hall while defending the House of Commons.

Apparently, the Bodleian Library copy of the over 100-year-old game is the only one known to exist. But, thanks to Suffrajitsu, you can play an online version, and thanks to GA Tech, you can also download and print the game, including the box art. Bone up, kids. We might be playing this on the streets again in the near future.

[H/T Laura Spitale McGough] Read the rest

Man claims to have been beaten up by savage feminists at the Women's March

One Steamelmo of House Imgur posted this exchange, with a twitterer who alleges a brutal womanhandling at this weekend's Women's March.

The OP has locked down their twitter account, but the replies remain:

If it is perhaps faked, console yourself with this picture of a man slathered in jam. [via]

Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: The Diggers' Death of Money & Other Counterculture Moments of 1966

A variety of events from 1966, including Ken Kesey's Acid Test at The Filmore, Charles Whitman's attack at The University of Texas at Austin, and John Lennon's statement about the Beatles popularity over Jesus.

Here's a beautiful map that helped American women earn voting rights

The Awakening by Henry Mayer is considered one of the finest pieces of political art of the 20th-century and is often mentioned as the most beautiful of the "suffrage maps." American women earned the vote from west to east before the right became federal law. Read the rest

Ms Sheila Michaels, activist who popularized "Ms." honorific, dead at 78

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.

Oddly, Wikipedia has an extensive article for Sheila from South Park, but not a word for Sheila Michaels. Someone who can nagivate that place should fix this! Read the rest

A nuanced conversation about the biases against natural hair

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:

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.

Read the rest

The FREQ Show: Feminist Frequency's new crowdfunded series about "today’s most pressing social issues"

For years, Anita Sarkeesian and her crew at Feminist Frequency (previously) have been striking terror into the hearts of reactionary assholes by saying calm, smart, funny, sensible and insightful things about how video games reveal our social attitudes. Read the rest

'Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché' - Last chance to back biopic on '70s female punk icon of X-Ray Spex fame

Leonardo Faierman points us to an article he wrote for BlackGirlNerds about a crowdfunding campaign for a biopic on female punk rock icon Poly Styrene. The Indiegogo ends tomorrow and is very close to its goal at the time of this blog post. Read the rest

Creeps pretending to be feminists

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.”

Angelica Alzona (@angelicaalzona painted that amazing illustration of a wolf in pussy-hat attire. Read the rest

Cecily Strong weighs in on the fauxminist epidemic

Spend enough time in progressive circles, and you'll run into the type of guy lampooned here: the guy who uses progressive catchphases as pickup lines. This skit feels ripped from the headlines of recent podcast drama. Read the rest

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